Blackstaff (Forgotten Realms: The Wizards #1) ★★★☆☆

blackstaff (Custom)

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Title: Blackstaff
Series: Forgotten Realms: The Wizards #1
Author: Steven Schend
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 320
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Khelben Arunsun, better known as the wizard Blackstaff and chosen of Mystra, “began a great work” and now he will be “certain to complete it”. With the help of an apprentice, a dead apprentice, a former apprentice who is now an evil lich, a rogue and a host of veritable potentates in the magic community, Blackstaff will unleash The Killer Storm that could wipe out all of Faerun and channel it in such a way as to bring back an ancient city that has been buried for 12 Millennia.

Of course, Blackstaff has to manipulate almost everyone, find out that he’s the expectant father of twins and then sacrifice himself “because of reasons” to complete the city raising ritual.

Nothing makes one’s life more complete than dying for “reasons”.

 

My Thoughts:

While Khelben is the ostensible main character, as he’s the titular Blackstaff, it turns out that some nobody apprentice named Tsarra Chaadren is actually the main character. She gets part of her friend’s soul when a magical test goes wrong because of an attack and then at the end she has to take on Blackstaff’s memories and become the new Blackstaff. No pressure. I didn’t like or dislike Tsarra because she was such a nobody. She might have been an up and coming nobody, but she was still a nobody.

In the same vein, the rogue Raegar Stoneblade [oh my bloody phrackingness, WHO comes up with these names?!?!] is as bleh as she is. Him and Tsarra falling in love was predictable as was his “you killed my friend so I’m going to get you” schtick against the villain.

Which brings us to the Lich. Priamon “Frostrune” Rakesk. At least Frostrune is a cool name. He does a good bit of manipulating of the others and things seem to be going his way. Of course, he’s putty in the hands of Blackstaff, so his eventual eternal torment [because you can’t die if you’re already dead] in the hands of an evil underlord came as no surprise.

Storywise, this was one of the more decent ones that I’ve read recently. It gives me hope for the next 3 books in the The Wizards tetralogy. It was also nice to just read a standalone story. These “vaguely related by one idea” kind of books in the Forgotten Realms [The Citadels, The Cities or The Rogues

for example] are so hit and miss that it is a real crapshoot if you are going to get a decent one or a stinker. Thankfully, this was one of the more decent ones.

I think it helped that I had read The Archwizards Trilogy relatively recently and while not really liking it, it did introduce me to Blackstaff, the Phaerim and other such characters so that I didn’t go into this blind. Also, Arilyn Moonblade and Danilow Thann are mentioned, who I met in the second The Harpers book. It is tying little pieces like that together that help in my enjoyment of the overall Forgotten Realms books.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge

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16 thoughts on “Blackstaff (Forgotten Realms: The Wizards #1) ★★★☆☆

  1. bookcupidity says:

    My question is…what’s a Chaadren?! Why do the guys get to be Frostrune and the some what lamer, Stoneblade (still, evokes cooler visuals) and the girl is a nonsense name?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      She’s half elf, so maybe it is some nature term or a tree or something?
      But you are right, she definitely got the short end of the name stick!

      Liked by 1 person

      • bookcupidity says:

        If that’s the case, the reader should KNOW that her name has some meaning. It’s a silly observation, but I think these fantasy names do get a little long in the tooth sometimes and in this instance…the silent “T” is annoying too.

        I’ve been gone too long, I sound curmudgeonly. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bookstooge says:

          Dudette, this place is ALL about curmudgeonly’ness 🙂 Curmudgeon away.

          Glad to see you comment…

          Liked by 1 person

          • bookcupidity says:

            For once I’d like to see someone write about realms that are other than the forgotten ones…there seems to be a lot of those forgotten ones, and curiously, everyone writes about them…so they can be THAT forgotten.

            I’m reading Dante and need to go back through your cataloge and find your stuff in THe Divine Comedy which is what brought me around…

            And…Are you done with Don Quixote yet?!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Bookstooge says:

              Yeah, the Forgotten Realms are pretty well remembered now 🙂

              The Divine Comedy. Was that the one by Heinlein? If so, that was one of the most blasphemous pieces of trash I’d ever read. Of course, Heinlein didn’t hide he had it in Christianity, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me.

              As for DQ, I am still plugging away. But I reached my saturation point a couple of weeks ago. So once I’m done my current buddy read of Memories of Ice [900’ish pages], I’m going to start blasting through DQ and just finish it.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Bookstooge says:

              and I realized I’m thinking of “Job: A comedy of Justice”…

              Liked by 1 person

  2. savageddt says:

    Ever read the Waterdeep series?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Something tells me that just reading and remembering those names would require some mental gymnastics! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      I actually had the book entry at Librarything open and whenever I came across a name, I’d enter it into the characters line. There is no way I’d going to remember those names without some real help 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like how you get to see cameos of different characters throughout the realm. Makes the whole experience slightly more fun if you ask me. It’s also a pain in the arse when you have to start these series from scratch and know where exactly every book fits in the universe chronology and what not..

    Liked by 1 person

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