#124 Silverfall: Stories of the Seven Sisters by Ed Greenwood
Read 3/5/21 to 7/5/21
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I want to say something nice, I'm going to say something nice- it's his world, Ed Greenwood made all of this stuff way back when, and so every word of it is the things that are here, in Faerun- their legit, absolutely canon, I guess. The name's of the roads, the streets, the businesses, the people, the places, the drinks, the drugs, the gangs, the... all of it is real. That's good, great at times. Authentic for someone, like me, who wants to DM his PCs in Faerun, this is the kind of stuff I need to/want to know.
So, that's good.
The story is okay, as far as it goes. Some of the villains, again- plenty of insights here and there into the middle management of the Zhent/Red Wizards, also a brief glimpse of the mad mage- Halister. All good.
The rest of it, oh I don't know.
Is it okay?
Female fantasy heroes, that must be good... right? Right?
But all seems a little Spice Girls, screaming Girl Power while being dressed very specifically for the male gaze- something short, something transparent, something that leaves little to the imagination.
Likewise the sisters, the most of them, use sex as a tool- and that's good too, because men- writing about men, and women, have been doing it for years in every other medium.
It's odd though- the male figures are fawning, or else ensorcelled by the sisters, or else... well they're just walk on acts. Which again is no bad thing- Girl Power, and all that- and perhaps the sister's overt sexuality, and their ability to manipulate men through the same is a good thing.
Are they just femme fatale's, luring men to the light (rather than the more usual dark) side.
I'm not sure what it is about Greenwood's book but they sometimes (like this one) drive me crazy- I want to soak up all of the Faerun backstory, I want to celebrate strong female heroes in popular fantasy fiction, I want to... but that's not the thing that I am left with.
It all, at times, feels a little seedy/dirty, even when it's trying to be natural, or rather au naturale.
There was a comedian back in my youth called Kenny Everett, one of the characters he played was called Cupid Stunt, and keep in mind Mr. Everett was a slight bearded man, dressed in a whore's dress, with big hair, bad make-up, and wearing stockings. The final line of his routine as Cupid would inevitably be some version of the following-
"And then all of my clothes fell off! But it was all done in the best possible taste!"
That's the feeling some of Mr. Greenwood's books leave me with.
Oh, and isn't the (Qilue) Laeral chapter (set in Skullport) very similar, a large chunk of it, to 'A Slow Day in Skullport', in the Realms of the Underdark anthology.