Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Happy Release Day, Ed Greenwood!

Wizards of the Coast are unleashing their last Sundering novel into the wild today. The six-novel series has concluded after an (amazingly) brief 10 months. We are now all geared up for the new world of D&D. I had never really known, played, or even researched anything D&D related until my Christmas present of Time of the Twins from the Legend series, which prompted me to buy the boxed set of the Dragonlance Chronicles. Even then, I still really had no clue about D&D and the Forbidden Realms. Then, Wizards of the Coast granted me access to their new series, and I now find myself really immersed and considering getting more involved.

The Herald by Ed Greenwood

We conclude The Sundering series with veteran D&D writer Ed Greenwood. He continues to develop his iconic character Elminster with a few new characters in the mix (which totally fits the D&D for a new generation theme). One of the huge pros for this novel was the sense of not being lost. There was a new feeling to the story instead of getting tangled in past history. It seems like Elminster has some great stories in his past (considering Ed Greenwood started writing about him as a boy and now he is centuries old), but they stayed there and didn't muddy up the new thread. As a new reader to D&D, I really appreciated that. 

I wasn't completely in love with the story and took almost two weeks to finish the book because I just couldn't really get involved, nothing really hooked me from the start. I cannot leave a book unfinished, and I am glad that I made it all the way through to the end. I now at least know how it all wrapped up.

I really loved the elves vs Shadovar duels and magic. (I'm always the wizard or healer in fantasy video games.) The war kept the story line action packed and moved the story around. But, I also found this to be a slight fault because it could get a little scattered. I lost the time line several times and ending up exiting the imagery to think about the math. There was even a cheesy attempt at some romance amongst all the war. There just really seemed to be a little bit of everything to love here, but never really stacked up to great for me. I left the story at 3 stars.

This might be a potential spoiler (but it really isn't)--the story isn't really over. The Sundering was not completed and neither good guys nor bad guys came out ahead. What did happen? We are now set up for a new generation of D&Ders in a new Forgotten Realms. There are a new set of heroes for more development. And I must say, it was all set up wonderfully. You still have some of your old favorites hanging around, but you new material to grow. There were some bumps in the series, but I chalk that up to writing styles being so vastly different, just as readers are so vastly different. There is certainly a book for every reader in this series and I recommend them all as a whole unit. They stand strongly together if not individually.

Go to the product page for a sample chapter. For more on the series as a whole, go to this website.

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