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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
237 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2017 :  17:43:52  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

There's a follow up to City of Ravens that is ebook only...Prince of Ravens set after the time skip/spell plague. It's as good as the first book, although a bit grittier (esp the beginning!). Make sure you pick it up.



Yes, it's on my master-list, but thanks for the heads-up. I'm not thrilled about some of the stories being ebook only, but there's no other option, so I guess I just have to deal with it.

I finished The Summoning a couple nights ago. This was a bit of an uneven experience. Denning has been running very hot-and-cold for me of late. It started off very impressive: intriguing plot, interesting characters, exceptional dialogue, etc. It took a bit of an immediate downturn once I realized phaerimm were involved. I have this irrational hatred of the phaerimm, going back to the ludicrously bad original illustration of them - I can't seem to find it online but I recall a picture of one that instantly made me think it was the lamest creature ever created for D&D (and in a multiverse with flumphs and froghemoths, that's really saying something). It was a black and white drawing with the traditional windsock design, and four completely human arms grafted onto the front/mouth area. It represents everything that is dumb about monster designing. I've since seen some extremely good illustrations of this creature, but it's hard to shake first impressions.

Also, the inclusion of Malik felt completely unnecessary and distracting. I get that authors become attached to their own creations and want to continue to utilize them, but in this instance it just didn't fit. There were also some pretty heavy-handed "We're in a new edition and have some new game mechanics to explain in-universe" expository moments as well, but I realize why they had to be there and tried to give them a pass.

That aside, the writing was mostly good, making this book solid overall. It was super fun to see the almighty Elminster actually a bit confounded by Melegaunt. I'm somewhat intrigued by the impending coming of Shade, though this is tempered to lukewarm interest in light of yet another RSE so quickly after the last one. I'll just have to wait and see how it plays out.

I'm about 90 pages into The Floodgate at the moment.

Edited by - VikingLegion on 03 Mar 2017 17:46:08
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2573 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2017 :  21:13:25  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, the Phaerimm have that effect on me too. They actually remind me of the giant version of a kind of protozoa...

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
237 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2017 :  05:22:13  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished The Floodgate yesterday. I feel like I could mostly re-paste my commentary from the first book of this series. Halruaa really comes to life under Elaine's pen. Not to pick on Murder in Halruaa too hard, but it just didn't make this totally unique land really stand out the way it could/should have. Two books into the Counselors and Kings series and it has become one of the most intriguing regions in all of FR for me. She weaves a very complex and intricate plot, it's not hard to get lost if you aren't really paying attention.

I'm really enjoying Matteo's continuing disenchantment with the jordaini order. I like seeing his once unshakable faith slowly erode as the layers peel back and more corruption/ politicking is revealed. I'm also quite fond of the effect Tzigone has on him; opening him up just slightly to a more fun side that can see shades of grey instead of nothing but absolutes. He's like a Vulcan that is just starting to grasp humor, still at the "Knock, knock" stage.

About the only thing I'm having a really hard time with is Andris' continuing loyalty to Kiva. I get that he feels stuck with her to further his own goals, but geez, at what point does he say enough is enough? How many more atrocities does she have to commit right in front of his face? Here's my paraphrased version of some of the events:

Andris: Hey! We were supposed to only subdue those humans at the Lady's Mirror, why were you using lethal force?
Kiva: Needed to for the mission, you understand.
Andris: Well... ok, but one more outburst like that and I'll....
Kiva:[rips wings off of Undine and absorbs its life-force]
Andris: Dude... WTF?!?!?!
Kiva: Had to do it, you know, for the mission.
Andris: *sigh* alright, but no more of that, ok?
Kiva: Go kill all those elves who have been working with us for weeks, I don't want them around anymore
Andris: No way, not only have they done nothing wrong, they've been our allies, we've broke bread with them, they've already taken us back once after we wronged them before. Oh, and also I have a tiny bit of elf blood in me and feel a sort of odd kinship for...
Kiva: **ZORP** [magic spell instantly turns 30 elves into dessicated husks]
Andris: Seriously? If you do one more
Kiva: You'll what? Lecture me again?

I'm really hoping Andris steps up in the 3rd book, he's been a huge disappointment for me. Actually I can't recall what happened to him at the end of this one, I sort of last track of him during the Crinti/Mulhorandi invasion and all the madness that ensued. I might have to go back and re-read the last couple chapters before I begin book 3. But that's not for a little while at least anyway, up next in my reading order is a return to the Uskevren clan in The Shattered Mask.
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2573 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2017 :  05:27:31  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Halruaa's one of my favourite FR regions too, Elaine's books set there only made me enjoy it more.

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
237 Posts

Posted - 11 Mar 2017 :  06:43:11  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished The Shattered Mask tonight and was very impressed throughout. I've liked just about all of the Uskevren material I've read thus far, whether it's from Kemp, Byers, or any of the authors that contributed to the Halls collection. This has been the best of the bunch. I'm somewhat new to Byers, I'm deeply impressed by his knowledge - he keeps forcing me to go to the internet for everything from clothing styles, to architecture, to fencing maneuvers. I see from his author blurb that he is a fencing enthusiast, not hard to see that coming through in his fight scenes.

The characters were very fascinating as well. Marance, while being the big, bad villain, had this sort of effete, almost gentlemanly quality to him that made for an interesting contrast. He could murder a man with his bare hands, but then wipe them off as though the act was too "icky" or unrefined for him to be involved with personally. He was a brutal puppetmaster, yet he never ranted and raved at his minions, nor bellowed the nearly ubiquitous "GET THEM!!" that almost every villain seems contractually obligated to say. His familiar, Bileworm, was massively entertaining as well. I loved when he pantomimed creeping around thief-like, even though he is a shadow creature that wouldn't make sound anyway - like a caricature of an actor overdoing it on stage. Bileworm perfectly walked that fine line between funny and over-the-top goofy.

This was a really good book overall, one of the better FR novels I've read in some time. So much so that it caused me to look up Byers' wiki page and I'm quite pleased to see I have a ton more of his material to read in my future. On that note, up next in the queue is Elminster in Hell.
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
782 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2017 :  01:24:12  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay...I know Ed's stuff is not your cup of tea. But I liked Elminster in Hell. It's like a Short Story collection as an excuse for Ed to talk about all his characters and share tales he has in his head...and the Simbul kicks some major butt in this book which I also enjoy.
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Thoth
Seeker

Canada
22 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2017 :  13:55:11  Show Profile Send Thoth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I will say that I have enjoyed this thread.

I have read (and still own) most of the FR novels, from the very beginning. DL as well, although that is another forum elsewhere. Heh.

This has been a fun ride through nostalgia for most of these. Thank you for taking the time to scribe your journey and share it with us!

Edited by - Thoth on 14 Mar 2017 13:55:55
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
237 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2017 :  05:34:29  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thoth

I will say that I have enjoyed this thread.

I have read (and still own) most of the FR novels, from the very beginning. DL as well, although that is another forum elsewhere. Heh.

This has been a fun ride through nostalgia for most of these. Thank you for taking the time to scribe your journey and share it with us!



Hey thanks for the kind words. It's been a lot of fun going through each book. Yeah, sometimes there's no response and I just move on to the next, but other times it sparks a pretty good debate that can be both informative and entertaining.

Like you, I also have read all the Dragonlance books and did a similar thing over on another forum. When I joined they already had a thread going called "What DL book are you currently reading", so I just piggybacked off that and did something similar to what I'm doing here - through all ~160+ books in that line.

http://www.dragonlanceforums.com/showthread.php?3731-DL-Book-Currently-Reading

That's the link, I started in on page 315 with a large post that encompassed several books, before I started doing one post per book.
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
237 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2017 :  08:13:17  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You know how when a TV series has gone on for several seasons (~7+), eventually they do that one show that has like 2 minutes of original footage and the rest is just clips from previous years edited together?

quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

Okay...I know Ed's stuff is not your cup of tea. But I liked Elminster in Hell. It's like a Short Story collection as an excuse for Ed to talk about all his characters and share tales he has in his head...and the Simbul kicks some major butt in this book which I also enjoy.


What you liked about this book is exactly what I did not. I've owned it for awhile now, but kept it on the back burner until I could read all the other FR books up to this point. So, over a length of time, I've looked at the excellent cover art and sort of created in my mind an expectation of what I thought (and wanted) this book to be. I envisioned it as this epic sort of journey of trial and redemption, wherein Elminster travels the various layers of Hell - like some kind of awesome D&D ode to Dante Alighieri's Inferno. I wanted Greenwood's magnum opus, a true masterpiece. Instead we got Elminster and Friends Greatest Hits.

Putting my own selfish expectations aside, this book had a lot of ups and downs:

- The worst vignette, by far, in my mind was the scene where Elminster enters a "Hall of Doom" area - some kind of council of big bads, including a lich, a drow, a beholder, a gargoyle with some kind of magic sword, and maybe a few others. The basic impression is that each one of these guys could be a mega-villain all by themselves, but banded together they would be nigh-unstoppable. Elminster strolls in, and not only destroys them all; he does it without casting a single spell, or even lifting a finger for that matter. The bad guys all start casting destructive spells at him, he simply smiles and then Mystra intervenes, doing a return to sender and obliterating the villains with their own spells. This one scene basically sums up 95% of everything I dislike about Elminster stories.

+ The Mirt/Piergeron/Piergeron's daughter (I can't remember her name) snippet was really interesting, probably the best among the various memories that weren't directly experienced by Elminster.

+ The Laeral (not Khelben's wife, the "other" Laerel) story was pretty neat, with the unfaithful apprentice who tries to murder his mentor and grab the throne for himself. Well done.

+/- The young mage who seeks to apprentice himself to Elminster and then attempts to fool him by sacrificing a duplicate of his magical staff - that was a good story. The Rathan and Torm snippet was just plain awful... ouch. Also, the vignette with the Sembian woman who runs a finishing school and her 4 ladies visiting Elminster's tower was just brutal.

- There is a scene where Storm and Sylune are reading an in-universe novel called "Heartsteel" - part of a series that comes out of Sembia. The sisters are laughing uproariously at the cheesiness of the tale. But what I found most funny is that when they read some actual passages from it, well... it reads quite a bit like a Greenwood story to me..... Not sure if this was a bit of self-deprecating humor from the author, or...?

+ the internal monologue of Elminster on page 280-281 was terrific, inspiring, even. For a shining moment, he dropped the tiresome snarkiness. It was equal parts wisdom, humility, resignation, and determination - the best writing of the entire 400+ page experience.

- a huge pet peeve of mine in many FR books (and something that drove me nuts in the Dragonlance line as well) is the lack of separation between arcane and divine magic. I view mages as something like medieval fantasy scientists. Arcane magic is a series of formulae and reactions that involve unlocking the proper combinations of somatic, verbal, and material components. Anyone can participate in it, provided they have the mental capability to memorize all the nuances, and the devotion to practice it enough to attain mastery. Wizardry, like Science, is a repeatable, demonstratable act, no begging or cajoling of a deity is needed. But here we have, in addition to Elminster's constant Mystra pleading, Halaster and the Simbul getting in on that act. Initially they both get their butts kicked in Hell. So what do they do? Return to Toril, curl up in the fetal position, and pray to Mystra for more power. She, of course, fully heals them, and then supercharges them to OVER 9,000!!! to go back to Hell and rescue her most precious servant. C'mon, man... that is straight up cleric territory.

- I didn't much care for Nergal's characterization. Demons are supposed to be the chaotic 'roid-ragers. Devils should be smoother, slicker, more in-control plotters and schemers. Nergal read as a classic demon, a Balor on a rampage. There was even a specific entry that mentioned his bull-in-a-china shop journey through El's mind - leaving nothing but "chaos" in his wake. Nope, a devil would never be so haphazard and non-systematic. While we're talking about Nergal, those interactions between the memories basically boiled down to the exact same thing - Nergal chastising Elminster for not showing him memories of any value (i.e. leading to mastery of magic), El responding back with some kind of witty, smartass remark, Nergal smashing him down with a mental bolt, whip, or lash, and then the hollow threat of "YOU TRY MY PATIENCE, MORTAL!! THE NEXT MEMORY YOU SHOW ME HAD BEST BE OF SOME USE OR I SHALL DESTROY YOU UTTERLY!! The frequency of these interludes could've been reduced dramatically, and the book would not have been the worse for it.

+ I really liked how Elminster eventually subverted Nergal. It was subtly done, and even though he hinted throughout the novel how he was injecting some humanity into the devil, it was still fun to see when all the suffering and hard work finally came to fruition. I loved that scene near the end where the Simbul and Nergal are spell-dueling, and Elminster keeps influencing Nergal to misfire or get confused as to what he wants to do to her. Really cool stuff. I would've preferred the book to end there, or with a very short epilogue, on a high note; rather than the anti-climactic free-for-all in the Simbul's throne room.

So, after all that, I don't know where I stand with this book. It certainly wasn't what I hoped and wanted it to be. A few of the random stories were excellent, a few of them were painful, most fell somewhere in between. I felt like Ed just wanted to spin some random lore, like maybe he had a bunch of bits and pieces hanging around that he wanted to put in a monthly Dragon article or something, but didn't make the cut. It was a strange book with lots of highs and lows, I suppose they more-or-less negated each other out and made for an average read.

Up next is Temple Hill. I've not read anything from this author yet, and the cover art looks kind of goofy, so I'm approaching this with a little trepidation, but trying to keep an open mind.

Edited by - VikingLegion on 19 Mar 2017 08:22:15
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29716 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2017 :  15:19:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The thing that bothered me most about Elminster in Hell was the way Elminster would somehow contact people by simply remembering them. And as I recall, at least once in the book (I've not read it in a while), one of these remembered people realized that this sudden recollection they were experiencing meant Elminster was in trouble.

If there was any mechanism used for how this contact was established, I missed it. And thus, the story did not work because a large part of it relied on something that simply did not make sense.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Thoth
Seeker

Canada
22 Posts

Posted - 21 Mar 2017 :  16:32:29  Show Profile Send Thoth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

quote:
Originally posted by Thoth

I will say that I have enjoyed this thread.

I have read (and still own) most of the FR novels, from the very beginning. DL as well, although that is another forum elsewhere. Heh.

This has been a fun ride through nostalgia for most of these. Thank you for taking the time to scribe your journey and share it with us!



Hey thanks for the kind words. It's been a lot of fun going through each book. Yeah, sometimes there's no response and I just move on to the next, but other times it sparks a pretty good debate that can be both informative and entertaining.

Like you, I also have read all the Dragonlance books and did a similar thing over on another forum. When I joined they already had a thread going called "What DL book are you currently reading", so I just piggybacked off that and did something similar to what I'm doing here - through all ~160+ books in that line.

http://www.dragonlanceforums.com/showthread.php?3731-DL-Book-Currently-Reading

That's the link, I started in on page 315 with a large post that encompassed several books, before I started doing one post per book.



Wow. I'll have to head over there and check it out!
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
237 Posts

Posted - 21 Mar 2017 :  18:28:57  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished Temple Hill last night and found it to be a pretty decent read. My expectations going in were pretty low, but I'm happy to say it was not bad at all. I didn't much care for the gnome cleric of Gond and his "gadgets", but that's more of a personal taste, as I strongly dislike tech mixed with swords-n-sorcery type fantasy. Also the author slightly overused a gimmick wherein he would describe a scene from one character's POV, then the next chapter would be the same scene from another perspective, with the exact same dialogue recycled. Used once or twice it can be interesting, but I think he went to this well just a bit too much.

Other than that, the characters were interesting, the combat was well written, and it had a great D&D session vibe to it. At times it felt like a good old-fashioned dungeon crawl. Normally when I say that it is derisive, but in the case of this story it worked well. I smiled a bit when they were packing up supplies for the trek - never forget your 50' of coiled rope!

It was a decent little story. Nothing earth-shattering or anything that will resonate in the annals of Forgotten Realms history, but it was a good read for what it was. Up next I have the same author taking his crack at the 3rd BG installment; Baldur's Gate II: The Throne of Bhaal. Here's to hoping a change at the helm brings somewhat better results.

Abdel!!
Jaheira?
Abdel!!
Imoen....?
Abdel!!
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29716 Posts

Posted - 21 Mar 2017 :  19:23:58  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

I finished Temple Hill last night and found it to be a pretty decent read. My expectations going in were pretty low, but I'm happy to say it was not bad at all. I didn't much care for the gnome cleric of Gond and his "gadgets", but that's more of a personal taste, as I strongly dislike tech mixed with swords-n-sorcery type fantasy. Also the author slightly overused a gimmick wherein he would describe a scene from one character's POV, then the next chapter would be the same scene from another perspective, with the exact same dialogue recycled. Used once or twice it can be interesting, but I think he went to this well just a bit too much.



I've not read this book, so I'm not familiar with how the author used it, but I've always really liked seeing the same scene from another perspective.

One of my personal faves is Pug/Milamber destroying the Imperial Games, in Raymond E Feist's books. In Magician, the scene is told from the PoV of the guy doing the destroying. In of the Empire books Feist co-wrote with Janny Wurts, we see the same scene from the PoV of one of the spectators at the Games, who wound up fleeing for her life. We also get to see a lot more of the aftermath of this, which is also cool.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Thoth
Seeker

Canada
22 Posts

Posted - 22 Mar 2017 :  10:49:09  Show Profile Send Thoth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion



It was a decent little story. Nothing earth-shattering or anything that will resonate in the annals of Forgotten Realms history, but it was a good read for what it was. Up next I have the same author taking his crack at the 3rd BG installment; Baldur's Gate II: The Throne of Bhaal. Here's to hoping a change at the helm brings somewhat better results.



Oh, good luck with that.

I read it many years ago, and remember not enjoying it all that much. It wasn't the worst novel I had read, but it was far from the best. Below Average I'd say.

Looking forward to the review!
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
237 Posts

Posted - 26 Mar 2017 :  19:41:08  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal the other night, and... well, I might be sacrificing what little credibility I have around these parts, but... I kind of liked it. /hides

Wait!! What??

Yeah, I'm just as surprised as you. Maybe it was just that the previous 2 books in the series (written by another author) set the bar oh so very low, but this book was not only *not* a trainwreck, I actually found it engaging at times. Yes it continued the story of Abdel, Jaheira, Imoen, etc. so there was only so much he could work with. In a way, that makes the effort even more impressive to my mind - a craftsman provided with poor tools and shoddy raw materials that can still make a passable finished product should be commended.

Yes, it was very video gamey at times, but considering the source content, that probably should be forgiven. It's a bit ludicrous that this coalition dedicated to destroying Abdel keeps sending one agent at a time after him. Each time said agent is super close to defeating him, but then he miraculously pulls through and turns the table by the thinnest of margins. You'd think, after scrying from afar and seeing Abdel defeat each threat in turn by a mere hairsbredth, they might consider sending multiple agents after him simultaneously? If one baddie can come so close to killing him, two should trounce him with casual ease, right? It's like those goofy television scenes where the hero is surrounded by 20 ninja, and instead of attacking en masse, they each come in one at a time and are beaten. There has to be a TV Trope for this. I guess it could be justified as Evil Doesn't Understand the Value of Cooperation, or maybe they all are trying to one-up each other, but it really felt artificial, like a game being separated into 5 stages with mini-bosses before the final confrontation.

That aside, the rest of the book was fairly effective. The characters were written much better (considering their dismal starting points), their internal struggles were believable and compelling, the action scenes were above average (the monk Balthazar was particularly well done). There were some very surprising, ballsy, and satisfying kill-offs - those "shock" moments alone were worth the price of admission. Overall this was probably about as good as I could've hoped for in an ending to this trilogy.

Up next is Pool of Radiance: The Ruins of Myth Drannor. Yay for another video game novelization/adaptation...

Edited by - VikingLegion on 26 Mar 2017 19:52:13
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29716 Posts

Posted - 26 Mar 2017 :  23:00:28  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

It's like those goofy television scenes where the hero is surrounded by 20 ninja, and instead of attacking en masse, they each come in one at a time and are beaten. There has to be a TV Trope for this. I guess it could be justified as Evil Doesn't Understand the Value of Cooperation, or maybe they all are trying to one-up each other, but it really felt artificial, like a game being separated into 5 stages with mini-bosses before the final confrontation.


The TVTropes website calls it Mook Chivalry.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
237 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2017 :  02:31:29  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Man I love that site, but it's so evil. I can go there to look up one thing and end up losing several hours.
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
782 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2017 :  19:35:18  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Regarding Temple Hill...I really wanted to like it and for the most part I did. Until near the end. The main villain Ogrilon character has ridiculous plot armor. Somehow his sword protects him from all magic, heals him from death, deals wounds that can't be healed, and make him completely unstoppable. That sort of character just doesn't work for me. He literally because of this sword survives an army of men attacking him. Boring and trite and full of contrivance. I just hated that bit.

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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
237 Posts

Posted - 30 Mar 2017 :  16:16:21  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, that baddie was more than a little overdone. It was actually his armor that absorbed spells, and his lifesteal sword that regenerated more mundane wounds, but point taken. There are better ways to make a challenging villain than to load him up like a Knight of Myth Drannor. With that kind of gear he would be the most hunted creature in all of Faerun. Every warrior would want to take him down and get that armor for himself. Every mage would hire out companies to do the same, if only to get the armor out of circulation and away from the hands of rivals.

It was a pretty big contrivance in an otherwise decent book. Just the sword alone made him plenty powerful enough. There was a scene where he was surrounded by at least 6 warriors, and knocked prone, but still managed to get out of that scrape. Again, the author tried a little too hard to establish a kickbutt villain.
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
782 Posts

Posted - 30 Mar 2017 :  18:30:54  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oops..it's been a while since I read it; I knew his sword dealt wounds that could not be regenerated and healed his wounds, I thought it also gave him spell immunity but if it's his armor; he basically wields two artifacts that would make him the target of every person in the Realms. Forget Spellfire, why is everyone not running after this guy's gear. Yawn.
He also knd of reminded me of Obould from the Drizzt orc king novels, but at least Obould was a chosen of Gruumsh and could explain his superpowers with god hood.
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
237 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2017 :  18:57:36  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished Pool of Radiance: The Ruins of Myth Drannor. I wanted to be able to come here and write that, much like the third Baldur's Gate installment, it was a much better product after switching authors. But I'd be lying if I did that. The first 10 pages or so were setting up nicely, and I thought I would have a passably decent read on my hands, but it steadily deteriorated into a fairly poor book. When I mentioned Temple Hill was very D&Dish in a good way, it was because it invoked a sort of nostalgia for some of the time-honored tropes of old gaming sessions. However, this Pools book is D&Dish in all the worst ways - every tired, hackneyed fantasy cliché is present.

Also, there was a lot that was just plain wrong. At one point she mentioned baatezu from the Abyss. I'll have to go pull my old Myth Drannor boxed set to double check if it were demons or devils that organized the sacking of the city. Actually, I think both are wrong and it was a force of yugoloths, no? I'll have to look that up, unless any learned sages can steer me right in the time it will take me to find my stuff in the basement.

The paladin who continually lets the mage cast invisibility on him so he can skulk around the battlefield and take out the opponent's biggest hitter didn't sit well with me at all. He lets the thief hang out on the front line as a distraction so he can get an uncontested sneak attack? Sounds very backwards to me. Also the drow character who wanted nothing more than revenge on the Cultists for killing her mate.... What? A drow female who is consumed with passion over a dead male? To the point where she actually sacrifices her own life to take out those responsible? I get that not all drow should be cookie cutters from the same mold, but this one was clearly an arrogant priestess type that conformed to all the other well-known drow stereotypes. It's simply not in their character to ever sacrifice even a minor advantage for another, especially not one's own life, and even especially more-so for a lowly male. Complete miss on that one.

Lastly, and this is specifically for Seravin: when the main character overhears that Elminster is in Phlan gathering information on new pool formations, she abruptly gets up and leaves a conversation she's having with a fellow rogue. When he asks her where she is going, she replies with - "I'm off to see the wizard". Ugghh, somewhere, at some point, Jeff Grubb read that line and cackled in delight. :)

The book wasn't all bad, there were a few decent moments. Kestrel's slow change of heart over the course of the story was an ok character arc. It's just that the good stuff was drowned out in a sea of dreck. This book wasn't even close to as bad as some of the true clunkers in the FR line, but it's definitely not one of the good - or even average - reads.

Up next in published order I will cleanse my palette of video game adaptations and read RAS's Sea of S Words.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 31 Mar 2017 :  19:50:59  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

Sea of S Words.



Now that's an interesting concept!

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3216 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2017 :  19:56:15  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It was yugoloths that sacked myth drannor.

However most of the yugoloths died in the final sack and those that didnt were hunted down by a crusade organised afterward by cormyr (and which elethim sarshel took part in i believe).

So most of the yugoloths should be gone by modern day (except for some powerful ones that are hiding in the ruins).

Around 1350 DR a gate was opened inside myth drannor to baator (on orders or by the high imperceptor of bane). It was closed by the knights of myth drannor i believe, however there are more than a few devils that remain in the ruins.

Thats all off the top of my head however so i could be wrong about specifics.

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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
782 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2017 :  22:39:19  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Baatezu from the Abyss? Baatezu are devils and are from the 9 hells (Baalor)! Demons are from the Abyss. Ugh. Does no one edit those things or was the character deliberately written to be ignorant of basic lore?

"I'm off to see the wizard" is more like a line from Once Around the Realms; as it's a direct quote rather than a modified "I don't think we're in Kansas/the Realms anymore." Which I think is a legit something someone might say even if they hadn't watched TWoO :)

That bit about the drow priestess sacrificing herself for a lowly male...ush. Did she worship Lolth too?
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5133 Posts

Posted - 01 Apr 2017 :  13:57:52  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

Sea of S Words.



Now that's an interesting concept!



Oh Sh*t, its a sahuagin sea sorcerer slavedriving sea serpents in our direction!!!

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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