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ALL THE NOPE

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15797384Ok you know what?  I’m not going to go on about how good this was, or what happened, no cryptic hints tips or clues as to the events and insights Drizz’t gains on his journey here with Dahlia, Enterei, a rogue monk, a dwarven cleric, and Dahlia’s half tiefling son Effron.

You know what I did with this? I read the book, then when I was done I cried.

Not ‘pretty tears rolling down her cheeks’ cried, this was a red faced, snot nosed, bawling my eyes out kind of cry.

I clutched this book to my chest and sat there rocking back and forth crying like I lost my best friend.

So that’s it.  That’s all.  I’m done.

*throws up hands and walks away*

*mutters to self* I’m going to need freaking therapy after this…

Elmister in Hell is next.  Eventually.

62470Banished to the Nine Hells by an evil force, the legendary wizard Elminster Aumar finds himself tortured for his wisdom and power, and must confront the choice between death and madness.

Daughters of a Goddess

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291484Second time reading Silverfall, because it has been so long since I read it before I had forgotten all about it.

 Silverfall is a collection of short stories of the Seven Sisters, daughters of the goddess and her Chosen instruments on the mortal plane.  Six of the sisters can claim full blood kinship, while the seventh is either a half sister or a sister in heart only.  Couldn’t quite suss that out, though I think she’s a half sister. Either way, blood or heart is enough to bind these women together.

 A deep and twisting plot is afoot in the Realms, and one by one the sisters are called upon to solve the mystery of the mix of drow, Sharrans, and the Mad Mage of the Underdark.  Beginning with Dove, weakest of the seven in the Art, each sister investigates a part of the mystery before reporting to the sister and asking them to take the reins.

 Or at least so it seems. We go from warrior Dove to priestess Quile to Lady Mage Larael, The Silver Lady Alustriel, the Witch of Shadowdale Sylune, the Witch Queen Alassra, them at last to Storm the Bard of Shadowdale.  Middling sister in terms of her strength in the Arts, leader of the Harpers and the one sister to confront the Mad Mage in his Undermountain stronghold to end the vast conspiracy once and for all.

 Although I’m not entirely sure exactly what that plot was….

Ah well.  Moving on and moving up!  The Last Threshold, book 4 in the Neverwinter Saga is next!

15797384Drizzt Do’Urden navigates a winding path littered with secrets and lies. Tangled up in his companion Dahlia’s dark secrets, the ties that once held her close to Drizzt threaten to tear as her bonds to his former foe, Artemis Entreri, continue to grow.

Meanwhile, in the caverns of Gauntlgrym, the drow Tiago Baenre enlists the help of Bregan D’aerthe in his quest to destroy Drizzt. While making promises they may not keep, the agents of the elite drow mercenary group hide plans of their own. Determined to stand for what’s right in the Realms once again, Drizzt forges a new road north—toward Icewind Dale. Will his new companions follow? Can he fight the darkness alone? Either way, he knows now where he’s headed—back to the only place that’s ever felt like home.

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Avast Me Hearties!

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7093274Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt folks.

Second in the Blades of the Moonsea trilogy, we return to our heroes a few months after the events of Swordmage and Hulberg is in trouble.

Pirates stalk the coastlines attack all trade coming into and out of Hulberg’s ports, slowly strangling the city.  Internal strife still looms between the native Hulbergs and the foreigners trying to make a living and whom are unknowingly being led by a priest of Cyric.

The Hulmaster faces pressure from the nobles, manipulated by and old enemy of ______, forcing him out onto the sea to find the pirates lair and removed the noose they have been tying around his home.

But ______ absence comes with a cost.  While Geralt hunts down the duel purposes of saving the woman he doesn’t realize he loves and taking out the pirates (whom have conveniently kidnapped her to lure him out), Geralt’s family is overthrown and outcast.  So instead of returning home a hero, he is outcast with the rest of his family and banished from the city.

However, with the true source of the pirates –Geralt’s sniveling cousin- still at large, Geralt must choose what is more important: his family, his woman, or his home.

Coming up next we have a compilation of stories about seven of the most famous women within the Realms: the Seven Sisters, Chosen of Mystra. Silverfall is next.

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Worlds Intertwine

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260073While not technically a Forgotten Realms book, Fistandantilus Reborn is a part of the Lost Gods trilogy, which is a crossover of the Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms world.  And since book one and three of this trilogy are set in the Realms, might as well include this one with them.

Taking place soley on Kyrin, the world setting of Draognlance, we follow the kender Emilio HaversacK (whom we first met in book 3 Tymora’s Luck) as he wanders his world and fetched up against an unlikely duo: a young boy who lost his village to a dragon rage, and a historian who strives for neutrality in all things, even matters of life and death.

But the main focus in on an evil arch mage named Fistandantilus (hereby known as Fist hereafter for this review as his name is too bloody long…) who kept the ravages of time at bay by draining the life forces of his apprentices –of whom the Dragonlance character Raistlin Majere was one- and who was also able to conceive of a way to resurrect himself without turning to lichdom.  By sealing away his essence into his remains and an artifact, it was only a matter of time and patience to bring the two together and make him whole again.

 But when part of his essence is unknowlingly trapped withing the kender Emilio, a dwarf steals his artifact, and a dragon his skull, Fist but now wait and try to manipulate a trifecta of strong willed creatures in order to pull himself back together.  Which he does at the last, but not for long.

Finally going back to the Blades of the Moonsea trilogy by Richard Baker with the second installment of Corsair next.

7093274When pirates threaten his home, Geran is elected by the city council to track the blood-thirsty pirates to their hidden base, infiltrate them, and find a way to stop them before it’s too late. But the pirates are motivated by more than greed. Kin to his enemies, they seek a deeper revenge, one Geran only begins to glimpse when they kidnap the woman he loves.

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Death Comes to Us All

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49374It took me a long, long time to write this review, mostly because I didn’t know what to say about it.

 The story of a young thief attempted to steal from a wizard and was caught and Entered into indentured servitude for a year rather than get turned in to the authorities for his crime. So to say the least, the premise was interesting.  And for the most part the year goes by smoothly, until a ghost starts murdering people in the swamp near the sleepy little backwater Cormyrian town where the lad and his wizard master make his home.

With the wizard master being a former War Wizard of the Realm, the local authorities turn to him to help them solve the murders before a big merchant conclave starts in the town.  And the wizard in turn looks increasingly to our young thief to be his eyes and ears in the town to track the culprit down. Not that there is any shortage of those either…

Did I like it? Yes.  The story was interesting, and while it was a murder-mystery kind of thing, there was enough action to keep me reading.  But that’s really all I can say about it.  It wasn’t the best of the Realms books I have read, nor the worst.  There was nothing that made it stand out to me, which is what made it so hard to put something into words about it.

Anyways.  Moving on to something that is kinda sorta part of the Realms and kinda sorta not. Fistandantilus Reborn, second in the Lost Gods trilogy by Douglas Niles next.

260073Emilo Haversack is unusually worried for a kender — though he can’t for the life of him remember what his problem is. Still, he’s been wandering across Ansalon for quite some time, trying to remember what’s wrong. All he can recall is the name of a very evil, very dead wizard . . . Fistandantilus.

Joined by a young kendermaid, a human lad, and a devout, if somewhat naive priest, Emilo is drawn into a mysterious quest. As he draws closer to the secret of his past, he and his friends find themselves caught in an increasingly sinister web of intrigue.

And as the conclusion of the adventure approaches, the companions learn that their pourpose is one that could catapult them from Krynn — and forever change the destiny of the world they leave behind.

It’s Always What Lies Beneath

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291718“There wasn’t any time to wave goodbye”

What a way to end a book.  No matter how you feel about these characters, I doubt anyone would not feel a chill go down their spine at those words.  I know I did.

We follow the journey of a hunchback named Atreus and his ogre companion Yago as they undertake a seemingly impossible journey to make Atreus handsome.

Born a normal babe to wealthy parents, Atreus lost them in a civil revolt.  In order to save his life, the house wizard cast a disguise spell on the babe to pass him off as a baby ogre, and the spell warped his real form.  In a desperate attempt to fix what he perceived as wrong, he spends much of his family wealth trying to find a magical sure until at last he is directed to the church of Sune, goddess of beauty.  Sune seemingly charges Atreus to travel to a long lost valley and retrieve a vial of water for her from a magical spring located there.

So the companions go, suffer a long and arduous journey filled with the usual terrible dangers of slavers, demons, and dishonest men, to find the valley of Langdharma.  Atreus even finds love along the way, only to lose it all to the greed and avarice of another, to say nothing of his blind stubbornness to see what Sune truly meant by sending him on this quest.

 Sune I think set him to the task so he could see for himself that how he perceived himself could affect how others perceived him.  Feel ugly, look ugly essentially.  Ugh and he was so close to his breakthrough too.  But he was more willing to lose the love he had found than to believe that what people had told him all his life really was true: true beauty starts on the inside.

 And it all ends with him going over the ends of a waterfall, seeing his lady love safe in the lee of a riverbank, and there wasn’t even enough time to wave goodbye.

Still more classics coming! Murder in Cormyr by Chet Williamson, first in the Mysteries trilogy next.

49374Tired of the political machinations of his egotistical fellow wizards, Benelaius retires from the College of War Wizards to take up residency in Cormyr, where he lives peacefully until he and his legman, Jasper, are forced to investigate the murder of a messenger from King Azoun. 25,000 first printing.

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So Called City of the Gods

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62462Second in the loosely related Cities series, Temple Hill focuses on a down on his luck former mercenary soldier named Corin and the half elf thief Lhasha who befriends him.

A year before Temple Hill takes place, Corin was on a procetion job with his company when they were betrayed by one they were supposedly protecting.  In the ensuing battle Corin lost his arm and the rest of the company to an orog and his men.

Shamed for their failure on the job, no longer able bodied in the eyes of those who would otherwise hire him, and feeling utterly wretched in his fortunes, Corin is turned away from every side and spends most of his money trying to have his arm repaired by clerics.  When that fails, faith in all gods and their servants destroyed, he finally tries to drown himself for a pretty half elf give him a second chance by hiring him to protect her.

But nothing is ever that easy is it?

With the aid of the half elf’s foster father, a gnome priest of Gond, they uncover a darker ploy at large within the city and work to bring it down.  Unbeknownst to Corin, the journey will bring him face to face with old enemies, new friends, a chance at redemption, and possibly a new arm to make him whole again.

 I think my favorite part was how Corin and Lhasha don’t fall hopelessly in love at the end.  There are hints that it might happen, and for all we know it could in their future, but for now at the end of this they’re just good friends.  And while most times I root for the romantic couple, it is a nice change of pace when it doesn’t happen.

Another classic next: Faces of Deception by Troy Dennig, second in the Lost Empires series.

291718Hidden from his powerful family’s enemies behind the hideous mask of his own face. Sent by the goddess of beauty on an impossibe mission. Driven to find a way past his own flesh, into a soul torn between destiny and love.

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