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4.0 out of 5 starsI read a lot of books
Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2014
Most of the Forgotten Realms or D&D books I read are the same in that they are fine and good for passing the time. I find it's necessary to know all the background info in order to understand the next book that comes out. It was good, but nothing really exciting.
Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2010
The bottom line: this was a very good read. I did not read its predecessor in the series, The Mark of Nerath, so I can't compare the two. I only occasionally enjoy D&D fiction, and haven't read much since the Dark Elf trilogy. This is the sort of book I pick up when I want to see what the license is up to. In this case, I'm glad I did.
I was most impressed by the author's writing of character dialogue. It never made me roll my eyes, and never spoke to an adolescent audience. The main characters in this novel, the adventurers, interact like you'd expect rational adults to. They have enough depth to care about, but not enough to sink the light and adventurous mood of the story. Throughout most of the book, I wanted to keep turning pages. That's a rare thing for me in regards to this type of licensed-fiction, and I hope Irvine continues the series. It certainly ended with room for a sequel.
There are a few points during the plot that a character will segue into an oral telling of some historical event or experience relevant to the plot. This is done in the tradition of Watership Down's story-telling, and handled poorly, it's a great way to kill the pacing of a good story. Irvine handles it very well, and each narrative in Karga Kul is used to build suspense, character or drama at a good place in the plot. Each also serves to introduce the reader to some aspect of D&D cosmology and history, which is a huge motivator for me to read a book like this.
My only peeve was the occasional poor treatment of monsters and battle scenes. The narrative of the battle itself is good, but the monsters have little context - they feel like obligatory setting material awkwardly inserted and quickly dispatched. This isn't always the case, as the novel's climax is very well handled, and several battles are appropriate to the plot and very compelling and relevant. It's just those odd few that left me scratching my head. Did the WotC editors tell the author to "add some hobgoblins" in there? Also, for those who are familiar with D&D, these characters level up *way too fast* ... ok by me, as I don't want a novel to be a direct copy of some DM's home campaign. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say this: don't expect "level-appropriate" encounters for these guys.
I thoroughly enjoyed Karga Kul. I haven't reviewed a book at Amazon before, but this one surprised me enough to jump in. Enjoy one of the rare D&D licensed books that has some very well written characters, great dialogue, and really delivers a good story and satisfying climax. I'll probably even read it again some day.
4.0 out of 5 starsA fun tale. Has a beginning, middle and end.
Reviewed in the United States on May 24, 2012
I read the book with some uncertainty as I progressed through it. This book is a tale all the way through. Where I enjoyed the book was when you were given some details of things in the world of D&D that you may have always had questions about but wanted characters to flush them out. The playbooks aren't enough for me in D&D on the background history of what has happened since 4th edition. So if you're left wanting more, read this book.
Another thing that made the book enjoyable is that in and of itself it's a complete story. You dont have to read any books before it or after. That was nice and I enjoyed it tremendously.
The only CON I can say is that if you are not the kind of person that like's hearing of other stories within the story you're reading then this book may not be your thing. Me, I enjoyed getting stories or tales from characters about their world flushed out that may not have anything to do with the adventure at hand. Although at times it seems like its filler just to flush out pages to a book.
Could it have been a good short story, probably but its nice that your given a ride-a-long with characters as they progress on a small adventure. After all that is what this reading is about, Adventure. Have fun with it.
Reviewed in the United States on December 23, 2010
For fans of Dungeons and Dragons- like myself- this book feels like a really great adventure. But regardless of whether you play the game or are simply a fan of fantasy, readers should be very pleased with this book. The writing is sharp with good dialogue and characters that are interesting and consistent. This is the best novel that Wizards of the Coast has published since the Heirs of Ash Trilogy (which was fantastic). I hope that Irvine writes subsequent volumes.
Irvine takes the game source material and works them into a tale by paying homage to that source, but without calling blatant attention to it. Thanks for that Alex. Keep on keepin' on!
5.0 out of 5 starsFast-Paced, Excellent Fantasy Adventure Read
Reviewed in the United States on February 29, 2012
The Seal of Karga Kul was a fast-paced, well-written adventure with interesting characters and story. I have read dozens of these fantasy adventure stories, and this one was a real standout. The dialogue was particularly well done with great elements of fun and saracasm used to show how the characters felt about one another as they faced multiple dangers. I think the author took a risk in killing off some main characters, but the shock of their deaths only served to make the reader more engaged in the story. I think these character deaths actually strengthened the story and I would love to see a sequel to this book. Irvine is a fine author.
This novel has a some intrigue and is fairly readable but after a while it does seem a bit like a series of combat encounters. I feel there was some missed opportunity to bring the characters out more and explore their motivations and feelings. The author did a good job in describing the locations and scenarios, however.
"The Seal of Karga Kul" ist ein Roman, der in der generischen Welt von D&D 4E liegt, zeitlich weit nach dem Fall von Arkhosia und Bael Turath, aber noch vor dem Aufstieg von Nerath. Das Buch ist ein solider, vielleicht typischer D&D Roman, bei dem es sich um um den Kampf einer Abenteurergruppe gegen die Machenschaften eines Dieners des Dämonenfürsten Orkus dreht. Die Abenteurergruppe ist klar auf 4E abgestimmt, der Hauptheld der Geschichte ist Remy ein Bote, der sich im Verlauf der Geschichte zu einem Krieger entwickelt und um dessen Botenauftrag sich einiges dreht. Dieser trifft früh am Anfang auf Biri-Daar, eine drachengeborene Paladinin des Bahamut, Keverel, ein gutmütiger Kleriker der Erathis, Kithri, eine Halblingsschurkin mit einer spitzen Zunge, Lucan, ein elfischer Waldläufer, der stets gegen alles ist und Iriani, ein halbelfischer Magier.
Die Geschichte breitet sich auf knapp 300 Seiten aus, am Ende gibt es noch einen kleinen Anhang über Drachengeborene. 300 Seiten reichen für die Geschichte, aber sowohl die Abenteurer, als auch die Hintergründe der Geschichte, die Reise, Kämpfe und Dialoge bleiben knapp und oft etwas episodenhaft und zusammengewürfelt. Fast hat man das Gefühl, daß der Roman die Erlebnisse einer D&D Runde nacherzählt.
Positiv sind mehrere Geschichten, bzw. eine Rückblende, die die Welt der Abenteurergruppe lebendig werden läßt, so wird z.B. die Geschichte einer Schlacht zwischen Arkhosia und Bael Turath und die Erlebnisse eines kurzen Aufenthalts in Sigil ausgebreitet, hier sieht man das Potential, daß der Roman verspielt hat, denn die Hintergrundgeschichte der Bedrohung durch Orkus bzw. die Bedrohung der wenigen Lichtpunkte in einer düsteren Welt ist zwar nicht neu, aber durchaus spannend. Auch die Mitglieder der Abenteurergruppe besitzen genügend Potential, um glaubhaft zu sein, aber oft bleibt es bei Ansätzen.
Insgesamt ist der Roman lesenswert und fesselt auch genügend, gehört aber sicherlich nicht zur Kategorie Buch, welches man ein zweites Mal liest.