49390I like the twist in this one.  The entire Shadow of the Avatar trilogy takes place during the Time of Troubles when the gods were cast down to wander the Realms, and at least in Shadows of Doom we focus on Elminster, Chosen of Mystra, and follow along to see how her death and the burden she laid on his shoulders affects him.

Or at least that’s what you think at first…

But what starts off as a slapstick adventure of two Harpers following a protecting an eccentric old wizard quickly turns into an epic battle between dark Zhentarim and brave dalesmen fighting to take back their homes.

Still a little bit slapstick, what with an old man in tattered robes and long white beard muttering to himself and being thrown from horseback.

With Harpers, Knights, Zhentalir swordsmen and wizards with malfunctioning magic running round, its small wonder Shadows of Doom held my attention for so long.

But now we must go back and visit Suzanne Collins with Catching Fire, second in the Hunger Games trilogy.

6148028Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before…and surprising readers at every turn.