13152311The Gilded Rune by Lisa Smedman is a stand alone novel within the Forgotten Realms universe, and a fascinating one at that.

This book focuses all on dwarves and their culture, but specifically on a human named Torrin who believes himself to be a dwarven soul reborn into a human body by the will of Morradin, patriarch of the pantheon of dwarven gods.

And in the end it all seems to be part of a master plan.

For some reason, dwarves in the city of Earthheart are dying a slow and painful death by turning to stone.  No one knows how or why this is happening, and the only ‘dwarf’ immune to the effects is Torrin Ironstar.

Thus begins his epic quest to find out exactly what is plaguing his friends and how he can help him, a task that is constantly hampered by the same ones he is trying to defend because he is not one of them, and one that leads him deep into the Underdark into a duergar stronghold to find the cause: a curse on Morradin’s very blood.

I loved everything about this book.  The characters, the concept, everything. I actually have the idea to turn it into a Dungeons and Dragons adventure, although I would try to give the players a happier ending than what Torrin had…

Next up we’re heading back to check in on the Brotherhood with the second installment of The Brotherhood of the Griffon quintet by Richard Lee Byers: Whisper of Venom.

8111047The Mad King Returns!

Aoth and the Brotherhood of the Griffon succeeded in rescuing Tchazzar, the lost king of Chessenta and a formidable red dragon. Upon his return Tchazzar rewards them greatly, sends them back to the frontlines–and names himself a god. Increasingly erratic in the war against the powerful dracolich, Tchazzar begins to move in ways that make Aoth suspicious that the Brotherhood may be just a pawn in a cutthroat draconic game that puts whole kingdoms at risk–a game played for a stakes of gold and blood.