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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
256 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2015 :  03:25:28  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can see why he [Bob] said that about Ghost, very intriguing character - both the concept and execution were done very well. I'm with you on Vander, it's impossible not to feel sorry for the big guy. I particularly loved his line towards the end, as Cadderly is more-or-less dismissing him and Vander basically says "I've got some unfinished business with Castle Trinity, so yeah, I'm not going anywhere." It's making me very eager to start the next book, just to see him get some redemption.

On the downside I'm not loving Cadderly's power progression. I understand he's a chosen of Deneir, but some things still didn't work for me. I view the resurrection of a slain ally to be the ultimate expression of divine power in the D&D multiverse. To see Cadderly do it so casually, almost instinctually without barely knowing what he was doing didn't sit well. Also his powers seem to be all over the map and not strongly flavorful to the portfolio/spheres of interest of a deity dedicated to art, literature, and scholarly pursuit. The shapeshifting into a hybrid man/squirrel feels more druidic than clerical. And his use of blade barrier and some kind of fireball effect seem blatantly "zap boom" type effects.

I understand these are spells on the clerical list, so the author didn't break any specific rules, but I prefer to see clerics attack problems in a manner their god would find more pleasing. I wouldn't expect a priest of Tempus and a priest of Shar to attack a problem in the same way. So for Cadderly, I'd like a more MacGyver or Sherlock Holmes flavor in taking down his enemies. Then again he does use some pretty shrewd tactics in taking down Ghost, which ultimately comes down to a mental battle, so I shouldn't make too much of this. I think it was mostly the squirrel transformation that was odd, I just don't see clerics as big shapeshifters. That, and just how fast overall his power level is ramping up. I feel like he's close to being able to march into Castle Trinity and dismantle the place by himself.

That aside it was a fairly solid book with no huge weaknesses. Not as good as the 2nd, but better than the 1st. Tomorrow I'll start in on The Fallen Fortress.
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
256 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2015 :  20:13:16  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished The Fallen Fortress. I liked this book maybe a little bit more than the 3rd (though not as much as the 2nd). There were a bunch of scenes that were evocative of other great moments in literature/film.

The meeting with Fyrentennimar (sp?) was reminiscent of another RAS scene - that of Drizzt and Hephaestus in, I think it was Streams of Silver, which in itself had a lot of commonalities with Bilbo and Smaug. Again I'm referring to the "lantern beams of light" coming from the eyes of the old wyrms, something that is an obvious ode to Tolkein that I've now seen twice from Bob and not from any other FR authors. Speaking of Tolkein, when Aballister sent a magical storm to demolish Nightglow and the surrounding area I couldn't help but think of Saruman at his tower of Isengard, wreaking havoc on the mountain pass and forcing the Fellowship down into the Mines of Moria. None of these similarities bother me though, I see them as an homage to a remarkable man that pretty much defined the core principles of the Dungeons and Dragons game and all fantasy that came after.

The fight with Fyren was well done. As powerful as he was, I didn't see a believable way for Cadderly and crew to take him down. But Cadderly's tapping into the sphere of time and stripping Fyren of his greatest asset - his advanced age and all the attendant powers that come with it - was brilliant. In my previous post I lamented that Cadderly didn't use enough intelligent problem-solving, so I guess I should eat some crow here, as this was exactly what I was looking for.

The showdown against Ghost/The Ghearufu in its home dimension was pretty neat as well. If we have any X-Men fans in the building, particularly of the old comics from the 70s, this fight reminded me of when Professor Xavier, long before forming his team, fought with The Shadow King - an evil, parasitic psychic entity. Their encounter occurred on the Astral Plane, and the fight was determined entirely by the mental "speed" and creativity/ingenuity of each participant - reforming their bodies to deal with new and imaginative attack forms.

Lastly, when Cadderly entered Aballister's extradimensional mansion and was able to see objects as manipulations of magical energy, I couldn't help but think of the Matrix. I called this the "Neo Moment" when he finally embraced being The One and was able to see the construct of a world around him as code - something he could bend, tweak, re-write to suit his purposes. I think Cadderly's continued understanding of The Tome of Universal Harmony is not unlike Neo's journey.

Anyway, I'm rambling. This was a good book with several exciting moments, although the attack on Castle Trinity and it's ~3,000 some odd soldiers by a priest, two dwarves, an elf, and a firbolg really strained credulity at times. Overall I enjoyed it, and have already started in on the finale; The Chaos Curse.
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Cards77
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USA
540 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2015 :  16:05:20  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

quote:
Originally posted by Cards77

quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

I finished Elfshadow last night. This was a very good book. She had a few kinks to work out, and it showed.



Such as??



DISCLAIMER: these are minor nitpicks at most, and I found the story to be very good overall, so don't read too much into that statement. I was perusing Cunningham's personal site a bit before writing that, mainly to see how many Realms novels she has written, and I ran across an interesting blurb where she talks about Elfshadow being her first book, and that she made "several mistakes" and learned from them. While she didn't go into specifics of those mistakes, I derived my own meaning from it - which is probably WAY wrong, but here goes:

The prevalence of D&D mechanics. Some stories are written where you can almost hear a d20 rattling around in the background. A specific example is her repeatedly saying how Arilyn "detected the secret door due to her inherent powers as an Elf." Ouch, it's like she lifted that directly out of a Players Handbook and pasted into her story. She uses this line (or some minor variant of it) several times in the story.

I've never viewed an Elf's bonus to find secret doors as some kind of magical alarm system or a glowing neon sign saying "SECRET DOOR IS HERE -->" blinking above the passage, but rather chalked it up to their superior senses subconsciously alerting them when something seems amiss - perhaps their excellent hearing or tactile sense can pick up on minor variations in air flow, or their incredible eyesight detects a tiny hint of light leaking through a crack. I know it's two ways of essentially conveying the same information to the reader, but one feels much more polished to me. Consider the following two sentences:

"Bruenor was wounded by the poison-coated arrow, but since he's a Dwarf with a strong constitution and a racial resistance to such attacks, was able to continue fighting."

"Bruenor was wounded by the poison-coated arrow, but being as tough and rugged as the stone his people mine from the ground, refused to give in to the pain."


The first example sounds like someone who just read a text or manual and is trying to "fit in" with the world they are writing in, whereas the second clearly is paying homage to those rules and mechanics, but in a more flavorful way that doesn't evoke imagery of 5 nerds (and I use that term with only the most glowing of endearments) sitting around a table with Doritos and Mountain Dew. I'm hoping that in subsequent novels Elaine becomes more comfortable with the underlying game and world, and these things fade away. Again I'll reiterate it's a minor gripe on my part, certainly not enough to derail a fine story, but prevalent enough for me to take notice. Yes, I know I'm a PITA and tend to focus on silly things. Sorry...



I don't think I even noticed. You'll find that was VERY common in early D&D pulp fiction.It can be done well and seamlessly (see the Gord series books), or it can come off clunky as it sounds like this did.

Also just FYI in the olden days of 1st and 2nd edition, yes being an elf did just about guarantee noticing a secret door (1 in 3 chance or something). That mechanic gave a much higher chance of success and it happened automatically. In later years it was changed as the rules changed and in game terms, elves really no longer have a major advantage in that department.

But yes shoehorning rules into fiction can be clunky, but it can be done amazingly well (sometime read City of Hawks). some authors including Salvatore have even written appendices in the back to explain how the characters progressed and did things in rules terms. I find it interesting, but then again I'm a player and I can see where someone may be like "what?".

I will also say that if you do not like the concept of trying to demonstrate gaming rules in the fiction, then it really isn't fair on the flip side to complain when an author (Salvatore) uses some creative license for dramatic effect that doesn't align with the rules (ie Cadderly shouldn't be "powerful" enough to resurrect).

I mean he's a Chosen, clearly more powerful than whatever cleric "level" he is supposed to be. Obviously the author used that for dramatic effect more or less ignoring the "rules".

If we want to get technical, the 2nd edition resurrection spell required a piece of flesh from the deceased, and it aged the caster 3 years!

So I think we can safely allow some hand waving of the "rules" by the authors (when done tastefully) so facilitate the story.

Another example would be drow. Supposedly only "noble born" drow have the powers of levitation. But various paperbacks flip flop back and forth as to whether that comes from their House Insignia or is innate.

Meanwhile the "rules" state that ALL drow have these powers.

Disagreement between the rules and the fiction will be rife with inconsistencies. I hardly noticed while reading Homeland and my knowledge of the rules didn't detract from my enjoyment of the novels in the least bit.

You'll also find some habits die hard, especially with Elaine as some of her later books (2003) stick to the same portrayals, even though the rules have changed drastically.

I'd rather have consistency for the authors and a good story even if that means some hand waving (not too much) and it doesn't detract from her later books in any way.




Edited by - Cards77 on 10 Nov 2015 16:37:56
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Seravin
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Canada
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Posted - 10 Nov 2015 :  16:56:15  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I felt like the Chaos Curse was a step back from The Fallen Fortress. I tried to read it again recently and I just couldn't. Everyone acted pretty dumb in the book and the contrivance to set things up with Rufo was just too much for me. Cadderly is pretty much almost a demi-power at this point (more so in the Ghost King), so to have Rufo walk in and mess things up the way he did was stupid to me. I think Talona herself should have been involved in the last book and the story could have been much better. The middle books shine in this quintet (agree the were-squirrel part of The Night Masks is weird!).
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Cards77
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USA
540 Posts

Posted - 12 Nov 2015 :  18:21:41  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm I had not looked at it that way. I agree. One thing to keep in mind with Salvatore is he gets WAY off the rails in terms of what we'd consider "Realms reality".
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
256 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2015 :  16:38:12  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished The Chaos Curse last night. At first I groaned a bit about Rufo becoming a vampire, but then I reminded myself this was written in 1994 - WELL before the whole vampire zeitgeist of the 2000s, when 1 out of every 3 books, movies, and television series was mandated to feature a vampire character. So clearly and thankfully Salvatore wasn't piggybacking off of that movement. If I can digress a moment; is anyone else as tired of zombies now as they were tired of vampires 10 years ago?

Seravin, I agree with you that Cadderly is approaching demi-god status at this point and should be able to easily handle a vampire on even footing. But Rufo is no run-of-the-mill vamp. He is infused with the power of a mighty talisman - Tuanta Quiro Miancay - dedicated to a god of evil. So in a way he is almost a "Chosen of Talona" akin to Cadderly being a Chosen of Deneir. Maybe not quite the same, as Rufo was a buffoon in life with little discernable skill, courage, or ingenuity and thus probably wouldn't be any god's first choice. He was more a circumstance of opportunity, but my point is both he and Cadderly are "divinely infused" to a certain point and somewhat on equal ground.

We also have to remember that Rufo did the bulk of his damage while Cadderly was away; screwing around on Nightglow, trying to extract Fyren's treasure horde. During that time Rufo subverted the library and created all manner of desecrating glyphs and runes that enhanced his own power while shunting the influence of Deneir and Oghma away. I felt this was a clever way for Salvatore to even the odds a bit and not have Cadderly waltz in and exterminate Rufo and Co. like so much vermin. I guess what I'm getting at is between Rufo's divine power source and the fact that Cadderly wasn't even present to stop him during that crucial time he needed to get his feet under him, I didn't find it as hard to swallow that he was able to accomplish what he did and present a legitimate threat. In fact, I liked this book just a tiny bit more than Fallen Fortress, which seemed far less believable to me, a party of 6 adventurers raiding a castle of over 3,000 soldiers and annihilating them without a single casualty.

Well, that does it for The Cleric Quintet. It certainly had some holes here and there, and things that didn't set all that well with me, but when viewed as a full body of work I thought it was a solid and enjoyable series. Up next I'll tackle Doug Nile's second Moonshae Trilogy, starting with Prophet of Moonshae

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Seravin
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Canada
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Posted - 13 Nov 2015 :  17:02:54  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just found it odd that a Chosen of Deneir would be totally oblivious to the most horrible things going on in his home base/church and friends when he is so close by. You'd think Denier would have let him know something awful was going down or some priest would have found a way to get a message to the Chosen. It felt like Denier let things go to hell so he could rebuild with the Spirit Soaring and do away with all those priests who didn't behave properly, a little too "vengeful god" for my tastes given what we know of Denier (not to mention the other gods of the Library). Anyway, I agree the succesful storming of the Fortress with 6 people stretched credulity as well! Surely everyone but Cadderly would have been subdued pretty quickly given the numbers!

I liked Prophet of Moonshae, but the next two books...no. :) Enjoy!
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Seravin
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Canada
789 Posts

Posted - 19 Nov 2015 :  00:36:41  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just re-read Canticle, at one point the imp Druzil flies into the Library to spy. The book repeats about how heavily warded the library is against evil and undead, but a demon from the abyss can walk in without setting off any wards or protective spells? What's that about? Anyone have an answer?
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
256 Posts

Posted - 19 Nov 2015 :  15:32:51  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh wow, I didn't even consider that angle - that Deneir is using this whole situation as a convenient "house cleaning" operation. While I don't think that is at all what RAS intended, I can certainly see your point. In a fantasy world where gods can manifest incredible powers through the conduits of their followers, how hard would it have been for Deneir to send Cadderly a vision of what's going on? Writing gods must be a tricky thing. Too much intervention and the mortal protagonists start to feel like little more than puppets being pulled through the story. Too little intervention and we can't justify the entire idea of clerics and granted divine spells. I've yet to see any author write gods in a consistent, logical, and sensible manner. As much as I love Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman's overall work, they were amongst the most egregious offenders.

As for Druzil - good catch. I guess I'll go with the wards were errantly tuned to only block creatures native to the Prime Material Plane. Druzil, being an extra-planar fiend, is able to circumvent this security. Yeah, I don't love it either but it's the best I could come up with.
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
789 Posts

Posted - 19 Nov 2015 :  16:03:22  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I guess we'll have to go with it. I think they made a fuss about how Rufo was invited in to the library in The Chaos Curse because he couldn't have gotten in on his own once he drank the potion, right? I sometimes think wards are written as inconsistently as the Gods :) How is Prophet on Moonshae going?
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
256 Posts

Posted - 20 Nov 2015 :  06:00:53  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished Prophet of Moonshae earlier today. I originally read this 2nd trilogy back in the early 90s when it first came out. I recall in the dim recesses of my memory being very disappointed in it, as I was a HUGE fan of the original three books and felt this follow-up wasn't very good. Now I'm not so sure why I felt that, as Prophet was a more than capable book. Interesting characters (I particularly like Keane and Deirdre has my attention), some good intrigue, enough combat/action to keep it moving along without being overly done. It's not an amazing book, but it certainly didn't contain anything off-putting. I wonder if it's something in books 2 or 3 that formed my negative opinion of this series. I guess I'll find out, as I've started in on The Coral Kingdom.

If I can take a moment to make a really weird digression: I'm a book or two away from finishing up everything through 1992, or basically the first 6 years of published Realms novels. I'm surprised, and oddly pleased, at how prevalent a role bards play. In my home tabletop group that ran off-and-on for just shy of 20 years, only one person ever played a bard (I happened to be DMing at that time and encouraged him). In a somewhat more recent game I had "threatened" to play a bard and the DM told me every single monster in the game would attack me first and relentlessly, no matter the situation, until I gave up on that character. I'm certain he was joking, he's a fair guy and wouldn't abuse his DM privileges to single any player out like that - but even this jest brought home the point that among my gaming circle bards are definitely 2nd class citizens - effete, silly, and basically a waste of space.

But in the Realms books they feature prominently, and I don't only mean in the Harpers organization, which is chock full of them. In the original Moonshae series we had Keren Donnell, who wasn't even remotely a "dandy", he was actually pretty bad-arse. We later met Tavish, another bard. Spellfire introduced us to the Shadowdale scene, where we must've met a bard or two. In Azure Bonds the entire plot centers around an incredibly narcissistic master bard (with Alias and Olive both playing some bardic roles). Later, in Elfshadow we see the more foppish bard, though Danilo is of course just playing a role. That's a pretty large amount of representation for a class that, ironically, doesn't get much time in the spotlight in a great deal of traditional fantasy.

Sorry for the going way off the rails there, it was just an observation I felt like speaking about.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 20 Nov 2015 :  13:06:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

I finished Prophet of Moonshae earlier today. I originally read this 2nd trilogy back in the early 90s when it first came out. I recall in the dim recesses of my memory being very disappointed in it, as I was a HUGE fan of the original three books and felt this follow-up wasn't very good.


I've always felt the opposite, myself. While I'm not a fan of the second trilogy, for me it was orders of magnitude better than the first.

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Seravin
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Canada
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Posted - 20 Nov 2015 :  16:01:41  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I liked Darkwalker on Moonshae but really didn't care for the next two books. So much so that I didn't read the second trilogy. Perhaps I should revisit since Wooly has epic tastes.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 20 Nov 2015 :  18:59:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

I liked Darkwalker on Moonshae but really didn't care for the next two books. So much so that I didn't read the second trilogy. Perhaps I should revisit since Wooly has epic tastes.



To be fair, I've also disliked FR books that others have loved -- like the WotSQ or Sembia books, and I'm also not a fan of Erevis Cale. I'd not recommend people follow my tastes for their book reading, though I do appreciate the sentiment.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
256 Posts

Posted - 24 Nov 2015 :  15:58:05  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Today I finished The Coral Kingdom. Much like the first book in this Druidhome Trilogy I found it to be a satisfying read. I'm not sure why I approached this series with an uneasy feeling, hopefully book 3 doesn't fall completely off the rails. That being said, there was one glaring plot choice I didn't care for:

The human sailors being able to reach Evermeet.
I imagine scores of evil armies have tried the same feat in the history of this island, to no avail. It is the most highly defended elven bastion on the planet, with defenses both magical and mundane. Yet this single ship is able to win through the magical cyclones, the dragon turtle, etc. and do what no other has, because.... well plot armor I guess. The story demanded it, so it happened. Then again, I don't know a whole lot about the history of Evermeet, maybe it has been breached before in its history. If any of you learned scholars want to chime in here, do so. But please do not spoil if Evermeet is invaded *after* this book, as that is something I will want to discover on my own. I'm guessing when I get into more of the Elaine Cunningham books my knowledge of Evermeet will expand.

Tomorrow I will begin the finale of this series The Druid Queen

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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
256 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2015 :  05:18:02  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished The Druid Queen yesterday. Another good book in the series, this shaped up into quite a solid series. I wonder if the now freed Grond Peaksmasher will have any contribution on influencing giant-kind in future events.

I'm also curious if Doug Niles has an axe to grind with Helm and his clergy. Between Bishou Domincus in the Maztica trilogy and now Parell Hyath in the Druidhome Trilogy, both high priests of this predominantly "goodly" faith have been absolutely terrible, conniving, murdering, fairly irredeemable people. But this is his last Realms book, I see he switches back to Dragonlance after this point, so I'll never know if he would've written a member of Helm's clergy that wasn't a total jerk.

Tonight I'll start in on The Legacy.
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VikingLegion
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Posted - 05 Dec 2015 :  15:37:05  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Two nights ago I finished The Legacy. This was yet another re-read for me, but it had been long enough where I had forgotten enough details to make it seem (relatively) new. At first I was more than a little annoyed - several of the heroes were acting really stupid and way out of character. But as Entreri's infiltration unfolded - and especially his use of the hypnotic ruby pendant - it all made so much more sense.

I very much enjoyed this book, as I do most (all?) of the Drizzt stories. I particularly liked the death scene of Wulfgar, very heroic and epic, as befitting a mighty warrior obviously inspired by the old Beowulf sagas.

One thing I noticed heavily on this re-read is that I pay less attention to the battle scenes now. In my youth I devoured the swordplay, recreating in my mind every move as he described them to vividly picture every maneuver. Now I somewhat fade away, glossing it over as "swing, swing, parry, counter, ok that guy is dead". Don't get me wrong, I think RAS writes wonderful fight scenes, and everyone knows these are a hallmark of his books, but I guess I just don't devour them like I used to as a teen. That aside, there was still plenty of character development and interesting scenarios, so it in no way lessened my enjoyment of the book, I guess I just have different reading sensibilities now than I did ~20 years ago.

Onward now to the first of the anthologies - Realms of Valor.
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Seravin
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Canada
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Posted - 05 Dec 2015 :  19:09:12  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I find that too, on re-reading a lot of Realms books I tend to gloss over the drawn out fighting scenes (especially non-magic fights) and get to the plot/story/dialogue. And now I savour every ounce of setting descriptions. I am re-reading Red Magic right now and the descriptions of the Thayan marketplaces are fascinating to me. I'm sure in my youth I would have skipped over them and focused on the fights.
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VikingLegion
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USA
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Posted - 09 Dec 2015 :  04:54:12  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished Realms of Valor tonight. I think anthologies are my favorite form of fantasy writing. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I love to dive into a major series with an epic scope and a major commitment, but other times I'm in more of a literary buffet mood - I don't want an entire pizza, but just one slice would be great, and one taco, and a side of pasta, etc. Obviously the writing quality and styles in a book like this is going to be wildly up and down based on the contributing authors, but even a bad story is going to be over soon and I can hit the reset button for the next one. Not surprisingly I usually find these collections to contain a majority of average/satisfying stories, one or two real clunkers, and a gem or two that rises above the rest. I won't share my thoughts on all eleven stories (unless prodded to or they are mentioned by subsequent posters), but rather just touch on the ones that stood out most to me:

One Last Drink by Christie Golden was superb. I love the work she did in the Ravenloft line, and her quality translated just fine to this Realms story. She really excels at the moody/brooding vibe, I guess that's why so much of her material concerns vampires. Anyway, great story, almost the best of the bunch and I would've named it as such, but it gets topped later on.

The Bargain - good story, but not much more. I'm still struggling to get on the Elaine Cunningham bandwagon. I *like* her work so far, but I don't *love* it. Maybe I'm trying too hard.

A Virtue By Reflection - I didn't know Cat Lords had a prominent presence in FR. Then again, I'd never heard of the Night Parade before reading the book of the same name, so it seems like Scott Ciencin liked taking somewhat obscure groups to base stories off of.

The Family Business - I enjoyed Lowder's story of a young Artus Cimber much more than I thought I would; I think, primarily, due to the dialogue between Artus and his father - the Shadowhawk.

Dark Mirror - for my money this story was head and shoulders above all the rest in this anthology, with One Last Drink the only other story even in the running. I can't believe he packed so much into 32 pages. It opened with the philosophical musings that add a great deal of depth to the Drizzt character, then went on to tell a brilliant story of racism, arrogance/ignorance, slavery, and brutality. This story was so emotionally powerful, it was impossible not to empathize with the lowly goblin, Nojheim. I give credit to RAS for having Drizzt make a few mistakes in this tale, I get so used to seeing Drizzt as near unbeatable, it's refreshing to see him falter. His own pride clouded his judgment, and then he compounded that mistake by "taking the safe and diplomatic route" of riding on to Silverymoon for assistance, even when his gut instinct told him all was not right. Also it was an excellent stylistic choice in writing this story in 1st person perspective, I really felt the outrage, anger, and anguish when he rode back to the small village to find Nojheim hanging from a crossbar.

When you are emotionally engaged enough to be mentally screaming at the protagonist to figure out the clues and change his course, even though you already know the final result from a previous reading, that's when you know it's a great story. These are the kinds of gems you can only hope each anthology contains at least one of. Terrific work.

The other stories not mentioned were:
The Lord of Lowhill, Elminster at the Magefair, Patronage, King's Tear, Grandfather's Toys, and the Curse of Tegea

Tomorrow I'll pick back up on the Harpers series with book 6: Crypt of the Shadowking.

Edited by - VikingLegion on 09 Dec 2015 16:59:46
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Seravin
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Canada
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Posted - 09 Dec 2015 :  13:23:24  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Dark Mirror is just an excellent piece of fiction all around. Definitely, (IMO), the best short Realms fiction to date. Look at the arguments in Candlekeep we got into about whether Orcs can have civilized cities or not to see how much that story can get under people's skin and what makes up a "monster" in the Realms. Better yet don't bring up those scrolls :)

I liked Crypt of the Shadowking and it's followup book, my biggest beef was how many "Shadow" enemies clutter up the Realms. Shadovar and Shadevari, for one is annoying as heck. Never mind: Shade, Shadowking, Shadow Maters, Shadow Mage, etc.

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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
256 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2015 :  17:01:16  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well now you've got me intrigued enough to check out those old orc scrolls. My Search-Fu is terrible on this site, do you have a rough idea how long ago that was and/or which subforum the debate took place?
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
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Posted - 09 Dec 2015 :  18:11:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin


I liked Crypt of the Shadowking and it's followup book, my biggest beef was how many "Shadow" enemies clutter up the Realms. Shadovar and Shadevari, for one is annoying as heck. Never mind: Shade, Shadowking, Shadow Maters, Shadow Mage, etc.





I didn't really care for those books, myself... But it was some of the human names that bugged me. Caledan Caldorian. Mari al'Marien. The repetition of sounds in both first name and surname bothers me -- in both cases, the first names are fine by themselves, and the surnames are fine by themselves, but putting them together is horrible.

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Shadowsoul
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Ireland
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Posted - 09 Dec 2015 :  21:51:58  Show Profile Send Shadowsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm in the middle of reading Elminster in Myth Drannor and I'm finding myself struggling to continue even though I used to love the book back when it first came out.

“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
#8213; J.R.R. Tolkien

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Seravin
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Canada
789 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2015 :  03:18:38  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Seravin


I liked Crypt of the Shadowking and it's followup book, my biggest beef was how many "Shadow" enemies clutter up the Realms. Shadovar and Shadevari, for one is annoying as heck. Never mind: Shade, Shadowking, Shadow Maters, Shadow Mage, etc.





I didn't really care for those books, myself... But it was some of the human names that bugged me. Caledan Caldorian. Mari al'Marien. The repetition of sounds in both first name and surname bothers me -- in both cases, the first names are fine by themselves, and the surnames are fine by themselves, but putting them together is horrible.



Caledan's name is on purpose though and is a plot point in the second book. I'll give you al'Marien, but surnames in the Realms are not generally like in the real world, right? Maybe al'Marien means "of Marien" who was her mother?
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Madpig
Learned Scribe

Finland
122 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2015 :  06:35:21  Show Profile Send Madpig a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Shadowsoul

I'm in the middle of reading Elminster in Myth Drannor and I'm finding myself struggling to continue even though I used to love the book back when it first came out.



I too just re-read it, and something bothers me with it. I think that there are far too many characters that do not have anything of value to add to the story. Scenes with coronal and Shrinshee were the best part of this book.
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