529609I think this is the best Realms anthology, bar none.  And it’s not because it’s so well written or the imagery is breathtaking or anything like that.  Because while I did enjoy the stories found in Realms of Valor, each story follows a hero of the Realms, so not only is it almost like a reunion for those of us who have known the Realms for a long time, but it also serves as one of the best introduction to the Realms I have seen so far.

Elminster, Drizz’t, King Punch, Adon, and King Azoun are just a few of the famous (or infamous) characters that make an appearance in Realms of Valor.  So for those familiar with these names it serves as funny anecdotes for old friends, or the perfect stepping stone to the world of Forgotten Realms in all it’s glory.

Which, when you think about it, is just what you would expect from a book with ‘valor’ in the title.  Tales of heroes on daring adventures, killing the dragon, saving the princess, or just having fun with their lives before something big and mean comes along to end it.

Backing off the Realms for a bit now.  We’re returning to the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward with the latest installment: The King.

18108281Long live the King…

After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle–with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything–and everyone–at risk.

Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response–or the distance it creates between them.

The question is, will true love win out… or tortured legacy take over?