Discover a whole new realm of adventure!
When a wandering swordmage, trained by the elves of Myth Drannor, returns to his boyhood home on the windswept shores of the Moonsea, he finds that corruption has taken hold, leaving his friends and family open to a devastating evil.Swordmage was the first novel to fully embrace the exciting new elements from the next edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game. This paperback resize releases fresh on the heals of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, and showcases a major revision to the Forgotten Realms world that has fans buzzing.
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The focus is more on the individual characters point of view and memories within a small town and an extended family of the Harmac (their name for city-state Baron). They are an earthy crew, no high-tea stuff, and it is a small town of mostly working class people. It does not confusingly jump around from past to present. The past is given to us in the characters remembering and commenting on what happened, which I thought gave a better feel to the local culture. It has strong male and female characters which seemed genuine instead of lame. I hate stupid characters and ones the audience is supposed to like, but given every reason to not even respect, much less identify with, and we don’t get that much here, thankfully. The bad guy dialog makes them sound dumber than they are because most do some decent strategizing and tactical thinking and this offset the dialog for me. The plot of this novel and other two of this series are about various forces seeking take control of this land between larger economic powers. Even so, it doesn’t have that huge scale, epic feel I don’t like in my D&D stories so I liked all three novels.
This was more towards the bottom end of captivating Forgotten Realms/Audible books I've listened to.
This was my first book by Richard Baker. It was not a bad book by any means but it played it pretty close to the vest. Really, you knew what was coming, it wasn't too exciting and that was that. Not a whole lot of interesting realms lore or anything outstanding to say, "you need to read this!"
J. P. Linton seems like he would be good at narrating but not great at multiple characters. He's a one trick pony when it came to this book. Honestly, much of the dialogue ended with his tone rising (think of the rich guy from Caddy Shack who goes, "hmmm" at the end of his sentence in a snooty way). It was pretty off putting. Again, not a horrible job but certainly not great. The book is pretty relaxed in it's tone.
I was bummed to see only a few fight scenes. You could count the number of action scenes on one hand. Also, Geran, who is the sword mage, never really goes legend during the story.
Literally, half way through the book you discover who the antagonist is and the story goes idle until the last battle. You know who is going to win and you certainly don't care about the characters so it was a trudge to keep listening.
I am not a huge DnD player, yet I have read/reviewed about 50 FR books and most of them on Audible. That being said, some of the things that came up during the story made you do a double take... like "mage shackles." These things are imbued and stop a caster from hurling spells while cuffed. Obviously, something like this is extremely powerful (how did they get them and who made them?).
The recording editing is horrendous. Lines in chapters 7, 8, and 9 are repeated several times. Chapter 8 is especially bad. I erased the book, and then downloaded it again, hoping to correct the issue to no avail.
It starts as a fantasy murder mystery, but ends as an epic battle laden story. It's just pure fun and solid entertainment.
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