Shadowrealm (Twilight War #3) (Erevis Cale) (Forgotten Realms)

coverThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.tumblr.com by express permission of this reviewer

Title: Shadowrealm
Series: Twilight War, Forgotten Realms
Author: Paul Kemp
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 327

 

 

Synopsis:

Cale and Riven hook up with Rivalen, Prince of the Netharese, to stop the Shadow Storm from destroying all of Sembia. Revelations abound about Shar, Mask and Magadon’s demon Father, Lord of the 8th Hell.

 

My Thoughts:

The end of Erevis Cale. He works with anyone he has to to recover Mask’s missing piece of divinity and save Magadon’s half soul.

Lots of fighting goes on, the End of the World Is Nigh goes on, Cale sacrifices himself for Magadon and general Forgotten Realm’ness goes on. Not a bad book to write a final review for 2014.

Of course, we never know for sure if Cale is really dead or just mostly dead [ha], but considering that his son has had an adventure in the last year or so with Riven and it’s been 6 years since this book came out, I do think it is pretty safe to say that Erevis Cale is safely packed away 🙂

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Shadowstorm (Twilight War #2) (Erevis Cale) (Forgotten Realms)

5a3baa6e205adf10c8714440a14090cb This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.tumblr.com by express permission of this reviewer

Title: Shadowstorm

Series: Twilight War #2, Forgotten Realms

Author: Paul Kemp

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 352

 

Synopsis:

Erevis, Riven and Magadon make a deal with the Devil to escape hell and to prevent Magadon from being obliterated. This deal is what propels their actions for this book.

In Sembia, and specifically the city of Selgaunt, War happens. Shadow forces are at play and nothing is straight forward or as it seems. Shar, a goddess of dark, is ascendant and she uses, abuses and discards her servants as she sees fit.

Shadovar, long lost shadow sorcerers arise to combat the darkness, but they are servants as Shar as well.

 

My Thoughts:

Much like the first Twilight War book, Cale only plays a part, not the main part of the story and I find that rather unfortunate. The other characters, while driving the overall plot forward are not really people I am invested in. Cale, I am invested in. I’ve read the Sembia series [where he is a major character in the first 2 books and appears throughout the remaining 5] and the Cale trilogy. So 11 books I’ve invested in him.

Whenever I am reading a Forgotten Realms books, I have to remember to not get to excited about some big change that is coming because that is ALL the books are actually about, gods ascending/descending, the world changing, new conquerors/heroes/villains, etc.  Some of the smaller series/authors might be nice little side adventures [here’s to hoping Castles or Rogues are more standalone] but most of the trilogies are always earth shattering events.

This one did get the Ultra-violent tag because what Magadon’s father, the Devil, does to him. Graphic disemboweling while keeping him a live. And then eating half his soul.

The ending, where some sort of portal is opened between this world and a shadowrealm was pretty cool. Looking forward to how Cale & Co save the world and their friend Magadon, as with only half a soul he is sliding faster and faster toward his devil heritage.

The Shattered Mask (Sembia #3) (Forgotten Realms)

b9f286d23fe9546eb1ffa8441e110af1This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.com by express permission of this reviewer

 

Synopsis

Family Uskevren is thrown into turmoil once again as an old enemy rises and tries to revenge from beyond the grave. Family member is pitted against family member and untried spoiled brats must step up and become the next generation of heroes for their House.

 

My Thoughts

This story was a bit confusing, as I’d gone on and read the first Erevis Cale trilogy, which takes place after at least some of these books. So Erevis was back to being a butler for the Uskevren instead of a priest of Mask. Plus, there were time shifts in the story from the past, without any real warning.

I enjoyed all the fighting. And there was a ton of that! However, the Uskevren children are still the wretched brats we were introduced too earlier. Arrogant, rich, idle, cursed, secretive and completely untrustworthy. Really good setup for the second Erevis Cale trilogy 🙂

And a dead enemy risen from the grave, from Hel itself, is pretty good. Lots of magic and a funny and malicious sidekick fill things out.

I think I’ll be reading the rest of this series before going back to Erevis.

 

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Author: Richard Byers

The Shattered Mask

Forgotten Realms: Sembia, Gateway to the Realms #3

Shadowbred (Twilight War #1) (Erevis Cale) (Forgotten Realms)

d27a04a8dca92ded77c25f0fcae22990This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.com by express permission of this reviewer

 

Synopsis

Erevis must rescue Magadon, who appears to have disappeared. At the same time, there are some serious political happenings going on in Sembia which have to do with the Source and the Netherese as much as anything else.

 

My Thoughts

I’ve come to accept the fact that I’m going to keep on reading these Forgotten Realms books, so I went ahead and made a shelf/tag for them, just like I have for Star Wars. They are a force unto themselves.

For the first half of the book I have to admit I was bored. Not a lot happened, it was barely about Cale at all and you had a lot of politics and religion happening.

Finally Erevis gets involved. He and Riven, Mask’s Second, have both changed enough that there is no more posturing and frenemy’ing. They are allies. It was really nice to see a good solid alliance instead of the bickering we saw in the Erevis Cale trilogy.

Good amount of fighting near the end, with them breaking into a magicless prison to rescue someone.

And the ending, where they DO rescue Magadon and end up IN HELL, was pretty cool. Of course, it seems like every hero ends up in hell at one time or another, so maybe I should have been a little more stoic about it, but I thought it was cool!

 

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Author: Paul Kemp

Shadowbred

Twilight War #1

Midnight’s Mask (Erevis Cale #3) (Forgotten Realms)

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Midnight’s Mask

Forgotten Realms: Erevis Cale #3

Author: Paul Kemp

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

 

Synopsis

Erevis and Company must stop the Sojourner from fulfilling his evil plans of summoning the Crown of Flames, even though nobody except the Sojourner knows what it is.

 

My Thoughts

First off, Riven isn’t the craven, two-faced hypocrite we were led to believe he is.

I actually enjoyed this more than I thought I would. There was fighting and magic galore. The Sojourner shows his true colors and while it was explained why, it still seemed like a cop out to me. A being of almost unimaginable power wants to walk on the surface of the world before he dies? It seems like there must have been easier ways. Oh well.

The whole “death isn’t really the end” that is used a lot in Forgotten Realms is thought about and the implications of bringing people back from the dead are brought to the forefront.

I also came across the first mention of the Netherese, who I know play a big part in the Sundering books currently being written.

Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.com

Dawn of Night (Erevis Cale #2)

Dawn of Night: The Erevis Cale Trilogy, Book II: 2 - Paul S. KempDawn of Night

Forgotten Realms: Erevis Cale #2

Author: Paul Kemp

3.5 of 5 Stars

 

Well, my first lost review due to pressing the wrong button has happened. I had a NICE review, several paragraphs, expressing exactly how I liked this book. And now it is GONE, and honestly, I’m not even sure why.

So anyway, I liked this book. It dealt with the Underdark, which I find more appealing to read about than the surface. We also get a bit more about Mask, even though it is incidental and I like Mask as a “god” character. I enjoyed him in The War of the Spider Queen and The Lady Penitent series.

However, I am not liking what it is doing to Cale as a character. I thoroughly enjoyed him as a Butler with an Assassin hiding in his closet like in The Halls of Stormweather. I enjoyed seeing him pine after his Lord’s daughter. But now that he is Mask’s chosen, a minor godling [Shade is the term used, but godling is more apt], he moans for his supposed lost humanity. A butterfly might as well moan about no longer being a grub. It just seems like the changes made have made him a weaker character even while making him a more robust fighter. Angst and all that.

And as for the ending, who DIDN’T see that coming? I mean, second place is really just saying “you’re not really good enough”.

Twilight Falling

Twilight Falling (Forgotten Realms: Erevis Cale, #1)Twilight Falling

Forgotten Realms: Erevis Cale #1

Paul S. Kemp

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

I enjoyed this, but compared to Shadow’s Witness, this was kind of pale.

Lots of posturing between Cale and Riven, supposed to make us think they’re frenemies. I am kind of sick of that type of relationship.

But other than that, a nice enjoyable read about the shadow world.