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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2004 :  04:27:17  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I was fortunate enough to get my copy of this tome today. The novel comes in at 336 pages total. I'll have comments after I begin reading this work tonight. Hopefully, my fave character from the trilogy will make it through alive.

Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4607 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2004 :  08:21:36  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting Amazon have December 28 as The Rites release date

“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Krafus
Learned Scribe

246 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2004 :  14:29:38  Show Profile  Visit Krafus's Homepage Send Krafus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SiriusBlack

I was fortunate enough to get my copy of this tome today. The novel comes in at 336 pages total. I'll have comments after I begin reading this work tonight. Hopefully, my fave character from the trilogy will make it through alive.



You already have it? Lucky you. *grumbles* Your fave character... Let me guess... Taegan, right?
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2004 :  16:04:10  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dargoth

Interesting Amazon have December 28 as The Rites release date



Yes, Amazon, the company that said George R.R. Martin's A Feast For Crows would be out this June...hmmm

And as I've said in numerous postings, if you wait for Amazon to release FR novels, it will always be a bit behind the other online vendors. B&N and BAM consistently have the FR novels earlier.
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2004 :  16:09:19  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Krafus
You already have it? Lucky you. *grumbles* Your fave character... Let me guess... Taegan, right?



Of course. I'm a pushover for any elf with wings.

As for the novel so far, very interesting. Byers is really showing how various sides are trying to deal with or take advantage of the chaos.

For the Realms fans, so far a mention has been made of Teshwave and Melvaunt suffering "devastating attacks." Moreover, Damara is suffering an invasion. The latter event allows readers to see, briefly, Gareth Dragonsbane. Any fans of the H modules should smile at those passages.

And to borrow a line from one of my players, if Dorn is not careful, he's "toast" when it comes to the lovely Kara.
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VEDSICA
Senior Scribe

USA
466 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2004 :  16:36:58  Show Profile  Visit VEDSICA's Homepage Send VEDSICA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes you are a lucky one SB.I was wondering if it would come out a little earlier than expected.So if I understand correctly.RLB has wasted no time in spreading death and destruction around?????

LIFE,BIRTH,BLOOD,DOOM---THE HOLE IN THE GROUND IS COMING ROUND SOON----BLS
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2004 :  17:37:47  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VEDSICA

Yes you are a lucky one SB.I was wondering if it would come out a little earlier than expected.So if I understand correctly.RLB has wasted no time in spreading death and destruction around?????



Casualties are piling up on both sides. The focus remains on the Northern region east of Anauroch. So, no idea of the state of settlements elsewhere in Faerun. Perhaps Realms of Dragons II: The Dragons Strike Back will give us further information on the state of Faerun beyond this area.

And yes, the years have convinced me I am lucky in many ways. Apparently Tymora smiles upon me.
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VEDSICA
Senior Scribe

USA
466 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2004 :  17:41:00  Show Profile  Visit VEDSICA's Homepage Send VEDSICA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nice!!!I LOVE casualities!!!!

LIFE,BIRTH,BLOOD,DOOM---THE HOLE IN THE GROUND IS COMING ROUND SOON----BLS
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2004 :  03:12:53  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished this novel a few hours ago. Overall, it's a nice follow up to the first novel in the series. Some plot discussion and comments are below.

The Story

The Rite has the dragonslayers from the first novel split up. I don't think the novel suffers from this party split as each of the groups have strong characters that make each portion of the novel interesting no matter who is being focused on.

Dorn, Kara, and Raryn find themselves defending the Monastery of the Yellow Rose while attempting to find more clues on how to stop the Rage. The close quarters eventually allow for the Dorn/Kara romance to move forward. I'm glad to see this development as I thought for sure the two would continue to dance around any possible relationship.

Will and Pavel, still verbally sparring better than Ralph Kramden and his wife Alice, find themselves searching through orc ruins for clues to stop The Rage. This search eventually finds the two making an unlikely alliance with another group.

Taegan meanwhile is in full crime scene investigator mode shortly after arriving in Thentia when he realizes that a spy for the Cult of the Dragon is murdering off wizards attempting to investigate a way to stop the Rage.

Additionally, Damara must deal with a monsterous invasion as Sammaster's manipulations and illusions make it appear that Zhengyi, the Witch King has returned. This locale allows for fans of the Bloodstone modules to see some familiar faces including King Gareth and Queen Christine.

The story's conclusion has the group apparently having to head even further north, to the Great Glacier to have any chance to stop The Rage.

Some Thoughts

As with the first novel, this tome is very combat heavy. I suppose that's to be expected. How can a book about a Rage of Dragons not have a great deal of combat? Still, it tended to get overwhelming at times for this reader. However, the aftermath of combat does allow for some fine writing moments. Readers should look for the following scenes that I felt were really well done.

The Gold Dragon Tamarand's anguish as the confrontation between The Golden Dragon King of Justice and Kara's Rogues comes to a violent conclusion.

Queen Christine's thoughts immediately after the sudden death of a character that is introduced in the opening pages of the novel. I really liked how this death played out as it reminds the reader how often combats result in sudden deaths. Too often when an author wishes to kill a character there are pages upon pages of description. Here, in just a few paragraphs, Byers manages to show how cruel one arrow can be as it steals away a promising life.

A dying elf's request for another elf to offer a prayer or hymn as he faces death. Again, a few short paragraphs Byers packed more emotions than pages upon pages of combat.

What I'd like to see when Book III comes out in May 2006

If Realms of Dragons II doesn't focus on it, then I want to know how the rest of Faerun is fairing with this year's events. Damara and the surrounding region have been covered, but are other cities in the North, Cormyr, etc., experiencing the same level of destruction?

Sammaster save for the opening of the novel and the conclusion is barely shown. I hope his role expands in the last novel and I hope he meets a grisly end. I can't stand villians that stick around or slip away too often from meeting justice.

That being said, I hope the dragonslayers led by Dorn due suffer some casualties before this trilogy ends. To have them all come through without a death would seem just wrong. There are casualties in this novel, but none from the original party.

All in all an entertaining read and that's what I'm looking for when I pick up a novel. I'll definitely pick up the conclusion next year and the next anthology.

If anyone has any questions, fire away. I'm curious to hear other thoughts as well.

SB
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Proc
Acolyte

Canada
32 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2004 :  03:15:05  Show Profile  Visit Proc's Homepage Send Proc a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just got The Rite today. It was a struggle to find it too. The bookstore near me had it in stock, but had yet to actually put it on the shelf, it was still packed away in a box somewhere. I persisted and nagged one of the employee's until he went and got it for me.

I've only read a couple chapters so far, but what I have read I like. I especially enjoyed how Sammaster was at least considering the idea that someone, somewhere could still stop him. Too often I think the bad-guys are portrayed as being over-confident and arrogant until the hero comes riding in and saves the day.

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house."
- George Carlin
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2004 :  03:20:08  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Proc

I just got The Rite today. It was a struggle to find it too. The bookstore near me had it in stock, but had yet to actually put it on the shelf, it was still packed away in a box somewhere. I persisted and nagged one of the employee's until he went and got it for me.



Cyric forbid someone getting paid actually do his/her job. Did you get a glare for making the request?

quote:

I've only read a couple chapters so far, but what I have read I like. I especially enjoyed how Sammaster was at least considering the idea that someone, somewhere could still stop him. Too often I think the bad-guys are portrayed as being over-confident and arrogant until the hero comes riding in and saves the day.



His thoughts at the end are intersting as well. He clearly sees that he should have dealt with the dragonslayers differently. Yet, he's still a bit too overconfident about facing the group and I'm sure that will end up proving his downfall.
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Proc
Acolyte

Canada
32 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2004 :  03:53:30  Show Profile  Visit Proc's Homepage Send Proc a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SiriusBlack
Cyric forbid someone getting paid actually do his/her job. Did you get a glare for making the request?



Actually, he was very courteous. Which was even more impressive because the bookstore was packed. (Must have been some boxing-week sale). This store also has an annoying habit of putting FR books in two different places: in the general FR section, and put alphabetically by author name in the rest of the fantasy section - that didn't help when I was searching for the book.

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house."
- George Carlin
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2004 :  04:16:11  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Proc
Actually, he was very courteous. Which was even more impressive because the bookstore was packed. (Must have been some boxing-week sale). This store also has an annoying habit of putting FR books in two different places: in the general FR section, and put alphabetically by author name in the rest of the fantasy section - that didn't help when I was searching for the book.



At least they had the tome. If I went to a store here I'd get puzzled looks and then be told that the book hasn't been published yet.

I'm glad you had such a nice employee. Enjoy the novel and be sure to share your thoughts once you finish it.
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daryldens
Acolyte

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2004 :  18:42:35  Show Profile  Visit daryldens's Homepage Send daryldens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really enjoyed this book! I picked it up Sunday night, started reading about midnight, and ended up reading it straight through in one sitiing as I got so caught up in it.

The first thing I have to praise is the ending. I read a lot of serial fiction (comics, trilogies, series, etc.) and the thing I was most impressed with was that the second book of the trilogy actually provided satisfying resolution on the three main plot threads introduced in the novel. I felt totally satisfied when I finished reading the novel and still eagerly anticipate the forthcoming conclusion (a torturously long time away!). So many books that aren't the conclusion of a series leave me disappointed as they do not provide any sort of resolution, they just advance the plot. I feel so cheated and let down when this happens. A lot of authors seem to forget that a good story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Glad to see that Mr. Byers is not one of them! Great job.

The book itself was handled very well. I found that the cutting between the three plots never caused confusion and was handled in such a way that neither was ignored for too long. Sometimes a book will focus on one plot for so long that you forget and lose interest in the other plots. Not here. There was great cutting back and forth, and I was constantly interested in reading the next section to see how that particular plot would advance.

I have to admit that I got my geek on with the inclusion of the Dragonsbanes. I love it when novels seem to reference back to modules like this as it really helps to paint the gaming world as a real place where the characters live and breath. It reminded me fondly of the sense I used to have of Mordenkainen, Rary, Tenser, etc. in the Greyhawk setting as you could follow them from the old Rogues Gallery supplement to the Dragon magazine articles to their appearances as NPC's in some of the modules to the Gord of Greyhawk novels. Nice to see the H series of modules brought into the Realms in the same way.

I can't get enough monk action so the Yellow Rose Monastery was nice to read. Although I wish space would have allowed some further fleshing out of the other monks it was nice to see Cantoule get his great combat moment and have him reference back to Kane (also from the H series modules if I remember right).

I don't mean to sound sadistic, but it was nice to see some death in the novel as this a Realms shaking event with high stakes. It's only natural that there would be casualties with some of the characters.

Also nice to see fleshing out of Raryn's character as I thought he seemed the one that got short shrift in the first novel. I'm still not sure why him being an Arctic Dwarf is necessary, but it is nice to see that his race did have an impact on what he could and couldn't do.

All in all, a great and highly entertaining book! Look forward to more more of Mr. Byers work.

Daryl
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SirUrza
Master of Realmslore

USA
1283 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2004 :  05:36:28  Show Profile Send SirUrza a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I haven't read the thread, don't want to ruin the novel for myself, but I just thought I'd add that I happened to be in the mall today picking up a new memory card for gamecube, stuck my head into the Waldon books and found that they'd put it out early. Bought a copy and will start it soon.

"Evil prevails when good men fail to act."
The original and unapologetic Arilyn, Aribeth, Seoni Fanboy.
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Proc
Acolyte

Canada
32 Posts

Posted - 01 Jan 2005 :  22:51:30  Show Profile  Visit Proc's Homepage Send Proc a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just finished reading The Rite and overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I felt that RLB easily handled the three different groups of protagonists, jumping between them without the book becomming confusing.

My only real critism (and it's minor one) is how during some of the battle scenes the action would pause to show a character relfecting on why a particular spell or attack failed to make any headway against their enemy. I felt this took away from the battle, slowing it down and taking the reader out of the scene. Maybe having been a gamer for so many years (I think it's right around a decade or so) I know the in's and out's of many monsters and spells, which will counter which and so forth. For a non-gamer however, perhaps this explanation is necessary less they become confused.

In any event, I greatly enjoyed the novel as a whole and I'm eagerly anticipating the final book.

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house."
- George Carlin
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SirUrza
Master of Realmslore

USA
1283 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2005 :  05:50:28  Show Profile Send SirUrza a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Finished it yesterday. Very good read. The book, like the first book, is litered with accessory pimpage. But what can you expect from a novel about Dragons? :)

I hope that most of the characters don't survive. From where I'm standing, the point of this party is very 1 dimensional and the only character that seems to have any long-term growth potential and NORMAL adventuring would be our Bladesinger Arviel, but I fear he'll probably return to his people at the end of book 3 (that doesn't mean he can't get side tracked though!!)

Unless something changes in book 3, I really don't care if any of these character are used in later novels (however, that doesn't mean I don't want to see more of certain existing characters in other novels!)

"Evil prevails when good men fail to act."
The original and unapologetic Arilyn, Aribeth, Seoni Fanboy.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2005 :  17:55:09  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Very glad to hear you guys enjoyed the book.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36787 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2005 :  23:40:49  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm going by the bookstore either mañana or Saturday; hopefully, the book will be in by then.

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SirUrza
Master of Realmslore

USA
1283 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2005 :  03:29:48  Show Profile Send SirUrza a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It is odd how this one is available in some so early and not in others.

"Evil prevails when good men fail to act."
The original and unapologetic Arilyn, Aribeth, Seoni Fanboy.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36787 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2005 :  06:00:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SirUrza

It is odd how this one is available in some so early and not in others.



Not just odd, seriously annoying.

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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2005 :  06:29:52  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
Not just odd, seriously annoying.



No idea on who to complain to...the publishing company? Distributor? The Stores? The Dragon Express that is to deliver the books?
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36787 Posts

Posted - 08 Jan 2005 :  01:00:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SiriusBlack

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
Not just odd, seriously annoying.



No idea on who to complain to...the publishing company? Distributor? The Stores? The Dragon Express that is to deliver the books?



I ran by Barnes & Noble this afternoon, and joy! The book was in!

I also picked up a non-Realms novel, the newest Newtype USA, and yet another manga. I'm going to reread The Rage before I read The Rite, and then I can worry about some of this other stuff.

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DDH_101
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1272 Posts

Posted - 11 Jan 2005 :  06:28:32  Show Profile  Visit DDH_101's Homepage Send DDH_101 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, after my "FR shopping spree", I finally got started with The Rite. Even though I'm about 10 pages into the book, I gotta say that I'm already impressed with Richard Lee Byer's writing.

Dragon attacks, treachery on such high-scales, and large battles; this was everything I was hoping for! Lol. Also, there's the appearance of Gareth Dragonsbane, a character that I am pleased to see appear in the book as I was always curious about him after my friend asked me to search for some info on Vassa for him. It's also nice to see that grunts CAN survive magical attacks, and that they aren't in FR novels so high-level archmages can just pulverize them with fireballs or chain lightnings to emphasize on a magic user's abilities.

Alright, enough chattering, I'm gonna keep reading now...

"Trust in the shadows, for the bright way makes you an easy target." -Mask
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Mumadar Ibn Huzal
Master of Realmslore

1338 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2005 :  11:53:28  Show Profile Send Mumadar Ibn Huzal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It might have been posted elsewhere, but did anyone else notice an old conjuring trick of the Wizards of the Coast?

Put Realms of the Dragons (top left), The Rage (botton right) and the Rite (bottom left) together, and behold a grand picture cut into four parts - part four being the third installment of the series to come out...

(Trick has been performed before with the Archwizards Trilogy)
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Lord Rad
Great Reader

United Kingdom
2080 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2005 :  15:04:42  Show Profile  Visit Lord Rad's Homepage Send Lord Rad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mumadar Ibn Huzal

It might have been posted elsewhere, but did anyone else notice an old conjuring trick of the Wizards of the Coast?

Put Realms of the Dragons (top left), The Rage (botton right) and the Rite (bottom left) together, and behold a grand picture cut into four parts - part four being the third installment of the series to come out...

(Trick has been performed before with the Archwizards Trilogy)



Exellent information. Thanks Mumadar

I had actually heard of some type of art tie-in a long time ago, before the trilogy came to light, but assumed it was refering to the spine of the novels, rather than the front cover. I never thought anything of it after that point so this is a nice surprise.

Lord Rad

"What? No, I wasn't reading your module. I was just looking at the pictures"
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2005 :  17:55:04  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mumadar Ibn Huzal

It might have been posted elsewhere, but did anyone else notice an old conjuring trick of the Wizards of the Coast?



Yes, the author mentioned the covers were designed that way about the time the first novel was published.
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4607 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2005 :  06:56:24  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tin soldier reckon it will be out in Sydney this week

“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Inquisitor
Acolyte

Germany
42 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2005 :  22:49:38  Show Profile  Visit Inquisitor's Homepage Send Inquisitor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am in the middle of reading it (Page 210 after a hard time getting the book here in germany) and I must say it is so far as good as the first one.
Sadly it also it has the shortcommings (imo) of the first one. Too many short battles instead of a few long ones in which the power of dragons are really shown. With the short battles dragons are dispatched so fast, it seems they are barely a threat at all.

And I have to agree that some of the group should die. While I know that it is hard to kill a beloved character, a dead can do much more to the story than a living character can ever do (See the Dragonlance Chronicals for good examples). But so far Ogers have posed a bigger threat to the group than any band of dragons they encountered.
And if killing a main character is too hard(), Dorn has many replacable body parts which can be bitten off.
Spoiler below

And, while sad, the death of Chatulio doesn't count.
1. It was predictable as he posed a problem because of the rage and with no ability to shapechange and
2. He was a dragon (see my next point)


It would also be nice if the dragon would actually win a battle or two against humans. So far they always get repelled with the losses of humans not elaborated on which gives the impression that dragons are killed easily.

Again I want to say that I really like this book and that this are the only shortcomings I percive.
And a big thanks to Richard for staying so close to the Draconomicon. Finally a novel where a gamer can say "Yes, thats exactly how it would look".
And if I actually knew who Kane or the Dragonbanes are, I would certainly be delighted because of their apperance.

Edited by - Inquisitor on 20 Jan 2005 23:13:56
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Lord Rad
Great Reader

United Kingdom
2080 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2005 :  23:00:32  Show Profile  Visit Lord Rad's Homepage Send Lord Rad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quite uncanny, i'm on the same page also

I'm thoroughly enjoying the novel. It's great to read about the Monastery of the Yellow Rose, a very intriguing place, i'd like to see some lore written on this, perhaps a few floorplans too

BEWARE SPOILERS!

Some of the scenes in the novel are great, i'm no fan of huge combat scenes but I think the level of detail devoted to battles is just right. One thing I would like to read more of, however, if the devastation occuring throughout the Realms. I felt the first book covered more on that, this book has just a little (In the earlier chapters, mention of a couple of cities, of which I can't recall the names at the moment, which reported dragon attacks). There's a nice feel of human togetherness in some ways, and feelings of "every man for himself" in other ways.

.....and I couldn't believe it when my favorite character (Chatulio, the comical copper dragon) burst out laughing at the red dragon leader, then cast a mocking laughter spell around the mountains before flying off.... well, almost Fantastic scene.

Excellent job, Richard. What a fantastic series so far.

Lord Rad

"What? No, I wasn't reading your module. I was just looking at the pictures"
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Inquisitor
Acolyte

Germany
42 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2005 :  23:04:37  Show Profile  Visit Inquisitor's Homepage Send Inquisitor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree. Show us how the rest of Faerun fares against those dragons. That for once will dispell my complain that the dragons seem to be pushovers, make the general tone a bit more desperate (A good thing imo) and be also of value for a gamer/DM who wants to use the Rage in "his" Realms.
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