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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
34469 Posts

Posted - 26 Jul 2014 :  15:14:22  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The less popular ones? 3E and 4E hardly featured any threats that weren't the Shadovar, and they were inexplicably successful.

To me, returning to the status of having many potential bad guy groups, instead of one that just keeps popping up everywhere, is a good thing.

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ywhtptgtfo
Seeker

89 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2014 :  06:40:31  Show Profile  Visit ywhtptgtfo's Homepage Send ywhtptgtfo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
IMHO, I am never a big fan of Ed's writing. He's a good world designer but the novels are often very corny. Here are some of the common themes I don't like:
1. Almost every notable character is physically attractive... be it pretty, handsome, muscular, etc. Dan Brown falls into this trap too.
2. Very powerful good characters are often lurking in the background (if not directly involved). They always outclass the bad characters by several quadrillion order
3. There's usually only good and evil characters. Good characters almost never have contradicting agenda and are usually one big happy family.
4. Demeanor of characters are overtly dramatic most of the time. This makes them feel a bit artificial

Ironically, I find the portrayal of Ed's characters in "The Simbul's Gift" to be by far the best I've ever seen in FR novels... and that book's written by someone else.
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Tanthalas
Senior Scribe

Portugal
502 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2014 :  00:39:30  Show Profile Send Tanthalas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Having finally gotten around to reading this book:

While I did enjoy the book, I share several of the misgivings that people have already mentioned.

- I liked Rune and Delclath a lot more in the previous books. In this one they were kind of just there.

- Ed always has a tendency to make the villains in his books look incompetent. The Telamont in The Herald is nothing compared to the Telamont portrayed in Troy Denning's and Paul S Kemp's books.

- Hate it that both Myth Drannor and Shade got destroyed. Yeah, I know THO already mentioned that Myth Drannor isn't gone for good, but now that I read the book, it's pretty obvious that this was one major setback for the elves. By the end of the book it pretty much looks like that the Myth Drannor elves were all slaughtered down to less than a dozen fighters, leaving only the elderly and the children. Shade is pretty much nothing now. They just erased one of the coolest things that happened in the Realm (the reclamation of Myth Drannor) and also one of the very few credible threats in the Realms. Even though technically, Ed did leave a possible way for the princes of Shade (and Telamont too I guess) to come back, Shade is still reduced to little more than nothing. Very disappointing.

- I hate it that Dove was brought into the book just to be killed off. Ed should have just left her alone. The Srinshee gives off the same vibe, but at least there was a really good reason for her to be there. Dove's presence was just pretty much random. When I saw characters start dieing I was also expecting the rest of the sisters to get offed. I wonder if Alustriel only survived because Salvatore might want her back in Silverymoon.

- I really liked Larloch until he gave the corny speech where Elminster was rolling his eyes. The character's credibility took a major nosedive then.

- I actually liked the sections with Mirt, but it's hard to ignore that they had a very tenuous connection with the rest of the book. Manshoon continues to be a bumbling idiot. I really REALLY hope that the original Manshoon is still around somewhere and that he's one awesome badass to wipe away the stains that his clones are. One final note about this: I don't really understand how they went from a room where Manshoon is cornered by several high priests and war wizards to a room in the Queen Fee having drinks.



- Finally, everyone gets together at the end to celebrate but no mention of Dove being killed? Certainly Mystra was aware of what happened. I'm guessing that Midnight is still Mystra given her sentence saying "that she inherited the title of Mother"? Though she missing Storm's stew doesn't make her seem Midnight, unless she paid visits to Storm after she ascended to godhood.

quote:
Originally posted by Kentinal

One thing to always remember, WotC has edit control of even what Ed writes. With all those NDAs in place we likely will not know soon if ever on how much the final product of any Ed novel is what Ed wanted and how much WotC wanted. There appear to be valid NDAs nearing if not exceeding 20 years still in place.



You know, it's also possible that Ed wrote something that someone disliked. You can't blame it all on WotC editing when Ed has been writing in this style since forever.

Sir Markham pointed out, drinking another brandy. "A chap who can point at you and say 'die' has the distinct advantage".
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3314 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2014 :  01:16:08  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tanthalas

When I saw characters start dieing I was also expecting the rest of the sisters to get offed. I wonder if Alustriel only survived because Salvatore might want her back in Silverymoon.




Is Alustriel the only sister to be alive now? What about Laeral?

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/
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BenN
Senior Scribe

Japan
377 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2014 :  04:32:00  Show Profile Send BenN a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tanthalas
- Hate it that both Myth Drannor and Shade got destroyed. Yeah, I know THO already mentioned that Myth Drannor isn't gone for good, but now that I read the book, it's pretty obvious that this was one major setback for the elves. By the end of the book it pretty much looks like that the Myth Drannor elves were all slaughtered down to less than a dozen fighters, leaving only the elderly and the children.

I agree with you about Myth Drannor, but I think there are more survivors than that. Via THO, Ed said that most of the non-combatants had already got out before the siege bang in earnest, and that of 6,500 defenders, about 5,000 were killed, and when the Coronal finally retreats to Semberholme
quote:
There were elves everywhere around around her, in bloody armor, swords in their hands, weeping and embracing


As the Tree of Souls has survived, presumably the elves will want to reclaim the city as soon as they can; but where can they expect to get help/reinforcements from? I guess this is a set-up for a new adventure for PCs.

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan
Is Alustriel the only sister to be alive now? What about Laeral?


Most of them are alive IIRC; only Dove died in the novel.
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2556 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2014 :  05:32:10  Show Profile Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think a number of elves survived the attack on Myth Drannor, but the city still got at least partially destroyed. It was only around for a hundred years or so, only to get destroyed again. Even if it is only partially destroyed, it kind of nullified the Last Mythal books, IMO. I know the elves can rebuild, and will...again.

I took liked Shade as an enemy, though they were far more intimidating in previous books than they were in this one.

Also...what about the ghost of Alusair? She was a real presence in the previous Sage of Shadowdale books, but she wasn't in the Herald at all.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Tanthalas
Senior Scribe

Portugal
502 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2014 :  18:29:50  Show Profile Send Tanthalas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BenN
Most of them are alive IIRC; only Dove died in the novel.



Nah, with Dove gone most of them are now dead.

Syluné has been dead for a long while.
Qilué died in the events concerning the Lady Penitent series.
The Simbul died recently in Elminster Enraged.
And Dove died now.

Sir Markham pointed out, drinking another brandy. "A chap who can point at you and say 'die' has the distinct advantage".

Edited by - Tanthalas on 15 Sep 2014 19:15:02
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Penknight
Senior Scribe

USA
538 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2014 :  18:37:54  Show Profile Send Penknight a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tanthalas

quote:
Originally posted by BenN
Most of them are alive IIRC; only Dove died in the novel.



Nah, with Dove gone most of them are now dead.

Syluné has been dead for a long while.
Qilué died in the events concerning the Lady Penitent series.
The Simbul died recently in Elminster's Rage.
And Dove died now.


I haven't been able to keep up with the novels in a while. Would you mind letting me know how The Simbul died? You can PM me if you'd prefer not to say here.

Telethian Phoenix
Pathfinder Reference Document
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Aulduron
Learned Scribe

USA
343 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2014 :  20:28:31  Show Profile Send Aulduron a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I didn't like the destruction of Myth Drannor. I thought the Shadovar were too powerful.

What was the point of Amarune and Delcastle? They really seemed to serve no purpose.

I think Areavin should have at least been mentioned, if not shown. I understand that he left the city, but it was stated that he could feel any attack on the mythal, no matter where he was.

"Those with talent become wizards, Those without talent spend their lives praying for it"

-Procopio Septus
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BenN
Senior Scribe

Japan
377 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2014 :  03:33:00  Show Profile Send BenN a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aulduron
What was the point of Amarune and Delcastle? They really seemed to serve no purpose.

Yeah, that's a good point! They helped (a bit) in defending Myth Drannor, but Storm sent them away again when she realized how futile (and fatal) it was. Most of the Chosen were there anyway, so having an extra pair of (relatively ordinary) humans there didn't make any difference at all.

quote:
I think Areavin should have at least been mentioned, if not shown. I understand that he left the city, but it was stated that he could feel any attack on the mythal, no matter where he was.


Another good point. You would have thought that he would be one of the first people that the Coronal would ask help from; although, who knows if he's still alive in this timeline?

I think it would also have been good if other characters from the Last Mythal series had a mention, especially some of the elven sub-commanders such as Jerreda Starcloak and Edraele Muirreste. If they were in Myth Drannor at the time (i.e. hadn't returned to Evermeet), presumably they would have played prominent roles in the defence.

Another thing that I thought was a bit weird was that Myth Drannor's mythal prevented any of the combatants from using missile weapons. I get how this would be useful in hampering the enemy, but it surely hampered the elves even more; bows are after all an elven speciality, and of course its better to attack your foes from a distance - especially if you want to use hit & run tactics, and you're heavily outnumbered & physically not as robust.

Edited by - BenN on 10 Oct 2014 03:34:09
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Chronthalas
Acolyte

5 Posts

Posted - 06 Dec 2014 :  21:15:47  Show Profile Send Chronthalas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have to post another complaint about the book. It didn't feel like war was coming to Myth Drannor, more like small skirmishes happening here and there. Maybe because the mercenary army felt like such a nondescript clone army the battles didn't seem very important. In one instance Storm comes upon hundreds of troops led by a Shadovar arcanist with two half-orc or half-giant bodyguards. Having recently read and being spoiled by the melee narration from the latest Salvatore novel, in my mind I thought this will certainly pose some major problems!

But instead of a lengthy battle sequence full of thrills I get about five chops with a sword, a Shadovar and two big bodyguards dead, and an army fleeing.

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LordofBones
Master of Realmslore

1275 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2014 :  14:08:36  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

For those who lament the defeat of Telemont, he's only dead in this book. This is D&D so there is no reason you can't bring him back.



I'm not upset over Telamont's death.

I'm upset that Telamont went from being a genuinely competent and terrifying villain to someone whose sole reason for appearing was to show off how l33t Elminster is.

And Larloch, just Larloch. He can't possibly be any worse than Mystra as a deity of magic; hell, Midnight had no qualifications when she ascended, while Larloch hailed from a magocracy, ruled in a magocracy and spent over a thousand years simply researching magic and new spells. He's more qualified than anyone else.

I'm thinking the Chosen and Mystra need to go away for a while and let the other gods of magic and their clergies get the limelight for a bit. I'd love to read more about the clergies of Azuth, Savras and Velsharoon instead of more on Mystra and her Merry Men.
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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

1750 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2014 :  20:17:32  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
And Larloch, just Larloch. He can't possibly be any worse than Mystra as a deity of magic; hell, Midnight had no qualifications when she ascended, while Larloch hailed from a magocracy, ruled in a magocracy and spent over a thousand years simply researching magic and new spells. He's more qualified than anyone else.


Midnight was prepared by Mystra to be able to take on the mantle of godhood and after he ascension El allowed her to tap his mind to learn MANY things. As was stated in the novel this happened in, Midnight became OLD overnight. And whether or not Larloch would be more qualified than Mystra is a matter of debate.

I would like less focus on the Chosen (even though I really like them) as well. And a focus on Azuth's clergy would be nice. If anyone could/should take up the mantle of god all of all magic I think it should be him. Assuming Mystra is ever 'killed' again.

I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1410 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2014 :  20:54:12  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm thinking we're going to see more Azuth in 2015.
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Austin the Archmage
Seeker

USA
57 Posts

Posted - 25 Dec 2014 :  03:20:27  Show Profile Send Austin the Archmage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eilserus

I'm thinking we're going to see more Azuth in 2015.



What makes you say that? Didn't Asmodeus like, eat him or something?
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LordofBones
Master of Realmslore

1275 Posts

Posted - 25 Dec 2014 :  05:18:16  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach

quote:
And Larloch, just Larloch. He can't possibly be any worse than Mystra as a deity of magic; hell, Midnight had no qualifications when she ascended, while Larloch hailed from a magocracy, ruled in a magocracy and spent over a thousand years simply researching magic and new spells. He's more qualified than anyone else.


Midnight was prepared by Mystra to be able to take on the mantle of godhood and after he ascension El allowed her to tap his mind to learn MANY things. As was stated in the novel this happened in, Midnight became OLD overnight. And whether or not Larloch would be more qualified than Mystra is a matter of debate.




And then she ended up getting censured by the Greater Powers, so it seems like she's learned nothing. Honestly, Midnight would be more relatable a deity if she was indeed struggling with the remnants of her previous mortality and her current divinity, perhaps with conversations between the new goddess and her court, all of whom are ascended mortals. Perhaps there's schism between the Chosen, since Midnight doesn't have the closeness the original had to them. Perhaps there's a schism between Mid and Kel, due to Midnight throwing her backing behind Velsharoon. Hell, a scene with Midnight meeting Larloch would have been fun to see, if only for some character development for Larloch and Midnight.

Even the previous Mystra didn't exactly live up to her fluff text either, from being a LN deity and best buds with Wee Jas to Ed Greenwood's interpretation of her.
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3091 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2020 :  23:14:34  Show Profile Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just finished this one myself and it was decent for a Greenwood novel, but all of the page time for Manshoon, Mirt, Storm, Amarune and Arclath felt like a complete waste of time.

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

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cpthero2
Great Reader

USA
2249 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2020 :  05:58:38  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great Reader Artemas Entreri,

Sadly, the big boys and girls get a lot of time over the regular scrubs. I know I am about to board the one way heresy train to hell here, but the Drizz't thing has become a bit much as well as I think some people agree.

Best regards,




Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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