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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1428 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2004 :  17:47:21  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Poll Question:
Trilogies are a mainstay of fantasy and science fiction publishing, but the "middle book" is usually the weakest of the three.

What Forgotten Realms trilogy has the best "middle book" in the series? Comment on what you think makes a standout "middle book".

--Eric

Choices:

Beyond the High Road
Black Wizards
The Coral Kingdom
Crown of Fire
Dragonwall
Exile
The Giant Among Us
Streams of Silver
Tantras
Under Fallen Stars
Viperhand
The Wyvern''s Spur

(Anonymous Vote)

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http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/

Edited by - ericlboyd on 18 Nov 2004 17:49:07

Alaundo
Head Moderator
Admin

United Kingdom
5607 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2004 :  17:53:36  Show Profile  Visit Alaundo's Homepage  Click to see Alaundo's MSN Messenger address Send Alaundo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well met

My oh my, these polls are certainly not as easy as first imagined

A very good point you have made Eric... and yet again, I am quite torn. Regardless of my previous vote for the Finder's Stone Trilogy, and as much as I thoroughly enjoyed The Wyvern's Spur, I have voted for Dragonwall.

Now given more thought, I may well have chosen the above mentioned novel featuring Giogi Wyvernspur, or indeed one of two others I had in mind. However, a rash choice had to be made before I went insane from pondering overmuch Whilst Dragonwall wasn't exactly full of Realms flavor, I thought it a very tense and atmospheric read and very well written. Perhaps because I wasn't expecting much at all, it surprised me immensely.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32223 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2004 :  18:12:22  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had to vote for The Wyvern's Spur, because it's one of my fave Realms novels, and because it's got a couple of my fave characters, as well -- Giogionni Wyvernspur and Cat of Ordulin. It's just got a fun feel to it.

I recently re-read the Empires trilogy, and while I did enjoy Dragonwall (and I wonder what the current status of the wall is), I'd always liked Crusade a lot more.

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Wood Elf Ranger
Senior Scribe

USA
627 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2004 :  18:31:18  Show Profile  Visit Wood Elf Ranger's Homepage  Click to see Wood Elf Ranger's MSN Messenger address  Send Wood Elf Ranger a Yahoo! Message Send Wood Elf Ranger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My vote goes to Under Fallen Stars. I think this was a great trilogy and this middle book really helped to create depth, especially for the setting.

~Lee N.

"Breaktime yes?!.. Yes?.. Maybe?.. Noo, baaack to work.." -Grovel the Goblin from NWN: HotU
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Valdar Oakensong
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
159 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2004 :  21:22:58  Show Profile Send Valdar Oakensong a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have to go with The Wyvern's Spur, Giogionni is also one of my favourates.

Guns don't kill people, magic missiles do.
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2004 :  21:29:11  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Put me down for The Ruby Guardian or Dawn of Night. Both featured great cliffhangers but showed character development and kept the story still tightly focused.
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Seismo
Seeker

New Zealand
28 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2004 :  21:33:58  Show Profile  Visit Seismo's Homepage Send Seismo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For me it had to be The Wyvern's Spur - early Realms just has that nice flavour.
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hammer of Moradin
Senior Scribe

USA
758 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2004 :  23:58:28  Show Profile  Visit hammer of Moradin's Homepage Send hammer of Moradin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, thinking back there are only two or three of these I can remember. The others did not stand out. So, I had to go with Exile because the name tells you what it was about. Also, it advanced the story of Drizzt in an important point in his development as a character.

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Reefy
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
892 Posts

Posted - 19 Nov 2004 :  01:33:12  Show Profile  Visit Reefy's Homepage  Click to see Reefy's MSN Messenger address Send Reefy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good poll, I'm not entirely sure of my answer given that I've not read a lot of those books in the poll. But of those I have, and thinking back I would agree that second books are often the 'worst' or my least favourites. However, the reverse can be true, in some cases, they can be my favourite. Not Realms but The Two Towers is my favourite book in LOTR, for example.

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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1428 Posts

Posted - 19 Nov 2004 :  02:16:55  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
FWIW, I couldn't fit every candidate in the list, even limiting it to completed trilogies that only had 3 books (with no later books tacked on). Hence books like The Ruby Guardian and Dawn of Night were left off as book 3 of those trilogies hasn't been published yet.

--Eric

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arilyn742
Seeker

Ireland
54 Posts

Posted - 20 Nov 2004 :  00:38:36  Show Profile  Visit arilyn742's Homepage  Send arilyn742 a Yahoo! Message Send arilyn742 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have little experience in this area, but I'm guessing I would see most of these the same as the relatively boring middle chapters of trilogies in general. Exile still suffers from this, but at least I've read it, and it kept me reading to get the end a lot better than Streams of Silver (which, because of various other things that started to take priority, took me some eight months to read). It gets my vote.

Yonde iru, mune no doko ka oku de
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Kanashimi wa kazoekirenai keredo
Sono mukou de kitto anata ni aeru
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arilyn742
Seeker

Ireland
54 Posts

Posted - 20 Nov 2004 :  00:40:22  Show Profile  Visit arilyn742's Homepage  Send arilyn742 a Yahoo! Message Send arilyn742 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sumimasen. To give an example justifying my statement that middle parts are the worst, watch Peter Jackson's LotR films.

Yonde iru, mune no doko ka oku de
Itsumo kokoro odoru yume wo mitai
Kanashimi wa kazoekirenai keredo
Sono mukou de kitto anata ni aeru
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Wood Elf Ranger
Senior Scribe

USA
627 Posts

Posted - 20 Nov 2004 :  06:07:59  Show Profile  Visit Wood Elf Ranger's Homepage  Click to see Wood Elf Ranger's MSN Messenger address  Send Wood Elf Ranger a Yahoo! Message Send Wood Elf Ranger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Domo arigato. Point well taken

~Lee N.

"Breaktime yes?!.. Yes?.. Maybe?.. Noo, baaack to work.." -Grovel the Goblin from NWN: HotU
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DDH_101
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1272 Posts

Posted - 20 Nov 2004 :  18:30:55  Show Profile  Visit DDH_101's Homepage  Click to see DDH_101's MSN Messenger address Send DDH_101 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Streams of Silver had to be the best middle novel. It was probably one of RAS's best works.

Also, this was the first FR book that I had read...

"Trust in the shadows, for the bright way makes you an easy target." -Mask
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Lina
Senior Scribe

Australia
469 Posts

Posted - 21 Nov 2004 :  11:42:41  Show Profile  Visit Lina's Homepage  Click to see Lina's MSN Messenger address Send Lina a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Since I only recognise five of the names on the list (one's that I have read doesn't mean ones that I remember well)... it was a tough decision. Well that tares it, the Wyvern's Spur it is then.

“Darkness beyond twilight, crimson beyond blood that flows! Buried in the flow of time. In thy great name. I pledge myself to darkness. All the fools who stand in our way shall be destroyed…by the power you and I possess! DRAGON SLAVE!!!”

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Xysma
Master of Realmslore

USA
1089 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2004 :  15:49:43  Show Profile  Visit Xysma's Homepage Send Xysma a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For me, it was Beyond the High Road. I always compare a good middle novel to The Empire Strikes Back. By the end of the middle novel, our heroes should be in the worst situation up to that point. Aside from this being a good middle novel, I just love this series. I love the characters, Vangerdahast is my all-time favorite character from all the Realms novels, narrowly edging out Malik el Sami yn Nasser.

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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2004 :  16:43:40  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Xysma

For me, it was Beyond the High Road. I always compare a good middle novel to The Empire Strikes Back. By the end of the middle novel, our heroes should be in the worst situation up to that point.


A unique litmus test. I like that.

quote:

Aside from this being a good middle novel, I just love this series. I love the characters, Vangerdahast is my all-time favorite character from all the Realms novels, narrowly edging out Malik el Sami yn Nasser.



Have you read Elminster's Daughter? It includes details on Vandy's future.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32223 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2004 :  22:55:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Xysma

I love the characters, Vangerdahast is my all-time favorite character from all the Realms novels, narrowly edging out Malik el Sami yn Nasser.



I've never really liked Vangey, myself (or Vandy, as SB calls him ). I don't know why, but his character has never really grabbed me.

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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2004 :  03:42:50  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
I've never really liked Vangey, myself (or Vandy, as SB calls him ). I don't know why, but his character has never really grabbed me.



Vandy wasn't a big fave of mine either. But, I really liked how he was portrayed in the last novel. Perhaps it was the company he kept and his final path in service to Cormyr.
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VEDSICA
Senior Scribe

USA
466 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2004 :  01:41:53  Show Profile  Visit VEDSICA's Homepage Send VEDSICA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I chose Tantras.This is my favorite series of them all.Heck this is where Bane was......well I don't want to spoil it for the ones who haven't read it yet.

LIFE,BIRTH,BLOOD,DOOM---THE HOLE IN THE GROUND IS COMING ROUND SOON----BLS
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Melfius
Senior Scribe

USA
516 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2004 :  04:03:10  Show Profile  Visit Melfius's Homepage  Send Melfius an AOL message Send Melfius a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I also chose the Wyvern's Spur, as it was the only novel on the list that actually spurred me to run an adventure about it.

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"What's in his pockets, besides me?"
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2004 :  04:05:11  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Melfius

I also chose the Wyvern's Spur, as it was the only novel on the list that actually spurred me to run an adventure about it.



Oh? Details please. What was the scope of the adventure that you designed based on this inspiration?
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Melfius
Senior Scribe

USA
516 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2004 :  04:20:34  Show Profile  Visit Melfius's Homepage  Send Melfius an AOL message Send Melfius a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, it started off on finding Giogi (who had used the Spur to stop a baddie and disappeared). Then, incorporating an idea I got from an old Genesis song, I appointed one of my player's the "Moonlit Knight", Champion of Selne. He still plays the character from time-to-time. Usally when we do our bi-yearly High-Level game.

Melfius, Pixie-Priest of Puck - Head Chef, The Faerie Kitchen, Candlekeep Inn
"What's in his pockets, besides me?"
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2004 :  15:43:12  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Melfius

Well, it started off on finding Giogi (who had used the Spur to stop a baddie and disappeared). Then, incorporating an idea I got from an old Genesis song, I appointed one of my player's the "Moonlit Knight", Champion of Selne. He still plays the character from time-to-time. Usally when we do our bi-yearly High-Level game.



Is that Genesis song from before or after Peter Gabriel left? I like the combo though, D&D and music from a good band. Thanks for sharing.
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Melfius
Senior Scribe

USA
516 Posts

Posted - 15 Dec 2004 :  01:54:02  Show Profile  Visit Melfius's Homepage  Send Melfius an AOL message Send Melfius a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's the first track on "Selling England by the Pound" titled "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight", which was sung by Gabriel (he left the following year).

It was one of those coincidences where I heard it just after reading The Wyvern's Spur, and the whole Selnite thing just clicked. So, as Giogi had been kidnapped by Sammaster of the Cult of the Dragon, I figured Selne would send someone to retrieve him, if not the Spur itself (if poor Giogi was dead)to keep Sammaster from developing an army of were-Wyvern soldiers. Hence, she named another lesser noble, (one Galwyn Cormaeril) to the mantle of her Moonlit Knight, and the rest as they say is history.

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"What's in his pockets, besides me?"
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Miraculixx
Seeker

Germany
19 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2004 :  20:15:37  Show Profile  Visit Miraculixx's Homepage Send Miraculixx a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My voting for best middle novel isnt on your list, but ill say it nontheless

Tangled Webs from Elaine Cunningham, that would be my vote
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