The prince of foxes

The prince of foxes, Samuel Shellabarger’s follow up to Captain from Castile* is a great novel, combining detailed research (it is set in the orbit of Cesare Borgia — the titular prince of foxes), some decent fight scenes, intrigue, and drama. The protagonist is a henchman of Borgia who eventually turns against his master, and wins the girl, and all that, but for me the most interesting and memorable character is Mario Belli, an assassin and fiendish rogue who eventually assists the protagonist and repeatedly saves his life.

I would model many RPG characters on Mario Belli, a classic rogue with a heart of, if not gold, at least some alloy of silver.

It’s actually been many years since I read this book (and I think I’ll have to read it again soon!), but several scenes are still quite vivid in my memory, including one where Belli, having returned to Borgia’s service, volunteers to gouge out the protagonist’s eyes and does so with his bare hands! (Spoiler: it is a trick, and he passes off animal blood and grapes for the crushed eyes)

Belli is also described as very ugly, sneaky, and physically strong, much like an AD&D half-orc, which certainly added to the appeal. By the end of the book, he claims that he intends to become a priest, but whether that is sincere or yet another ruse is hard to say.

*Follow up in the sense of being his next novel, not a sequel or in any way related to the book!

Published in: on June 30, 2010 at 10:53 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I think my favorite gaming characters have been ones based on bit or background characters in other stories. Then again, there are always some archetypes that call out to me: the noble old warrior, the young and arrogant bard, the rogue/thief with the questionable motives, etc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

This Stuff is REALLY Cool

Young scholars enthusiastic to tell you about COOL RESEARCH STUFF

Fail Squad Games

Tabletop games and adventures for gamers by gamers

Cigar Box Battle

An online resource blog for gamers and geeks focused on wargames miniatures and board games and role playing games

terribleminds: chuck wendig

Chuck Wendig: Freelance Penmonkey

Save Vs. Dragon

"We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different."--Kurt Vonnegut


Old School Roleplaying and related musings

Hobgoblin Orange

My return to the world of miniature figure painting and RPGs

The Book Reviews You Can Trust!

Dawn of the Lead

Miniature wargaming and the occasional zombie

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.


Miniature Motivation

Take On Rules

Jeremy Friesen - a poor soul consumed by gaming.

Age of Dusk

Roleplaying, reviews and associated paraphernalia.

Roll to Disbelieve

"We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different."--Kurt Vonnegut

A Book of Creatures

A Complete Guide to Entities of Myth, Legend, and Folklore

Making the Past

Diary of an apprentice swordsmith

Ancient & Medieval Wargaming

Using De Bellis Antiquitatis, with the odd diversion...

Riffing Religion

Prophets should be mocked. I'm doing my part.


An encyclopedia of the Cirsovan empire, thoughts on Gaming, Music and more.

2 Warps to Neptune

Surveying the Gen X landscape and the origins of geek

Inside the Shadowbox

Rolling the dice. Writing the words. Pushing the buttons. Eating the bacon. Smiling and waving.

Dagger and Brush, Daggerandbrush, dagger brush

Miniature painting, wargaming terrain tutorials, reviews, interviews and painting guides


A lair for gaming, sci-fi, comics, and other geekish pursuits.

I bought this stuff and read it so you don't have to.

Role Play Craft

Crafting ideas, options, and modules for your role playing campaign.

The Rambling Roleplayer Archives

This site is no longer being updated. Check out the new site at

Sheppard's Crook

The occasional blog of a closet would -be wargamer and modeller

10 Bad Habits

Probably not the Justin Howe you were looking for

The Weekly Sift

making sense of the news one week at a time


Just another site

Lost in Time

"What happened to Claw Carver?"


gaming, graphics, and genrefication

Stuffed Crocodile

Mazes, Martians, Mead


Role-Playing Games, Medieval History, Assorted Legends and Myths, and My Stupid Life.

%d bloggers like this: