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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
32074 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2019 :  15:59:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think Azure Bonds was longer than the average because it was one of the very first FR books. The authors had a lot more freedom at that point.

I thought the thing with Alias's attitude towards Zhara was pretty well explained: Alias had the body of a mature woman, but her life experiences -- and thus her emotional maturity -- only went back a few years, at that point. Despite her false memories, Alias was the equivalent of a young child.

And even without that, I think that any person is going to be bothered by finding out that a good friend is now sleeping with a physical duplicate of the first person. It's just weird.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 14 Apr 2019 16:03:03
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gylippus
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Posted - 14 Apr 2019 :  18:29:47  Show Profile Send gylippus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wooly,

I totally agree with what you said. I still found it annoying though. And yes, it was slightly creepy. Ackabar obviously liked Alias so he ran off and found a duplicate. This also plays into something else I was thinking about. Where did the souls come from for the duplicate Aliases? That is never really answered so all of the Aliases will be slightly different. Dragonbait obviously felt bonded with Alias. This means there must be some other person out there that shares a Cat soul or a Zhara soul. Or maybe Phalse just took the souls and killed the donors. I have no idea.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
32074 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2019 :  01:20:05  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gylippus

Wooly,

I totally agree with what you said. I still found it annoying though. And yes, it was slightly creepy. Ackabar obviously liked Alias so he ran off and found a duplicate. This also plays into something else I was thinking about. Where did the souls come from for the duplicate Aliases? That is never really answered so all of the Aliases will be slightly different. Dragonbait obviously felt bonded with Alias. This means there must be some other person out there that shares a Cat soul or a Zhara soul. Or maybe Phalse just took the souls and killed the donors. I have no idea.



When Alias was being made, and the baddies were siphoning off some of Dragonbait's soul to put into Alias, Phalse siphoned off some of that and diverted it to the other Alias vessels.

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Mankyle
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Spain
35 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2019 :  07:30:48  Show Profile Send Mankyle a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
When Alias was being made, and the baddies were siphoning off some of Dragonbait's soul to put into Alias, Phalse siphoned off some of that and diverted it to the other Alias vessels.


Wasn't there a banter between Akabar and Olive Rustkettle where she said that a soul was an Infinite entity and if you sever it in parts you end up with two Infinite entities?

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 15 Apr 2019 :  10:20:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't recall the participants of the discussion, but yeah, that was the gist of the conversation.

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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
911 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2019 :  11:17:19  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gylippus - your thoughts on the Finder's Stone trilogy echo my own 100%. I wasn't expecting to like The Wyvern's Spur because no Alias and Dragonbait (and even Akabar) - but very quickly fell in love with Giogi and learned to love Olive who continued her character arc & growth from the last chapters of Azure Bonds. Deep down, she is a good person and as much as she tries to not care, Tymora (or the hafling equivalent) force her to be a hero by luck, fate and circumstance. The donkey bits are amazing.

For me Azure Bonds and The Wyvern's Spur are about equally good - Azure Bonds I think is a grand, epic story sweeping the eastern heartlands of the Realms with witches, liches, gods, fiends and dragons - while Wyvern's Spur is a localized tale in the tiny village of Immersea - but somehow manages to be just as gripping without the world shattering events. Flattery is a fascinating villain (someone wrote a fan fiction and posted here that was very interesting) to me. Written as truly horrible and without any sympathy but...in Song of the Saurials we get to confront Finder on creating Flattery (both physically and emotionally) and maybe retroactively get to feel for him.

Song of the Saurials is the weakest of the books - I think maybe it is just not as focused, too many characters and storylines going on? Jeff/Kate write a good focused plot and when they stick to it, great. With 3-4 storylines going on in SotS (Finder/Olive, Grypht/Akabar, Alias&Angry Ranger, Coral/Moander) - also I don't think the whole Akabar in love with Kira the harper bard thing worked for me? It just felt weird, I know it was a love potion but as we didn't have any backstory on her and Akabar is married multiple times and has a thing for Alias and her sister and his wives and also Kira it just felt very hard to relate/follow. I kind of loved Alias and her sister fighting though.

Masquerades is not quite as good as the trilogy despite bringing Alias, Dragonbait and Olive back together - I think it could have been, and it is still good, but somehow it isn't as good of a mystery. Olive doesn't seem to be showing the growth from the trilogy in those novels...nor Alias? I don't know, the characters feel a bit off to me in Masquerades.

Finder's Bane and Tymora's Luck are fun, good books with new characters to love and passing references to the old band (as well as god Finder).

For more of Giogi and Cat, they make a few cameos in other books (the Cormyr trilogy) including a quick showdown with Vangey that is fun to read.


Edited by - Seravin on 15 Apr 2019 11:20:19
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gylippus
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25 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2019 :  22:09:29  Show Profile Send gylippus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good points Seravin, and thanks for your thoughts.

I was thinking of a possible sequel to Wyvern's Spur that will never be written. In my sequel (Which occurs after Song of the Saurials) Olive is poking around in Jade's belongings again and finds a mysterious letter that references "A lock of hair". This sets her off on a quest back to Immersea to find the lock and resurrect Jade. Olive certainly has the resources to pay a cleric to resurrect, but she needs some part of the body, which was turned to ash. (Honestly, I have no idea the specifics of resurrection in the realms so I could be way off.) This story would be some type of mystery that brings all of the old characters back and ties off some lose ends. Does Julia finally marry Samtavan? Is Steele involved? Does Aunt Dorath agree to let Giogi and Cat marry? Who is the secret villain? Of course, someone much smarter and way more clever than me would have to write it.
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
911 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2019 :  23:10:21  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd read that in a second! While it was pretty quickly dealt with, the character of Jade Moore and her relationship with Olive is pretty fascinating. Olive is almost, maternal? With Jade...and I would kill for a prequel book written about how they met and got to where the book opens.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
32074 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2019 :  03:38:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gylippus

Good points Seravin, and thanks for your thoughts.

I was thinking of a possible sequel to Wyvern's Spur that will never be written. In my sequel (Which occurs after Song of the Saurials) Olive is poking around in Jade's belongings again and finds a mysterious letter that references "A lock of hair". This sets her off on a quest back to Immersea to find the lock and resurrect Jade. Olive certainly has the resources to pay a cleric to resurrect, but she needs some part of the body, which was turned to ash. (Honestly, I have no idea the specifics of resurrection in the realms so I could be way off.) This story would be some type of mystery that brings all of the old characters back and ties off some lose ends. Does Julia finally marry Samtavan? Is Steele involved? Does Aunt Dorath agree to let Giogi and Cat marry? Who is the secret villain? Of course, someone much smarter and way more clever than me would have to write it.



The books Finder's Bane and Tymora's Luck -- especially the latter -- do have interludes that show some of what has happened in Immersea, in the meantime.

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gylippus
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Posted - 11 May 2019 :  00:44:34  Show Profile Send gylippus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just finished reading Finder's Bane and here are my thoughts...

I enjoyed the book, I thought it was very good. It wasn't quite up to the level of Azure Bonds and Wyvern's Spur but I liked it better than SotS.

I found the book interesting because we see that gods are basically molded on the lines of 'Greek Gods', meaning they have immense power yet they are still fallible and have very human emotions. Plus, the world of faith in FR is entirely different than our world. In our world you have to actually have faith there is a god, whereas in FR it is evident there are gods because you see the manifestation of their powers every day.

Okay, on to the characters. To be honest, I found the characters a little bland after Alias and Company and Giogionni. Joel and Holly were good characters but they just didn't strike a visceral note with me. We never really found out much about Jas, but maybe more is to come in the next book. I do appreciate the inclusion of spelljamming in the book. I love spelljammers and I have always been upset there were only five true books in the spelljamming world. I also really enjoyed the description of the Outlands and Sigil. This book expands our knowledge of FR and the surrounding planes. Sigil almost felt like a city in Bladerunner or Shadowrun, but the authors did a good job of giving us some back history of Lady Pain and the factions in the city.

On a side note it was nice to see the Lost Vale. Remeber, every egg is sacred! I also found it funny when Joel realizes Finder has exactly two followers.

When I finished the book I picked up Tymora's Luck and flipped into the inside cover and realized it was part of the 'Lost Gods' trilogy. What luck! I must have missed another book by Kate and Jeff about Finder. Then I looked up the trilogy and realized it was just renamed harpers books with a dragonlance book thrown into the middle. This brings me to my rant about the names of books and trilogies. I understand some harpers books are related to other trilogies or some harpers books gave us such amazing characters they decided to make trilogies based on those characters, but it just feels so random and haphazard. Now we have two editions of some books, the harpers edition and then some other stupid edition wit ha different name tag. I noticed a lot of this was happening in the late 90s so maybe this bad decision making led to the downfall of TSR, among other things, I have no idea.

Edited by - gylippus on 11 May 2019 03:35:32
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
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Posted - 11 May 2019 :  02:28:07  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The second of the Lost Gods book is a Dragonlance book by Douglas Niles, Fistandantilus Reborn, and it's kind of an alt-history or an interrupted timeline or something -- it wasn't really clear to me. I really didn't care for the book; all it really does for the trilogy is introduce Emilo Haversack. And since he's a kender and kender aren't exactly known for keeping their facts straight, you can skip the book entirely without missing much of anything.

I skip it when I'm re-reading that series.

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gylippus
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25 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2019 :  03:32:36  Show Profile Send gylippus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

The second of the Lost Gods book is a Dragonlance book by Douglas Niles, Fistandantilus Reborn, and it's kind of an alt-history or an interrupted timeline or something -- it wasn't really clear to me. I really didn't care for the book; all it really does for the trilogy is introduce Emilo Haversack. And since he's a kender and kender aren't exactly known for keeping their facts straight, you can skip the book entirely without missing much of anything.

I skip it when I'm re-reading that series.



And that illustrates my point. The second book has nothing to do with the first or third book. On top of that, they are held together by a loosely titled idea 'Lost Gods'. Finder wasn't really lost nor was Bane. Bane was dead and seeking to be reborn... They should have just left Finder's Bane as a Harper's book, but as I am writing this it just occurred to me that Finder's Bane really has nothing to do with Harpers at all. Finder was a Harper back in the day but he isn't in the book. Joel and none of the other main characters are Harpers and the plot has nothing to do with Harpers. Why didn't they commission Kate and Jeff to just write one more book and call it a completely different trilogy name and not include anything as a Harper's book?
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
911 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2019 :  10:38:35  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tymora's Luck is a decent book, and definitely continues the story of Joel, Holly and Jas (and Finder). Worth a read!

Finder's Bane I also quite liked, did you skip over Masquerades? It's got Alias, Dragonbait and Olive, with passing references to Finder and Giogi and Akabar. Interested in your thoughts on this one.

Finder's Bane for me, one big issue I had was on the character of Bear. Umm. why did anyone in the Dales resistance band trust him at all? He was horrible and evil, and showed no redeemable qualities when we meet him (a passing reference 'oh you can trust him') and then turned out to be..twist!..an evil Zhent with no redeemable qualities? I think the writers forgot to show us why the people liked or trusted him in the first place with that character? Because it didn't make any sense to me. Also Holly was a PALADIN...and they can detect evil..so, why did she never detect him? Why did no one else know? Bear made absolutely ZERO effort to cover up that he was an awful Zhent in the novel. I just don't get it or how he was written. You'd think a spy/double agent would at least make a tiny effort to conceal their intentions. When they don't, and they turn out to be exactly what you suspect, I feel like the characters who believed him to be a good guy are just morons? And Holly is not a moron, and can detect evil (something they make a big deal of in this book), so..yeah.

I did enjoy how Bear kept coming back for more though, that was good.

The Bane Lich enemy was great, I also think Walinda was a neat character that we don't see often enough in the Realms. Someone who is evil, but works with others to get things done when they need to, and still somewhat sympathetic and relatable as a character. Bob managed to get Jarlaxle and Artemis into that state and they are very popular characters (well..neutral evil types I guess with a big emphasis on neutral). I think Walinda was the best written main character, Holly the Mary-Sue wasn't so good to me. Joel also seemed a way less interesting lead character relative to Alias or Giogi - he doesn't seem to have any faults to overcome except occasionally forgetting he is a cleric, too?

Keep the reviews coming!

Edited by - Seravin on 11 May 2019 10:42:17
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gylippus
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25 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2019 :  17:08:15  Show Profile Send gylippus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

I also think Walinda was a neat character that we don't see often enough in the Realms. Someone who is evil, but works with others to get things done when they need to, and still somewhat sympathetic and relatable as a character. Bob managed to get Jarlaxle and Artemis into that state and they are very popular characters (well..neutral evil types I guess with a big emphasis on neutral). I think Walinda was the best written main character, Holly the Mary-Sue wasn't so good to me. Joel also seemed a way less interesting lead character relative to Alias or Giogi - he doesn't seem to have any faults to overcome except occasionally forgetting he is a cleric, too?




I agree that Walinda was a good character. I almost felt myself feeling sorry for her even though she brutally tortured and murdered Jas' crew. I never really thought much about Bear, but I did like Randal Morn. I would like to see more of him at some time.

I haven't read Masquerades yet because I had to order it on Ebay. I gutted all of the local bookstores of FR books so now I have to resort to Ebay for the rest. I am looking forward to it though.
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