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T O P I C    R E V I E W
gylippus Posted - 15 Mar 2019 : 01:57:33
So, I finally started my own thread. I am reading Forgotten Realms novels mostly in order, but it just depends on what strikes my interest at any given point in time.

I just finished 'Crypt of the Shadowking' by Mark Anthony, the 6th book in the Harper series.

First off, wow! I really, really enjoyed this book. It was a joy to read and never felt like a chore, like some of the other books I have slogged through. Apparently, this is Mark Anthony's first book as sole author and he did a fantastic job. The characters are memorable and the plot has a few layers that make it more than a point A to B book.

Caledan - He is the main character, a former harper and a bard. I kind of got a Han Solo vibe from him, but he was different enough to keep my interest. On the other hand, I always thought bards could cast spells. Yes, he does some shadow magic at the end, but he doesn't cast anything else the entire book. According to the wiki he is a level 9 bard (2e). So what makes him a bard and not just a fighter that plays an instrument?

Mari - The love interest, but also an independent character with her own personality. I like the fact she is not the 'traditional' beauty or damsel in distress.

Tyveris - Definitely one of my favorite characters. It is cool to see a Tabaxi from Chult in the book. Although I really got more of a feeling he was like a Samoan rather than a slender native of Chult. It was nice to see a mix of a monk/priest with a warrior. I also couldn't help but think of Cadderly, since he is also a disciple of Oghma.

Ferret - His character was a bit of a stereotype, but he sacrificed himself for the party and was very noble in the end.

The only small complaint I have is that the shadevar seemed very much like a Nazgul. I couldn't help but think how the Nazgul couldn't follow Frodo into Rivendell because Glorfindel caused the river to magically sweep them away. There was a very similar scene in the book, when they cross a river to flee the shadevar. Still, it is a minor quibble with an otherwise great book.

I think there is a sequel to this book so now I have to go find it on eBay. Plus, it would be interesting to know if there is more material that covers shadow magic.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
gylippus Posted - 11 May 2019 : 17:08:15
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

I also think Walinda was a neat character that we don't see often enough in the Realms. Someone who is evil, but works with others to get things done when they need to, and still somewhat sympathetic and relatable as a character. Bob managed to get Jarlaxle and Artemis into that state and they are very popular characters (well..neutral evil types I guess with a big emphasis on neutral). I think Walinda was the best written main character, Holly the Mary-Sue wasn't so good to me. Joel also seemed a way less interesting lead character relative to Alias or Giogi - he doesn't seem to have any faults to overcome except occasionally forgetting he is a cleric, too?




I agree that Walinda was a good character. I almost felt myself feeling sorry for her even though she brutally tortured and murdered Jas' crew. I never really thought much about Bear, but I did like Randal Morn. I would like to see more of him at some time.

I haven't read Masquerades yet because I had to order it on Ebay. I gutted all of the local bookstores of FR books so now I have to resort to Ebay for the rest. I am looking forward to it though.
Seravin Posted - 11 May 2019 : 10:38:35
Tymora's Luck is a decent book, and definitely continues the story of Joel, Holly and Jas (and Finder). Worth a read!

Finder's Bane I also quite liked, did you skip over Masquerades? It's got Alias, Dragonbait and Olive, with passing references to Finder and Giogi and Akabar. Interested in your thoughts on this one.

Finder's Bane for me, one big issue I had was on the character of Bear. Umm. why did anyone in the Dales resistance band trust him at all? He was horrible and evil, and showed no redeemable qualities when we meet him (a passing reference 'oh you can trust him') and then turned out to be..twist!..an evil Zhent with no redeemable qualities? I think the writers forgot to show us why the people liked or trusted him in the first place with that character? Because it didn't make any sense to me. Also Holly was a PALADIN...and they can detect evil..so, why did she never detect him? Why did no one else know? Bear made absolutely ZERO effort to cover up that he was an awful Zhent in the novel. I just don't get it or how he was written. You'd think a spy/double agent would at least make a tiny effort to conceal their intentions. When they don't, and they turn out to be exactly what you suspect, I feel like the characters who believed him to be a good guy are just morons? And Holly is not a moron, and can detect evil (something they make a big deal of in this book), so..yeah.

I did enjoy how Bear kept coming back for more though, that was good.

The Bane Lich enemy was great, I also think Walinda was a neat character that we don't see often enough in the Realms. Someone who is evil, but works with others to get things done when they need to, and still somewhat sympathetic and relatable as a character. Bob managed to get Jarlaxle and Artemis into that state and they are very popular characters (well..neutral evil types I guess with a big emphasis on neutral). I think Walinda was the best written main character, Holly the Mary-Sue wasn't so good to me. Joel also seemed a way less interesting lead character relative to Alias or Giogi - he doesn't seem to have any faults to overcome except occasionally forgetting he is a cleric, too?

Keep the reviews coming!
gylippus Posted - 11 May 2019 : 03:32:36
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

The second of the Lost Gods book is a Dragonlance book by Douglas Niles, Fistandantilus Reborn, and it's kind of an alt-history or an interrupted timeline or something -- it wasn't really clear to me. I really didn't care for the book; all it really does for the trilogy is introduce Emilo Haversack. And since he's a kender and kender aren't exactly known for keeping their facts straight, you can skip the book entirely without missing much of anything.

I skip it when I'm re-reading that series.



And that illustrates my point. The second book has nothing to do with the first or third book. On top of that, they are held together by a loosely titled idea 'Lost Gods'. Finder wasn't really lost nor was Bane. Bane was dead and seeking to be reborn... They should have just left Finder's Bane as a Harper's book, but as I am writing this it just occurred to me that Finder's Bane really has nothing to do with Harpers at all. Finder was a Harper back in the day but he isn't in the book. Joel and none of the other main characters are Harpers and the plot has nothing to do with Harpers. Why didn't they commission Kate and Jeff to just write one more book and call it a completely different trilogy name and not include anything as a Harper's book?
Wooly Rupert Posted - 11 May 2019 : 02:28:07
The second of the Lost Gods book is a Dragonlance book by Douglas Niles, Fistandantilus Reborn, and it's kind of an alt-history or an interrupted timeline or something -- it wasn't really clear to me. I really didn't care for the book; all it really does for the trilogy is introduce Emilo Haversack. And since he's a kender and kender aren't exactly known for keeping their facts straight, you can skip the book entirely without missing much of anything.

I skip it when I'm re-reading that series.
gylippus Posted - 11 May 2019 : 00:44:34
Just finished reading Finder's Bane and here are my thoughts...

I enjoyed the book, I thought it was very good. It wasn't quite up to the level of Azure Bonds and Wyvern's Spur but I liked it better than SotS.

I found the book interesting because we see that gods are basically molded on the lines of 'Greek Gods', meaning they have immense power yet they are still fallible and have very human emotions. Plus, the world of faith in FR is entirely different than our world. In our world you have to actually have faith there is a god, whereas in FR it is evident there are gods because you see the manifestation of their powers every day.

Okay, on to the characters. To be honest, I found the characters a little bland after Alias and Company and Giogionni. Joel and Holly were good characters but they just didn't strike a visceral note with me. We never really found out much about Jas, but maybe more is to come in the next book. I do appreciate the inclusion of spelljamming in the book. I love spelljammers and I have always been upset there were only five true books in the spelljamming world. I also really enjoyed the description of the Outlands and Sigil. This book expands our knowledge of FR and the surrounding planes. Sigil almost felt like a city in Bladerunner or Shadowrun, but the authors did a good job of giving us some back history of Lady Pain and the factions in the city.

On a side note it was nice to see the Lost Vale. Remeber, every egg is sacred! I also found it funny when Joel realizes Finder has exactly two followers.

When I finished the book I picked up Tymora's Luck and flipped into the inside cover and realized it was part of the 'Lost Gods' trilogy. What luck! I must have missed another book by Kate and Jeff about Finder. Then I looked up the trilogy and realized it was just renamed harpers books with a dragonlance book thrown into the middle. This brings me to my rant about the names of books and trilogies. I understand some harpers books are related to other trilogies or some harpers books gave us such amazing characters they decided to make trilogies based on those characters, but it just feels so random and haphazard. Now we have two editions of some books, the harpers edition and then some other stupid edition wit ha different name tag. I noticed a lot of this was happening in the late 90s so maybe this bad decision making led to the downfall of TSR, among other things, I have no idea.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 16 Apr 2019 : 03:38:03
quote:
Originally posted by gylippus

Good points Seravin, and thanks for your thoughts.

I was thinking of a possible sequel to Wyvern's Spur that will never be written. In my sequel (Which occurs after Song of the Saurials) Olive is poking around in Jade's belongings again and finds a mysterious letter that references "A lock of hair". This sets her off on a quest back to Immersea to find the lock and resurrect Jade. Olive certainly has the resources to pay a cleric to resurrect, but she needs some part of the body, which was turned to ash. (Honestly, I have no idea the specifics of resurrection in the realms so I could be way off.) This story would be some type of mystery that brings all of the old characters back and ties off some lose ends. Does Julia finally marry Samtavan? Is Steele involved? Does Aunt Dorath agree to let Giogi and Cat marry? Who is the secret villain? Of course, someone much smarter and way more clever than me would have to write it.



The books Finder's Bane and Tymora's Luck -- especially the latter -- do have interludes that show some of what has happened in Immersea, in the meantime.
Seravin Posted - 15 Apr 2019 : 23:10:21
I'd read that in a second! While it was pretty quickly dealt with, the character of Jade Moore and her relationship with Olive is pretty fascinating. Olive is almost, maternal? With Jade...and I would kill for a prequel book written about how they met and got to where the book opens.
gylippus Posted - 15 Apr 2019 : 22:09:29
Good points Seravin, and thanks for your thoughts.

I was thinking of a possible sequel to Wyvern's Spur that will never be written. In my sequel (Which occurs after Song of the Saurials) Olive is poking around in Jade's belongings again and finds a mysterious letter that references "A lock of hair". This sets her off on a quest back to Immersea to find the lock and resurrect Jade. Olive certainly has the resources to pay a cleric to resurrect, but she needs some part of the body, which was turned to ash. (Honestly, I have no idea the specifics of resurrection in the realms so I could be way off.) This story would be some type of mystery that brings all of the old characters back and ties off some lose ends. Does Julia finally marry Samtavan? Is Steele involved? Does Aunt Dorath agree to let Giogi and Cat marry? Who is the secret villain? Of course, someone much smarter and way more clever than me would have to write it.
Seravin Posted - 15 Apr 2019 : 11:17:19
Gylippus - your thoughts on the Finder's Stone trilogy echo my own 100%. I wasn't expecting to like The Wyvern's Spur because no Alias and Dragonbait (and even Akabar) - but very quickly fell in love with Giogi and learned to love Olive who continued her character arc & growth from the last chapters of Azure Bonds. Deep down, she is a good person and as much as she tries to not care, Tymora (or the hafling equivalent) force her to be a hero by luck, fate and circumstance. The donkey bits are amazing.

For me Azure Bonds and The Wyvern's Spur are about equally good - Azure Bonds I think is a grand, epic story sweeping the eastern heartlands of the Realms with witches, liches, gods, fiends and dragons - while Wyvern's Spur is a localized tale in the tiny village of Immersea - but somehow manages to be just as gripping without the world shattering events. Flattery is a fascinating villain (someone wrote a fan fiction and posted here that was very interesting) to me. Written as truly horrible and without any sympathy but...in Song of the Saurials we get to confront Finder on creating Flattery (both physically and emotionally) and maybe retroactively get to feel for him.

Song of the Saurials is the weakest of the books - I think maybe it is just not as focused, too many characters and storylines going on? Jeff/Kate write a good focused plot and when they stick to it, great. With 3-4 storylines going on in SotS (Finder/Olive, Grypht/Akabar, Alias&Angry Ranger, Coral/Moander) - also I don't think the whole Akabar in love with Kira the harper bard thing worked for me? It just felt weird, I know it was a love potion but as we didn't have any backstory on her and Akabar is married multiple times and has a thing for Alias and her sister and his wives and also Kira it just felt very hard to relate/follow. I kind of loved Alias and her sister fighting though.

Masquerades is not quite as good as the trilogy despite bringing Alias, Dragonbait and Olive back together - I think it could have been, and it is still good, but somehow it isn't as good of a mystery. Olive doesn't seem to be showing the growth from the trilogy in those novels...nor Alias? I don't know, the characters feel a bit off to me in Masquerades.

Finder's Bane and Tymora's Luck are fun, good books with new characters to love and passing references to the old band (as well as god Finder).

For more of Giogi and Cat, they make a few cameos in other books (the Cormyr trilogy) including a quick showdown with Vangey that is fun to read.

Wooly Rupert Posted - 15 Apr 2019 : 10:20:56
I don't recall the participants of the discussion, but yeah, that was the gist of the conversation.
Mankyle Posted - 15 Apr 2019 : 07:30:48
quote:
When Alias was being made, and the baddies were siphoning off some of Dragonbait's soul to put into Alias, Phalse siphoned off some of that and diverted it to the other Alias vessels.


Wasn't there a banter between Akabar and Olive Rustkettle where she said that a soul was an Infinite entity and if you sever it in parts you end up with two Infinite entities?

Wooly Rupert Posted - 15 Apr 2019 : 01:20:05
quote:
Originally posted by gylippus

Wooly,

I totally agree with what you said. I still found it annoying though. And yes, it was slightly creepy. Ackabar obviously liked Alias so he ran off and found a duplicate. This also plays into something else I was thinking about. Where did the souls come from for the duplicate Aliases? That is never really answered so all of the Aliases will be slightly different. Dragonbait obviously felt bonded with Alias. This means there must be some other person out there that shares a Cat soul or a Zhara soul. Or maybe Phalse just took the souls and killed the donors. I have no idea.



When Alias was being made, and the baddies were siphoning off some of Dragonbait's soul to put into Alias, Phalse siphoned off some of that and diverted it to the other Alias vessels.
gylippus Posted - 14 Apr 2019 : 18:29:47
Wooly,

I totally agree with what you said. I still found it annoying though. And yes, it was slightly creepy. Ackabar obviously liked Alias so he ran off and found a duplicate. This also plays into something else I was thinking about. Where did the souls come from for the duplicate Aliases? That is never really answered so all of the Aliases will be slightly different. Dragonbait obviously felt bonded with Alias. This means there must be some other person out there that shares a Cat soul or a Zhara soul. Or maybe Phalse just took the souls and killed the donors. I have no idea.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 14 Apr 2019 : 15:59:34
I think Azure Bonds was longer than the average because it was one of the very first FR books. The authors had a lot more freedom at that point.

I thought the thing with Alias's attitude towards Zhara was pretty well explained: Alias had the body of a mature woman, but her life experiences -- and thus her emotional maturity -- only went back a few years, at that point. Despite her false memories, Alias was the equivalent of a young child.

And even without that, I think that any person is going to be bothered by finding out that a good friend is now sleeping with a physical duplicate of the first person. It's just weird.
gylippus Posted - 14 Apr 2019 : 13:16:40
I finally finished reading the Finder's Stone Trilogy and here are my thoughts if anyone cares.

First, I remember reading these books back in the early 90s and absolutely loving them and nothing has changed for me. Personally, I think these are some of the best books you can read set in FR and Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb are amazing. I know they wrote a few other books, but I wish they wrote a whole lot more. I wonder what the FR would be like if they became the flagship authors rather than Salvatore.

Everyone knows the books and the story so I won't bother reposting that, but let me post what I enjoyed the most. It is hard to do this because I liked all of the books but ...

1st - The characters. Kate and Jeff spend a lot of time developing the characters, which I really appreciate. A found myself really rooting for Alias and company in the first book.

2nd - I love the mystery aspect of the books. It makes them more than just a simple fetch quest and keeps you guessing. This element was heavy in the first and second book, but not as much in the third book.

3rd - The humor. Personally, I found myself laughing out loud at some of the dialogue, which almost never happens in a realms book. I thought the dialogue was well written and clever.

After I finished reading the first book I picked up the second book and felt disappointed when I realized Alias wasn't in it. I thought, how can this even be nearly as good as the first book with no Alias and Dragonbait? Then ... I absolutely fell in love with the second book. It is like a murder mystery set in a small fantasy town. You are introduced to a lot of characters and they are all so quirky and well written it just makes you love that one slice of the realms. Giogioni is absolutely fantastic. I love seeing him develop as an unsure and sheltered young man to fulfill his destiny. Olive develops into a more likeable character in the second book and when she turns into a donkey it is wonderful. I still feel bad for Olive and Thomas because Jade died.

I only wish the FR gods would have mercy on us and force Kate Novak and Jeff Grub to write more books with Giogioni and Cat. I would even like to see another book in Immersea. Does Aunt Dorath finally chill out? What about Samtavan and Julia? Maybe Steele becomes even more of a villain and tries to destroy his family? Which reminds me, the scene where Steele thinks he has the power of a Wyvern is hilarious. He actually tries to claw Cat with his own hand, thinking it is a claw, and then leaps out the window. We need more of that writing.

For me, the third book was the weakest BUT that is like saying Topsail is not as good as Sierra Nevada beer. It is still BEER! And I likes it... One problem they have in the third book is that Elminster has to be dispensed with, because he could solve the problem in about 1 second. So he gets transported to another plane or something and is stuck there for the duration of the book. On the other hand, Finder finally redeems himself and he becomes a GOD! We find out a lot more about Saurials and of course Dragonbaits sad life. One thing that moderately annoyed me in this book was that Alias felt so pissy at Ackabar and his wife (already totally forgot her name). And of course I was super bummed when Ackabar died, but what a death!

Anyway, I could go on and on. I am in post Azure Bonds depression because I know I have no more of the books to look forward to. Yet again, I have absolutely NO idea why TSR would not have Kate and Jeff write more books. It utterly baffles me.

Last point, I often wonder about the lengths of FR books. Azure Bonds was 380 pages, The Wyvern's Spur 313, and Song of the Saurials 312. I have noticed most FR books are around 300, but some aren't. Did TSR mandate a length or not? If so, why is Azure Bonds 80 pages over that length? This can go in the other direction also. I am reading The Cleric Quintet now and I noticed book three should really be around 250 pages, but it was super padded and managed to limp in close to 290. Also, the size of the font in the Night Masks is larger, which means it should be even shorter compared to other books AND some of the scenes are dragged out for no reason besides to meet a length quota (I will get into all of that when I post an official review of that series). Anyway, if anyone knows more about this length issue let me know, I am curious.
VikingLegion Posted - 10 Apr 2019 : 02:07:52
Cook's stories may not be to everyone's tastes, but I think he's among the best (if not *the* best) at describing various cultures of the Realms. I approach his books like they are 50% story/ 50% gazetteer. I really liked this book, even if the characters weren't particularly likeable or memorable.

As for Vreesar, he is a gelugon (ice devil). I think I mentioned the same confusion in my post because he is repeatedly referred to as an elemental, despite the obvious physical descriptions that match the critters that come from Cania, Eighth Ring of The Nine Hells.
Seravin Posted - 05 Apr 2019 : 08:16:35
quote:
Originally posted by gylippus

Seravin,

I agree about Vil. If this was a trilogy we could have seen his character develop over the course of three books and I think there would have been a successful pay out. It would have been interesting if he was wounded by Vreesar and then managed to heal himself with the power of Torm, restoring his paladin powers.

I also did not like a single gnome in the book. I understand they were angry, but on the other hand, if Martine wasn't around Vreesar would have killed them all.

Lastly, it would have been cool to get a sequel to just see the relationship between Krote and Martine develop. An adventure in Mulmaster could have been cool.



Yes! I would have read a Krote/Martine book in a heartbeat.
gylippus Posted - 04 Apr 2019 : 18:42:02
Seravin,

I agree about Vil. If this was a trilogy we could have seen his character develop over the course of three books and I think there would have been a successful pay out. It would have been interesting if he was wounded by Vreesar and then managed to heal himself with the power of Torm, restoring his paladin powers.

I also did not like a single gnome in the book. I understand they were angry, but on the other hand, if Martine wasn't around Vreesar would have killed them all.

Lastly, it would have been cool to get a sequel to just see the relationship between Krote and Martine develop. An adventure in Mulmaster could have been cool.
Seravin Posted - 04 Apr 2019 : 11:49:53
I agree with all you've said Gylippus! I think the book is solid and my favorite parts are just the atmospheric elements...the cabin in the woods and the Warren and the Great Rift and the gnoll camp..I honestly get shivers from reading the book and I think David Cook did a great job in the setting/atmosphere. I could smell the awful stench in the gnoll chief's room.

I think it *could* have been a GREAT novel if Martine was a bit more developed/likeable as a character, and we had a better gnome character to latch onto. Krote the gnoll was a wonderful character I agree completely. I would have liked to see more of Martine's exotic mount..maybe it got wounded but not killed in the flight/eruption and came back in the end to fight the creature. Jazrac was an awful character, deliberately so, but why is he regarded by the Harpers at all as written? I don't think Storm/Elminster/et al would have any time at all for a bumbling coward paper pusher who is apparently also incompetent at his job? It doesn't work in the context of the Harper network and took me out of the shared universe regarding him.

Vil had potential as a character..a semi-fallen Paladin..but it wasn't developed and he died. And Jazrac dies. and the lovely exotic mount dies. And I don't know it just seems like the death count was awful high for a Harper book unnecessarily and I just think one main good guy death is enough (Jazrac in this case cause he was a dufus).

Personal tastes of course, I am sure some people like it when the good guys have to sacrifice everything and they all end up dead or horribly maimed, but I don't read fantasy to get depressed or sad. I read it to escape the drudgery and I want happy endings for the likeable people.

gylippus Posted - 03 Apr 2019 : 22:34:17
I just finished reading Soldiers of Ice, 7th in the Harpers Series.

First off, the book is solid. It follows the adventures of Martine, a ranger and low level Harper, on her first real mission. She is given the task of closing a rift into the elemental plane of ice that has appeared on a glacier in the north by her mentor Jazrac the wizard. Before she could close the rift with some magic stones an elemental by the name of Vreesar comes through it. The elemental tries to find the keystone to open the rift and starts a war between a tribe of gnolls and a village of gnomes.

As I said, the book is solid, but for some reason I just couldn't get into it as much as I had hoped. It wasn't a horrible slog like some other FR books, but it wasn't an enticing read that kept me turning the pages. I appreciate the fact that David Cook wrote a strong gnoll character with Krote. Often times we only see the 'monsters' as cannon fodder for the heroes blade, so it was refreshing to get a little perspective from the gnoll's point of view. In my opinion, Krote was the strongest character in the book. The other characters never resonated with me. Martine was interesting but seemed like a cookie cutter and Vil was nothing more than a cardboard cutout.

About halfway through the book I thought, "Why didn't Jazrac teleport to the rift and seal it?" It would have taken 30 minutes. Luckily, we get the reason shortly thereafter when it appears that Jazrac is a cowardly pencil pusher. He is the equivalent of a bureaucrat that never leaves the office but orders others to do the dirty work. That was a clever move on Cook's part. It was nice to see someone actually flee from battle. On the other hand, I feel like Jazrac could have done much more damage when he finally started fighting. He cast 1 fireball spell, 1 magic missile spell, and then died.

Lastly, I HATE it when the book has a small map of the area (in this case a valley), but no world map to let us know where this is located in general. Can we have an inset map? This seems to happen a lot in FR novels, and I am always left wondering, "Where the heck is this place?"
Seravin Posted - 26 Mar 2019 : 11:48:41
"1. Kymil's plan seemed somewhat weak. Put six gold elves through the portal and hope they could kill the entire royal family. Let's say, for argument's sake, they do kill the entire royal family. Do you think all of the moon elves would gladly have a council of gold elves rule over Evermeet AFTER the royal family was murdered? It seems that this would have started a race war between gold and moon elves, thereby, making ALL of the elves weaker and hastening the loss of elven power."

Really it only works from a nihilistic point of view of trying to weaken and destroy the moon elves, it wouldn't seem to accomplish his goals as the elves wouldn't treat kindly to a bloody coup the way orcs or goblins would accept a new leader who slew their old leader. Seems a bit weak but I think Kymil being bent on murdering the moon elves maybe explains that? Although he seems cold and rational in Elfshadow (less so in Evermeet the novel) and yeah, I'd question his end game motivation in Elfshadow as being a bit too thoughtless given how much planning and convolution is involved in his planning to actually OPEN the elf gate.

"2. I don't know the history of the realms like you guys, but why did they make a moon elf royal family? I understand there was some talk about stability after the fall of Myth Drannor, but how does this really make anything more stable? Why not have a council composed of all of the elven races?"

I think the Moonflower family has been chosen by the Seldarine to lead Evermeet - and I'm not an expert either but that is my understanding that the family is somewhat "Chosen" and special by the gods. Which is as good an answer as any for there being a moon elf royal family.

"3. I like Arilyn, and I know she is a good fighter BUT there is no way she could have fended off all six gold elf champions."

I think that's to say Arilyn is a good fighter and the (artifact) Moonblade she wields makes her ridiculously strong, such that her "shadow" self is capable of slaying 20 harpers and going toe-to-toe with Bran.

"4. Didn't Arilyn have to be alive to wield the Moonblade and open the gate? Could someone clarify this for me. Once the gate opened Kymil said to kill her. Will the gate remain open when she is dead?"

I think only Elaine or Ed could answer how long the sword's initiated magic would function once the wielder is dead? Kymil seemed to know the gate would stay open for at least a time? Maybe he knows from other moonblades that once cast, the magic affect lasts for a period of time regardless of the status of the wielder.

"5. Elaith seems too powerful to me. He is a level 9 fighter (second edition) BUT Bran is a level 17 ranger. LEVEL 17! There was a scene where Elaith got the drop on Bran and pointed a sword or dagger at him. Is it just me or would Elaith have no chance of getting near Bran if Bran didn't want it to happen? "

As stated, Elaith is multi-class and Bran was able to surprise him with how fast he was despite his advanced age - also the novels don't care much for the stats.

"6. Why didn't Kymil have the elfshadow kill Bran? "

Kymil needed Bran to come out of hiding to get the gem for elfgate - which he tried to do by having Arilyn a suspect in the killings etc - however once Bran was out he did try to have the elfshadow kill Bran at the end of the novel and Bran was able to stay alive and battle the elfshadow to a stand still until the gem reuinted in the sword, blew up etc and nearly killed Kymil..I think?
TBeholder Posted - 26 Mar 2019 : 10:05:03
quote:
Originally posted by gylippus

1. Kymil's plan seemed somewhat weak. Put six gold elves through the portal and hope they could kill the entire royal family. Let's say, for argument's sake, they do kill the entire royal family. Do you think all of the moon elves would gladly have a council of gold elves rule over Evermeet AFTER the royal family was murdered? It seems that this would have started a race war between gold and moon elves, thereby, making ALL of the elves weaker and hastening the loss of elven power.

Obviously, but it requires thinking beyond the point demanded by "me don't like, waaaagh!", and the barbarian elves are somewhat... mentally infantile.
See also the Battle of the Gods Theater, it's very revealing.
quote:
2. I don't know the history of the realms like you guys, but why did they make a moon elf royal family?

Exactly because moon elves on average are less inclined to do moronic things.
They are more adaptive and capable of dealing with anyone who isn't an elf. All signs already pointed at "they'll have to".
quote:
Why not have a council composed of all of the elven races?

Because they'll need someone who can speak for them, not more politics.
quote:
3. I like Arilyn, and I know she is a good fighter BUT there is no way she could have fended off all six gold elf champions.

This depends on your definition of "champions". She didn't do all that well without an artifact and help, either. Also...
quote:
4. Didn't Arilyn have to be alive to wield the Moonblade and open the gate? Could someone clarify this for me. Once the gate opened Kymil said to kill her. Will the gate remain open when she is dead?

...they had a good reason to not end the fight until all who can go through goes through.
The gate would close, but there are others, and they are guarded against those who try to get in, rather than get out.
quote:

5. Elaith seems too powerful to me. He is a level 9 fighter (second edition) BUT Bran is a level 17 ranger.

(sigh)
quote:
6. Why didn't Kymil have the elfshadow kill Bran?

He's too far to reach quickly (by design), way too alert and it's too risky in that between his story and carrying that gem, who could tell how the blade or shadow would react?
Seravin Posted - 26 Mar 2019 : 08:56:28
I'll address all your points Gillypus - but Bran did in my opinion outmatch Elaith in their brief encounter (Elaith thought he had the drop on him but Bran had already gone and Elaith says something to the effect of "damn, he's good" and was startled by how fast he moved). Also - Elaith is a multi-class 9th level fighter/9th level magic user, which would put him around 18 or so levels in total earned and make him somewhat equivalent via 2nd edition to a 17th level character.
Seravin Posted - 26 Mar 2019 : 08:51:23
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I think Kymil was kept alive because they wanted to make sure if there was a further need to question him, they could.

As for not destroying the moonstone... Doing that would likely damage the magic of the moonblade. Compared to that, what's waiting a few decades for Bran to die and for the blade to pass into more responsible hands?



Further need to question him about..what exactly? They stated they needed him alive to clear Arilyn's name which I think is bollocks as you already have her innocence to be declared by Blackstaff and Danilo and Bran, among others, but surely AFTER the trial there is no need to keep him alive that is ever stated. Nor that makes sense for the elves or the Harpers. They both kill their enemies mercilessly in countless novels/sourcebooks. And Kymil is one of their worst enemies, much more than a common drow footsoldier or Cult of the Dragon mercenary, both of which would be slaughtered without question.

Destroying the moonblade they believed would go inert on the Princess Zoar's (could be wrong on her name!) death anyway? Would the loss of one moonblade usable by a single person in a generation REALLY be worth the risk that a secret movable gate to Evermeet's royal family's personal space be worth that? A gate that bypasses all of Evermeet's defenses? I think you're grasping and that is not a logical reason at all. Destory it, or keep the gem on Evermeet then with the royal treasures. At least then people would have to bypass the defenses already to get the gem. The plan to give it to Bran to keep him away from Arilyn's mother is needlessly convoluted and makes no sense in scrutiny other than the elf royal family are being cruel/stupid for the sake of being cruel/stupid. And Queen A is never depicted as being cruel/stupid in other books/sources.
gylippus Posted - 25 Mar 2019 : 21:46:09
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin
To your point, I don't know that Kymil could have killed Bran (at least not easily) given he is an epic level Ranger and master harper.



Thanks for the quick reply Seravin. I agree with pretty much all of your points. To make another couple of points:

1. Kymil's plan seemed somewhat weak. Put six gold elves through the portal and hope they could kill the entire royal family. Let's say, for argument's sake, they do kill the entire royal family. Do you think all of the moon elves would gladly have a council of gold elves rule over Evermeet AFTER the royal family was murdered? It seems that this would have started a race war between gold and moon elves, thereby, making ALL of the elves weaker and hastening the loss of elven power.

2. I don't know the history of the realms like you guys, but why did they make a moon elf royal family? I understand there was some talk about stability after the fall of Myth Drannor, but how does this really make anything more stable? Why not have a council composed of all of the elven races?

3. I like Arilyn, and I know she is a good fighter BUT there is no way she could have fended off all six gold elf champions.

4. Didn't Arilyn have to be alive to wield the Moonblade and open the gate? Could someone clarify this for me. Once the gate opened Kymil said to kill her. Will the gate remain open when she is dead?

5. Elaith seems too powerful to me. He is a level 9 fighter (second edition) BUT Bran is a level 17 ranger. LEVEL 17! There was a scene where Elaith got the drop on Bran and pointed a sword or dagger at him. Is it just me or would Elaith have no chance of getting near Bran if Bran didn't want it to happen?

6. Why didn't Kymil have the elfshadow kill Bran?

Despite all of this I really love the book. Danilo Thann has to be one of the best written characters in FR. I also like how their relationship grows and Arilyn starts to have feelings for him. There is no doubt that Elaine's characterization are some of the best. I also like how she doesn't dwell too long on battle scenes. I am not a big fan of long extended battle scenes. She writes just enough to let you know what is going on then moves on with the story, which is better spent developing the characters. I will get back to the Cleric Quintet book 2 when half the book was a long battle scene in the forest that left me yawning.

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