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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 - 17 Jul 2019 : 14:37:49
Finished reading Tymora's Luck.

I enjoyed the book and I would say overall I thought it was one of the better FR books I have read so far. From my previous post I am sure everyone is aware I am a big KN/JG fan. In terms of their books I would put it on the same par as Finder's Bane, but not as enjoyable as Azure Bonds, Wyvern's Spur, or Masquerades.

I didn't think I would enjoy the book because, yet again, a kender shows up. Personally, I despise kender, however, Emilo is toned down a bit from your normal kender and I ended up liking his character quite a bit. Plus, it was nice to see Fizban pop up, if even for a second.

For some reason, the other characters have never grown on me as much as Alias and Co. but they have their good points. I was hoping to see Joel expand his powers a bit, after all, he was chosen by Finder and basically the head of Finder's church. I know Finder is a weaker god, but I would expect Joel to be decently powerful as a cleric.

A couple of parts in the book had me chuckling, especially any parts that dealt with an inordinate amount of good or bad luck. Those little vignettes in the book were clever. The scene where Volo is in a dice game with a barbarian and rolls doubles every time was hilarious. My one nitpick is that a halfling moneylender shows up and his name is "Havabuck". That seemed a little too 'wink wink' in my opinion and sort of deflated his character a bit. Plus, he ended up paying like a million gold coins or something. The fact that someone has a million gold coins sitting in a vault seemed outrageous. That brought me back to thinking about the economics of the realms.

Of course I liked seeing how the Wyvernspur children turned out. Uncle Steele is an alcoholic, go figure. Amber Wyvernspur turns into a mini wyvern, which was cool, and Uncle Drone saves the day.

One last question. How is it that Holly can sense evil on 'Sirrion' but Lathander can't? If he can fool Lathander, shouldn't he be able to fool Holly?
Wooly Rupert Posted - 16 Jul 2019 : 15:59:05
That's one character. It's not a societal thing.
gylippus Posted - 16 Jul 2019 : 11:32:06
quote:
I'm no Trek expert, but I believe there are a couple major differences between Klingons and scro. Scro are way more militaristic than Klingons, and honor isn't really a thing for them.



General Vorr behaved in an honorable fashion in the Maelstrom's Eye. When he was attacked by a band of humans, elves, and dwarves at the beginning of the book he respected the female human fighters ability. When she was stabbed in the back by his wizard assistant he was very upset and then he placed her sword in her dead hands.

He did a few other things that I construed as honorable. On the other hand, maybe he just liked to fight so much he wanted the fight to be fair in order to prove his ability.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 16 Jul 2019 : 02:57:25
Cloaking helms were from an issue of Dragon Magazine, I believe.

I'm no Trek expert, but I believe there are a couple major differences between Klingons and scro. Scro are way more militaristic than Klingons, and honor isn't really a thing for them. All scro know their place in their society, and that place is to serve their society as a whole and bring down their enemies. Pretty much everything else is secondary to them. They don't fight each other and they'll happily use dirty tactics to destroy elves and anyone else that gets in the way.

Pretty much the only similarities betwixt the two races are that both are non-human and aggressive.

There was also a disconnect of a couple of years between the two concepts. Cloaking helms came early in the Spelljammer line, as another magical item. Scro came later, as the impetus for a setting-shaking event (that never really succeeded, since they scattered it about in a lot of different places and never followed up on it afterward).
gylippus Posted - 15 Jul 2019 : 23:24:06
I moved on in the Cloakmaster Cycle and finished reading The Radiant Dragon by Elaine Cunningham. A previous poster thought this was the best book in the series. Personally, I still think the previous book was the best.

The book is well written and it doesn't have any huge flaws. But I am starting to see the problem of writing a series with many different authors. If I was in charge at TSR I would have contracted for one author to write the entire series. Any series with multiple authors has too much of a chance of going off course. One big problem is that Teldin Moore, the main character, doesn't 100% feel like Teldin Moore from the previous books. Three cases in point.

1. Teldin shows up in a bar and through a series of mysterious circumstances is chased out of the bar and ends up recruiting an aperusa to his ship. Who in their right mind would do this? He is hunted by half of the forces in the Crystal Spheres, yet he is willing to allow someone on his ship who is most likely a known liar and thief? To me, that just makes Teldin Moore out to be a complete idiot.

2. Teldin agrees to take Trivit and Chirp to their ship, which turns out to be an illithid ship. That isn't the most serious problem. He ACTUALLY boards the other ship and becomes a captive instantly. Yet again, who would board another ship they know nothing about? Teldin could have easily sent a crewmember to take the dracons to that ship. He had no need to board it himself. That is just stupid. It also calls into question Teldin's mental ability yet again.

3. Teldin agrees to let Raven Stormwalker stay on his ship. Wait, this is someone who obviously lied to get on the ship and you know nothing about. Why would any competent person allow this? Yes, the book does mention dragon charm but I don't think she was able to 100% charm him. AFTER Teldin finds out she viciously killed Viper and destroyed her Reigar master he seems to have no problem with it, even though they were innocent people. The Teldin of the previous books would never sanction the death of innocents. I personally hated the entire story arc with Celestial Nightpearl. It is never made super clear to me why she would have anything to do with Teldin. Yes, I know, she fears the Spelljammer's power and wants him to be captain, and she sees some power in him that he doesn't see in himself. That is the stated reasoning, but it is hard to swallow that logic.

Okay, on to the next issue. The Scro. In the previous book the Scro commander, Vorr, is a vicious killer. There is a scene in this book when a Bionoid grabs General Grimnosh by the throat and dangles him around like a toy. I know the Bionoid are bred killers but it would be hard for me to see General Vorr treated in such a way. In my mind I see the Bionoid try to grab general Vorr and he immediately bludgeons the creature to death. Long story short, Grimnosh is not nearly as imposing as Vorr and he seems to die pretty easily.

Next issue. Suddenly everyone has cloaking helms? Wasn't cloaking helms a plot from Star Trek. I vaguely remember the Klingon coming up with one, but I am not a Trekkie. For that matter, don't the Scro seem just like Klingons? It makes me wonder of the people who invented Spelljamming were huge Trekkies. There is probably a back story to that.

It will be interesting to see how the story progresses, but I may take a break from it and go back to Tymora's Luck.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 13 Jul 2019 : 16:19:52
Ah. I got lucky there, myself, and found someone selling the entire series for like $25 or $30, a year or two ago.

I may have two copies, but I'd have to look. My computer room has gotten rather more cluttered than I'd like.
VikingLegion Posted - 13 Jul 2019 : 11:53:18
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
I'm curious... What is that one book?




The Spectral Blaze by Richard Lee Byers. It's book 3 of the Brotherhood of the Griffon quintet. Super frustrating, as I'm supposed to be reading that series if I was sticking to my publication date reading order, but I've had to move on past it for now. Saw a copy on eBay today for about $46, that's the cheapest I've seen it in awhile. I think $25 is about the highest I'm willing to pay for it.
gylippus Posted - 08 Jul 2019 : 15:00:16
After I posted I went and looked at my books and realized I do have the Ultimate Helm, I was only missing the Broken Sphere. I remember buying the Ultimate Helm at the local used bookstore for 3 dollars a few months ago. Maybe that bookseller doesn't look on Ebay, I have no idea. I went online and had to pay around 10$ for the Broken Sphere.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 07 Jul 2019 : 15:25:02
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

Yeah, that was a tough series to acquire. I happened across a copy of The Radiant Dragon in a used bookstore and paid $2.50 for it (Wooly, does that make me one of the "Elite Eight"?) But the toughest of the bunch, by far, was The Ultimate Helm, which I couldn't find for any less than $35 for the longest time. I use a combination of eBay and a site called Abebooks to track this stuff down. Abebooks is cool because it searches a bunch of other sellers for you and you can set up "wants" with the price you are comfortable paying, and it will alert you when your target drops into that range. I set up Helm for $15 or less, and ended up getting it for $14.28. It took a lot of patience, but that's ok being that I haven't started the series yet (I may after I finish the FR run).


It actually wasn't that difficult for me to replace mine, though that was back in 2007 when I was replacing everything. I went onto eBay and found most of the FR books, all of the Dark Sun ones (which I didn't have before), and the Spelljammer ones, in like 2 or 3 big lots of books. I bought those to replenish the bulk of the collection, and several smaller lots and singles from eBay, and got them all back that way.

I'd had all but the newest Greyhawk books, at the time, but I didn't bother with replacing those. And rather than replace all of my Dragonlance books, I just got new copies of the ones by Weis and Hickman -- because of the Dragonlance stuff I'd read, that was the only stuff worth replacing.

I didn't bother with most of the Ravenloft stuff, either, or the Mystara books I'd had.

The Planescape novels I don't have and I've never even seen... I've not looked for them, though.

quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

I currently have a physical copy of every single printed TSR/WotC book from the worlds of Planescape, Dark Sun, Ravenloft, Dragonlance, Birthright, and Spelljammer. I also have every Forgotten Realms book with ONE LONE EXCEPTION that I just can't seem to find for less than $50. I finally tracked down a copy listed for $22 and jumped on it, only to have the seller refund me and claim that it must've gotten lost in delivery. I then saw the very same book by the very same seller re-posted for $76, I thought that was extremely unscrupulous of them. I also have a random mix of Greyhawk/Mystara/Known World/generic D&D, but I have no idea how complete that collection is, it's something I'll look into once this Realms project is done. A rough count puts me right around 530 total books...


I'm curious... What is that one book?
VikingLegion Posted - 07 Jul 2019 : 11:53:09
Yeah, that was a tough series to acquire. I happened across a copy of The Radiant Dragon in a used bookstore and paid $2.50 for it (Wooly, does that make me one of the "Elite Eight"?) But the toughest of the bunch, by far, was The Ultimate Helm, which I couldn't find for any less than $35 for the longest time. I use a combination of eBay and a site called Abebooks to track this stuff down. Abebooks is cool because it searches a bunch of other sellers for you and you can set up "wants" with the price you are comfortable paying, and it will alert you when your target drops into that range. I set up Helm for $15 or less, and ended up getting it for $14.28. It took a lot of patience, but that's ok being that I haven't started the series yet (I may after I finish the FR run).

I currently have a physical copy of every single printed TSR/WotC book from the worlds of Planescape, Dark Sun, Ravenloft, Dragonlance, Birthright, and Spelljammer. I also have every Forgotten Realms book with ONE LONE EXCEPTION that I just can't seem to find for less than $50. I finally tracked down a copy listed for $22 and jumped on it, only to have the seller refund me and claim that it must've gotten lost in delivery. I then saw the very same book by the very same seller re-posted for $76, I thought that was extremely unscrupulous of them. I also have a random mix of Greyhawk/Mystara/Known World/generic D&D, but I have no idea how complete that collection is, it's something I'll look into once this Realms project is done. A rough count puts me right around 530 total books...

@Stones Finder - I agree with you on Planescape. The main trilogy in that line was amongst the greatest disappointments I've yet met in this quest to read everything from the various D&D settings. It's been a very long time, but I recall thinking Pages of Pain was pretty good, and Torment was passable, but that Blood Wars Trilogy was painful.
Stones Finder Posted - 05 Jul 2019 : 03:15:12
The Radiant Dragon was the best of the series. Ultimate Helm was the worst - it's one of three novels I decided immediately after reading were not ever going to be part of any campaign I ran. Definitely not worth 40.00; it wasn't even worth the cover price. Other than that, the series was OK; overall, I thought it was better than the Planescape novels, which were thoroughly disappointing.
gylippus Posted - 04 Jul 2019 : 01:15:52
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I've not read the books in years, but I don't recall being overly impressed, in general.

Elaine Cunningham once joked that there were only 9 copies of The Radiant Dragon in print -- and I personally lost one of those 9 in a fire.



Well, there are about 8 copies on ebay right now and they are pretty cheap, but I paid 9 dollars for the Broken Sphere, which is about the max I am willing to pay for any FR/TSR novel. I do not have the Ultimate Helm. There is one copy and it is 40.00, which is way more than I want to pay. Maybe they only made 1 copy of that book :)
Wooly Rupert Posted - 03 Jul 2019 : 23:55:42
I've not read the books in years, but I don't recall being overly impressed, in general.

Elaine Cunningham once joked that there were only 9 copies of The Radiant Dragon in print -- and I personally lost one of those 9 in a fire.
gylippus Posted - 03 Jul 2019 : 20:54:41
I finished reading The Maelstrom's Eye, the third book in the Cloakmaster Cycle. I know it is not officially an FR book, but since there are only six of these books I figured might as well make my comments here. I read the first two books over a year ago, so I didn't feel like writing about them again.

First off, I love Spelljammer. I like the idea of the different types of ships and unifying the universe, plus, I read it was invented by Jeff Grubb. I also read he invented Planescape, so now those references to spelljamming and Sigil in the Grubb/Novak works makes so much sense to me.

If someone locked me in a room for a year and said I could read and play every module related to Spelljammer or Planescape I would definitely choose Spelljammer, but my opinion may change the more I learn about Planescape.

Ok, on to the book. This is the best book in the series so far. Book one is the set up, book two expands the realm to Toril, but book three finally opens the doors to this amazing larger universe and more spheres we are not familiar with. We get to see the Scro and Roger Moore did an amazing job detailing the Scro from their motivations to their organization. In most books, orcs are the throw away bad guys. Drizzt and the other heroes of FR literally wade through them like they are so much wheat, slicing them down in droves. One of the first scenes in the book is General Vorr battling a bunch of super experienced and powerful elves, humans, and dwarfs. He takes them all out but shows honor after the battle. His character continues to develop and, honestly, I was a little upset when he died. He should have been kept around for the next book.

Teldin is Teldin. Sometimes you wonder if he is slow witted or one of the blandest characters ever written and then, BAM, he busts out some super powerful cloak move, like using it as the helm of the Probe and going faster than anyone else can go. In this book he is finally gaining power that he can replicate, becoming a force to be reckoned with.

I groaned when Gaye was introduced. I seem to be reading a lot of books lately (Tymora's Luck) that have kender in them and I hate kender. In fact, kender drove me away from Dragonlance, along with some other things that just irritated me (like the lack of a huge pantheon and clerical powers). But she turned out to be a toned down version of a kender and not nearly as annoying as most are written. We start to see the relationship develop between her and Teldin and then ... nothing. She gets dropped off in Herdspace. Maybe more will come of that, or maybe not.

We get Gomja back!

Sings (to heavy metal music) Gomja! What a Giff! Flying through the Phlogiston in a Spelljamming ship!

And of course nearly everyone around Teldin dies ... again.

Lastly, we get epic battles between the Elven fleet and the Scro. We get to see more varieties of ships. I kept going back to my ship identification guide. And the end of the book is a great twist with a lot of double crosses that was written very well. I looked up Roger Moore and found that he had only written like one other novel in FR. What a waste of talent. I feel like TSR at this period in time didn't seem to do enough to keep the good talent around.

My only gripe (and it is minor) may be that the Empress Dorianne was destroyed way too easily. In my mind, a ship of that size would have been protected like an aircraft carrier is in the U.S. navy. Normally there is a screen of destroyers around the ship with planes spotting threats from great distances. You don't want to rist your greatest assest. Plus, I just don't see Cirathorn going down to meet Teldin by himself. I know he wanted the cloak, but it seems too risky.

Anyway, I am curious to see what other people think about this book and Spelljamming in particular. I don't know the details but it couldn't have made much money because it was discontinued rather rapidly. Maybe someone else knows more of those little history details.

Next up ... The Radiant Dragon ... written by Elaine Cunningham, looking forward to it.

Seravin Posted - 23 Jun 2019 : 09:33:55
Yah - he was epic level and I guess (at first) too enraptured with his planar travel and studies to go after the Night Masks. Then he decided to clean them up.

Mintassan the Magnificent
Basic Information
Home
Westgate
Gender
Male
Race
Human
Rules Information
Alignment
Neutral good
Class
Transmuter 20
Game Edition
2nd
gylippus Posted - 23 Jun 2019 : 00:36:14
Good points, as usual Seravin.

I believe Dragonbait said he would stick around for a certain number of days, I thought it was maybe 12, and then leave. If so, it seems like the entire book may happen during that time period.

As for the Harpers tie in, you are right, there really is none besides the fact that Finder gave both Jamal and Olive Harper's pins. It was not an official Harper mission and I doubt the Harpers knew anything about it. It feels like the Harpers series started to devolve into a place to put single books that didn't go anywhere else.

I figured Mintassan was powerful, I didn't realize he was level 20.

Good read overall, but now I need to get back to Tymora's Luck, which has one of the worst covers I can imagine...
Seravin Posted - 22 Jun 2019 : 21:04:22
Cool insights, Gylippus. I'm re-reading Finder's Bane right now (just got to where Bear turns traitor in the beginning and STILL irked that they don't explain why Holly can't tell he's evil when it's 100% obvious to the reader. I may have to reach out to Jeff Grubb and ask for an answer to this plot hole as he's usually so good in his writing.

For Masquerades, I don't really even get how this book ties to the Harpers - are they even referenced in it? I mean, I could read Alias/Dragonbait/Olive books forever. Throw in Giogi and Cat and I'd be in heaven. But this is not a Harper series book so much.

Totally agree that the reader needs to be in Olive's head to understand the character - in this book until the end we really don't know what she's thinking. Her first interaction crossing swords with Alias was odd and to me out of character. Olive should be NO match for Alias, in any case, but she should never try to fight her even in a purely for show kind of way.

Alias really is a developing character and I think she shows that in this book - while Dragonbait is his own character. A bit odd about how he says he's leaving Alias to go home, then stays without explaining why he doesn't leave Westgate? I felt like they were going to give us Alias by herself for a book to see how she is without her companion, but nope.

I wish Giogi had shown up in this book - and agree with you that Mintassan didn't get enough show time. I think its because his character is immensely powerful, in that even the Night Masks knew better than to attack him. He was statted as a level 20+ specialist wizard in 2nd edition stats if memory serves (transmutation?) and that would be more than a match for the Faceless.

I kind of loved the Quezlarn being used after it was hinted at in the Forgotten Realms Adventures. Are any other novels set in Westgate?

(PS why DID Alias not sing?!)
gylippus Posted - 21 Jun 2019 : 23:30:36
I finally completed Masquerades (Harpers 10)

I personally really loved the book. I was happy to see Alias and Dragonbait again and the story was fantastic. Let's go over the characters first:

Alias - In theory she is only around 12 years old, so I found her infatuation with Victor believable given her lack of maturity. I saw her character as a continuation of what we've seen in the previous books.

Dragonbait - What is there to say? Dragonbait is like a big brother to Alias and he acted like one.

Olive - Her character has changed the most since the first book. Honestly, I really didn't like her in the first book, but I started to love her in the second book. Her character in this book is a little odd because when she is first introduced we have no idea what she is thinking. I think Jeff and Kate write Olive the best when we are privy to her thoughts. We don't get any of her internal thoughts until more than halfway into the book. At first, I thought Olive didn't seem much like the Olive from the previous books. But by the time the book ended I realized her character has grown into something more than even just a Harper. She is more mature and she is a leader of sorts. The last few chapters with Olive, after Alias 'died' were really good.

Victor - He was extremely well written. I realized he was the Faceless about halfway through the book, and I thought I had it all figured out. When Kimbel 'killed' Alias, Mintassan, and Dragonbait I thought, no problem, Kimbel must be some sort of good guy. I didn't see Mintassan being a hero of sort at the end, so that was very refreshing and interesting.

Mintassan - He was mostly sidelined until the end of the book, but his relationship with Alias is quite cool. I wish there was another book (as usual) to show that relationship grow into something more.

Thistle - Yet again, it would be nice to see further stories with her character. We could experience her character growing up and maturing as she tried to change Westgate.

All in all, it was a really solid book, if I had to rate the book in terms of the other Jeff and Kate books I have read I would put it third, behind Azure Bonds, and Wyvern's Spur, but ahead of Finder's Bane and Song of the Saurials.

One grievance - We never got to see Alias sing! After all, Alias has one of the best voices in the Realms, let her show it off! It would have been great if she sang at one of the parties she attended and everyone's jaw dropped to the floor.
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.

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