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Alaundo
Head Moderator
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United Kingdom
5627 Posts

Posted - 01 Dec 2006 :  17:17:34  Show Profile  Visit Alaundo's Homepage Send Alaundo a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Well met

This is a Book Club thread for Frostfell (Book 4 of The Wizards series), by Mark Sehestedt. Please discuss chapters 27 - 32 herein.

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Besshalar
Learned Scribe

Finland
166 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2006 :  16:46:02  Show Profile  Visit Besshalar's Homepage Send Besshalar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Finished it and what can I say? It was definately an interesting read and I hope that you remain with the realms in years to come.
PS. I think I will borrow Tselelka for my campaigns at some point.
PPS. I wish you had put the phrasebook in the beginning because I didn't notice it until the end . :)

The large print giveth , and the small print taketh away.
-Tom Waits
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Mark S.
Forgotten Realms Author

60 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2006 :  17:06:03  Show Profile  Visit Mark S.'s Homepage Send Mark S. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Besshalar

Finished it and what can I say? It was definately an interesting read and I hope that you remain with the realms in years to come.


Thanks for the kind, encouraging words, sir. Very much appreciated.

So where do you live in Finland?


quote:
Originally posted by Besshalar

PS. I think I will borrow Tselelka for my campaigns at some point.


Feel free! I borrowed her myself. The more the merrier.


quote:
Originally posted by Besshalar

PPS. I wish you had put the phrasebook in the beginning because I didn't notice it until the end . :)



Duly noted. If it comes up again, I'll tell the editor.

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Besshalar
Learned Scribe

Finland
166 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2006 :  17:46:31  Show Profile  Visit Besshalar's Homepage Send Besshalar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You are welcome. I live in Helsinki where it rains and pours at the moment. No sign of winter whatsoever just lots of water. At the moment I have a lot of time on my hands because I managed to bust my knee and can't really work so I guess I'll just watch movies listen to my records and read for the rest of the month.

EDIT: Where did you borrow her is she statted somewhere ?

The large print giveth , and the small print taketh away.
-Tom Waits

Edited by - Besshalar on 07 Dec 2006 17:48:02
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Mark S.
Forgotten Realms Author

60 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2006 :  18:24:19  Show Profile  Visit Mark S.'s Homepage Send Mark S. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Besshalar

You are welcome. I live in Helsinki where it rains and pours at the moment. No sign of winter whatsoever just lots of water.


Cool! I first encountered Finnish language and culture via Tolkien. I've loved it ever since. I hope to make it to Finland someday.

quote:
Originally posted by Besshalar At the moment I have a lot of time on my hands because I managed to bust my knee and can't really work so I guess I'll just watch movies listen to my records and read for the rest of the month.


Ouch. Sorry to hear that. I hope you get better soon.


quote:
Originally posted by BesshalarEDIT: Where did you borrow her is she statted somewhere ?


Yup. Tselelka is a bheur hag, which you can find on pages 62-65 of the FR RPG supplement Unapproachable East by Richard Baker, Matt Forbeck, and Sean K. Reynolds. The orglash is on pages 68-70.


Edited by - Mark S. on 07 Dec 2006 18:25:20
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turox
Learned Scribe

USA
145 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2006 :  18:38:30  Show Profile  Visit turox's Homepage Send turox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mark, finished up the book last night. I really enjoyed the ending. I really look forward to more stories penned by you in the Forgotten Realms.

I did have one thought but it could be because I just got into D&D and not familiar with everything yet. The end fight was between Archons and Fiends correct? When I first read about Arantar crying out to ‘Father’ I first thought of Lathander but by the end of the book I was thinking that maybe Arantar was a half celestial and his children and grandchildren were Aasimar but now I don’t know. If you will can you please clear that situation up I would appreciate it.

Also about Hro’nyewachu I kept thinking she was Selune as to me it seemed that every time there was a break in the clouds you mentioned the moon was out, but as it was an elf deity it also made me wonder who she was.

Again great work on the book and if I hear of anyone talking about making a movie I will recommend to them that Frosfell’s movie rights are still available.

Turox Antas Dragonslayer -
"People will believe anything they want to believe, or fear to believe."
Wizard's First Rule: Chapter 36, Page #397, US Hard Cover (revealed by Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander).
Explanation by Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander: "People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People’s heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool."
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Besshalar
Learned Scribe

Finland
166 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2006 :  18:39:58  Show Profile  Visit Besshalar's Homepage Send Besshalar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks I really need to get that supplement. If you like the Kalevala I suggest you check out the Jade warrior movie it's a finnish-chinese movie that mixes finnish and chinese mythology it's interesting and should be in international circulation. But I'm wandering off topic here so I'll just stop.

The large print giveth , and the small print taketh away.
-Tom Waits
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Mark S.
Forgotten Realms Author

60 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2006 :  19:20:09  Show Profile  Visit Mark S.'s Homepage Send Mark S. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by turox
Mark, finished up the book last night. I really enjoyed the ending. I really look forward to more stories penned by you in the Forgotten Realms.


Thank you, sir!


quote:
Originally posted by turox
The end fight was between Archons and Fiends correct?


The bad guys were basically ice devils who had been trapped on Toril for many generations and thus learned lots of twisted new abilities.

The good guys were definitely Celestials of some sort, but I honestly can’t remember which kind. I know that back when Susan and I were going over the outline, I did determine exactly what kind, but I can’t remember now. Definitely Celestials though, and the good guys (Jalan, Gyaidun, and Erun) are Channeling right out of The Book of Exalted Deeds.


quote:
Originally posted by turox
When I first read about Arantar crying out to ‘Father’ I first thought of Lathander but by the end of the book I was thinking that maybe Arantar was a half celestial and his children and grandchildren were Aasimar but now I don’t know. If you will can you please clear that situation up I would appreciate it.


Yup. Definitely aasimars.

Arantar, Jalan and Erun’s forefather, was the son of a Raumathari woman and a Celestial. His bloodline mingled and weakened throughout the generations, but if you’ll remember from Amira’s vision, she saw that sometimes the bloodlines would come together again and strengthen. That is definitely the case with both Jalan and Erun. They are aasimars. Jalan mostly human (of mixed lineage), and Erun a half-elf (human father descended from an aasimar and a lythari mother).


quote:
Originally posted by turox
Also about Hro’nyewachu I kept thinking she was Selune as to me it seemed that every time there was a break in the clouds you mentioned the moon was out, but as it was an elf deity it also made me wonder who she was.


I purposefully left that vague so that readers (and gamers) could draw their own conclusions.

In my mind, Hro’nyewachu is more of a demi-god than a true deity. Because the lythari are not native to Toril, I imagined that Hro’nyewachu came from the same place that the lythari did.

The moon imagery is because the story is dealing with shapeshifters, and moon imagery has become so tied to the werewolf that my geekness just could not leave it out.

The cycles of the moon have been tied to shapeshifter beliefs from the beginning. Something I learned in reading The Beast Within: A History of the Werewolf by Douglas Adams. So that crotchety old shopowner in The Howling, while being correct that the werewolf’s transformation-by-full-moon was a Hollywood invention, he was incorrect in inferring that the moon had nothing to do with werewolves. In early human hunter-gatherer societies, the hunt was often centered around the cycle of the moon. “Becoming the beast,” often by donning beastskins to take on the animal’s visage and personality, was very much tied to the cycles of the moon.



quote:
Originally posted by turox
Again great work on the book and if I hear of anyone talking about making a movie I will recommend to them that Frosfell’s movie rights are still available.



James Cameron still hasn’t called.

Anyone have Peter Jackson's number?

Edited by - Mark S. on 07 Dec 2006 19:21:00
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turox
Learned Scribe

USA
145 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2006 :  20:12:32  Show Profile  Visit turox's Homepage Send turox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wow thanks for that info. I just went Doh and didn't even think of the moon and werewolves! That would probably make a better reason than Selune (although she is the god of good lycanthropes as well.) But wow I can't beleive I didn't think of that! Does that mean I have FR on the brain way too much?

Turox Antas Dragonslayer -
"People will believe anything they want to believe, or fear to believe."
Wizard's First Rule: Chapter 36, Page #397, US Hard Cover (revealed by Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander).
Explanation by Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander: "People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People’s heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool."
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ShadowJack
Senior Scribe

USA
350 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2006 :  20:31:37  Show Profile  Visit ShadowJack's Homepage Send ShadowJack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mark,

Great book! I really enjoyed this one. The new authors of the Realms have been outstanding!
O.K. so we know what will happen with Erun, more or less, and it makes sense; he would have to posess some eldritch, arcane/divine knowledge from his experiences with the ice devil and Vyailedon. What about Jalan? It seems he has the purest bloodline of Arantar and of the Raumathyr kings; what will he do next? Great characters and good story. The Witness tree budding did not mean that the line of Raumathyr kings was restored, right? It meant that the time was near for Vyailedon to be released, right? So we don't have to wonder about another ancient Realms kingdom being restored, right? One more question; in an earlier post you mentioned that the character's classes were drawn from Races of the Wild? Thanks for a good book>

ShadowJack
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Mark S.
Forgotten Realms Author

60 Posts

Posted - 12 Dec 2006 :  00:27:20  Show Profile  Visit Mark S.'s Homepage Send Mark S. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ShadowJack
The Witness tree budding did not mean that the line of Raumathyr kings was restored, right?


Yes and no. Technically, Jalan is related to the Raumathari rulers. His great-great-great-etc. grandfather was married to the ruler's sister. So he is related to that line through a very distant grandmother, but then again so is Erun. And so are lots of people throughout the Waste and nearby regions. The blood is particularly strong in Erun and Jalan though.

quote:
Originally posted by ShadowJackIt meant that the time was near for Vyailedon to be released, right?


Yup.

quote:
Originally posted by ShadowJack
So we don't have to wonder about another ancient Realms kingdom being restored, right?


That's really not up to me. That's more of a larger question for Mr. Greenwood, WotC, etc. But it was certainly not my intention to begin building a new kingdom out in the Waste.


quote:
Originally posted by ShadowJackOne more question; in an earlier post you mentioned that the character's classes were drawn from Races of the Wild?


Yup. The Belkagen is basically a modified Arcane Hierophant. Lendri (as well as many of the Vil Adanrath) are Wildrunners. (Read between the lines and you'll see the Primal Scream.) Gyaidun is a ruathar. In a few places, the book hinted that Gyaidun had "special abilities" because he and Lendri are blood brothers.

The Frost Folk are right out of FROSTBURN.

quote:
Originally posted by ShadowJackThanks for a good book>



Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you liked it!

Edited by - Mark S. on 12 Dec 2006 00:28:33
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RodOdom
Senior Scribe

USA
509 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2006 :  16:38:49  Show Profile  Visit RodOdom's Homepage Send RodOdom a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm sorry but I didn't find Frostfell very enjoyable. For me, none of the characters were emotionally interesting enough to make me want to find out what happens to them. The plot was sort of flat.

I hope I'm not coming across as mean-spirited. There were certainly some gems of great, eerie imagery (the introduction of the Witness tree, for example.)
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Mark S.
Forgotten Realms Author

60 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2006 :  17:31:39  Show Profile  Visit Mark S.'s Homepage Send Mark S. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RodOdom

I'm sorry but I didn't find Frostfell very enjoyable. For me, none of the characters were emotionally interesting enough to make me want to find out what happens to them. The plot was sort of flat.

I hope I'm not coming across as mean-spirited.


Not at all. Books are like anything else. Everyone has different tastes. Your honest criticism is much appreciated.

I do wish you could be a bit more specific though. What about the characters did you not find "emotionally interesting?" Was the conflict not grave enough, or did I simply not do a good job in conveying it? Did you have no sympathy for their plight? What might I have done (or do in the future) to increase your emotional investment in the characters?

And what do you mean by the plot being flat? Not enough surprises for you? Could you guess the ending fairly early on? Not enough twists and turns? Was it too different from typical FR stories, or not different enough?

Help me help you!



Edited by - Mark S. on 19 Dec 2006 17:32:16
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RodOdom
Senior Scribe

USA
509 Posts

Posted - 21 Dec 2006 :  19:23:38  Show Profile  Visit RodOdom's Homepage Send RodOdom a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't think there is anything wrong or lacking with the characters at all, per se. But perhaps some flashbacks to say Amira and Jalan's earlier life at High Horn would have given me a more emotional view of them. Or maybe Gwaidun's time with his family before they were broken apart by the Nar demons. I didn't get to see enough of their sympathetic side to balance out their more antagonistic relationships ( Amira vs. Gyaidun, Amira vs. her countrymen, Gyaidun vs. his shaman, Lendri vs. his father and tribesmen.)

I liked the cat-and-mouse chase between Amira and Jalan's kidnappers in the early chapters. My main dissatisfaction with the plot is that I was expecting more of the chase, but then the focus turned to the Lythari, the Ruamathar/Nar backstory, Amira's ordeal with the oracle. It would have been fun to see Amira and Gyaidun just almost catching up with the wolf-riders, or Jalan just almost escaping. So I think I was wrong to say the plot was flat. What I should have said was that I didn't get a sense of continual urgency from one point to the other during the story.

I do very much want to read FR stories different from say Ed Greenwood's or Elaine Cunnigham's. I appreciated how you took familiar settings and concepts in FR and tried to show us something different through them.
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Mark S.
Forgotten Realms Author

60 Posts

Posted - 21 Dec 2006 :  20:19:04  Show Profile  Visit Mark S.'s Homepage Send Mark S. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RodOdom

I don't think there is anything wrong or lacking with the characters at all, per se. But perhaps some flashbacks to say Amira and Jalan's earlier life at High Horn would have given me a more emotional view of them. Or maybe Gwaidun's time with his family before they were broken apart by the Nar demons. I didn't get to see enough of their sympathetic side to balance out their more antagonistic relationships ( Amira vs. Gyaidun, Amira vs. her countrymen, Gyaidun vs. his shaman, Lendri vs. his father and tribesmen.)

I liked the cat-and-mouse chase between Amira and Jalan's kidnappers in the early chapters. My main dissatisfaction with the plot is that I was expecting more of the chase, but then the focus turned to the Lythari, the Ruamathar/Nar backstory, Amira's ordeal with the oracle. It would have been fun to see Amira and Gyaidun just almost catching up with the wolf-riders, or Jalan just almost escaping. So I think I was wrong to say the plot was flat. What I should have said was that I didn't get a sense of continual urgency from one point to the other during the story.


Those are all great suggestions. I too wanted more in the story, but I had the constraint of making sure everything fit into 320 pages. In crafting the outline, things got snipped out. There was a big scene developing Gyaidun and Lendri's backstory that had to go. An entire character was cut simply because I didn't have space to develop him, and I didn't want him to feel tacked on.

The obvious solution, of course, is for everyone to go out and buy 20 copies for your friends and family. Maybe if the book sells gangbusters then WotC will beg for a sequel.


quote:
Originally posted by RodOdomI do very much want to read FR stories different from say Ed Greenwood's or Elaine Cunnigham's. I appreciated how you took familiar settings and concepts in FR and tried to show us something different through them.



Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate it, and I'll keep it all in mind for the future.

Edited by - Mark S. on 21 Dec 2006 20:25:11
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RodOdom
Senior Scribe

USA
509 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2006 :  01:04:06  Show Profile  Visit RodOdom's Homepage Send RodOdom a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you so much for listening !
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Braveheart
Learned Scribe

Austria
159 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2006 :  12:57:01  Show Profile  Visit Braveheart's Homepage Send Braveheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Mark!

I enjoyed your book, especially the narrating style, which didn't concentrate too much on spells, fighting, etc. I have to agree with RodOdom that a few flashbacks would have done a lot to involve the reader more emotionally. Personally I would have preferred a scene with the other War Wizards of Cormyr (battling the Frostfolk, for examplte), but that would probably have introduced too many characters at the beginning.
By the way: Have you sold the film rights yet?

Yours,
Braveheart

Jarlaxle: "Do keep ever present in your thoughts, my friend, that an illusion can kill you if you believe in it."
Entreri: "And the real thing can kill you whether you believe in it or not."
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Mark S.
Forgotten Realms Author

60 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2006 :  21:24:22  Show Profile  Visit Mark S.'s Homepage Send Mark S. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Braveheart
Personally I would have preferred a scene with the other War Wizards of Cormyr (battling the Frostfolk, for examplte), but that would probably have introduced too many characters at the beginning.


There was another war wizard in the original outline, but he was cut due to lack of space. Remember the scene where Amira and Gyaidun fight the Tuigan and take their horses? In the original outline, those Tuigan had taken another wizard prisoner, and the fight was more of a rescue scene. But I just didn't have time to let that branch of the story grow, so I lopped it off.

quote:
Originally posted by Braveheart Have you sold the film rights yet?



James Cameron and Peter Jackson still haven't called. They were my top choices now that Sergio Leone is dead.

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Braveheart
Learned Scribe

Austria
159 Posts

Posted - 23 Dec 2006 :  23:10:35  Show Profile  Visit Braveheart's Homepage Send Braveheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mark S.

There was another war wizard in the original outline, but he was cut due to lack of space. Remember the scene where Amira and Gyaidun fight the Tuigan and take their horses? In the original outline, those Tuigan had taken another wizard prisoner, and the fight was more of a rescue scene. But I just didn't have time to let that branch of the story grow, so I lopped it off.



That would've been fun to read, but you probably would've had a problem with the pagecount too.

quote:

James Cameron and Peter Jackson still haven't called. They were my top choices now that Sergio Leone is dead.



Hm, what about Clint Eastwood? He could play the belkagen, for example

Jarlaxle: "Do keep ever present in your thoughts, my friend, that an illusion can kill you if you believe in it."
Entreri: "And the real thing can kill you whether you believe in it or not."
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Prince Forge of Avalon
Learned Scribe

USA
117 Posts

Posted - 26 Dec 2006 :  17:33:09  Show Profile  Visit Prince Forge of Avalon's Homepage Send Prince Forge of Avalon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mark,

Just finsihed your book, And I have to say I really enjoyed it!!
It was a totally different kind of realms book, and that really intrested me - I would say my favorite creation was Hro'nyewachu! I found her REALLY intresting and I kept wondering all through the rest of the book "what is she?".

I would love to read more on the characters and see their further adventures!

Thanks for the Read - It was GREAT!!
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Conlon
Learned Scribe

Canada
132 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2006 :  02:43:40  Show Profile  Visit Conlon's Homepage Send Conlon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mark,

Add my name to the list of new fans. To echo some sentiments earlier expressed, I only wish that you had been given the freedom of more pages with which to tell your tale. I really would have liked to have read more about Amira's past, Gyaidun & Lendri, and Hro'nyewachu. Very interesting characters. It also seemed like the relationship between Amira and Gyaidun was starting to develop. Unfortunately, there wasn't space to allow it to flourish.

I think that your plotline was great as well. The use of the celestial bloodline was well done, and I am totally going to use the lythari in my current campaign. I had been tossing the idea around, but now it is as good as done.

I will be watching for your next book and will be sure to snap it up. Good luck, and I hope to see your name on a book cover again in the near future.

Thanks

My hopes are ashes, my dreams are dust. All my intentions mean nothing unless they are followed by action.
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Lord Rad
Great Reader

United Kingdom
2080 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2007 :  19:51:58  Show Profile  Visit Lord Rad's Homepage Send Lord Rad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nice tale. I was especially impressed with the fight scenes. I often get bored with them and loose track of the events, but this was made quite varied and interesting and kept me reading right through.

Lord Rad

"What? No, I wasn't reading your module. I was just looking at the pictures"
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Mark S.
Forgotten Realms Author

60 Posts

Posted - 08 Jan 2007 :  23:50:58  Show Profile  Visit Mark S.'s Homepage Send Mark S. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks to everyone for the kind words, encouragement, and the criticism. Much appreciated!

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Dhomal
Senior Scribe

USA
565 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2007 :  16:02:50  Show Profile Send Dhomal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello-

Well - I will alos add my comments of really liking the book! :)

As it happens - I had some time off from work last week - that turned into sickness at the end. (I was working so hard during the holidays - that my body just stopped fighting when I had my off-time - and I got sick.)

I started reading the book early in the week -and I realized that it was somewhat ironic that I was reading it while waiting for my g/f in several stores - and it was cold outside. :)

We have had such a mild winter before last week -a nd then Pow! Cold and such - and the last few days - rain/sleet/ice etc. All in all - the weather outside has emulated the feel I got from the book - making me almost 'feel' the story as opposed to just reading it. :)

As for the story - I greatly enjoyed your use of the 'outsider' point of view. Amira worked wonderfully for that.

I guess I was hoping for some sort of reconciliation between Lendri and his father - but I suppose that was not meant to be.

I too am curious as to the future for Erun and Jalan - but I must admit - more for Jalan - as the future for Erun is hinted at.

That and it seems like maybe Amira will stay in 'the Wastes' with Gaiudon (*I know I butchered the spelling*).

I know you mentioned finding an error - and I'm curious - but I wont ask directly! :) However - I wonder if the following is a minor glitch: On P 195 in the 1st full para. there is the word 'streaming' - and it seems to be out of place - and I thought the word would work better as 'screaming' - typo?

In closing - I too would welcome any additional stories you have to offer! Are there currently any other stories of yours out there?

Many thanks for such a chilling read! I only hope I can shake my sickness now that I have finished!

Dhomal

I am collecting the D&D Minis. I would be more than willing to trade with people. You can send me a PM here with your email listed - and I can send you my minis list. Thanks!

Successfully traded with Xysma!
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Mark S.
Forgotten Realms Author

60 Posts

Posted - 17 Jan 2007 :  17:50:07  Show Profile  Visit Mark S.'s Homepage Send Mark S. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dhomal
I guess I was hoping for some sort of reconciliation between Lendri and his father - but I suppose that was not meant to be.


Well, not yet anyway. I've gots lots of stories in my head with these characters -- occurring both before and after Frostfell. As much as I wanted to cram them all into this story, that would have entailed a 4-book series of 1500+ pages.


quote:
Originally posted by DhomalI know you mentioned finding an error - and I'm curious - but I wont ask directly! :) However - I wonder if the following is a minor glitch: On P 195 in the 1st full para. there is the word 'streaming' - and it seems to be out of place - and I thought the word would work better as 'screaming' - typo?


D'oh! Yup. Good catch. That is indeed a typo.

Right after the book came out, I found a pretty big continuity error in the story, but since no one else seems to have caught it, and since I didn't write it down and have since forgotten, we'll just pretend it never happened.


quote:
Originally posted by Dhomal Are there currently any other stories of yours out there?


Well, the only one currently published is a short story I did for a Dragonlance anthology. The story is "Osuin's Treasure," found in the DL anthology The Search for Power. There's more stuff in the works, but I'm not allowed to spill specifics until the catalogue comes out.


quote:
Originally posted by DhomalMany thanks for such a chilling read! I only hope I can shake my sickness now that I have finished!


I hope you feel better soon. Thanks for your kind words on the book.
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KnightErrantJR
Great Reader

USA
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Posted - 31 Jan 2007 :  22:40:33  Show Profile  Visit KnightErrantJR's Homepage Send KnightErrantJR a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just finished the book, and I definately enjoyed the book overall. I actually am glad that the story wasn't a Amira meets Gyaidun, then they pick up Lendri and the Belkagan and they trek across the Wastes figting various things from Frostburn and the Monster Manual. Mark did a very good job, in my opinion, of working various monsters and classes and D&D elements into the book, but in a very subtle manner, and the focus of the story definately stayed on the characters and the unique elements of the story, such as the oracle, the Lythari culture, the difference between the Eastern and Western realms, and the like.

I could definately see Hro'nyewachu as a singularly powerful fey creature, and I think that fits well with the original idea of the Lythari being close to the fey powers even over the Seldarine.

In general, I'm not a big fan of porting cultures into the Realms, and I'm not a big fan of using phrases and languages from existing cultures (other than english, since you have to be able to tell the story, obviously) in the Realms, but I have to say that Mark did an excellent job of using elements of Native American culture to flesh out the lythari and to create a framework for them, instead of using an existing culture as a substitute for it. I think he did an excellent job of weaving some parts of Native American culture, the Horde mentality, what little we have glimpsed of the lythari before, and of elves overall into something unique, so overall it worked out well (but I'm still not a fan of real world phrases used too much).

I also think that Mark did a very good job of throwing in the little bits we do know about the lythari into the story, as well as doing the homework on Cormyr and the War Wizards as well. Just to make sure that I read this right though, Lendri did use a hybrid form at the end, didn't he? I was a little awash in everything that was going on at that point in the story, and I reread the passage, so I'm pretty sure he did. I was always of fan of the idea that Lythari didn't have hybrid forms, and no one else in the story seems to have a hybrid form, so I was wondering if this was a unique circumstance.

One thing that it made me wonder is if lythari DO have a hybrid form, but its "taboo" to use it (kind of like wookies having claws but it being dishonorable for them to use them in combat, to use a Star Wars analogy).

While I am still wondering at the exact event that cause the "honored exile" of Gyaidun and Lendri, I kind of like the idea that it wasn't fully spelled out by the end of the book. Not only does it give some texture to the story, but it gives us a good reason to have the characters show up again sometime.

Mark did an excellent job for his first Realms novel, and I hope that he gets a chance to write more stories in the Realms, especially considering the attention to history and tone of the setting that he showed in this book.
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