This is much better than Sharp's other attempt at a Fighting Fantasy Gamebook, though getting to the end (at least without the dice and the pencil) is rather easy. Once again a time limit is used: this time it is a poison racing through your body and you must complete the adventure before you drop dead. There are twenty four boxes that must be marked off before you die and I managed to get there after I had marked off twenty two. In this book you are one of the select which is an heir to the throne. This particular kingdom has an interesting way of selecting the new monarch. It is not hereditary, and it is not necessarily a fight to the death, but rather a trail of endurance. You must go and collect a number of amulets, and then take them to the capital city and be the first person to sit in the throne. However this time some evil dude has gone around and assassinated most of the select (with the exception of you) and has also attempted to steal most of the amulets (I only managed to locate one of the amulets, though it is suggested that you can get more). The idea of this book was original, and at least it didn't involve you being an unknown heir that is thrown into a trapdoor with a sword and told to kill the bad guy. In fact, you don't have to kill the bad guy at the end because the idea is to become the ruler of the kingdom, and the way that it is set out is that the strongest is not necessarily the one that will succeed in the task (and you are given hints to that extent along the way). However, the other thing is that the timing aspect of the book does not necessarily involve time, but rather strenuous activity. The pattern that I noted with the poison was that you would be affected more after combat than if you were not (or if you were doing other difficult things such as climbing a mountain). That is also another thing that I particularly liked about this book. People have suggested that Sharp does not write a good gamebook, but if the Chasms of Malice is anything to go by, then he isn't, but he sure has lifted his game with this one.