564650Better the second time around.  Not quite sure what happened the first time I tried to read Baldur’s Gate, to be honest I don’t even remember trying to read it in the past but apparently I did and didn’t like it.

But time does affect all things, and I’m not sure that so turned me off of Baldur’s Gate he first time around because I really enjoyed it.

Back in the Time of Troubles, Bhaal, god of murder, walked the earth like all the other gods and somehow foresaw his death.  In a desperate bid to achieve some form of immortality, Bhaal went about planting his seed in females of every race imaginable, willing or not.

As a result, there are several demigods running around Faerun, most of them unaware of their parentage, and sell sword Abdel Adrian is one.  A sell sword raised by a monk of Candlekeep, who takes an above-average joy in killing thanks to the godly blood in his veins.  Now that doesn’t mean to say he runs around murdering people.  But death and the act of making it come to pass in battle?  Oh yes.  Abdel enjoys that a little too much.

Unbeknownst to Abdel, one of his half brother is trying to weave an insidious plot of murder on a grand scale -war between Amn and Tethyr- in an attempt to bring back their dead sire.  Accompanied to two half elf Harpers, a mad wizard, a dastardly halfling and aided by an assassin, Abdel starts his journey of self discovery.  A journey that lies hand in hand with saving the world.

The only thing I didn’t like about Baldur’s Gate was this ghoul they put in there.  Apparently he was a brother in arms for Abdel at one point in time who died in battle and came back as a flesh eating ghoul, but the character just seems kinda thrown in there as a little-too-convenient reason/excuse to keep the story moving when the heroes get boxed in somewhere.  Ah well.  I still enjoyed it.

Probably as much as I’m about to enjoy the next book here: The Lion and the Rose by Kate Quinn.  I always love her work.

18079639As the cherished concubine of the Borgia Pope Alexander VI, Giulia Farnese has Rome at her feet. But after narrowly escaping a sinister captor, she realizes that the danger she faces is far from over—and now, it threatens from within. The Holy City of Rome is still under Alexander’s thrall, but enemies of the Borgias are starting to circle. In need of trusted allies, Giulia turns to her sharp-tongued bodyguard, Leonello, and her fiery cook and confidante, Carmelina.

Caught in the deadly world of the Renaissance’s most notorious family, Giulia, Leonello, and Carmelina must decide if they will flee the dangerous dream of power. But as the shadows of murder and corruption rise through the Vatican, they must learn who to trust when every face wears a mask . . .