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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2362 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2019 :  02:42:44  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

I liked The Parched Sea (and grudgingly guilty pleasure enjoy The Veiled Dragon despite its many problems) but otherwise Troy's writing is awful in my opinion.

Some people like his writing, but I'm of mind that everything from Waterdeep (from the avatar series) onwards he wrote is hot garbage, except those two :)





Personally. I really liked his Return of the Archwizards series.

Wow, I have been a way for a while. I am not going to read through this entire thread, but I did want to comment on a few things (thus the multiple posts). I have been keeping up on FR, just haven't visited these halls lately. I am more active elsewhere.

But anyway, I greatly enjoyed RotA.

Sweet water and light laughter
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12swords
Seeker

19 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2019 :  16:22:08  Show Profile Send 12swords a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the only things I've read from Troy Denning was the Avatar series way back when. They weren't great but I don't remember them being awful. Has he gotten a lot worse since then? It seems he's done a lot of Star Wars novels, so someone must think he's a good writer.

Thanks for the response CD. Maybe another of the problems with the quality of the novels is that many of them seem to have been written by people who started off working for TSR/WOTC as game designers? It's like: "Hey, you have an English degree, and know the gameworld, and possess good grammar and spelling, here why don't you write this novel?" So you're taking people who aren't really novelists and making them write books for you, and if the book turns out even halfway decent that's usually as much as you can hope for. And most of them end up being written like modules or adventures; go here, talk to this guy, kill this person, get this thing, etc etc.

Of course there are always exceptions. Erin Evans worked for WOTC and people seem to really like her novels. Dave Gross was also an editor for Dragon magazine and I liked his novels for Pathfinder.
Also, I was under the impression that WOTC mostly gave a free hand as far as the actual writing? True, the overall subject may be pre-determined, but character and plot details are left up to the author?
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2362 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2019 :  17:08:54  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Erin M Evans is fantastic. And yes, that is true, character and plot details are largely up to the author, but there is a certain conforming in that the book has to address a certain event. The Avatar series, for example. The characters and details could develop how the author wanted (so long as said details were canonically accurate), but the Time of Troubles still needed to be addressed. That is what I meant by conforming. Certain points have to be reached, ie, get X. Again, not necessarily bad thing. I like seeing canonical events play out in the novels, and one of the these I love about the Realms is it's rich setting.

Erik Scott de Bie, Jeleigh Johnson, Jeff Grub, Elaine Cunningham, just to name a few, have written great books in the Realms. I never thought Denning was all that bad. Not prize writing, but I never thought he sucked. I am sure some of them were meant to be game designers, never novelists lol. During the Abyssal Plague arc, which was a multi-world spanning events, they were releasing novels set in Nentir Vale ("core" D&D, I believe). I bought and read them all. Some of the writing was...well, bad, frankly lol.

Of course, I would rather have game designers write some novels than not have any at all, at this point (Salvatore being the exception, since all we are getting now is Drizzt).

Sweet water and light laughter
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12swords
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19 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2019 :  22:59:38  Show Profile Send 12swords a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah I realize there's always this overarching theme that WOTC demands of a novel series. So if the writer had some kick-A ideas about an illithid city and the book is supposed to be about Netheril and phaerimms, I could see how the book becomes average at best when he/she has to come up with lesser material on a deadline. And sometimes the company does restrict character choice; didn't RAS want to make the main character of Cleric Quintet a monk but they wanted a cleric?

And it's no surprise books that are based on games are usually very linear like most games. But that's the thing, I wouldn't even mind a book that's basically a play-through of one of the published adventure modules if it was entertaining and imaginative. That so many of the books fail to take advantage of a rich fantasy setting seems like a missed opportunity.

I had to look up Abyssal Plague and Nentvir vale books and yeah, if they're related to 4ed, no wonder they're awful. Did anything good come from 4e?

Edited by - 12swords on 31 Jul 2019 04:16:15
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2362 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2019 :  23:17:24  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, like I said, even some of the ones that do have linear plots have been great. It is very possible to have a reachly, detailed story even with a linear plotline.

Lol I hated what 4e did to the setting, but I kept up with the novels (at least we were getting novels) because I wanted to know what happened. And there were good novels written during that era. Erin M Evans' Brimstone Angels, for example (which carries over into 5e). Unbroken Chain by Jeleigh Johnson, Shadowbane by Scott de Bie, just to name a couple. I actually enjoyed Bruce Cordell's Abolethic Sovereignty trilogy (definitely read Stardeep first though. So, good novels were written during that time, despite what 4e did to the setting as a whole.

I liked the Abyssal Plague arc lol, but some of the writing left much to be desired. Sword of the Gods and Shadowbane (mentioned above. The second in the series also deals with Abyssal Plague, if I remember correctly), which were the FR books written about AP, were good.

Sweet water and light laughter
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CorellonsDevout
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USA
2362 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2019 :  23:49:06  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some FR novels that either aren't as linear, or at least feel less linear, even if they in fact are, are: Last Mythal trilogy, Evermeet: Island of Elves (if you want to know about elven and drow history, this book is your go-to) Starlight and Shadows trilogy (really, can't go wrong with Cunningham), the aforementioned Brimstone Angels. I also really liked the War of the Spider Queen series, but people have varying opinions. Still, if you're looking for something that doesn't feel as linear, it's a good one. It has two follow-up trilogies, Empyrean Odyssey, and Lady Penitent. LP did have lore issues, and most of what happened has been ignored or retconned, so read with a grain of salt, but I liked it for the characters, and I mention it because it is a follow-up trilogy, so you get to see what some characters are up to. Shadowbane, Unbroken Chain duology also didn't feel linear and had developed characters. Also the Erevis Cale books are fantastic. Great story and characters.

There are others, but these are novels (imho, anyway) that did a good job of giving lore and history, and giving us a good story with developed characters. Others might say differently (there are many novels in the Realms, and we aren't all going to like the same ones), but that is my take on them. If nothing else, you'll get some lore and history out of them.

Sweet water and light laughter

Edited by - CorellonsDevout on 30 Jul 2019 23:52:28
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12swords
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19 Posts

Posted - 31 Jul 2019 :  04:37:12  Show Profile Send 12swords a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the advice. I'm not sure I'll actually read any of the ones you mentioned but I'll keep the names in mind.
I read the first half of the first Erevis Cale book and while I do agree it's better written than most of the FR stuff IMO it wasn't fantastic. But I do plan on finishing them one day so maybe as I get more invested I'll look at them differently. The author can definitely write but one thing that kept bugging me was that Drasek Riven kept sneering throughout the story. Riven's name couldn't be mentioned without the word 'sneer' following within a sentence or two. I'm like, ok we get it, dude likes to sneer a lot, he's like Sean Penn in that regard.

I know it's impossible to have a richly detailed, complex plot like A Song of Ice and Fire in an RPG novel series of 3 books of 300 pages each. But the fact that books based on a high fantasy setting often display largely unimaginative plots bothers me. Most FR books rarely make use of Raise Dead or Resurrection magic. It's as if they view such magic as a crutch, and so write their books like a standard thriller or adventure novel, with the only magic being blaster type spells (evocation).


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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2362 Posts

Posted - 31 Jul 2019 :  05:20:24  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The more you read, the more fleshed out the world becomes . Drizzt is cool, but branching out teaches you a lot more about the setting. I learned more the more I read. I encourage you to finish EC. The overuse of sneer or not lol, it's a great read. But start with what interests you, then go from there. For example, I was interested in the books about gods or the elves, so I looked for books pertaining to them, then branched out further from there.

I think game setting novels are held for a different (perhaps lower?) standard than "regular" (or I guess original) fantasy novels like GoT, Wheel of Time, etc. I read a lot of fantasy, and it is interesting to read an FR novel and then an non-FR novel.

Sweet water and light laughter
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gylippus
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52 Posts

Posted - 31 Jul 2019 :  20:48:33  Show Profile Send gylippus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Luckily someone dumped some more FR books at the used book store and I almost have all of the Harpers books now.

I just finished reading Curse of the Shadowmage

I enjoyed Crypt of the Shadowking so I was looking forward to this book. I did like the book but I felt like it was a step down from the previous book rather than a step up, which was a bit of a disappointment.

First, it felt like the plot was a somewhat of a rehash of the previous book with a few twists thrown in. The Song of the Saurials suffered from the same problem. Moander again? Shadowking again? Alright. It just seems like the author could have come up with something a little more original.

Second, one of my favorite characters, Tyveris is basically sidelined for the whole book and we get Jewel/Cormik. These characters are fine but Jewel didn't do much for me. I still have no idea why she didn't age. Plus, Caledan gets the short end of the stick. He loses his magic and loses the woman.

A previous poster mentioned it was odd that Morhion and Mari end up together. I agree 100%. The relationship made no sense. I would have preferred that Mari and Caledan continued together and he didn't lose his magic. The relationship between Morhion and Mari was never fully developed and the plot would have worked fine without it.

What can I say about K'shar? One sentence is still bouncing around in my head:

Corm Orp, sixty leagues to the northeast. He would be in Corm Orp sunrise two days hence.

Wait, a league is 3.45 miles (yes, I looked it up). So this guy can run 207 miles in 2 days? I looked up records for ultra-marathons. A guy ran 100 miles in about 11.5 hours, but this was on a track, not through a forest with gullies and uneven ground. I know we are in a fantasy world but it just seemed over the top and made me not like this character at all. Everything he does is super human (drow). In another passage it says that K'shar is credited with killing entire legions of Zhents and Red wizards. Wait....... a legion is a big number. It is 3000 - 6000 men in the Roman army. But let's say it was figurative. Even figuratively a legion should be a lot. There is no way this guy, with his bare hands, killed a legion of Red Wizards. That is just another ridiculous over statement that makes this character silly.

I wasn't going to do it, but I have to mention the similarities between this book and LOTR. The shadestar functions somewhat like the one ring. The shadevari are just like the nazgul. At one point they even ride big lizard batlike steeds. K'shar runs halfway across the kingdom, just like Aragon/Legolas/Gimli in the Two Towers. I have no problem with fantasy being inspired by Tolkien. We can find that everywhere. I think the author still infuses enough of his own creativity and vision to get around the obvious references. I should also mention this is written in 1995, so before the movies came out, but he obviously read the books.

All in all, I would place this book about middle of the road Harpers so far. It isn't as good as Night Parade, Elfshadow, Masquerades, or its predecessor. I found it better than Parched Sea, Red Magic, Ring of Winter, and Soldiers of Ice.
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
972 Posts

Posted - 31 Jul 2019 :  21:21:40  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
K'shar fascinates me because it is the true Harper assassin that Arilyn never was. He is sent out to hunt and murder renegade Harpers. They are just brutal sending him out to kill Mari because she won't obey a Harper mission to take down her own lover. BUT...in Code of the Harpers, they do state flate out this is what they do to renegades.

This is why it makes me so mad the contrivance at the end of Elfshadow about needing to keep Kymil alive to "testigy" despite the use of truth rings in courts in other books and the innocence of Arilyn AND that they keep Kymil alive after he's been proven guilty..sigh.

I was the one who said Morhion and Mari ending up together makes no sense, it was just an odd relationship out of no where. I feel bad, they took the Caledan character and kind of neutered him right out of the starting gate for this book. And Tyveris gets nothing to do. I did like the Marik reveal though!

Now I want to re-read this series...
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gylippus
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52 Posts

Posted - 31 Jul 2019 :  21:39:15  Show Profile Send gylippus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Seravin, when you mentioned K'shar I just realized I forgot something. Why couldn't the Harpers use magic to determine where Caledan or Mari were? In the Fallen Fortress it is very clear that Dorigen can use magic to spy on Cadderly until he uses counter magic. In Red Magic the wizards use all sorts of wards on their keeps to keep out prying eyes. The Harpers surely have someone powerful enough to do this kind of magic. And if they can do that kind of magic why can't they just open a dimension door or teleport someone right to Mari to kill her?
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
972 Posts

Posted - 31 Jul 2019 :  21:45:57  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, if they really deemed Caledan to be the threat he was (and Mari for defending him) to the entire Realms then some senior Harper wizards could easily have tracked them down using magic and dealt with the problem much more quickly and efficiently..but never let logic get in the way of a good story :) I suppose you can handwave that if you have a super half-drow who can run infinitely and never fails to kill someone or track someone, they felt confident enough to not involve their mages?
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2362 Posts

Posted - 31 Jul 2019 :  23:26:46  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's been a few years since I have read the Shadowking books, and I've read quite a few books since then, but it's coming back to me now. I remember K'shar.

I agree about the romance between Mari and Morhion feeling random. If Caledan and Mari didn't work out, okay, but to have her suddenly go to someone else? I

Sweet water and light laughter
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12swords
Seeker

19 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2019 :  16:58:27  Show Profile Send 12swords a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gylippus

Luckily someone dumped some more FR books at the used book store and I almost have all of the Harpers books now.

I just finished reading Curse of the Shadowmage
What can I say about K'shar? One sentence is still bouncing around in my head:

Corm Orp, sixty leagues to the northeast. He would be in Corm Orp sunrise two days hence.

Wait, a league is 3.45 miles (yes, I looked it up). So this guy can run 207 miles in 2 days? I looked up records for ultra-marathons. A guy ran 100 miles in about 11.5 hours, but this was on a track, not through a forest with gullies and uneven ground. I know we are in a fantasy world but it just seemed over the top and made me not like this character at all. Everything he does is super human (drow). In another passage it says that K'shar is credited with killing entire legions of Zhents and Red wizards. Wait....... a legion is a big number. It is 3000 - 6000 men in the Roman army. But let's say it was figurative. Even figuratively a legion should be a lot. There is no way this guy, with his bare hands, killed a legion of Red Wizards. That is just another ridiculous over statement that makes this character silly.



I've been skimming some of my Harpers novels. Elfshadow looks pretty good, Elaine seems like a good writer, I'm going to have to put her stuff on my list. I read a bit of Winter Witch which she wrote for Pathfinder, wasn't that interesting to me but maybe I'll take another look at that as well.

Isn't K'shar some type of monk, which would explain how he can travel on foot so fast? In the book it was stated that no horse could outrun him and no weapon was deadlier than his hands.

Also the part about him killing legions of Red Wizards and Zhents seemed more hyperbole than literal to me, as in he's killed a lot of both in his career but not all at the same time. Like Artemis Entreri, if you've been an assassin for decades you pile up quite the body count. Is it literally thousands? Probably not but it's a lot.

Edited by - 12swords on 01 Aug 2019 17:05:39
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
972 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2019 :  17:12:36  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elaine is great, and Elfshadow and Elfsong in particular are quite strong (I like Elfsong more than Elfshadow because of the contrivance in Elfshadow)- Elaine really gets the "feel" of the Realms and writes the setting in a way few other authors do apart from Jeff Grubb and obviously Ed Greenwood. I also think Ring of Winter was well done, but Gylippus hates it so don't mind me!
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2362 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2019 :  17:30:19  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I concur: Elaine really captures the feel of the Realms (I read her Pathfinder book as well; not as good as her Realms work). But her contribution to the Realms is undeniable. I consider her FR works "essential FR reading" lol. Evermeet: Island of Elves is the FR elf bible for elf (and drow) history. Her Song and Shadows series (Elfsong, Elfshadow) is also great, and her Starlight and Shadows series is a great look at non-Lolthite drow.

Sweet water and light laughter
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BenN
Senior Scribe

Japan
367 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2019 :  01:07:35  Show Profile Send BenN a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout
Personally. I really liked his Return of the Archwizards series.


Yeah, me too. I'm also a big fan of Richard Baker's The Last Mythal trilogy, some of the Moonshaes books, some of RAS' Drizzt stories, and the War of the Spider Queen series (apart from the end).

Overall, I'd say that my favourite Realms authors are Richard Baker, Erin M. Evans, Erik Scott de Bie and Elaine Cunningham. I'd be so happy to see new FR novels by them.
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12swords
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19 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2019 :  23:51:27  Show Profile Send 12swords a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, that's the thing though, apparently only RAS's Drizzt novels sell well enough for WOTC/Hasbro to keep hiring him to write books. Maybe the other authors, no matter how good they were, weren't making the company enough money to justify the expenditure? Pathfinder stopped their novel line as well back in 2016. Are most of the shared world novels currently being produced for video games, not TTRPG's?
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2362 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2019 :  00:27:32  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
James Lowder explained at one point that WotC made a decision to push Drizzt harder than the other novels. I think this was in part due to their initial success, the irony of course being that once they were marketed, they gained further exposure. Imho, WotC bit itself in the tail by *not* pushing the other series (or at least some of them), like they did Drizzt. Drizzt is great, but there are better FR novels (granted this of course is just my opinion). Bob, cool though he is, has this 'I do what I want' attitude with the novels, to the point where he will disregard lore (fine to do at your gaming table, but not so much if you're publishing in the setting).

I love Drizzt, but there are novels that better represent the Realms. Unfortunately, because of solely pushing Drizzt, there is this Drizzt=Realms mentality. And, with the exception of Drizzt, the novel line suffered because they didn't expose the other novels to the same degree. Of course this isn't the sole reason, and I am sure there are layers and inter politics at work, as well. But I feel like other series would have been more successful if they had been given the same dedication. There are excellent FR novels out there. Drizzt was my first foray into the Realms, and I do love the character, but he is only one small part of the Realms (in some ways, I feel he is rather removed from the Realms). I just feel like WotC missed out on an opportunity.

I had decided to try Pathfinder Tales, since I wasn't getting much from the Realms anymore, at least in the way of novels, and then the PF novel line went on hiatus too.

Sweet water and light laughter
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2362 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2019 :  00:29:16  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BenN

quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout
Personally. I really liked his Return of the Archwizards series.


Yeah, me too. I'm also a big fan of Richard Baker's The Last Mythal trilogy, some of the Moonshaes books, some of RAS' Drizzt stories, and the War of the Spider Queen series (apart from the end).

Overall, I'd say that my favourite Realms authors are Richard Baker, Erin M. Evans, Erik Scott de Bie and Elaine Cunningham. I'd be so happy to see new FR novels by them.



Me too. I would love to see the Shadowbane novels continue. I miss Elaine's voice in the Realms. And Evans is fantastic.

Sweet water and light laughter
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12swords
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19 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2019 :  02:02:42  Show Profile Send 12swords a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm, never knew that RAS's novels were singled out for special marketing at WOTC. But like you said, it was done because he was selling more than the others, but I get ur point, that it didn't leave much support for the other good writers in the stable. And even some of Bob's crappier novels, which imo are maybe half the ones since 2000, kept selling well because of the marketing push and fanbase, not because they were the best.

Doesn't selling 10,000 books in a week qualify for a NY Times best seller? Could we get 10K copies sold if Paul Kemp, Elaine or Erin wrote another FR novel?

Edited by - 12swords on 03 Aug 2019 05:35:49
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2362 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2019 :  02:19:34  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think Drizzt was selling well within the fanbase (D&D crowd), so WotC made the decision to push thr books, to grab the attention of the non-D&D crowd. I would argue that had they done the same with other novels that were popular in the setting, they would have seen a better turnout. I think Brimstone Angels did reach Ny Bestseller status (though don't quote me on that).

I see a lot of fanbois on FR facebook groups who idolize Drizzt and think Bob can't write a bad novel. He could write anything and they would eat it up, which also means they continually demand more. I really like the character, but I get annoyed when the FR fandom has mostly turned into a Drizzt fandom. It's nothing against Drizzt himself though.

Sweet water and light laughter

Edited by - CorellonsDevout on 03 Aug 2019 02:49:36
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gylippus
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Posted - 03 Aug 2019 :  13:43:29  Show Profile Send gylippus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The other day I picked up the Veiled Dragon and was going to read it. Later that day a package arrived with a copy of Dragonwall. I have heard terrible things about both books, and they are both written by Troy Denning. I therefore had this problem, should I read Veiled Dragon or Dragonwall? They are the literary equivalent of an enema and a root canal, so it was a tough choice. In the end, I went with Dragonwall to get the pain over as fast as possible. So here is my review.

Dragonwall by Troy Denning

Let's talk about major problems first. The first problem is the conception of this book. Horselords was a fantastic book because it developed a relationship between Koja and Yamun Khan. You learn to love the characters and root for them. You WANT Yamun to win even though he may be a bloodthirsty warlord. The second book completely ignores those characters and decides to talk about the invasion of Shou Lung from the Shou's perspective. That is the first major problem. We don't care about the Shou and we don't want them to win.

As the story progresses we care even less about the Shou. Troy Denning does a good job making us care about Batu Ho Min, and making us hate the Shou bureaucracy. The Shou are incompetent, corrupt, xenophobic, and decadent. By the end of the book we want nothing more than to see Yamun ride into Tai Tung and behead the stupid emperor.

Let's talk about the plot. The entire book tries to convince us of two important things. 1st that Yamun attacked the Shou because they tried to assassinate him. 2nd that Ju-Hai and Kwan did this without the emperor's permission.

I thought Horselords made it pretty clear that Yamun was trying to take over the world. Yamun attacked Kazari for no reason besides loot, money, and glory. Yes, the Shou tried to assassinate him, BUT he would have attacked the Shou anyway. Yamun said he wanted revenge but that was a convenient excuse to start a war. Once Yamun started the war with the Shou he would NEVER have simply asked for the heads of the two traitors as compensation and left. That is STUPID. He is in the middle of a country with over 100k troops in a moderately favorable position. Why would he leave all of this to go west?

Plus, it is hard to believe that Ju-Hai and Kwan wouldn't confer with the emperor about the Tuigan problem and come up with a strategy. So the emperor not 'knowing' about the assassination attempt is ridiculous.

Those are major problems. Now we can look at even more minor problems. It is stated that the Tuigan will be trapped by the river after Batu takes Yenching. Yet, later a Tuigan shaman makes a bridge over the walls of Shou Kuan. If the shaman can do this why can't he make a bridge over the river? In the first book, there are several hundred Tuigan shamans and mages. At one point the Khadun says they disintegrated rocks to make a path through the battlefield. Why can't they disintegrate the walls of Shou Kuan? In fact, where are all of these shamans and wizards? They don't seem to do anything useful most of the time. A mage in the first book tried to kill Yamun with a fireball wand. Why don't they use those in battle?

What about the Shou wizards? In the first book Ju-Hai can speak to the Khadun over vast distances with the help of a wizard. Why not send a wizard with Batu so he can report back?

Why didn't Batu ask to speak to the emperor alone, before he left, and whisper into his ear what he was planning? Surely the emperor would be smart enough to tell no one and Batu couldn't be painted as a traitor.

Let's turn to Yamun and Koja when they finally do show up. As far as I am concerned they are not the same characters as the first book, period. Also, Chanar is painted to be a fool and a terrible commander compared to Batu. Wait a minute, in the first book Yamun says Chanar always had good plans. Chanar may be a traitor but he is a GOOD general. That is stated and or implied over and over again in Horselords. Suddenly, in the second book he is this pathetic cipher that can't lead ten men into combat. Why even have Chanar in this book at all?

I really can't knock Mr. Denning's writing at least. He can write better than RAS and some other authors but I wonder about his thought processes. This is the fifth book I have read by him and I can't say that any have been great. The best is the Parched Sea, but that was middle of the road. Now I just need to get through Crusade and move on with my life.

Edited by - gylippus on 03 Aug 2019 13:47:06
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12swords
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Posted - 03 Aug 2019 :  18:17:37  Show Profile Send 12swords a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm going to have to check out some of those FR Facebook groups, see what the lowest common denominator is there. To be fair, I thought RAS was the bomb when I was a teen, as you get older you start to realize that there's better fiction out there.

Maybe the problem is that the other writers never had an iconic character like Drizzt to write about. I think part of the reason RAS wrote so many FR novels is because he didn't want any other novelist writing Drizzt stories. Drizzt is so popular I think WOTC changed some rules of the game for him; I don't remember rangers getting two weapon fighting in the older versions of the game.

Sorry to hear the Horselords books weren't your cup of tea, gylippus. This is what I mean by lack of imagination/linear plotting. You've got magic able to help in some situations but then being forgotten about in other situations where it would be of great use. There's an internal inconsistency with how magic is applied that will show up as great big plot holes to a discerning reader.
Then again, supposedly the LotR books should have started and ended with "Fly giant eagle to Mt. Doom, drop ring in Crack of Doom, the end."
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2362 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2019 :  19:55:49  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 12swords

I'm going to have to check out some of those FR Facebook groups, see what the lowest common denominator is there. To be fair, I thought RAS was the bomb when I was a teen, as you get older you start to realize that there's better fiction out there.

Maybe the problem is that the other writers never had an iconic character like Drizzt to write about. I think part of the reason RAS wrote so many FR novels is because he didn't want any other novelist writing Drizzt stories. Drizzt is so popular I think WOTC changed some rules of the game for him; I don't remember rangers getting two weapon fighting in the older versions of the game.



I was really into Drizzt when I started reading him in 2005, too. But as I branched out, I realized other authors showcased the Realms a lot better. And yes, it would be weird if another author wrote about Drizzt. And he is an iconic character. I just don't like that RAS' books have come to overshadow all the other FR books. It's nothing against Drizzt the character himself, who I still like in and of himself.

I have been reading in the fantasy genre since I was 9, and came into the Realms when I was 15. I have read about many great characters, and yes, Drizzt is one of them, but I think he sometimes overshadows equally great FR characters that just haven't been given the spotlight.

Sweet water and light laughter

Edited by - CorellonsDevout on 03 Aug 2019 19:59:39
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