Griffons vs Dragons

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9399588Third installment in the Brotherhood of the Griffon quintet by Richard Lee Byers, The Spectral Blaze returns us to the Brotherhood in Chessentea.

The dracolich Alaskabanbastros has been defeated, the red dragon king Tchazzar has reclaimed his mind, the game of dragon chess has been disrupted, and they now turn to face the new threat from the realm of the dragonborn: the kingdom of Tymanthor.

Or so they think.

Alaskabanbastros is still…alive?  Can a dracolich technically be alive?  Anyways he’s undestroyed, and in a new body. He wins Tchazzar over to his cause so they can wage war on Tymanthor together, all the while with both still playing the game.  The only thing is this ‘new’ threat from Tymanthor is not from the dragonborn at all, but rather priests of Tiamat stirring the pots by summoning shape shifting demons to disguise themselves as dragonborn and run amok.

 Oh, and I can’t remember if it was here or in Whispers of Venom, but we learn that this resurrected game of dragon chess is actually a spell that Tiamat is laying upon to dragons, infecting them with a compulsion to play the game and destroy the lesser civilizations of the world in order to take it over once more and reinstate her as the supreme dragon god.

So once more it’s all-out war, this time on three different fronts.  The Brotherhood survives by the skin of their beaks and Chessenta is laid to waste.  Not sure where they can go from here, but it will be interesting to find out.

In the meantime, we’re going to finish up with Ashok and the Shadar-kai of the Shadowfell with Unbroken chain: Darker Road.

10095748The witch Ilvani’s nightmares of a storm and a suffering soul are luring shadow creatures into Ikemmu, bent on hunting her down and killing her for reasons no one can ascertain. Ashok, however, is determined to find a way to stop it before the shadow creatures destroy the city he worked so hard to save. The trail leads him, the witch Ilvani, Cree, and Skagi along a caravan to Rashemen, where similarly strange attacks are happening among the secretive masked witches of the steppes.

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Sentimental Sundays: Deep Kiss of Winter

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6294553Vampire Romance anthology with some of my fav authors, Deep Kiss of Winter was read by July 31 2010.

I loved this book. It was just a random cover that intrigued me and I picked it up and wound up with a new author to follow.

I was completely taken in by Kreasley Cole’s story. It involves all types of mythical creatures interacting with each other. And we’re talking werewolves, vampires, Valkyries, EVERYONE. Her series is focused on a family of brothers, vampires mostly, falling in love with women who are largely half Valkyrie half something else. I really enjoy it.

The second story, Gena Showalter’s, was ok but not enough for me to run out and start buying her series. It was actually quite forgettable for me. Literally. I writing this now I can’t remember anything about the characters or plot.

So if you’ve been hemming and hawing over either author, pick this one up so you can finally decide.

 

Takes a Lickin and Keeps on Tickin

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9952999Second in the Sage of Shadowdale series by Ed Greenwood, Bury Elminster Deep is all about Elminster, Amarune, Storm, and Arclath learning to co-exist with Elminster riding shotgun in Amarune’s mind as he’s just existing as magical ash right now.

Thankfully at the end Elminster gets his body and his beloved Simbul back, who in her new found sanity imparts a secret upon Elminster and a newly arrived Manshoon: Mystra and Azuth knew of the Spellplague, and almost welcomed it.  Magic has become stagnant and needed to change, so instead of stopping it they allowed it to happen for the ‘greater good’.

Kinda pisses me off that she allowed her own death, but I get it.  Mystra is all about magic for magic’s sake, learning and creating new spells and using them and spreading their use across the Realms. If magic and it’s use has become stagnant and lost its creativity then she in turn would have weakened and been lost.  (Personally I think this is just an afterthought olive branch to readers who were livid about 4th edition and it’s changes to the Realms, but whatevs.  I’m willing to accept this at face value as it makes sense for Mystra’s character)

Oh, and Mystra also decrees that Elminster and Manshoon need to join forces, an idea which Manshoon promptly shoots down by lobbing fireballs at Elminsters new body and effectively destroying it…again…

Le. Sigh.

At least now I’m looking forward to reading the next one in this series, Elminster Enraged, but I’ll leave off for a bit. Probably until  the new year to be honest.  This series has just been dragging for me so I’m hesitant to take the next step.

Speaking of next steps, we’re taking the next step with Aoth and crew in the third installment of the Brotherhood of the Griffon series by Richard Lee Byers, The Spectral Blaze, is next.

9399588And then we remembered…

The madness of the Rage

changed the face of the world.

Dragons lost their thrones, treasures,
and knowledge of the Great Game.

But now the Rage is over.

We are the rightful Lords of all Faerûn.

Sentimental Sundays: Starlighter

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6811278Written by Brian Davis, Starlighter is the debut book of the same named series (I think).  Read by Jul 29 2010.

An interesting concept of two adjoining worlds, one where dragons are considered a myth and humans rule the world, and the other where dragons reign supreme and the thought of humans being anymore than expendable labor is nothing more than a fairy tale.

Apparently the dragon world is dependent upon a prophesied Starlighter to watch and care for their unhatched Dark Prince and usher forth a new, golden era for dragon kin.

Definitely not going to wait for the next one with baited breathe. This one was Ok, but it wasn’t interesting enough to capture my attention enough to carry one.

 

The Game Plays On

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8111047Second in the Brotherhood of the Griffon quintet by Richard Lee Byers, Brotherhood of the Griffon returns us to Aoth, Jet and the rest of Brotherhood in Chessentea where they have found their fabled red dragon king of old and have reinstated him to his throne.

Tchazzar was trapped in the Shadowfell for centuries, being kept barely alive as a food source for an undead dragon who sucked out his life essence.  After unwittingly blundering across the border between the Shadowfell and their world, two officers from the Brotherhood found and freed him.  The only problem is, now he’s as mad as a hatter.

Determined to lead a war against an ancient dracolich enemy, the mad king employs the Brotherhood to fight in his army, and along the way Aoth and the other discover that a long dead game of dragon chess has been resurrected and is currently being played again, using the lesser mortal races as pawns….

Two down, three to go for this series, but before we continue on let’s revisit the Old Mage and see what he’s up to shall we?

 Bury Elminster Deep by Ed Greenwood is next.

9952999Elminster’s archenemy, the vampiric Lord Manshoon, thinks he has destroyed Elminster at last. But Elminster survives in the form of magical ash, and with the help of his scion, a fop who is growing into a true nobleman, and his longtime companion Storm, he still has a chance to counter Manshoon’s insidious plots.

Sentimental Sunday: Blood Memories

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2854878Blood Memories is a new seried by Barb Hendee, co author of the Noble Dead saga.  Read by July 28 2010.

Not what I was expecting from Barbe Hendee considering I love the Noble Dead saga she writes with J.C. Hendee. It makes me think that J.C. is the real force behind the Noble Dead.

Mistaken Identity or a God’s Backup Plan?

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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.

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