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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2007 :  23:54:47  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

That handful of huge threats is also overrepresented in the published Realms, compared to the hundreds of local power groups which are collectively a bigger factor in what goes on in Faerūn and more typical of its own literary flavor. (Compare Tatooine in the Star Wars expanded universe.)

But you prefer the way certain other novels treat the setting, fine.



That's a point though. Never should villains be transformed into something common. For example, the blaise way the invasion of the sahuagin was brushed aside was really annoying to me. How was it repulsed? Did it inflict much damage? Were many people killed? Did the people find it terrifying? Are there many veterans of this conflict? Yet, it's all dealt with in one scene. While you may think this is me continually wanting a "big" event. I'd have happily read about the tailor who hated the Lords of Waterdeep fighting in that conflict. Hell, was he angry that he wasn't compensated for risking his life? Was he compensated?

(I think the worst part of the book was that I found that man's plotline the most believable, interesting, and gripping part of the book.....yet zilch came of it)

The distrust between the Lords and the Common Men were amongst the few parts of the book that were really interesting because it was a definitely interesting plot thread of the powerful and their interactions with the not so much. It was also uniquely Realmsian.

Simultaneously, it annoys me how the Zhents and similar characters don't get treated with genuine FEAR which I agree is a problem with the books. I might be less critical of the Gemcloaks if they had faced a threat equal to their power level as well. I can't stand it when Silverfall and the Simbul's Gift (bleah) have the Red Wizards reduced to the status of redshirts.

No one ever complains that Artemis Enteri is "just" an assassin despite the fact he comes after Drizzt has just defeated the Crystal Shard. That's because the character is presented as a threat along with drive and determination.

The threat inside The City of Splendors bugs me because they're a pair of buffoons, weird powers aside. I would have preferred a Red Wizard of Thay or Zhent that was capable, determined, and terrifying in their own way. Someone whom despite being JUST a mid to low ranking member of the organization would probably scare the **** out of those four.

Elaine Cunningham's previous work in "Dream Spheres" is low stakes yet the Knights of the Shield (just a bunch of bankers with their infernal ties never elaborated on) still make the book awesome to read.

You guys are right that non-iconic heroes can certainly be very intriguing stuff and a well-written story is a well written story. This book frustrated me though because it felt like it was a Doctor Who episode that followed the adventures of Jackie Tyler and Mike while Rose was offscreen with the Doctor (And I like Rose). If anyone gets what I mean by that.

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/

Edited by - Charles Phipps on 03 Jan 2007 23:58:15
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2007 :  00:23:59  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I get what you mean, and I, too, thought some of the plotlines just sort of . . . ended.
I wish we could have seen the book before it got so drastically trimmed. Ed (via THO) had made some comments here at the Keep on how much had to be tossed out; I'm thinking that's what happened to what you're missing.
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2007 :  00:28:30  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't mind purchasing an expanded CoS.

It's strange how Ed's books constantly seem to have so much content removed though.

The same thing happened to Spellfire.

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2007 :  00:42:05  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

You guys are right that non-iconic heroes can certainly be very intriguing stuff and a well-written story is a well written story.



I never used the term "iconic".

You know those common adventurers I was talking about? They wind up being the Knights of Myth Drannor, a well-known and successful adventuring group.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2007 :  00:44:23  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
....yeah, I knew that from the beginning.

I was just using the word for important to the Realms as a whole. I actually think the Sword sounds interesting in part because it's focusing on expanding on already known part of the Realms in THE adventuring party of the land.

...except for the PCs of course.

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2007 :  01:34:18  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

I was just using the word for important to the Realms as a whole.




Really? Does that mean Drizzt, who is largely considered "iconic" is important to the Realms as a whole? Not "in-setting" he isn't--he's a hero in the North, but how does that make him "important to the Realms as a whole"? He's just a ranger who happens to have an unusual backstory. And this goes for many other characters.

The ability of a character to sell novels in the real world doesn't make said character important to the people actually in setting.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2007 :  01:44:17  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well Drizzt really established the Menzoberrazan part of the setting. While he's not the figure of Merlin that Elminster is. He's one of the most recognizable personages of Forgotten Realms and certainly been involved in many epic encounters as well.

Say what you will about the Crystal Shard and even Cadderly's little quests but stuff happens in them.

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31406 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2007 :  03:27:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am very close to locking this thread, because -- as I said earlier -- we are seeing the same $%$(*#^@#% arguments repeated over and over and over again.

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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2007 :  03:56:32  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Noted. From this point on, ONLY plot details.

What DID people think of the planned revolt against Waterdeep's peculiar lord system?

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Arkhaedun
Senior Scribe

869 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2007 :  03:57:01  Show Profile  Visit Arkhaedun's Homepage Send Arkhaedun a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As Wooly has said, this discussion has strayed far from actually discussion the novel in question and has veered into the "what is iconic" and "who should be featured in Realms novels" discussions that we have had, many times, over and over again, here at the keep, to no good end.

Please get back to discussing the book in question. There is more than enough material in the book to discuss without veering back into this discussion again. If you have said your peace about this book and its contents, but feel compelled to respond to other points made in the last few posts, please feel free to PM the poster that made the comments, but do not continue down this path in this particular novel discussion thread.

Thank you.
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2007 :  10:10:48  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As a favor to Wooly Rupert and to show I've "repented" at the local Church of Kelemvor for all of my Board clogging deeds. Here's a revised review of City of Splendors. One that deals solely with my objections to the book on a literary level other. It also expands on what I did like with the book.

Warning SPOILERS will be in this review.

What I liked

* Waterdeep as imagined by Ed Greenwood and Elaine is an extremely evocative place. The townsfolk did feel real and they were well realized. You could imagine the City of Splendors actually existing as opposed to the more unrealistic capital cities of similiar games.

* The subplot of the local objections to the Lords of Waterdeep and the peculiar oligarchy that leads it is fascinating because it makes perfect sense that its ridiculous. If I were in WD I know I'd find that pretty freaking creepy myself.

* I never actually had stopped to think about class warfare in the Realms but the depiction here of the Have and Have Nots worked. At heart, the Waterdeep families remind me of Venice Merchant Houses and they're truly repulsive people.

* The low magic nature of the heroes. This may come as a surprise but I really enjoy it when the authors are restrained in their use of magic. I recognize it's abundant and serves the same purpose as technology but this book had practically no one use any magic for most of the book. Compared to "spell flinging" it helped show that magic doesn't need to be omnipresent and thus is more effective when it is used.

* The distinct culture of Waterdeep evokes Venice but also several other real world cultures while being utterly unlike them. That's a testament to the writers that we know by shorthand what something is LIKE without being blatantly so (Mulhorand and Unther for example).

* The Cult inside the book is a well realized villain. I appreciated the effort to depict a pair of evil doers that aren't Fzoul level. It's good to be reminded that the Zhents leadership and other people are godlike and terrifying. Here, our heroes are effectively menaced by a barely struggling by father and son duo.

* The sounds. A weird quality but when reading I could actually hear the sounds from the Stoneship age on myst in many places. The creeking of boats, wood, and rushing of water which is rare during reading.

* The Depiction of Mirt the Moneylender: I liked how someone whose so obviousloy a Lord of Waterdeep is able to keep the ambiguity around him. This despite he lives in such a bizarre household that pretty much must scream Lord of Waterdeep.

* Asper, I just like her.

* The Dyrr Daughters are a contrast to Ed Greenwoods usual collection of blindingly beautiful women capable in every possible way. It goes to show that he is capable of writing normal women (or that he has no problem with it). This is mostly for me to point to non-Realms fans since I never doubted he could (Tanalasta is one very well realized example)

What I didn't like

* The Heroes: Throwing my personal preferences to the wind, my real problem with these folk is that the Gemcloaks are such unsympathetic rich boys. I come from a well to do family in real life and I know [censored] like this in real life.

Beldar Roaringhorn's coda just angers me instead of makes me feel happy as well. The guy gets his friend killed, gets a girl molested, and tries to ally with a obviously insane priest. While he's forced to give up his identity in the end, he's still going to be rich and with the girl.

* Dropped Plotlines: Some just fizzled out in the storyline and that really irritated me to some extent.

* Star Crossed Class Romances: I never really bought the connection between the heroes and their love interests. At heart, it just seemed like an attractive set of middle class women were dreaming about very rich upper class men and vice versa. It was like an episode of Passions.

The realism is probably better than most books but it seemed a bit card-boardish.

* Golskyn is clearly crazy despite his high level personal power as a...whatever the hell class he is. His son and he are such a dysfunctional and inbred pair of nutters that its clear that neither are really a major threat. Without his son, Golskyn can't possibly function in society and his son has no power of his own.

While a good pair, I wish that there'd been something more formidable.

There, is that better Mr. Moderator man?

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2007 :  23:04:59  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

Noted. From this point on, ONLY plot details.

What DID people think of the planned revolt against Waterdeep's peculiar lord system?




I liked it. It was refreshing to see people in a novel that lived in a "good" city, and were "good" people, but didn't just smilingly approve of everything about their government.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2007 :  23:10:12  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps


Beldar Roaringhorn's coda just angers me instead of makes me feel happy as well. The guy gets his friend killed, gets a girl molested, and tries to ally with a obviously insane priest. While he's forced to give up his identity in the end, he's still going to be rich and with the girl.




But he has to pretend to be someone else for the rest of his life. And his wife will have to pretend along with him.

Can you imagine how difficult that must be?

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)

Edited by - Rinonalyrna Fathomlin on 04 Jan 2007 23:10:24
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31406 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2007 :  00:04:39  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rinonalyrna Fathomlin

quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps


Beldar Roaringhorn's coda just angers me instead of makes me feel happy as well. The guy gets his friend killed, gets a girl molested, and tries to ally with a obviously insane priest. While he's forced to give up his identity in the end, he's still going to be rich and with the girl.




But he has to pretend to be someone else for the rest of his life. And his wife will have to pretend along with him.

Can you imagine how difficult that must be?



Agreed. In some ways, his fate is worse than death: he has to give up his very identity.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2007 :  00:58:15  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Normally, that would be a punishment but on the other hand, the guy isn't exactly giving up his life of extreme wealth and privilege either. While he becomes his friend, he gets to keep his friend's wealth and is going to be lauded as a hero for it. He even gets the girl.

You do raise a good point though

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31406 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2007 :  01:24:13  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

Normally, that would be a punishment but on the other hand, the guy isn't exactly giving up his life of extreme wealth and privilege either. While he becomes his friend, he gets to keep his friend's wealth and is going to be lauded as a hero for it. He even gets the girl.

You do raise a good point though



He's not being lauded as a hero -- his friend is. No matter what he does from here out, it's his friend that will get all the credit. He's dead to everyone he knows and loves... Sure, he can still interact with them, but not as himself. He not only lost his friend, he lost himself.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5054 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2007 :  01:36:45  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Very good point, Wooly. That's exactly what Ed said. "It may on first glance seem a happy ending, but it's the worst hell Elaine and I could give the character."
Ed also told me that if he and Elaine ever get the chance to revisit the characters, Beldar would almost certainly face the worse problem of someone (by mind-eavesdropping, at some point) magically finding out he isn't who the city thinks he is, and then trying to exploit him.
Of the main characters, only Lark really comes out of it well.
As for the nobles being self-absorbed young prXXcks, Ed said that's exactly what they were supposed to be. In the novel, they're forced to grow up (a bit), but not necessarily to become shining heroes.
It's a book where everyone is "shades of gray." Sometimes heroics are just what people do to get through a bad day.
Now, with that pithy saying uttered, Ed agrees with you about the dropped plot threads (and muttered again about how much he had to trim; we're talking, if I recall correctly, over 40,000 words), and of course, agreed with and liked all the nice things you said.
He says when re-reading it, the monster cult thread was the element that most didn't seem satisfactorily resolved or sufficiently interwoven with the rest of the book.
Would he do it again? You bet!
Will Ed and Elaine get the chance? Probably not, I'm afraid. Because of the way bookstore chains now consult earlier BookScan sales figures when ordering new titles, tacking CoS onto the Cities series was a drastic error on WotC's part, that killed a lot of its sales. It was written to be a book non-gamer fantasy fans might try and like, but never really got the chance to perform that way.
love,
THO
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Enialus Meliamne
Seeker

Portugal
43 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2007 :  21:41:29  Show Profile  Visit Enialus Meliamne's Homepage  Send Enialus Meliamne a Yahoo! Message Send Enialus Meliamne a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I bought this book last week, and started it (got a few chapters in)...I'm not reading the rest of this thread (Just this last few entries on the page), for the simple reason of having no desire to have the whole story ruined.
That said, I hit a place last week after being on this forum, where I wanted to read as much of the Realms changing events in chronology as possible (Went and order a few books that I didn't have according to a file I found on here. The only purchase I didn't make, was the Last Mythal series which comes later down the line (Obviously). That said, I will be plowing through these books rather quickly, because what I did read of CoS, I absolutely loved...Many profound thanks to the authors for the wonderful read I know it will be, and in a few short days (In between work, etc), I've managed to get halfway through Evermeet, which is absolutely one of the best books ever read by this 31 year old man.

Unashamed RAS fan.

Unashamed fan of THE Drow Elf Ranger.

Reader of any author in FR who entertains or weaves a good yarn.
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2007 :  21:44:02  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well I'm going to ask, unless there's a problem with it, what exactly Ed cut out of the story.

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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wildmage
Seeker

20 Posts

Posted - 22 Mar 2007 :  02:52:40  Show Profile  Visit wildmage's Homepage Send wildmage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just found a lot of the fighting scenes to be rather lackluster. I'm not looking for excruciating detail a la "double thrust low", but I am looking for believable and/or entertaining battle scenes. The gory mess that was the gala/party/whatever turned into massacre just was not enjoyable for me to read. The ensuing fight in the sewers was just a series of random monster abominations (with seemingly random descriptions) getting mutilated like a bunch of level 1 commoners (why would Golskyn et. al. go to all the trouble of augmenting them if they're really just a bunch of mooks?) until one of the Gemcloaks randomly gets taken down but everyone else is okay. These last few fighting scenes just seemed rushed or not as well crafted as previous scenes in the book- even previous fighting scenes, such as when Piergeiron gets knocked out amidst an all-out street brawl, which was well put together and entertaining.

Edited by - wildmage on 22 Mar 2007 02:53:42
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MaxKaladin
Learned Scribe

77 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2007 :  19:34:02  Show Profile  Visit MaxKaladin's Homepage Send MaxKaladin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just finished this book and I liked it. As some others have said, I enjoy the focus on people who aren't top-tier movers and shakers like Elminster and Blackstaff. It seemed to me that focusing on less "lofty" individuals allowed the authors to explore aspects of the city and life there that we'd never see otherwise.

I had mixed feelings about the gemcloaks. They certainly came across as privileged jerks but didn't seem all that bad compared to some of the real-life privileged jerks I've known. I didn't like them at the start, but they seemed to grow as the books went along and I thought they ended the book more likable than they were at the start (save for Beldar, of course). A big difference in my mind was that they seemed to be unthinking jerks. They seemed to act the way they did because they had never really thought much about what they were doing and how it affected others. I thought that seemed especially obvious when Korvaun started to feel guilty and went to see Mirt. Too many of the privileged jerks I've known were aware they were jerks, enjoyed being jerks and reveled in the fact that their privilege and money could shield them from the consequences -- which made them behave far worse than the gemcloaks ever did. As a result, I suppose I just didn't find the gemcloaks as distasteful as others.

I didn't like the Amalgamation plotline. I wish it hadn't even been in the book. I think the novel could have been done focusing just on the whole New Day subplot. I almost got the impression it was mainly there because it's a Realms novel and thus "has" to include an evil villan with magic and monsters at his command who is bent on some evil plot or another. Compared to the rest of the book, it just seemed out of place.

I liked the New Day subplot, though I didn't like how it finished. I think it's perfectly reasonable for people to want to know who their leaders are and I didn't like that the New Day basically went down in disgrace as a bunch of dangerous fools who just ended up causing riots.

Whatever one thinks about nobles, I thought it was rather nasty of Eliath to have his men kill nobles simply for being nobles. Of course, that's Eliath.

I thought the tensions between nobles and commoners were were interesting. Then again, I wonder if this isn't an area where giving the nobles more outlet wouldn't help. It seems that Waterdeep is structured in such a way that most nobles have little to do with their time. It's true they generally have business interests, but I get the impression they don't spend all that much time on them. Mostly, they seem to spend their time on parties and other recreation and on petty intrigues like the one some of the gemcloaks were talking about Taeros' mother (I think it was his mother) engaging in to be the best dressed noble or whatever. Yet, at the same time, we have Taeros longing for something more. When Piergeron called for the nobles to answer the call of their city at the party, a number of them responded. I suspect it would go a long way to helping the tensions if there were an outlet where some of the nobles could be seen to be doing something useful for the city, though I don't know what that might be offhand.

What I liked best, I think, was that we saw so much of the city itself and it's character.

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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 01 Apr 2007 :  01:41:02  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MaxKaladin

I liked the New Day subplot, though I didn't like how it finished. I think it's perfectly reasonable for people to want to know who their leaders are...



I totally agree with that. I don't believe being skeptical of one's government and "wanting answers" is a bad thing.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)

Edited by - Rinonalyrna Fathomlin on 01 Apr 2007 01:42:13
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Gellion
Learned Scribe

140 Posts

Posted - 01 Apr 2007 :  04:09:25  Show Profile  Visit Gellion's Homepage Send Gellion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rinonalyrna Fathomlin

quote:
Originally posted by MaxKaladin

I liked the New Day subplot, though I didn't like how it finished. I think it's perfectly reasonable for people to want to know who their leaders are...



I totally agree with that. I don't believe being skeptical of one's government and "wanting answers" is a bad thing.



I agree too! I just finished the novel the other day and I really liked it.:)

I loved the Church of the Amalgation as villians, and I felt they got pushed to the side too easily at the end.

I wished the New Day plot would have turned out better, instead of just evaporating.

I agree with some posters who felt that the Gemcolaks were kind of bland, I really only liked Beldar.

I hated Elaith(in a love to hate way), but I do not like him that much these days anyway.

"Paladine, you see the evil that surrounds me! You have been witness to the calamities that have been the scourge of Krynn... You must see now that this doctrine of balance will not work! I can sweep evil from this land. Destroy the ogre races. Bring the wayward humans into line! Find new homelands far away for the dwarves and the kender and the gnomes, those races not of your creation... I demand that you give me, too, the power to drive away the shadows of evil that darken the land!"- THE REIGN OF ISTAR, Tales IV

Edited by - Gellion on 01 Apr 2007 04:10:06
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5054 Posts

Posted - 01 Apr 2007 :  15:43:40  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey, now, Charles, the sahaguin invasion wasn't "brushed aside" in any sort of "blasé" manner.
It was covered in Mel Odom's Threat From The Sea trilogy and the accompanying Realms of the Deep anthology. (So it got four books of coverage! Not specifically the attack on Waterdeep, which was referred to in those books, but then, that was what Ed and Elaine were "painting in" here.)
The flashback to it is presented as a Prologue to make it clear that it's a setup for the novel (in this case, the young male villain's "connection" to Waterdeep, and background), rather than part of the main narrative of CITY OF SPLENDORS.
To answer your "what got cut" question: an entire Gemcloak and his subplot, throughout, a folk tale of Elaine's that Ed termed "short but very pretty," a lot of detail from the fight scenes, description and dialogue throughout the entire novel, and a lot of New Day inter-reactions (various guild members reacting to the increasing troubles in the city, trying to decide if they wanted to go along with it or try to stop it), tons and tons of "nobles behaving like asses at revels" details, and a lot of the Amalgamation subplot. Hence the unsatisfying resolutions of some of the storylines.
However, all in all, I'm darn glad Ed and Elaine tried to cram too much into the book, rather than settling for giving us a more empty, boring narrative. They certainly succeeded in what Ed told me was their main aim: make Waterdeep "come alive" with the smells and sounds and all, and "seem real" to the reader.
love to all,
THO
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KnightErrantJR
Great Reader

USA
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Posted - 01 Apr 2007 :  16:32:29  Show Profile  Visit KnightErrantJR's Homepage Send KnightErrantJR a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One of the things that I liked about this novel was the fact that they did revisit the "Threat from the Sea" and make sure that it seemed like a major event to the people of Waterdeep outside of that trilogy that the threat appeared in.

"Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder."--Saint Thomas Aquinas

http://knighterrantjr.blogspot.com/

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