WHAT WORKS: First off, the book is VERY light on art. It is almost all text, which sounds crazy for what is really a rather simple system...except for when you realize that a BIG chunk of the book is a walk-through of playing the game from character creation, on through to post-execution. There really should not be much issue with someone reading the book and going "but what do I DO with it?" I like how, in some areas, the author erred on the side of legal fiction over legal fact, but I thought he also did a tremendous job with conveying The Bloody Code.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK: The "rolling for pregnancy" felt strangely out of place, although it may still be justified, seeing as though it is a very valid defense for female prisoners to escape death...I think the Abortion rules might have been just a step too far, though. Also, an electronict book that is 260 pages and does not have bookmarks is disappointing.
CONCLUSION: Okay, I went into this with the expectations of Chav, WizKids and Bloodsucker in my head, even though I was explicitly told that it was more serious...and I wound up completely amazed. Yeah, the book could have been shorter, if you cut out the extensive examples, which I would not recommend. The audience is going to be more limited, given the courtroom drama aspect over more traditional RPG fare but - and pardon my french - Ian Warner managed to turn a passion for history and a particularly insane period of English history into a viable RPG without making a wholly pretentious ass out of himself. Much like their humor games, there is still a very playable game in here, and one that I'll be going so far as to add to my bookshelf and not just my PDF library. Given the quality of the writing (and my love for courtroom drama), I will overlook the "What Doesn't Work" I noted above, and say that this is certainly the most pleasant surprise that I have encountered this year, hands down.
For my full review, please visit: http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2011/05/tommys-take-on-tough-justice.html