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 Obsidian Ridge: Chapters 31 - 38 & Epilogue
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Alaundo
Head Moderator
Admin

United Kingdom
5613 Posts

Posted - 03 Apr 2008 :  22:41:22  Show Profile  Visit Alaundo's Homepage  Click to see Alaundo's MSN Messenger address Send Alaundo a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Well met

This is a Book Club thread for Obsidian Ridge (Book 2 of The Citadels), by Jess Lebow. Please discuss chapters 31 - 38 and the epilogue herein.

Alaundo
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3546 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2008 :  01:09:39  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Jess, sorry I did not post in earlier scrolls. I intended to comment on each section, but once I started the next thing I knew it was 2 hours later and I had burnt through the pages!
I knew I would love this book when I saw the cover, give some big props to the artist for me! It started out interesting enough, but when "the Claw" made his debut.........I have to admit I was thinking "oh bloody hell, they moved Wolverine into 4E! I was glad to see that besides his gauntlets, he was just a man. Good move also not to make them too powerful, and a great moved when J cut one set up. While it put him off balance, it did not cripple him to be without one. He also became much more interesting when he was unmasked.
Mariko was also a nice twist on the old princess with a double life as a rogue who sneaks out after dark. It was nice that not only did her father know about it, but allowed it and utilized her talents.
The only problem I have is not enough of Evelyn.... Just a few pages and she damn near hi-jacked the entire story, it would have been nice to see what happened to her. Did she drown or just leave? Seems she would have stuck around as she obviously was equally attracted to Quinn and Mariko.
The bad guy was alright, but I much more enjoyed the struggle with the underground and the King.
All in all a good read, nice pacing with excellent fight scenes. I have no problems with Master of Chains(in fact I liked it very much thank you), but it is easy to see your growth as a writer and I will be a very happy reader when your next FR novel comes out!

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

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Jess Lebow
Forgotten Realms Author

43 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2008 :  22:52:47  Show Profile  Visit Jess Lebow's Homepage Send Jess Lebow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you so much. :)

I'll pass along your compliments to the artist.

I was a little worried that the double bladed gauntlet thing would be too reminiscent of Wolverine, but I really wanted to see if I could write the character well enough to get around that. I once played a 3E character with a similar weapon scheme, and it was super fun.

I too was really happy with the way the Claw and Quinn came together as a singular character after the unmasking. I really wanted him to lose something and show his vulnerability as a mortal man so that he wouldn't just be a butt-kicker who couldn't be stopped. After he loses his one gauntlet and his mask, he feels like he's more in danger. I worried about him when he got caught and when he was attacked in the Obsidian Ridge.

It was also cool for me to let him go a little crazy when he was trying to get Mariko back. For a while there he's sort of just gone feral. He let's go, lets his rage and bloodlust take over, and he's kind of scary, but in a good way, if that's possible.

You're right that there should have been more of Evelyne. She was a good character. My intention was that she survived and stayed in Llorbauth.

Thanks for the comments and for reading my book :)
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Xysma
Master of Realmslore

USA
1089 Posts

Posted - 18 Apr 2008 :  05:56:09  Show Profile  Visit Xysma's Homepage Send Xysma a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jess Lebow

I was a little worried that the double bladed gauntlet thing would be too reminiscent of Wolverine, but I really wanted to see if I could write the character well enough to get around that.

I too was really happy with the way the Claw and Quinn came together as a singular character after the unmasking.



Funny, I never even made a Wolverine connection, I immediately compared him with Batman. I have to say you defintely wrote the character well enough to get around that, he could have ended up being rather goofy had you not written him the way you did.


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gregthanatos
Acolyte

3 Posts

Posted - 18 Apr 2008 :  21:00:42  Show Profile  Visit gregthanatos's Homepage Send gregthanatos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In my opinion obsidian ridge is a good book. The descriptions of the characters were done very well and I really like that. I had a firm mental image of what I thought the characters looked like and it didn’t change through the story. I don’t know if the author had any of the following references is mind when he wrote the characters or events but,

1) Claw reminded me of batman. His Claws reminded me of Wolverine. He also reminded me of the lead character in the princess bride. He even had to say, "as you wish" to trigger the light spell on his hand.

2) The obsidian ridge reminded me of the floating stone head from the movie zardoz. It was more reminiscent of the harvesting aspect and the fear it instilled than the appearance.

3) Xeries's creatures reminded me of the monsters in the movie Pitch black.

4) The description of Xeries reminded me of king Valdemar from the kingdom under fire video games.

5) The final battle between Jallal and Quinn reminded me of the road warriors caged battle with the blaster, in beyond thunderdome.

Whether or not the author intentionally referenced the above characters/events they worked well together in a fantasy setting to create a unique story.
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Jess Lebow
Forgotten Realms Author

43 Posts

Posted - 18 Apr 2008 :  22:13:22  Show Profile  Visit Jess Lebow's Homepage Send Jess Lebow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gregthanatos

In my opinion obsidian ridge is a good book. The descriptions of the characters were done very well and I really like that. I had a firm mental image of what I thought the characters looked like and it didn’t change through the story. I don’t know if the author had any of the following references is mind when he wrote the characters or events but,

quote:


Thank you :)

quote:
1) Claw reminded me of batman. His Claws reminded me of Wolverine. He also reminded me of the lead character in the princess bride. He even had to say, "as you wish" to trigger the light spell on his hand.


I definitely thought about the Wolverine resemblance. As I mentioned in another post, Batman came up from my editor when the book was being revised. I didn't really make the Princess Bride connection, at least not consciously. I've of course seen that film a million times, and quotes from those scenes find their way into my daily life all the time. It was definitely an influence on my writing.

quote:
2) The obsidian ridge reminded me of the floating stone head from the movie zardoz. It was more reminiscent of the harvesting aspect and the fear it instilled than the appearance.


I've not actually seen Zardoz. I was actually envisioning something more like Krull--you know, the dark castle that appears once a day at a different location.

quote:
3) Xeries's creatures reminded me of the monsters in the movie Pitch black.


Sadly, I've not seen Pitch Black either. Though I've been wanting to. I'm not really sure where the design of those creatures came from. I knew I wanted to make up a new creature for Xeries, but I don't really think I had a specific inspiration. I guess I'm just a nerd with a dark streak ;)

quote:
4) The description of Xeries reminded me of king Valdemar from the kingdom under fire video games.


I like Kingdom Under Fire. Though Xeries was inspired by a late night viewing of the Elephant Man followed by a marathon session of Epic-level D&D--a strange combination to say the least.

quote:
5) The final battle between Jallal and Quinn reminded me of the road warriors caged battle with the blaster, in beyond thunderdome.


I love that battle.

[quote]Whether or not the author intentionally referenced the above characters/events they worked well together in a fantasy setting to create a unique story.



Again, thank you :)
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Dart Ambermoon
Learned Scribe

Germany
253 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2008 :  20:57:19  Show Profile  Visit Dart Ambermoon's Homepage Send Dart Ambermoon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Now that was one fun romp of a novel...

I´ll admit, I was delighted to see you return to Erlkazar and even more delighted by the date of the story, placing it before "Master of Chains" and thereby throwing us into Erlkazar before all the Twisted Rune activity (´though I certainly wouldn´t have minded that, either...it just somehow seemed to plunge us into a FR not threatened by anything Spellplaguish andI think Erlkazar has many stories to be told).

Well, you (or rather your novel) didn´t have it easy, since I had just finished Ed Greenwood´s "Swords of Dragonfire" a day before. I really only wanted to get a taste of it, before going to sleep...y´know, the prologue and first one or two chapters maybe...and I read it in a single session, my girlfriend staring at me in bewilderment as she walked into the sitting room at eight o´clock in the morning, expecting to find me asleep on the couch, but finding me, just having finished, assailing her with quotes and parts of plot, which in turn left her bewildered, being half-asleep still.

Extremely fun read.

mood and atmosphere)
Made me feel as if I were creeping along through the Cellar or the Ridge. Which is to say I liked it a lot. Tose "crawling" parts had quite the roleplaying/adventuring feel to them, which fitted the book very well. I also really liked the character´s being troubled by large spiders instead of mowing through a dozen of the as if they were wheat. The mood withing the palace was also captured really well and I found it made relating even to minor characters and their attitudes very easy.

characters)
Korox was great. The princess even better. Loved that he knew about her roguish ways, accepted her to be adventurous as he himself is and worked with her instead of trying to make her behave "like a proper princess". Liked the villains, especially the "minor ones" who got their little extra scenes, which fleshed them out nicely. The fiend-enhanced baddie was a nice addition so far as you knew he was there and he remained a constant possibility for crossing the heroes´plans by jumping in at the most unfortunate moment possibe. Evelyne was a cool character, but I would have really liked to get some more information on her (as others have stated). I was relatively certain as to the Matron´s identity quite early on, yet that didn´t subtract any suspense of the story itself, and I really, REALLY liked to see the Waukeenar as the damn mercenaries I´ve always envisioned them to be. Lastly Quinn/Claw...first off, the Claw was cool. Quinn...hmm, not so much. When Quinn was revealed as the Claw I wasn´t too happy, since I thought they didnt mesh that weel...but when Quinn showed his temper and went, as you said, a little crazy, things fell into place and made sense. You managed to clearly win me over on the character during the course of the novel. I also liked Xeries, with his collection of almost-dead wives and his absolute and utter immorality, while still being a crybaby in some regards. Definitely an unlikable man, which means he was a good villain. Generally I felt you used some archetypes (masked avenger, princess rogue, evil mage who once loved) and breathed life into them to make them beyond the typical.

plot)
Fun, a lot of fun. Magic, battle, dungeons, mystery, romance and courtly intrigue...what else can you ask for? Again, your plot read like a great adventure, which I would love to play. And all the strands came together really smooth and led to a grand finale.

extra praise? All right, you deserve some...)
The finale, with the queen´s statue "aiding" the king was a great touch, whichI really liked a lot. Referenced before as having strong antimagical properties, it didn´t cme out of the blue, yet I hadn´t considered it to be part of the final battle. That was a really nice touch, since it gave a logicl way for Xeries to be able to be defeated.
Also, I loved me some cross-referrence to the Twisted Rune by placing Clusterfang into the Cellars. That one was like an Easter Egg for me.

Kudos. Fine book all around! Now to get you to write an epic Erlkazar/Twisted Rune-Trilogy...

~ In Finder I trust, for danger I lust ~
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Jess Lebow
Forgotten Realms Author

43 Posts

Posted - 24 Apr 2008 :  21:32:52  Show Profile  Visit Jess Lebow's Homepage Send Jess Lebow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You are too kind, sir. I thank you very much for the compliments, and I apologize for making you lose sleep ;)

I've actually pitched a Twisted Rune/Erlkazar trilogy. I think a lot of it will depend on where they are taking the Realms with 4E. But I would love to tell some more stories here. Steven did such a great job setting up the area. There is so much more to tell--even just from the ends of both Master of Chains and Obsidian Ridge.

The top five stories I'd tell would be (in no particular order):

The saga of Ryder and his time as Shyressa's minion with the Twisted Rune. (Wouldn't it be cool if he fought her control?)

How Evelyne got thrown into the Cellar. (She'd be a great protagonist.)

The forming of Erlkazar as a nation. (Can you say epic battle scenes?)

The hunting down of the Matron. (You know she's got more in her.)

The origins of Shyressa and her climb to the top of the Twisted Rune. (It gives me the creeps just thinking about the stuff she must have done to get to her station.)

Fun, fun, fun. :)
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Jess Lebow
Forgotten Realms Author

43 Posts

Posted - 24 Apr 2008 :  21:33:53  Show Profile  Visit Jess Lebow's Homepage Send Jess Lebow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You are too kind, sir. I thank you very much for the compliments, and I apologize for making you lose sleep ;)

I've actually pitched a Twisted Rune/Erlkazar trilogy. I think a lot of it will depend on where they are taking the Realms with 4E. But I would love to tell some more stories here. Steven did such a great job setting up the area. There is so much more to tell--even just from the ends of both Master of Chains and Obsidian Ridge.

The top five stories I'd tell would be (in no particular order):

The saga of Ryder and his time as Shyressa's minion with the Twisted Rune. (Wouldn't it be cool if he fought her control?)

How Evelyne got thrown into the Cellar. (She'd be a great protagonist.)

The forming of Erlkazar as a nation. (Can you say epic battle scenes?)

The hunting down of the Matron. (You know she's got more in her.)

The origins of Shyressa and her climb to the top of the Twisted Rune. (It gives me the creeps just thinking about the stuff she must have done to get to her station.)

Fun, fun, fun. :)
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Dart Ambermoon
Learned Scribe

Germany
253 Posts

Posted - 25 Apr 2008 :  14:49:51  Show Profile  Visit Dart Ambermoon's Homepage Send Dart Ambermoon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jess Lebow

You are too kind, sir. I thank you very much for the compliments, and I apologize for making you lose sleep ;)

I've actually pitched a Twisted Rune/Erlkazar trilogy. I think a lot of it will depend on where they are taking the Realms with 4E. But I would love to tell some more stories here. Steven did such a great job setting up the area. There is so much more to tell--even just from the ends of both Master of Chains and Obsidian Ridge.

The top five stories I'd tell would be (in no particular order):

The saga of Ryder and his time as Shyressa's minion with the Twisted Rune. (Wouldn't it be cool if he fought her control?)

How Evelyne got thrown into the Cellar. (She'd be a great protagonist.)

The forming of Erlkazar as a nation. (Can you say epic battle scenes?)

The hunting down of the Matron. (You know she's got more in her.)

The origins of Shyressa and her climb to the top of the Twisted Rune. (It gives me the creeps just thinking about the stuff she must have done to get to her station.)

Fun, fun, fun. :)




Well, now you´ve got me drooling...

~ In Finder I trust, for danger I lust ~
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Lameth
Learned Scribe

Germany
196 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2008 :  17:01:18  Show Profile  Visit Lameth's Homepage  Send Lameth an ICQ Message Send Lameth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great work.
We (me and my girlfriend) were in England for the weekend (London and Eastbourne) and every time when there was time for myself *g* I read chapter after chapter till the end. The Obsidian Ridge is a great novel.
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Braveheart
Learned Scribe

Austria
159 Posts

Posted - 30 Apr 2008 :  21:49:19  Show Profile  Visit Braveheart's Homepage  Send Braveheart an AOL message  Send Braveheart an ICQ Message Send Braveheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Obsidian Ridge" was fun to read, Jess. I guess I'm one of the few readers who don't think of an other hero when reading about The Claw (or I'm just not familiar enough with some superheros to make the connection ).
I thought it was a bit odd that Xeries' spell should simply vanish after he was killed, that was a bit too fairytale-stylish for me, but tastes differ
And as in "Master of Chains", there's an open subplot again... I just hope you'll get the chance to write about all those open plots sometime .

Jarlaxle: "Do keep ever present in your thoughts, my friend, that an illusion can kill you if you believe in it."
Entreri: "And the real thing can kill you whether you believe in it or not."
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Jess Lebow
Forgotten Realms Author

43 Posts

Posted - 06 May 2008 :  02:33:07  Show Profile  Visit Jess Lebow's Homepage Send Jess Lebow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Lameth. I'm glad I could provide some needed "alone time" for you ;)

I agree Braveheart. I'd really like to keep telling this story.

I'm re-reading Obsidian Ridge myself now. It's interesting for me because each scene brings back memories of what I was doing when I wrote them. I'm only a couple chapters in (I actually just moved to California, and my author copies were sent to Seattle, so I had to break down and buy a couple copies for me and my girlfriend). I wrote the prologue scene much later in the process than the actual first and second chapters. So I sort of flash forward and back in time while I'm reading--kind of like the prologue and the first chapter, only in reverse. :)
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