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5.0 out of 5 starsGreat Series
Reviewed in the United States on August 10, 2019
If you enjoy D&D, especially 3rd edition D&D, youll love these books
The series ends on a peculiar note in a novel that is much better than the abysmal Return of the Damned. Regdar and Naull return as we come full circle and see the two iconic characters from book one as somewhat more mature adventurers. A short, entertaining, straightforward city adventure with few surprises is surprisingly engrossing. While the plot is simplistic, it manages to be better than average at emotionally engaging the reader as the author(Athans in this case) does not shy away from making hard choices. A few problems prevented a 4 star rating. The Duke, who knows Regdar well, and was betrayed last book by Regdar makes Regdar the Lord Constable and tasks him with investigating crimes. Regdar previously has been as dumb as a rock, solving all his problems by running straight into them and fighting. He would not ever be named to such a post. Naull makes some inexplicable choices, and casts some spells that we have never seen her use, or mention. The love interest plot between Naull and the Duke's daughter is slightly developed, then the Duke's daughter is swept offstage until the epilogue. The villain was only ok, he got some decent exposition, and motivation for his crimes but he really needed more development. The ending though, after the final battle was quite satisfying. It is probably not what a reader would want, but it is the logical result of the happenings in the plot. The series is over, and it ends on a relatively high note here. As more books were bad than good, this is a good place to end it.
Reviewed in the United States on November 29, 2003
Okay, before I dissolve into abject frustration, I'll begin with saying that this book was leagues above 'Return of the Damned.' The writing style returns to Lain's previous decent level, and the plot is a bit more involved. There is no mystery here - you are in on the bad guy's every thought and plan, but the villainy is quite well orchestrated: Bad Wizard uses Shield Golem to kill off young rivals to the soon-to-marry Duke's daughter.
But when the Duke's daughter decides that our intrepid Regdar is more to her liking than any other possible suitor, and the Duke grants a title to Regdar to make him a potential suitor (as he's currently a commoner without that title). Enter Naull, Regdar's girlfriend, and somewhat jealous of this unfolding situation, and huzzah - the set up for plot is complete.
Indeed, it unfolds quite well, with Lain's typical one-liners and cute humour all about. As usual, however, you can measure the half-life of a non-Iconic character with a pocket ruler. And the villain is a bit dim near the end in his choice of confrontations. But, this is D&D fiction, not grand literature, and it was enjoyable.
The ending, however, brings me back to that 'Argh!' I mentioned. Consider yourself warned that you'll likely find the ending extremely frustrating. Not in a badly-written way - oh no, it wasn't a cop-out ending, or a rushed ending. I'm quite sure Lain wrote this on purpose. But gosh, I could have screamed when I got there.
Very well done. And that 'Argh!' is also the sound of someone who is certainly going to buy the next one, just to see what happens next.
I have to say I have read a few of Lain's books and I generally walked always feeling they were rather cookie cutterish. While this one wasn't that action packed, it was fast paced and the ending was spot on. I enjoy it when the hero loses. I mean really loses; not that watch-me-come-back-in-a-later-chapter-better-for-my-lessons-learned crud most stories have and for that fact, this book was powerfully refreshing.
Reviewed in the United States on December 29, 2003
While I have not purchased these books, I have borrowed a few and they were very good! But, I'm sure you know that if you're here! My review is really for a question! I would like to know if these books will be combined in on novel...maybe a hardback...maybe not! but, I would like to purchase an ensemble of the books combined! If anyone would have info on this, feel free to e-mail me or just post a review! Thanks