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Hyperion
Seeker

18 Posts

Posted - 20 Sep 2017 :  09:55:00  Show Profile Send Hyperion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The novel is The Emerald Scepter (http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/The_Emerald_Scepter) the Emerald Enclave is a druid faction instead (http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Emerald_Enclave).

About locations of the Realms novels it bothers me a bit the superficiality of the setting in some trilogies (and indeed the Scions of Arrabar was better than many others) because authors rarely highlight local customs and the environment in general.

Now our world is relatively uniformed by technology but only a few years ago just moving away to the next nation meant to meet very different customs and people. In the Realms however too many places seem just like a generic Renaissance European setting which by the way was never so generic itself. A little more effort in description would have made several novels much better.
Also now that I have read many, I am also bothered by how rare other intelligent races beside humans are in novels as meaningful character. When a non-human is present, too often is described just like a human with a different body, while the outlook of a long living race should be extremely different from a human one, for example. Humanoids and other intelligent creatures are even rarer even as meaningful opponent, and this too seem a waste to me. If you have a fantasy world to play with, you should highlight what makes it different from the real world.
Too many Realms novels are just human protagonists against human opponents, with a bit of magic. Obviously this is an extreme semplification, but the pattern is quite clear to me..
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Taleras
Seeker

44 Posts

Posted - 20 Sep 2017 :  16:08:50  Show Profile Send Taleras a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gotcha, thanks for the clarification! I was hoping it was a novel about the Emerald Enclave.
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
276 Posts

Posted - 22 Sep 2017 :  21:32:03  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Taleras

Is The Emerald Enclave the series or a novel? I can't find the novel anywhere...



Oops, it's a novel but it's called The Emerald Scepter, not Enclave. My bad. It's the third in a series called The Scions of Arrabar trilogy.

Book 1: The Sapphire Crescent
Book 2: The Ruby Guardian
Book 3: The Emerald Scepter

The Emerald Enclave does make more than a passing appearance in the book though. In fact, several members of the Enclave end up joining the protagonists. So if you want a book about the EE, this will be at least partially useful to you.

Edited by - VikingLegion on 22 Sep 2017 21:36:11
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Taleras
Seeker

44 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2017 :  13:29:31  Show Profile Send Taleras a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good to know, thank you!
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
276 Posts

Posted - 05 Oct 2017 :  21:45:01  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I feel like I haven't updated this thread in forever! I've gone from averaging ~50-75 pages a day to maybe 20 on a good day.

I finished The Yellow Silk last night. Some of you might infer that I struggled to get through it, but that was not the case. My lowered reading time is entirely due to other circumstances and this book was above average. It's the fourth and final entry of The Rogues series. This was the first I've read from this author (Don Bassingthwaite) and I thought he did a good job of creating interesting characters. There was a bit of a weird, Mason Verger vibe to the Halfling gangster that raises pigs, but I enjoyed his eccentricities. There was a nice twist near the end that fooled me completely. I thought I had the identity of a villain solved, but I fell for the easy bait. It's good to be surprised sometimes though, and I enjoyed this one.

2004 has a bunch of new trilogies for me to start, some of which I'm excited for, others I feel some trepidation. So, because I couldn't decide what to do, I simply grabbed the next stand-alone book in chronological order and will start that tonight - which is Elminster's Daughter.




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ReadingTheRealms
Acolyte

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2017 :  15:41:21  Show Profile Send ReadingTheRealms a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

I feel like I haven't updated this thread in forever! I've gone from averaging ~50-75 pages a day to maybe 20 on a good day.

I finished The Yellow Silk last night. Some of you might infer that I struggled to get through it, but that was not the case. My lowered reading time is entirely due to other circumstances and this book was above average. It's the fourth and final entry of The Rogues series. This was the first I've read from this author (Don Bassingthwaite) and I thought he did a good job of creating interesting characters. There was a bit of a weird, Mason Verger vibe to the Halfling gangster that raises pigs, but I enjoyed his eccentricities. There was a nice twist near the end that fooled me completely. I thought I had the identity of a villain solved, but I fell for the easy bait. It's good to be surprised sometimes though, and I enjoyed this one.

2004 has a bunch of new trilogies for me to start, some of which I'm excited for, others I feel some trepidation. So, because I couldn't decide what to do, I simply grabbed the next stand-alone book in chronological order and will start that tonight - which is Elminster's Daughter.








Well met! Someone on The Piazza Realms forum sent me a link to your thread here. I host a podcast called Reading The Realms. We are a book club podcast that is reading all of the Realms novels in publication order. Our most recent release is Azure Bonds, so I'm sure you're quite beyond where we're at in the canon, but just wanted to connect with someone who is going on the same crazy journey. If you're interested in listening the show is on iTunes, Google Play Podcasts, and SoundCloud. I'll throw the link below.

I look forward to reading through all the past posts on the thread!

https://soundcloud.com/user-538023235

Co-Host of Reading The Realms: A Forgotten Realms Book Club Podcast

Find us on iTunes, Google Play Podcasts, and SoundCloud
https://soundcloud.com/user-538023235
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
276 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2017 :  21:30:27  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ReadingTheRealms
Well met! Someone on The Piazza Realms forum sent me a link to your thread here. I host a podcast called Reading The Realms. We are a book club podcast that is reading all of the Realms novels in publication order. Our most recent release is Azure Bonds, so I'm sure you're quite beyond where we're at in the canon, but just wanted to connect with someone who is going on the same crazy journey. If you're interested in listening the show is on iTunes, Google Play Podcasts, and SoundCloud. I'll throw the link below.

I look forward to reading through all the past posts on the thread!

https://soundcloud.com/user-538023235



That's an interesting idea, I'll have to carve out some time to check that podcast! Azure Bonds eh? If you read through this thread you'll find I'm in the overwhelming minority in that I had some issues with that book. But even when we disagree heartily, there's still some very good discussion to be found. We even managed to get several authors/designers to pop in on occasion, which is always a thrill. I hope you enjoy the thread!
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
276 Posts

Posted - 22 Oct 2017 :  19:02:18  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Last night I finished Elminster's Daughter. It displayed a lot of the Greenwood trademarks I usually struggle with, but they seemed a bit more toned down and reasonable in this book, at least that's what my perception was. The body counts weren't quite as ludicrous. The women were more than just a pair of legs to spread for whichever male protagonist was around at the time. Narnra is actually fairly homely, with her inherited beak-nose and gangly limbs. I got a huge kick when she acknowledged this fact, saying that she was one of the 2 or 3 women in Waterdeep that are not breathtakingly beautiful. I'm not sure if that was Ed taking a bit of a light, self-deprecating shot at his writing style or what, but I found it extremely amusing.

And.... just to contradict my second point about the women being more than a sex toy, he had to go and ruin things by making Myrmeen Lhal sleep with Vangerdahast with about 30 pages to go. It's like he couldn't resist throwing that in there. I guess it wouldn't be a Greenwood story if some fat, old, hairy, repulsive dude doesn't screw a huge-boobed, incalculably gorgeous sword-woman. Oh well.

Overall I liked this book though. Narnra's storyline was nicely done, and there were all kinds of other little intrigues going on. Vangy's ethical dilemma regarding the binding of sentient beings weighed against the security of his nation was satisfying. I really liked the song dragon as well and her gathering of fellow dragons. I know I have a "Rage of Dragons" event coming up in the near future, I thought this story was going to be the origin of that, but now I doubt it, as the wyrms seemed fairly satisfied by the conclusion. I think it was one of the better EG novels overall, although I didn't care for the reveal at the end when Laspeera confides in Narnra that Elminster is her sire as well. Then Filfaeril strolls on over and casually states "Oh yeah, hey me too." I'm not sure why that scene irked me a bit. I think it's because I feel like sometimes EVERYTHING has to revolve back around to Elminster, while I feel like the Realms is so much larger and grander than just one character. I don't know, it just bugged me a bit. I was half expecting for maybe 10 more characters to jump forward and claim Elminster lineage, like a Jerry Springer episode.

To end on a positive note, I very much enjoyed the conversation between El and Narnra in his tower, regarding the nature of his "meddling" and if he actually improves the world or is just another mage-tyrant full of self-justification. It was a great exchange where both sides made solid points and it sort of humanized Elminster a bit for me and made him more likable at the same time. Good stuff.

Up next... oh boy, I still don't want to start either of the trilogies that are next in order. I plan to take a brief respite to read a ~100 page book about a location I'm traveling to next week, but I'll come back strong after that with RAS's The Two Swords.

Edited by - VikingLegion on 22 Oct 2017 19:04:49
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