Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Forgotten Realms Products
 Forgotten Realms Novels
 The Rose of Sarifal *Beware of included spoilers*
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

Tanthalas
Senior Scribe

Portugal
483 Posts

Posted - 16 Oct 2012 :  23:27:25  Show Profile Send Tanthalas a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I couldn't find a scroll about this novel, and having just finished reading it I wanted some extra opinions.

Personally, I really disliked this novel.

I know its not nice to bash an author, more so one new to the Realms, but I can easily say that of the slightly above 100 FR novels I have already read, I can say this is the one I disliked the most. Its actually the only FR novel that I have read that I can say that I didn't like.

Now, I won't say that its horrible. It actually had some things that I liked (Gaspar-shen was a hilarious character and I'd liked to see him again, the Savage was also interesting), but the book had some big problems for me.

The biggest problem, one that made me constantly cringe while reading the book, is that it simply didn't feel like the book was in the Forgotten Realms due to how the author described the races that appeared in the books:

- The eladrin (hard to tell which eladrin the author talked about) were portrayed as a race that due to its longevity were detached from the world. They were portrayed as being gloomy and lifeless and it didn't help that most of them seemed to be crazy in the book. This really seemed awkward to me when compared to the characterization of elves in all other Realms books that I've read. BUT! I guess you could explain it off from these elves being from the Feywild, though it still seemed to contrast with what I gleamed about these elves from The Abolethic Sovereignty and The Last Mythal books. It simply didn't click with me.

- The Drow in this book were another problem for me. The author didn't go into details with them (a fault that happens with a lot of things in the book) but it kind of felt like the males were in charge here instead of the females, despite that they still venerated Lolth. This seemed really off to me.

- There was one (two?) Avariel in the book too, but instead of being winged elves, they were short (barely taller than a gnome) winged things that might not even look like elves. But, I guess since there was only one of them, he might have been some kind of dwarvish Avariel.

- Then there was Lolth. Her depiction in this novel was, well, strange. Nothing that I would expect. But again, you could write this off with her being Chaotic (read: crazy).

The thing is, when you add up all these "inconsistencies" the book really lost its Realms feel to me. Wouldn't an editor try and keep the book feeling more "realmsy"?

Even disregarding these "setting problems" that I have with the book, I think that most of the plot and characters suffered a lot from being underdeveloped. It really felt that a lot of things needed to be fleshed out. The ending of the book was also really strange. It felt far too abrupt and really unsatisfying. When I turned the page and saw that it was over I just had a big "Huh? Where's the rest?" on my face.

I also think that the book flowed poorly from one scene to the next. It really felt disconnected to me as if parts were missing.

I'm also not one that likes long detailed battle scenes (personally, I see Salvatore being praised for his decriptive battles, but I often find them to be a bit too long for my tastes), but the battles in this book seemed to be really off. Many battle scenes consisted of: Character A engages enemy, focus shifts to the thoughts of Character B, Character B then looks back to Character A and you see that Character A has already dispatched several of his enemies. It also didn't help that towards the end of the book there was a battle against a large band of drow where four (well five really) of the main characters managed to dispatch probably over 20 Drow warriors despite none of them ever being characterized as particularly great fighters, it just felt awkward to me. I guess these were some really crappy Drow. All in all, the battles felt very superficial in this book.

The characters also felt really lackluster to me. For the most part they were all gloomy and very self-critical of themselves. Only Gaspar-shen really deviated from this formula, probably because we never got much insight into him apart from his hilarious food rambling. Though I guess you could also say that he was the token "crazy guy" in the group. In the end though, I really liked Gaspar-shen.

I know that this long rant has been very critical of the book, but I honestly don't have much good to say about it. I really wouldn't recommend this book. And when I look at the reader reviews on amazon, I can use this book as an example of how misleading reader reviews can be.

Sir Markham pointed out, drinking another brandy. "A chap who can point at you and say 'die' has the distinct advantage".

phranctoast
Learned Scribe

USA
151 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2012 :  14:03:23  Show Profile Send phranctoast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I felt like I was reading a D&D novel and not a Forgotten realms novel. I didn't even finish the book. Not too often does a book tire me out enough to just give up on it.

I gave it a shot as she's a new author and I figured why not. Go with Chris Pratts Venom in her veins. (much better) or Erin Evans, Brimstone Angels.

Currently reading: Spider and Stone by Jaleigh Johnson: Sequel to Mistshore
Go to Top of Page

Tanthalas
Senior Scribe

Portugal
483 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2012 :  15:10:26  Show Profile Send Tanthalas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Brimstone Angels is what I read immediately before it, and Venom in her Veins is on my desk waiting to be read. I bought all three together with Elminster Enraged a few days ago.

Sir Markham pointed out, drinking another brandy. "A chap who can point at you and say 'die' has the distinct advantage".
Go to Top of Page

phranctoast
Learned Scribe

USA
151 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2012 :  15:47:38  Show Profile Send phranctoast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Feywild novels are a hit or miss with me. Chosen of Nendawen was a hit however.

Currently reading: Spider and Stone by Jaleigh Johnson: Sequel to Mistshore
Go to Top of Page

boweik
Seeker

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2012 :  13:39:27  Show Profile Send boweik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by phranctoast

Feywild novels are a hit or miss with me. Chosen of Nendawen was a hit however.



Chosen of Nendawen is quite possibly a top 5 trilogy ever for me... Very well written!

Rose of Sarifel... not so much!

"I got first blood!" - Drizzt Do'Urden
"Last counts more." - Artemis Entreri

Edited by - boweik on 14 Dec 2012 13:40:06
Go to Top of Page

jerrod
Learned Scribe

157 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2013 :  19:11:02  Show Profile Send jerrod a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I whole heartedly agree....about the drow

I haven't been here in years but I used to be DARKFLAME MILLITHOR(DROW ARCHMAGE of wildmagic
Go to Top of Page

Lilianviaten
Senior Scribe

487 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2013 :  23:21:55  Show Profile Send Lilianviaten a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jerrod

I whole heartedly agree....about the drow



This is why people find the drow annoying. Cunningham and Salvatore really made them come to life for me years ago, but they are overused. From the synopsis I read, drow don't even have a place in this story. Yet somehow, even when the novel isn't about drow, they find a way to sneak into it.

What baffles me is that Lolth's attempt to take over the Weave (and her subsequent defeat by adventurers) wasn't even novelized. Why bother with featuring drow in several 4e novels if they weren't going to show how Lolth was defeated? And the drow didn't even gain any territory in the "Rise of the Underdark". So WOTC managed to use the drow repeatedly, without even showing them do anything significant (except starting a new city in Gauntlgrym's ruins).
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30202 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2013 :  06:30:15  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lilianviaten

quote:
Originally posted by jerrod

I whole heartedly agree....about the drow



This is why people find the drow annoying. Cunningham and Salvatore really made them come to life for me years ago, but they are overused. From the synopsis I read, drow don't even have a place in this story. Yet somehow, even when the novel isn't about drow, they find a way to sneak into it.

What baffles me is that Lolth's attempt to take over the Weave (and her subsequent defeat by adventurers) wasn't even novelized. Why bother with featuring drow in several 4e novels if they weren't going to show how Lolth was defeated? And the drow didn't even gain any territory in the "Rise of the Underdark". So WOTC managed to use the drow repeatedly, without even showing them do anything significant (except starting a new city in Gauntlgrym's ruins).



I am inclined to think that WotC changed plans midstream, and that the coverage we would have gotten was kicked to the curb.

This is my personal supposition, and is not backed up by anything at all.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

silverwolfer
Senior Scribe

789 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2013 :  08:06:57  Show Profile Send silverwolfer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From what I understand about it, resource managers behind the project were not up to snuff, but to cut cost and try to gain something from it, books were e published , instead of printed, and overall attention was diverted towards 5e development instead which cut creative direction away from the project, and instead used it as a promotion in game stores instead of a novel based event for FR.
Go to Top of Page

CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2005 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2013 :  22:03:53  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would like to see a follow-up of the Chosen Nendawen. I was actually surprised it was only a trilogy. When the last one came I was thinking "*blink blink* that's it?" Good series though.

RoS did not fit in the Realms at all. I don't mean to bash the work, either, but it didn't fit with the lore. The Lolthites were more like followers of Eilistraee, but not in a way I like (I like Eilistraee and her followers). The whole thing was just...weird.

Sweet water and light laughter
Go to Top of Page

silverwolfer
Senior Scribe

789 Posts

Posted - 22 Jul 2013 :  02:10:56  Show Profile Send silverwolfer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well ... why can't lloth have heretical followers just like all the other gods?
Go to Top of Page

Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2693 Posts

Posted - 22 Jul 2013 :  02:28:17  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Because she wants to be in control of every aspect of her followers' lives. Heretics would be obliterated unless they served some perticular purpose.

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/
Go to Top of Page

jerrod
Learned Scribe

157 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2013 :  20:21:31  Show Profile Send jerrod a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lolth doesn't tolerate heretics. Only lirel was tolerated and that was only because her destiny brought lolths powers to the surface and contributed to her ascendence....! Other heretics are usually destroyed or cursed like in the maztica trilogy.

I haven't been here in years but I used to be DARKFLAME MILLITHOR(DROW ARCHMAGE of wildmagic
Go to Top of Page

Entromancer
Senior Scribe

USA
388 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2013 :  22:47:39  Show Profile Send Entromancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What about Jarlaxle? No spoilers, but his endevours from Exile onward seem chaotic enough to appeal to Lolth. Yet he doesn't hold her priestesses in high regard at all.

"...the will is everything. The will to act."--Ra's Al Ghul

"Suffering builds character."--Talia Al Ghul
Go to Top of Page

BenN
Learned Scribe

Japan
338 Posts

Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  04:41:32  Show Profile Send BenN a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sorry for the thread necromancy, but I have some questions/comments about this novel. Having read (and loved) the Darkwalker & Druidhome trilogies, I was very excited to hear of a new story set in the Moonshaes, especially one set after the LeShay takeover.

My basic question: as this is an official FR novel, this means its canon, right?

Thing is, as mentioned above, there is a lot of weird stuff going on - gloomy, mournful elves, hippy-chick drow priestesses, etc.

One of the biggest shockers for me was the depiction of the Llewyrr elves - a huge contrast to earlier depictions in the Darkwalker & Druidhome series.

- They have human Ffolk slaves now???? Brigit & co kept pretty quiet about this during the Darkwalker war.....

- They kill (non-slave) humans on sight if they trespass? (I thought their matriarch was on friendly terms with King Kendrick)

- The number of male Llewyrr has suddenly & mysteriously increased (hardly any mention in earlier novels, and other lore in Dragon magazine says that they're outnumbered more than 4-1 by the ladies).
Did most of the female population emigrate in protest at the evil LeShay, or what?

A lot of this seems to conflict quite profoundly with other canon lore, so which is correct? Using Sarifal as a campaign setting, I'm quite happily ignoring most of this novel, but it would be interesting to know what is actually canon. I hope the Moonshaes get a comprehensive update in the forthcoming 5e.....

Edited by - BenN on 08 Jan 2014 04:42:18
Go to Top of Page

Tanthalas
Senior Scribe

Portugal
483 Posts

Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  18:32:20  Show Profile Send Tanthalas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the FR novels are considered canon even if we don't like them.

Though it's always possible for other (or the same) authors to return to the region and change stuff up again.

Sir Markham pointed out, drinking another brandy. "A chap who can point at you and say 'die' has the distinct advantage".
Go to Top of Page

BenN
Learned Scribe

Japan
338 Posts

Posted - 08 Jan 2014 :  23:36:06  Show Profile Send BenN a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tanthalas

I think the FR novels are considered canon even if we don't like them.

Fair enough. What bother me, though, are the glaring contradictions vs. other canon (earlier novels, articles in Dragon, etc). Which is supposedly 'correct'?

I intend to ignore the version of canon with emo, slave-driving Llewyrr.....

Edited by - BenN on 08 Jan 2014 23:41:07
Go to Top of Page

Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
1080 Posts

Posted - 09 Jan 2014 :  01:01:13  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As a longtime fan of the Moonshae Isles and creator of Sarifal itself, I admit that I've put off reading Rose of Sarifal for fear that it would conflict with my vision of the region. Sadly, reports here at Candlekeep and reviews I've read elsewhere seem to indicate that the novel strays quite a bit from earlier canon. Discrepancies of this type could easily be avoided if Wizards of the Coast allowed novelists and designers to freely collaborate on projects. Oh well, I hope one day I'll be given an opportunity to revisit Sarifal and set the Moonshaes back on the right path.

Brian R. James - Freelance Game Designer

Follow me on Twitter @brianrjames, and please be sure to check out the RED AEGIS Roleplaying Game
Go to Top of Page

BenN
Learned Scribe

Japan
338 Posts

Posted - 09 Jan 2014 :  01:29:27  Show Profile Send BenN a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello Brian,

I'm really happy that you've joined this thread; I greatly enjoyed your article in Dragon about Sarifal. The Moonshaes are one of my favourite areas of the Realms, and Sarifal is intriguing; I'm developing a campaign storyline based on this.

Some of the things I'm particularly interested in:

1) Relationship between LeShay & Llewyrr. According to (your) realmslore, the latter have pledged allegiance to the former. Does this make Ate'Niah Lady Ordalf's vassal?

2) Relationship between humans (Ffolk, Northmen) and Llewyrr. What part did the Llewyrr play in defeating the Amnish settlers, and kicking the humans out of Gwynneth? Is this the reason for the 'strained relations'?

3) Relationship between Llewyrr and other elves (wood elves?) in Sarifal. If the wood elves are opposed to Fey expansionism, does this put them at odds with the Llewyrr, and might they be sympathetic to Ffolk designs to retake part of Gwynneth?


Any thoughts you have on the above would be most welcome!

Edited by - BenN on 09 Jan 2014 01:30:23
Go to Top of Page

Tanthalas
Senior Scribe

Portugal
483 Posts

Posted - 10 Jan 2014 :  01:38:05  Show Profile Send Tanthalas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brian R. James

Discrepancies of this type could easily be avoided if Wizards of the Coast allowed novelists and designers to freely collaborate on projects.



I'm not a writer, so I probably don't have the correct view of how things actually work in reality, but I expected that the editors over at WotC would try to at least keep novels in line with the current lore.

Sir Markham pointed out, drinking another brandy. "A chap who can point at you and say 'die' has the distinct advantage".
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30202 Posts

Posted - 10 Jan 2014 :  06:51:14  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brian R. James

As a longtime fan of the Moonshae Isles and creator of Sarifal itself, I admit that I've put off reading Rose of Sarifal for fear that it would conflict with my vision of the region. Sadly, reports here at Candlekeep and reviews I've read elsewhere seem to indicate that the novel strays quite a bit from earlier canon. Discrepancies of this type could easily be avoided if Wizards of the Coast allowed novelists and designers to freely collaborate on projects. Oh well, I hope one day I'll be given an opportunity to revisit Sarifal and set the Moonshaes back on the right path.



Or returned to having a traffic cop to stay on top of continuity.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

Derulbaskul
Senior Scribe

Singapore
376 Posts

Posted - 10 Jan 2014 :  11:50:05  Show Profile Send Derulbaskul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly RupertOr returned to having a traffic cop to stay on top of continuity.


This.

It looks like in its desperate attempt to save the tabletop RPG, WotC's D&D team looks to be ready to embrace the Realms even more wholeheartedly than when TSR in its desperation started spamming FR product by taking any sub-standard fare and slapping the FR logo on it.

The only good thing about that was that someone realised their mistake and we got the great years of Steven Schend.

I just hope we get the Steven Schend equivalent even earlier this time so we don't end up with some of the more (and I being kind here) self-indulgent rubbish that we ended up with last time.

Cheers
D

NB: Please remember: A cannon is a big gun. Canon is what we discuss here.
Go to Top of Page

Mirtek
Senior Scribe

508 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2014 :  23:10:08  Show Profile Send Mirtek a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BenN

Sorry for the thread necromancy, but I have some questions/comments about this novel. Having read (and loved) the Darkwalker & Druidhome trilogies, I was very excited to hear of a new story set in the Moonshaes, especially one set after the LeShay takeover.

My basic question: as this is an official FR novel, this means its canon, right?

Thing is, as mentioned above, there is a lot of weird stuff going on - gloomy, mournful elves, hippy-chick drow priestesses, etc.

One of the biggest shockers for me was the depiction of the Llewyrr elves - a huge contrast to earlier depictions in the Darkwalker & Druidhome series.

- They have human Ffolk slaves now???? Brigit & co kept pretty quiet about this during the Darkwalker war.....

- They kill (non-slave) humans on sight if they trespass? (I thought their matriarch was on friendly terms with King Kendrick)

- The number of male Llewyrr has suddenly & mysteriously increased (hardly any mention in earlier novels, and other lore in Dragon magazine says that they're outnumbered more than 4-1 by the ladies).
Did most of the female population emigrate in protest at the evil LeShay, or what?

A lot of this seems to conflict quite profoundly with other canon lore, so which is correct? Using Sarifal as a campaign setting, I'm quite happily ignoring most of this novel, but it would be interesting to know what is actually canon. I hope the Moonshaes get a comprehensive update in the forthcoming 5e.....

There was a Dungeon Magazine article about the current state of the Moonshaes. Basically another elf realm shifted back from the Feywild to the material world, took controll of the elves of the Moonshaes and kicked the humans out of Gwynneth

Edited by - Mirtek on 19 Jan 2014 23:10:50
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2017 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000