#027 Canticle by RA Salvatore (Cleric 1)
Read 18/11/19 to 19/11/19
I really liked this one, hence the fact it only took me two days to read it- although, truth be told, I had time to kill on both days, still the inclination to read on was almost too much to bare.
That said the first 150 pages, which is quite a chunk, I get that they were very interesting but not a rip-roaring read- as in there's not much in the way of action, plenty of intrigue and fun facts to learn about a variety of folk. This book is great for that, at least for me- many of you reading this may be much better versed in the ways of the Realms.
So, the bad guys are Aballister (Wizard), Barjin (Cleric and more) & Druzil (Imp & more) who are all adherents of Talona, the Lady of Poison; there are others but for the most part we stick with these three guys. They're nasty, conniving and all the things you want your bad guys to be. Aballister thinks he's the big "I am" in the group but it's a powerplay, and Barjin is in to scoop the top spot. Druzil, the scheming Imp, is happy to play the long game, at the beginning he calls Aballister Master, but would happily swap allegiances at a moments notice.
In the 'good' corner we have Cadderly, who is suitably Insider/Outsider, with just a touch of genius- he's like no other, some would call him unique. He lives and works at the Edificant Library with a bunch of other clerics of Deneir (& Oghma etc.). Cadderly's true love is Danica- and so she's going to also be playing the part of hero, also along for the ride is Newander, the Druid, and double-trouble from the Bouldershoulder brothers (Ivan and Pikel) who are all-Dwarf.
"Oo Oi", As Pikel more often than not remarks.
The bad guys- Barjin, and later Druzil (see below), break in to the catacombs beneath the library and soon after release the Most Fatal Horror (or else Cadderly does, by accident (he's duped)) thereafter things start to go badly wrong- as the Poison/Curse works its course. Which is beautiful behold, if I could run this as a scenario tomorrow, well... I would.
After the Poison/Curse comes the adventure in to the catacombs, and that's all good- the finale is just triumphant, and the adventures of Cadderly, Ivan and Pikel are glorious to behold- funny, daft and D&D. It's a winner, but that's not the bit for me...
The best bit comes about halfway through the book when Druzil the Imp is sent by Aballister to spy on Barjin who has set up shop (evil-temple style shop, natch) in the catacombs beneath the library. Barjin thinks he has summoned the Imp, he doesn't know that Druzil is Aballister's pawn (which he really isn't).
Anyway... so, Barjin needs to sell the deal to Druzil, to convince the Imp to come and work for him he lays out his diabolical scheme, and in the style of a estate agent (US= Realtor) shows the Imp around his new home base pointing out all the best/worst aspects of his evil abode. Hot and cold running Mummy, Nice! Fire resistant Zombie janitor- t'riffic! Army of Skelly-bobs, smashing! Glyphs to die for, Cool!
It is wonderful behold, and I thought the N/PC just cast a spell- Summon Whatnot and the Lower Planes guy just showed up and got on with the evil chores, oh no- there's a deal to be done here, it seems the ideal Wizard (Lower Planes) Summoner actually needs to be some sort of cross between Sauron and a second hand car salesman. I am buying that for a dollar- believe me when I say that a version of that entire activity is going to making it to a game near me as soon as possible.
Oh, and am I on the path to discovering that RA Salvatore is the go to guy for this range of novels, it's starting to feels this way?