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goblins
Seeker

15 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2018 :  20:26:52  Show Profile Send goblins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
After I finish Crucible I may pick up the texts and dig into this a little deeper in a separate thread. Not only do I want to take a more detailed look at PoL’s theology, this series has me thinking about what “faith” means in a world where there is demonstrable evidence of the existence of deities and how that might impact religious belief for people that want to be “good” (but would normally eschew religious practice). Thanks for the discussion.
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2251 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2018 :  03:03:02  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Let us know. I won't go into much more here, as this isn't the threat of it, but I think, as far as being "good" goes, it is what Demzer said. There are few true atheists in the Realms (as the gods are a real and established fact), so "faith" is more about your faith/belief in what X god stands for (in other words, moral outlooK). And if you you strive to be good but don't have a patron deity, chances are you nevertheless acknowledge the gods in some form, so you will be taken in by the god who is best aligned with your ethics.

Sweet water and light laughter

Edited by - CorellonsDevout on 29 Jun 2018 04:20:11
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31402 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2018 :  03:44:00  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finally finished The Legend of Eli Monpress... It wasn't bad, but it was far from great -- to the point that I was getting tired of reading it (it's 1000 pages; the book is actually an omnibus of 3 books).

Part of the problem was that it wasn't what it was sold as. I found it on a list of books that said "if you like capers, read these books." And then I looked at it, and saw the blurb "Fans of Scott Lynch's Lies of Locke Lamora will be thrilled with Eli Monpress."

The Locke Lamora books were great -- I heartily recommend those. Seeing that blurb was a major selling point for this book.

There were a couple of heists, but they barely went into caper territory, and they were not the major focus.

And all Eli Monpress has in common with Locke Lamora is that he's a thief who can improvise, and has a tank for a buddy.

Also, the back cover says it's "A tale of high adventure, romance, and larceny." It has adventure and larceny -- but the promised romance never even threatened to rear its head. There are two major female characters. One spends the book trying to capture Eli Monpress and bring him to justice, the other is a demon-possessed compatriot of his. In neither case was there anything approaching romantic feelings towards anyone else. The motivations of the male characters were flashy thefts and a good swordfight, and again, nothing approaching romance (not even a roll in the hay with a friendly barmaid).

I might have liked the book more if it wasn't sold as something it wasn't... The worldbuilding was kind of interesting. Everything has intelligent spirits, whether it's a door, the wind, an animal or a tree. And wizards don't work magic -- they can communicate with spirits and get the spirits to do things for them. So a wizard can get a stone spirit to raise a stone barrier around someone, for example.

Eli Monpress is special because spirits simply want to work with him. He doesn't have to bind them like other wizards; he can just ask a spirit to do something, and it does. His buddy Josef has the Heart of War, the greatest awakened sword in existence -- and an extreme reluctance to use it. Nico is possessed by a demon that she's trying hard to contain; she gets some really nifty abilities from this, but has to fight to keep control of herself. And the last character, Miranda, is hunting for Eli because his thefts give wizards a bad name.

It had potential, but I went into it expecting a cunning caper, and the promise of romance made me think Eli was somehow going to win over Miranda. The book loses for failing to live up to its promises.

Next up, Master Assassins, another recent acquisition.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31402 Posts

Posted - 15 Jul 2018 :  16:31:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Next up, Master Assassins, another recent acquisition.



So this one was kind of different... The story revolves around two half-brothers, their uncle, and camp follower fleeing for their lives from the army the men all served in.

The overall story was interesting, but a couple of things bugged me... One was the book being written in present tense. I'm not used to seeing that, and it's so different from pretty much everything else I read that I was constantly aware of it.

The other thing was that the author apparently loves unanswered questions. And in most cases, this works. Where is the half-brothers' father? Why was his knowledge so dangerous? Why were the half-brothers raised in separate households? What happened to the girl both brothers loved?

But then there was the lingering question of relationships with that missing girl. We know in flashbacks that she and Kandri, one of the half-brothers, were intimate... What really bothers Kandri was that his half-brother Mektu claims the same thing. Mektu is known for saying nonsensical and untrue things, but these claims bother Kandri so much that it impacts the relationship between them. Mektu knows this and seems to revel in it. This whole subplot seriously detracted from the overall story, to me.

There are other unanswered questions, and the author leaves a lot of room for the promised sequel, which I will likely get. While I did like this book, I also found it lacking something; I hope the sequel is better.

Right now, I'm reading the newest Dresden Files anthology, Brief Cases. I'd read prolly half of the stories before, but at least a couple were new, and I don't recognize a couple others from their names.

I'm not sure what will follow that one.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31402 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2018 :  04:34:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
...And I just finished Brief Cases.

I'd originally thought it only had one short story I'd not read before, but I bought it because it was bring all those stories together -- they'd been scattered across multiple sources, and at least one of them was a royal pain in the oshiri for me to find.

But it turned out that 4 of the stores were new to me. And the last one, "Zoo Day," does something interesting: there's actually three conflicts going on there, all told from the perspective of a different character...

And one of those characters was the Temple Dog, Mouse. Mouse has been a supporting character for quite some time, but Changes was the first time we really got to see him in action. He'd done a lot before, but Changes was where we get to see the *real* Mouse. So seeing part of the story from his PoV was cool.

Also, one of the short stories is from the perspective of Waldo Butters. And the author's note before that one was interesting, too: Butters was intended to be a single-use, throwaway character. But then the author needed a supporting character for a particular role, and Butters was handy, so he wound up becoming more a part of the main story.

I really, really wish Butcher would hurry up with Peace Talks!

(Also, I'm wondering if the main baddie from "Zoo Day" was a throwaway villain, or if he's got some connection to the Black Council.)

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Varl
Learned Scribe

USA
260 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2018 :  15:44:33  Show Profile Send Varl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm far behind in my Realms novel reading, but I'm working on it. Right now, I'm reading Red Magic. No spoilers please.

"Intimidation is a weapon of the Legion. Intelligence is not." -Illidan Stormrage
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Taleras
Seeker

72 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2018 :  04:22:21  Show Profile Send Taleras a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Reading The Dragon Reborn right now. Started WoT last month and have just been cruising through, haven't taken any breaks with other books, which I normally do on long series. The Great Hunt got pretty slow at times, but really picked up at the end. Excited to watch this epic unfold.
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charger_ss24
Learned Scribe

USA
107 Posts

Posted - 28 Aug 2018 :  23:11:47  Show Profile Send charger_ss24 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Started re-reading the Legend of Drizzt, so my step-son can start reading it and talk about it like we did with the books on Erevis Cale. After blazing through the first two trilogies in the past six months, I'm taking a break and reading The Hobbit.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31402 Posts

Posted - 29 Aug 2018 :  03:26:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Huh, I've not posted in this thread for a while...

I read the Riftwar Legacy books, then took a break again by reading the first (and most likely, last) Transformers novel I ever purchased. I got it on a whim, and I'm regretting it now. It was called Transformers: Exodus and promised to describe how Cybertronian society split into the Autobots and Decepticons. It actually started off well enough, with Megatron's rise, but then went off the rails -- a little political buildup, and then a war with Decepticons kicking major backside.

I had many, many issues with this one, enough that I'll likely get rid of the book -- which is something I never do.

Some of the issues:

1) Orion Pax gets the name Optimus Prime and becomes a warrior, but there's no physical change mentioned -- so either he was always a big-ass robot even as a data clerk, or something got left out.

2) Megatron goes from angry militant wanting to overthrow a stagnating society to megalomanical "must rule the universe!" without any transition.

3) We see Optimus come up with the name "Autobot" but the name "Decepticon" just abruptly shows up, without any intro or explanation.

4) The Decepticon's aerial advantage is mentioned a couple of times. Apparently, robots who turn themselves into vehicles are somehow incapable of building any vehicles, except for spaceships, and similarly can't refit themselves or build jetpacks or anything like that.

5) Despite having every advantage, the Decepticons abruptly stopped all military operations to focus on a project that would assure the victory that was already assured. This just happened to coincide with the Autobots deciding to engage on their own massive, non-military project, giving them just enough time to pull it off (along with some utterly pointless maneuvers).

6) And this one is the most glaring -- the robots acted just like organics. As a data clerk, Orion Pax sat at a computer terminal and looked at monitors. The robots all spoke to one another, and Bumblebee couldn't communicate because he'd lost his vocoder, somehow. Every single thing on Cybertron is robotic, but the inhabitants rely on their own optical and auditory sensors, rather than plugging directly into computers or communicating with each other via wifi and built-in comm units. It's also mentioned that they made a point of having atmosphere inside a space station. Yeah, I get that this is a series based on an 80's toy line, but still -- they acted just like people. Just about any example of them taking advantage of being robots would have been welcome.

Anyway... After that, I read Prince of the Blood and now I'm on The King's Buccaneer. After that, I'll take another break before getting into the Serpentwar Saga.


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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2251 Posts

Posted - 29 Aug 2018 :  04:12:53  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have been reading a lot of books lately, which is typically of me. Along with some male/male romances, I finally finished Desert Spear, book two of the Demon Cycle. The writing is good, and I enjoy the world the author has created, but most of the characters are unlikeable. Maybe that's the point, as humanity is pretty horrible in this series. But it's just hard to get into, as I can't stand most of the characters, with the exception of one or two.

Sweet water and light laughter
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