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General I'm reading the Forgotten Realms Novels- #106 The Nether Scroll by Lynn Abbey (Lost Empires 4)

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
If you like Malik, he's also in a couple of other novels. The return of the Archwizards trilogy and The Sentinel

Troy Denning likes to get value from his characters- Avner's back (sort of- he's dead) from the Twilight Giants Trilogy in Crucible also.

Cheers Goonalan
 

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Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
The problems between Thomsen and Salvatore got to the point where Thomsen commissioned a Drizzt novel written by someone other than Bob. Shores of Dusk. There were ads for it in Dragon. If Shores had not been (wisely) shelved by Wizards after they acquired TSR, Salvatore would likely have been done with Drizzt in 1997.

I remember that! I remember getting excited for Shores of Dusk (by Mark Anthony), and then . . . . nothing. It's interesting to get some of the behind-the-scenes info on what went down.

I think it's natural for authors to want as much creative control over their characters as possible, however . . . . when you do "work-for-hire" as a writer contributing to a shared world, you DON'T own your own characters. To get precious about it is ridiculous, IMO. Of course when your contributions are as popular as the "dark elf" is to the Realms, that gives you a bit of clout when wrangling with the editors (or, it should). And good editors will give their prize authors as much creative freedom and "ownership" as possible, to get the best results! Sounds like Thomsen wasn't a very good line manager and did a lot of damage during his time at TSR.

It won't happen (and probably shouldn't), but I've always wanted WotC to release Shores of Dusk digitally as a non-canon Dark Elf story. It's my understanding the novel was fully completed and ready to go . . . . I wonder if it's still sitting on somebody's hard drive at WotC, or if Anthony still has his manuscript? I'm just so curious about that story!
 

JLowder

Adventurer
Sounds like Thomsen wasn't a very good line manager and did a lot of damage during his time at TSR.

It won't happen (and probably shouldn't), but I've always wanted WotC to release Shores of Dusk digitally as a non-canon Dark Elf story. It's my understanding the novel was fully completed and ready to go . . . . I wonder if it's still sitting on somebody's hard drive at WotC, or if Anthony still has his manuscript? I'm just so curious about that story!

Some people liked Brian. I was not one of them. His management of the book line and the book department directly led to me parting ways with TSR as a writer and editor in 1994.

Shores of Dusk was, I believe, finished and ready for the printer when the project was killed. Mark Anthony might have his drafts, but may not have the final, edited copy; he was paid a kill fee for the book and probably signed away any rights to publication. Wizards may have files, but it is also possible that the edited text was not saved. TSR was terrible about keeping records and Wizards has some gaping holes in their company archives. In any case, it's unlikely the book will ever see print so long as Bob Salvatore is still writing Drizzt. I'm not privy to the terms of the agreement, but it may have precluded the book ever seeing print.

If you want a glimpse into the alternate Drizzt, there's Realms of the Underdark, which contains no new Salvatore. (Including the Passage to Dawn preview was a way to get his name on the cover, even though he did not contribute to the book.) Mark Anthony does the Drizzt story in that one. As with Once Around the Realms, the real-world machinations show through in Realms of the Underdark if you know the backstory--the book as a whole is all about Brian showing Bob that the Underdark and drow in the Realms will go on at TSR without him. (The four Realms anthologies I had pitched as line editor were Valor, Infamy, Magic, and Mystery. I left before Magic. Mystery did not end up on the schedule until after the WotC buyout.)

Cheers,
Jim Lowder
 
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Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
#043 Shadows of Doom by Ed Greenwood (Shadow of the Avatar 1)
Read 8/1/20 to 11/1/20


Forgotten Realms Shadows of Doom (Shadow Avatar 1) a 30.jpg

Right then, it took me a while to get going with this one, I picked it up on the third day of reading and I was only on page 38... which is not a good sign. But... but then I read the rest of the book in a flash, and there seemed to be a reason for that.

The first 50 or so pages (and the last 50) could almost be from somewhere else. It's a slow start to Ed Greenwood/Elminster's take on the Time of Troubles (which this book isn't)- the gods are out their heaven's and stalking the land, magic is fading or else gone wild, and Elminster is having to carry a great big chunk of Mystra's load (her raw power).

So, it begins with much oddness, let me explain-

1) Sexuality, every woman we meet is somehow attracted (in some way) to the tall and thin Mr. Mage that is Elminster. More than that the lady knight (Storm) is wont to do her weapon training sans any upper body protection, or indeed sans anything on her upper body at all- au natural. She spars with our pair of Harper heroes and we are treated to a flurry of innuendo, 'swords gripped tight in hand', 'twin orbs' etc. that kind of thing. There's a lot of this, and much kissing throughout, and waking to find the millennial mage has thrown an arm over his sleeping female companion. It's not massively inappropriate just more than a little jarring (at times), and slightly creepy at other times.

2) Ego, everyone- and I mean everyone from Mystra down is happy to queue around the block to tell us how great Elminster is, and that he's the man, the one, the grand fromage. It gets a little grating after a while, Elminster doesn't say this kind of thing, although there's a little hubris here and there, but Mr Greenwood is keen to let us know how great his mage is- goddesses, and young beautiful warrior knights, gather to mourn (light candles and sway hypnotically) when Elminster goes missing. It's a bit...

3) Emotional, everyone for a bit (at the start) is 'cast down to the darkest place, where feint hope fear not to tread', or some such. Elminster goes for a walk in the woods, and soon after is reported missing. Even the five year old little girl he meets in the woods is left low by the great mage's words and passing. It's all a bit teenage angsty, with the dark cubby-holes of the mind probed for shadows prior to the tears and the forlorn wailing.

So, there's a lot of this in the first fifty or so pages, too much- we get it. Elminster is the rock star mage that all women (of all ages) want to be with, he's better than the gods because he's so... sexy? Cool? Powerful? He's so... ELMINSTER!

Then all that stops, or at least just goes away- Elminster heads off in to the woods, now that his magic is bust, and the next thing you know he and Sharn (female Knight of Myth Drannor- a looker, of course) find a gate, then some Zhent, and then they go through the gate and find a lot more Zhent. Suddenly we're in the High Dales and the Zhent have usurped power there, the people are enslaved and/or mostly broken. Thank Elminster that Elminster has arrived to save the day.

Oh, and the plot- such as it is, has at last turned up.

It seems so random, sure we get a cut scene earlier in which Manshoon gurns at some of his Beholder chums as the head of the Zhentarim learns that magic has gone all awry, but the troubles in High Dale seem totally disconnected from the Time of Troubles, and Elminster's arrival unplanned, its all a bit random.

That said the next 200+ pages race by, Elminster & Sharn- followed in to action by the sword-practicing Harper heroes conjure not spells but revolution. There's a pile of great action here, nice stories- and some great insights in to the lives of the down-trodden, and for that matter the machinations of the Black Network petty tyrants. Great stuff, the battle for High Castle is fantastic- Greenwood has a way with these kinds of confrontations, it's visceral and terrible- folk are sick, and scream. Not because they're dying or being slaughtered, but because they're terrified and are being forced to fight- to kill, it's a lot better than many of the other novels in this regard. The bad things that the good people have to do in order to achieve the end goal- the guilt that haunts them... again, all great.

Then there's another odd section at the end, the fight is over in High Dale and the heroes have lead the common folk to victory- suddenly we're whisked away to Spellgard, and soon after a series of 'final' confrontations with a succession of Zhent magelings, culminating in the arrival of the big Kahuna. Manshoon himself turns up for the final showdown- it's all very exciting (which makes it much easier to ignore all the continued kissing, flattery and the now slightly less creepy sexual chemistry on display) the intro and the action with the (sexy- in an undead sorta way) female Archlich is particularly good.

But, save for the odd bit of failed magic- and Elminster's failure to hurl spells there's little made of the Time of Troubles, and the Zhent's taking of High Dale, and the latter attacks in Spellgard, all seem remarkably disconnected.

If you asked me what was the book about, I'd answer you with one word- Elminster.

It's good, great in places- but a day later and I still can't make the plot sit right in my head- Elminster just wandered in to the woods (to hide his broken magic) and ends up leading a revolution and defeating the head of the Zhent. No plans, no plot- the reader/writer just dives in to the battle for freedom.

Last bit- there are plenty of strong male, but mostly female, characters here- which is great, strong women in Fantasy Fiction are good, particularly back then- but they're all in various stages of enamoured with our guy. Which is less helpful for the genre/sex, I think.

Elminster himself is very cool throughout, although at times prosaic, at other times surly(-ish) and always on the look out for a little more sugar in his life. As I say, a bit- how to put it nicely- creepy. Perhaps I'm reading it wrong, too sensitive- maybe it's just a rip-roaring lark in which the heroes (as always) eventually defeat the dark side.

It's odd, and there's more to come.

Last, last bit, it's also hard to read because there's a lot of High Realmsian language, Greenwood has a different word for everything- a Realmsian language which is unexhibited in almost all of the other novels, this is interesting and tiring in equal measure. On the whole I'm more positive about the use of language here, there are phrases that Elminster (and others characters) use that I will take in to my game. But, you need to get used to it, to build up a tolerance, while at the same time learning to smile wanly as another Realmsian phrase is uttered- "hence, many wonders for your seeing eyes bedeck the pages of this august and telling novel, which dipped in twilight searches for naught but the stars."

That kind of thing- makes it a bit harder to read at times, just sometimes.

Read!
 
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Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Hehe, I'm a sucker for any Elminster fiction.

I haven't read this trilogy in a long time, but I love the foes who are the main foes of this trilogy, and book 2 has one of my favorite scenes from FR even if many people don't like it :)
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
Hehe, I'm a sucker for any Elminster fiction.

I haven't read this trilogy in a long time, but I love the foes who are the main foes of this trilogy, and book 2 has one of my favorite scenes from FR even if many people don't like it :)

I'm about 100 pages in to this one, and I'll be honest I'm more than a little perplexed, and please keep in mind that I am coming from nowhere here, before I started this project the realms was a map (and nothing more) that I had seen maybe a dozen times before 5e came about.

When 5e started up then I did a little more reading on the FR Wiki in order to make sense of some of the things that appeared in the various WotC hardback modules.

So, here are my questions so far-

1) Malaugrym? I had to go and look them up (about 30 seconds ago) I had no idea (apart from the description in the text) what they were. Why pick these guys- surely they're very niche.

2) On page 50 (exactly- not a page less, not a page more) the Time of Troubles (maybe) starts- there's flashing lights and meteor like effects as the gods are sent to Faerun. If that's the case then what was going on in the previous novel. I read that thinking it was sent in the Time of Troubles, perhaps I got that wrong- perhaps it was just before, but I never spotted that.

3) So far, and I know I'm only 100 pages in but there's nothing much about the Time of Troubles- only Elminster (played by Selune), Sharn and the Harper hero pair doing pretty much what they did in the last one, only with different bad guys (mostly).

Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying the action- and the time spent with the crazy Malaugryms in their Shadow Castle with all the TVs switched to the Elminster channel but... I keep thinking I've missed something.

So, without telling what goes on in the next 214 pages, can you, or anyone, tell me if I've missed something.

The plot in summary is this-

It's the Time of Troubles- the time is ripe therefore the Malaugrym (& some Zhent) to kick Elminster's backside, and vice-versa- time for Elminster (et al) to do for the Malaugrym.

Have I got it right?

Cheers Goonalan
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
It's the Time of Troubles- the time is ripe therefore the Malaugrym (& some Zhent) to kick Elminster's backside, and vice-versa- time for Elminster (et al) to do for the Malaugrym.

Hehe.

That's a pretty accurate summation of events in this trilogy :)

In addition to this trilogy, Malaugrym show up in the first two Spellfire books as well as one of the Harpers books, Stormlight (book 14 in the series).

So it kind of depends on your reading order. I'd read Spellfire as one of my first FR books, and the Harpers series before I read the Shadows of the Avatar trilogy I think.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
Hehe.

That's a pretty accurate summation of events in this trilogy :)

In addition to this trilogy, Malaugrym show up in the first two Spellfire books as well as one of the Harpers books, Stormlight (book 14 in the series).

So it kind of depends on your reading order. I'd read Spellfire as one of my first FR books, and the Harpers series before I read the Shadows of the Avatar trilogy I think.

The issue is the buying of the books- I looked at different ways to do this (there was another thread here prior to this one asking people to suggest the correct order to read the books)- reading all of them in publication order, reading them as a sort of time line of the Realms, but the difficulty has (and will) always be getting hold of the books.

So for example I was looking for Mortal Consequences and for about a month-and-a-half every time I checked on ebay/amazon/abe and anywhere else I could find then the book was something like £10+ postage from the states.

The most I have paid for a single book is about £8 + postage from UK (about £10 total). I'm on a budget (sorta).

Then, last week I found a copy of Mortal Consequences on ebay for £3, including postage.

So, I buy books when I can- and when they're on the list to be read soon (and reasonably priced), or if I see them and they're cheap- regardless where they come in the running order, the problem with this of course is it effects the running order dramatically.

I have lots of other examples of the above- it took me the best part of two months of intermittent searches to finally track down the Double Diamond Triangle saga without having to break the bank. There are still some novels that are proving hard to get hold of.

If you get a chance have a look back at the running order (on the first page) feel free to suggest any changes, I'm happy to take advice.

Cheers Goonalan
 

Nosaje

Villager
I believe the Malaugrym tend to show up in a lot of the Elminster novels. l. From what I recall they also show up in the Harpers series novel The Night Parade. They have stats in 2e and 3rd edtion products, but they have not shown up in 5e yet.
 

Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
(snip) 1) Malaugrym? I had to go and look them up (about 30 seconds ago) I had no idea (apart from the description in the text) what they were. Why pick these guys- surely they're very niche. (snip)

Ed wanted a monster potent enough to be a threat worthy of Elminster and other NPCs, but also very mysterious in the way they operate and present themselves so that they can also remind behind-the-scenes and drive intrigue.

I rather like them but they're a lot of work to stat up even in my preferred 4E.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Prince was supposed to be the roughly same length as the other Realms books at the time--100,000 words, according to my contract--but I wrote long and my editor successfully petitioned for me to be allowed extra pages. With the color map at the front, which ran in the first few printings, and the spot illos throughout, this made Prince something of a prestige paperback release in the Realms line. I still had to tighten the end of the story--I wrote really long--but I greatly appreciated having the extra pages.

Glad you enjoyed it!

Cheers,
Jim Lowder

I liked it as well, think my copy is on the shelf.

Edit just looked and can't find it. Books are a mess though and getting faded from sunlight.
 
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Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
Oh I like the Malaugrym, they seem suitably chaotic and at the same time hierarchical and structured; also malevolent and crazy in their obsession to off Elminster.

It's possibly odder (to me) that I don't remember ever seeing the monster in action anywhere in an official product (I bought a lot of 2e/3e modules)- that's not to say I know them all of them off by heart, I may just not be remembering. I had to look these guys up (as I've said) I thought at first it was some sort of Decapus/Rast(-like) creature that I was seeing.

I'm less keen on the fact that the book so far- 'Cloak of Shadows' seems to be following a very similar path to the last one, sorta... but I'm only just over a 100 pages in so, lots to go still.

Cheers Goonalan
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
Oh, and I've probably asked this before- and then forgotten the answer.

How do I go about setting up a Signature for my posts.

Just in case by Signature I mean the box at the bottom with text in it which will automatically appear every time I post- apologies, I am not good with computers, or indeed the correct nomenclature for computer-related-stuff.

I'm a subscriber here, can I get a Signature?
I think I had one previously...

Any advice?

Cheers goonalan
 

JLowder

Adventurer
The issue is the buying of the books- I looked at different ways to do this (there was another thread here prior to this one asking people to suggest the correct order to read the books)- reading all of them in publication order, reading them as a sort of time line of the Realms, but the difficulty has (and will) always be getting hold of the books.

eBay is a good starting place. The site bookfinder.com is a good used book search aggregator. You can sometimes find good deals there.

As the Realms series stretches on, many of the titles will become harder to find. The TSR books in the late 80s and early 90s went through multiple printings and sold over (some well over) 100,000 copies each. Many of the late Realms series releases from Wizards only went through one, relatively small printing. This has nothing to do with the quality of the books, but rather speaks to the differences between the bookselling market in the early 1990s and the last ten or so years, as well as the way the publisher perceived the fiction as part of their overall publishing plan.

Bob Salvatore's Drizzt books don't follow this model, of course. They are a thing unto themselves, with their own rules.

Cheers,
Jim Lowder
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
eBay is a good starting place. The site bookfinder.com is a good used book search aggregator. You can sometimes find good deals there.

As the Realms series stretches on, many of the titles will become harder to find. The TSR books in the late 80s and early 90s went through multiple printings and sold over (some well over) 100,000 copies each. Many of the late Realms series releases from Wizards only went through one, relatively small printing. This has nothing to do with the quality of the books, but rather speaks to the differences between the bookselling market in the early 1990s and the last ten or so years, as well as the way the publisher perceived the fiction as part of their overall publishing plan.

Bob Salvatore's Drizzt books don't follow this model, of course. They are a thing unto themselves, with their own rules.

Cheers,
Jim Lowder

I'm trying to buy as many as I can, while I can- when I get paid at the end of each month I have a splurge and attempt to pick the next however many. I got 30+ for Christmas from a variety of family & friends.

Ebay has indeed been the best place to look, 2/3 come from there, the other 1/3 from a mix of amazon, abe and others. I'll check out bookfinder.

Here's the list of what I've got ready to read, although there are maybe another 20-30 that have not made it on to this list yet-

Reading List

And keep in mind I've only been at this for maybe five months, I've managed to pick up maybe 150 of them so far, often I just search the above places for 'forgotten realms' and it's very obvious that there are very much fewer copies of the later novels then the older stuff.

Anyone with books to spare (that are on the list above, and I'm wanting)- feel free to donate, I'll pay your postage (at least), feel free to get in touch- pretty please.

Cheers Goonalan
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
#044 Cloak of Shadows by Ed Greenwood (Shadow of the Avatar 2)
Read 12/1/20 to 16/1/20


Forgotten Realms Cloak of Shadows (Shadow Avatar 2) a 30.jpg

Book 2- and more of the same, it's crazy good and yet crazy not quite so good in places- the rest of it is just crazy. It's all over the place(s) at times, and yet... it's a day or so after I finished this one and I still can't really decide how much I liked it. It's hard to grasp, at times... what happened?

So, the deal is- more of the same, the Time of Troubles- gods on Toril and magic is wild. Although it needs to be said that the Avatar series did a different thing with the broken magic set-back, in this series it is hardly broken at all, in the first Avatar series you cast Detect Magic and inadvertently open a portal to the Netherparts (you get my drift). It's also the same four(-ish) heroes- Sharn, the two Harper Ranger guys (cheeky chappies both of 'em) and Elminster (being faked, mostly, in this one by Selune- she's wearing the millennial mage, sorta). So, more of that again- and some more solo Elminster (in flying head form, but also in other shapes and sizes), in fact there's a lot of Elminster in this one for a book that doesn't have the name Elminster on the cover. But that's okay.

Sex is in still, as is a bit of lewdness, accompanied by the itchy red rash of innuendo- like in the last novel- that kind of thing is significant, I think, it's like Greenwood is ignoring the house style/rules (only slightly) and getting away with it. It's my Realms... maybe. But I've not read enough of the other books yet to truly tell- there's even a behind closed doors sex scene in this one... with Khelben Blackstaff & Laeral Silverstaff (fret not, they're married- and to each other). It seems the ladies can't resist an Archmage...

So, to the plot (such as it is)- at heart of it are the Malaugrym, the bad guys, terrifyingly fierce shape-changers, and flame hot mages to boot (the best of them). They live in the Shadow Castle, on the Shadow Plane, possibly on Shadow Street (but not the sunny side) etc. They all hate Elminster, and the Chosen, and humans in general, and the Forgotten Realms, oh... and each other. The Malaugrym have a few issues to work through, it seems. The big prize for them, during the Time of Troubles, is to kill El (and any other Chosen) and then... take over the WORLD (or similar).

The Malaugrym are great, not particularly because of their terrifying magics and powers, but because they're (mostly) all arrogant moustache twirling villains as depicted in early black-and-white movies (even the females), and also Illithid-like crazy and Drow-like cruel.

The Malaugrym attack our heroes (repeatedly) in the Realms, eventually kill the false Elminster, and then the good guys (now with a ghostly Selune) take the fight to the Shadow Castle.

The section in which our heroes camp out with Amdramnar is just glorious, the fact that he takes them in and the heroes get to party in the Malaugrym's backyard is also tres chic.

And yet...

And yet...

I keep getting this itch in my brain, a nagging doubt- there's so much going on here, we skip about and go visit with dozens of different folk, there are sections when the story gambols on and (very nicely) the tension builds, but then we're off again- and the quality control isn't always turned to max, or else the new thing we investigate, while interesting, kinda just deflects or defuses the tense bit that is still going on elsewhere.

It's frustrating, it's all about Elminster (women love him, guys look up to him, and gods turn up to remind him how great he is), and yet there's this other story with these cool heroes, and equally cool villains (who we repeatedly get to party with in their creepy lair). And, of course, El turns up (every now and then) to save the heroes, while he's also elsewhere saving the rest of the world.

You might be thinking by now that I don't like Elminster- but that's not it, I like Elminster plenty but like high level play in D&D (any edition, pretty much) if there's a 20th Level Wizard in the party then pretty much the rest of the guys are just there to carry the bags.

This one, perhaps this series (I've not finished it yet), is a funny-shaped piece of the jigsaw.

Read.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
#045 All Shadows Fled by Ed Greenwood (Shadow of the Avatar 3)
Read 16/1/20 to 19/1/20


Forgotten Realms All Shadows Fled (Shadow Avatar 3) a 30.jpg

Book 3- and, of course, it's more of the same... although tbh this one stays on a fairly narrow, and straightforward plot/adventure for quite a while, it's not until the end that it seems to chop and change the narratives a lot more.

In this series there have been three (sorta) plots going on- the Zhentarim (and others) attack on the various Dales, the Malaugrym's attempt to destroy the Chosen ones and in particular Elminster, and lastly (and seemingly least importantly) the Time of Troubles.

The fact that there are these three things going on (and a few other bits), overlapping (only very slightly though) and jumping about a lot, makes all of the novels in this series seem a little light in places- certainly not intense as some of the others that do a lot more heavy-lifting.

The issue with the Time of Troubles here is that it gets lost, shoved in to the background- if you've not read the initial Avatar series (or at least the first three of them) then there are times when you're going to be a little confused by the action. Events in the initial Avatar series are explained away very quickly here (as if the reader already knows what has been going on). One minute Elminster is with us- the next he's gone, dead- and all and sundry (from the common folk to gods (sorry goddesses)) are in mourning.

Both of the other stories- the Zhent attacks, and their network of petty tyrant leaders is a fascinating expose of their mindset and the way they go about things- again, all good. The same goes for perhaps the more interesting story- the Malaugrym in the Shadow Castle, the shape-changing nasty bastard's desire to off Elminster and take over the Realms. Glorious- and yet, both tales are lessened somewhat by the swooping and swapping between them.

Which is a shame.

There are also bags and bags of good guys in this series to get to know, and to remember who they are- easily a dozen significant (in action) heroes, perhaps nearer twenty.

This novel is the conclusion of the trilogy, and in places a gripping read- the final attacks of the Zhents on the Dales is glorious in places, evocative in its explicit depiction of the terrors of mass combat, armies clashing and the finality and loneliness of death and dying. Very good.

And yet their story seems to just peter out... they're beat, the war is over- now for the Malaugrym.

It's the same again for the Shadowmasters, the things they get up to are glorious, and nasty, and leaves the reader wanting more- or better still a single novel (or two) that is about the Realms folk battling the shadow-dwellers, without the intrusion of the Zhent.

In conclusion Elminster shows up and that's all he wrote... which, again is a little deflating. If you've read the initial Avatar series (which you'll need to have done to make this book/trilogy make perfect sense) then you already know that El is alive and well, and will be back.

Therefore the final showdown, and El's arrival- is... unsurprising.

There are some great little vignette's here also- Storm's trip to Sembia, the Malaugrym in the Tower of Mortoth (and in the Realms in general), the 'honourable' Red Wizard- all of these are fantastic, particularly Storm's journey.

So, two great stories- mashed together, at times, the only significant overlap being the presence of the heroes stood in the middle (in particular Shar and the pair of cheeky/chirpy Harpers & Selune).

There's a lot of love, and lust- as usual.

It's great, then just good, and then why are we here... and doing this- it's never bad, just not as coherent as perhaps it could have been.

Did Ed Greenwood have to make changes, so that his trilogy could sit easily alongside the initial Avatar series? It seems that way.

Read.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
#046 The Legacy by RA Salvatore (Legacy of the Drow 1)
Read 19/1/20 to 23/1/20


Forgotten Realms The Legacy (Legacy Drow 1) a.JPG

And we're back in Salvatore land, and all is... well.

It's not great, like some of the previous Drizzt books, but it does the job- and flies by given half the chance, I had three goes at reading this one- the first two attempts got interrupted (work- gah!), the last- well, suddenly, it was the end of the book.

Lloth, and in particular, Vierna (Drizzt's favourite sister) is gunning for Drizzt, the ultimo sacrifice to the eight-legged her-nastyness. Also in tow are Jarlaxle, who I like more and more every time I encounter him; and Entreri who... well, same again- I do love me some super-villains with (bad/cool) attitude. Point of fact Vierna (High Priest of Eight-Legged Grave-Machine) is the least bad ass of the bad guy squad.

Then on the other hand there's the roll call of good guys- Bruenor (of the Battlehammer), Catti, Wulf, a little bit of Regis (and his Mask wearing friend) and of course the Drow's faithful feline- Guenhwyvar. So, the gangs all here- there's even a comedy Dwarf, the Battlerager Pwent is back.

However it starts badly, I have to say, the Drizzt - Catti - Wulfy triangle is back in force. For three folk that swear that they love each other, and will give their lives to save the others- they don't ever get around to chatting with each other about, y'know- stuff, like feelings. The love tryst seems strange and strained- Catti sort out who and what you want, and if its Wulfy then have a word and tell him how it is (it's the whatever year it is in Dale Reckoning, and women have rights too). Drizzt you do all the inner turmoil shizz- get around to figuring out that you're 'maybe' thing with Catti is not making things any easier- for anyone- again, perhaps a little tete-a-tete to relieve the tension. Lastly, Wulfy- you're a bit of a dick, have a word with yourself.

So, the Drow are coming and Entreri has been hired to lead the charge, his price another showdown with the scimitar-prince (actually we get three showdowns between the pair). There's some nice underdark to enjoy, and lovely bit of hot-Dwarf action, and of course the Drow-squad to admire in full in all their hand crossbow-wielding fury.

Lots and lots of fighting.

Lots and lots.

And lots.

Which is why it was so easy (and quick) to read, on reflection.

All the way to the end which MASSIVE SPOILER culminates in some dark times ahead for a majority of the good guys and the bad.

Wulfy gets stoned (to death) although I'd have a hefty wedge on it, whatever the odds, that the big guy is coming back- no body = no fatality, it's the way here.

Obviously all the of other good guys think Wulfy's dead, and are all to a greater or lesser degree left broken by the loss.

For the Drow team- Vierna's gone to Lloth, Entreri is presumed dead- so, not dead at all then, while Jarlaxle has a broken leg, and is still telling jokes- and smirking in his stupid hat. I love that Drow.

If the other books in this series are as good as this one (which just to remind you, I said at the start isn't great- not quite) then this is still going to be the third or fourth best series that I have read so far. Salvatore's five-some are already very well established, and for a variety of reasons sympathetic (sometimes with shades of annoying) but all of them regardless interesting folk.

There's also the odd thing in that they just seem like an adventuring party that I have encountered before, and I get that they're all to some degree stereotypes, but they are perhaps 'the stereotype' from whence it all began (or if not began, then received a hefty leg-up).

Read.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
#046 The Legacy by RA Salvatore (Legacy of the Drow 1)
Read 19/1/20 to 23/1/20


View attachment 117752

And we're back in Salvatore land, and all is... well.

It's not great, like some of the previous Drizzt books, but it does the job- and flies by given half the chance, I had three goes at reading this one- the first two attempts got interrupted (work- gah!), the last- well, suddenly, it was the end of the book.

Lloth, and in particular, Vierna (Drizzt's favourite sister) is gunning for Drizzt, the ultimo sacrifice to the eight-legged her-nastyness. Also in tow are Jarlaxle, who I like more and more every time I encounter him; and Entreri who... well, same again- I do love me some super-villains with (bad/cool) attitude. Point of fact Vierna (High Priest of Eight-Legged Grave-Machine) is the least bad ass of the bad guy squad.

Then on the other hand there's the roll call of good guys- Bruenor (of the Battlehammer), Catti, Wulf, a little bit of Regis (and his Mask wearing friend) and of course the Drow's faithful feline- Guenhwyvar. So, the gangs all here- there's even a comedy Dwarf, the Battlerager Pwent is back.

However it starts badly, I have to say, the Drizzt - Catti - Wulfy triangle is back in force. For three folk that swear that they love each other, and will give their lives to save the others- they don't ever get around to chatting with each other about, y'know- stuff, like feelings. The love tryst seems strange and strained- Catti sort out who and what you want, and if its Wulfy then have a word and tell him how it is (it's the whatever year it is in Dale Reckoning, and women have rights too). Drizzt you do all the inner turmoil shizz- get around to figuring out that you're 'maybe' thing with Catti is not making things any easier- for anyone- again, perhaps a little tete-a-tete to relieve the tension. Lastly, Wulfy- you're a bit of a dick, have a word with yourself.

So, the Drow are coming and Entreri has been hired to lead the charge, his price another showdown with the scimitar-prince (actually we get three showdowns between the pair). There's some nice underdark to enjoy, and lovely bit of hot-Dwarf action, and of course the Drow-squad to admire in full in all their hand crossbow-wielding fury.

Lots and lots of fighting.

Lots and lots.

And lots.

Which is why it was so easy (and quick) to read, on reflection.

All the way to the end which MASSIVE SPOILER culminates in some dark times ahead for a majority of the good guys and the bad.

Wulfy gets stoned (to death) although I'd have a hefty wedge on it, whatever the odds, that the big guy is coming back- no body = no fatality, it's the way here.

Obviously all the of other good guys think Wulfy's dead, and are all to a greater or lesser degree left broken by the loss.

For the Drow team- Vierna's gone to Lloth, Entreri is presumed dead- so, not dead at all then, while Jarlaxle has a broken leg, and is still telling jokes- and smirking in his stupid hat. I love that Drow.

If the other books in this series are as good as this one (which just to remind you, I said at the start isn't great- not quite) then this is still going to be the third or fourth best series that I have read so far. Salvatore's five-some are already very well established, and for a variety of reasons sympathetic (sometimes with shades of annoying) but all of them regardless interesting folk.

There's also the odd thing in that they just seem like an adventuring party that I have encountered before, and I get that they're all to some degree stereotypes, but they are perhaps 'the stereotype' from whence it all began (or if not began, then received a hefty leg-up).

Read.

The Drizzt books were decent once upon a time.

I liked the 90s ones for the most part. Last great Drizzt book IMHO was The Silent Blade.
 

tglassy

Adventurer
I like most of Drizzt books. There are certainly a few trilogies that weren't up to snuff. Some a little too convenient, some were just forgettable, and there's always so much Drow politics. The most recent ones are almost more of that than of Drizzt. But for every mediocre book, there's a couple really good ones.

And Jarlaxle has become one of my favorite characters in just about any setting. He even did a few books with just Jarlaxle and Entreri, and I loved every minute of those.
 

Presents for Goblins

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