650584So.  If you haven’t caught on that I’m a huge Forgotten Realms fan, you haven’t been paying attention.

Ok granted you might have missed it because I haven’t really been reading Realms books lately, but hey.  You eat nothing but steak for years and every once in a while you’re going to crave a veggie burger.

I think that analogy works…

Moving on!

The Avatar Trilogy is one of the earlier trilogies of the Realms world not only in publication history but also timeline history.  The entire story arc covers a time in the Realms when the gods were kicked out of the heavens by their lord and forced to walk the earth in -you guessed it- avatars.

So the premise is that two gods: Bane god of strife and Myrkul god of death, conspired to steal some heavy duty magic items called the Tablets of Fate from their own creator Lord Ao.  Lord Ao of course got his knickers in a twist and banished all the gods from their homes in the heavens and hells to take human form and learn a little humility.  Apparently before this the gods had been acting like spoiled children and pappa Ao had to ground them

So from book 1-3 (I’m assuming at least since I haven’t read 2 or 3 yet…) it’s all about finding the Tablets and returning them and the gods to the heavens.  We meet up with a sorceress named Midnight who is a servant of the goddess of magic Mystra and is given a portion of the goddess magic to hold in trust; a soft hearted thief named Cyric; a priest named Adon who is a servant of Sune, goddess of love and beauty; and a cursed warrior named Kelemvor.

These four get caught in a power struggle between three gods and have to travel to Shadowdale and enlist the help of Elminster the Sage to prevent Bane from returning to the heavens and taking over as king.  Hence the name of the title.

I’m a little disappointed in this.  It had been so long since I read any Realms I was hoping going back basically to the beginning would be good for me but Shadowdale was actually pretty blah for me.  I like the characters, much of their development in intriguing, but for some reason everything else around them fell rather flat.  It was almost like the characters were what the author cared about, not the story if that makes any sense.

This won’t stop me from continuing the series or from reading more Realms books, I was just hoping for a lot more from it.

Who’s worse: zombies or zombie-apocalypse survivors?  Decide for yourself next time with Road to Woodbury by Robert Kirkman.

13538757The zombie plague unleashes its horrors on the suburbs of Atlanta without warning, pitting the living against the dead. Caught in the mass exodus, Lilly Caul struggles to survive in a series of ragtag encampments and improvised shelters. But the Walkers are multiplying. Dogged by their feral hunger for flesh and crippled by fear, Lilly relies on the protection of good Samaritans by seeking refuge in a walled-in town once known as Woodbury, Georgia.

At first, Woodbury seems like a perfect sanctuary. Squatters barter services for food, people have roofs over their heads, and the barricade expands, growing stronger every day. Best of all, a mysterious self-proclaimed leader named Philip Blake keeps the citizens in line. But Lilly begins to suspect that all is not as it seems. . . . Blake, who has recently begun to call himself The Governor, has disturbing ideas about law and order.

Ultimately, Lilly and a band of rebels open up a Pandora’s box of mayhem and destruction when they challenge The Governor’s reign . . . and the road to Woodbury becomes the highway to hell in this riveting follow-up to Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga’s New York Times bestselling The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor.