Lord of Stormweather (Sembia #7 Final) (Forgotten Realms)

01547b4cc98088227451105820f58680 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: Lord of Stormweather

Series: Sembia #7,  Forgotten Realms

Author: Dave Gross

Rating: 3  of 5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 316

 

Synopsis:

Tamlin Uskevren, Heir of the Uskevren House, is kidnapped and then rescued by his brother and sister.

At the same time, the Hulorn [supreme ruler of the City] has hired an assassin to kill of his opposition. Mundane or magical, the Hulorn doesn’t care.

And because of that, Thamalon, his lady and Erevis Cale are all transported to a magical land that is ruled by an apparently Powerful and Cruel Tamlin.

All threads come together in the end as this series about the Uskevren family comes to a close as well.

 

My Thoughts:

The series ends and we get to see the end of one Generation of the Uskevrens and the beginnings of another.

I really, really wish I had finished this series before starting the Erevis Cale trilogies, it would have filled in a lot of blanks.

Basically, Thamalon dies, Tamlin takes over and the city of Sembia goes on as before. This was a good adventure story with lots of fighting, magic and mystery.  A good end to Erevis Cale and his connections to the Uskevrens. It also ends the rise of the House of Uskevren and begins its plateau.

This series overall is a good intro to Erevis Cale in the first 2 books and the next 5 fill in information that is relevant to Cale in the two trilogies. Pretty good 7 book series in the Forgotten Realms world.

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Sands of the Soul (Sembia #6) (Forgotten Realms)

149714837202b28ab7b33dcea7dc43ed 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: Sands of the Soul

Series: Sembia #6,  Forgotten Realms

Author: Voronica Whitney-Robinson

Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 240

 

 

Synopsis:

Thazienne Uskevren, daughter and spoiled brat, is recovering from physical and spiritual injuries. An old foe returns to steal one of her friends’ soul and Tazi is all that is standing between the evil sorcerer and her blind friend.

With an old acquaintance who she doesn’t fully trust, Tazi must venture deep into the desert to confront this evil and somehow stop his evil plan from unfolding.

 

My Thoughts:

Either I’m missing a lot from earlier books, or this author tried to create a backstory and failed wholesale. I felt like some very important pieces of info were talked about that we had no access to. It was very disconcerting.

And this was just blah. Tazi doesn’t trust the old acquaintance and yet they fall in love in the end. Mother issues.  Oh and lots of self-esteem building talks and such. Lordy, I hate that kind of crap.

Overall, an average Forgotten Realms adventure, in The Desert.  The series has lost my interest more at each book but thankfully there is only 1 more book and then I can get back to the Erevis Cale books.

Heirs of Prophecy (Sembia #5) (Forgotten Realms)

c45dd7c8689611749969e57aa5bf1e31This 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.com by express permission of this reviewer

Title: Heirs of Prophecy

Series: Sembia #5, Forgotten Realms

Author: Lisa Smedman

Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Larajin, illegitimate daughter of Thamalon Uskevren by an elf, tries to find out her past and connect to her elvish heritage. In that process she finds out she has a full on twin brother, is the priestess of 2 goddesses and is prophesied, along with her brother, to avert a war between the elves of the ‘local’ forest and Sembia and surrounding human cities.

And we get a little bit o’ drow *grin*

 

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed Smedman’s Lady Penitent trilogy and so was looking forward to this. Sadly, I found it to be the weakest book of the Sembia series so far. Not because of the story or any egregious errors of the wordsmithing craft but because of the characters.

All of Thamalon’s other children have been whiny brats in the books they’ve starred in and while I didn’t care for them, I could kind of understand the whole rich spoiled brat thing. But Larajin has been hidden as a maid and didn’t find out about her heritage until the last couple of years, so she isn’t a rich spoiled brat.  Instead, she is a sentimental drip with barely an ounce of sense in her head. Her brother, who while half-elf appears fully elvish, is a human hating machine. We’re talking “It is better to die while killing one human than to live on in dishonor of sharing the world with humans” type of hate. Eye rolling, cringe worthy kind of hatred.

Thankfully there is a good bit of action to the story and we get a tiny bit of Drow involvement [I’ve been a huge fan of the drow ever since the War of the Spiderqueen series, not that wretch Drizz’t] which always perks the story up.

While most series have a weak book, this was definitely weaker than expected. I just hope the series can pick up again. Only 2 more books left!

On a completely different note, I am absolutely LOVING these covers. They are very busy and dark, but once you read the story you can look at the cover and pick out details that make complete sense. I love that kind of thing. Almost makes me want to buy these, even if they are only in paperback with no chance of ever seeing hardcover.

Black Wolf (Sembia #4) (Forgotten Realms)

9b5821c24f77745bfa7de79878849c56 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.com by express permission of this reviewer

 

Synopsis:

Talbot Uskevren, a newly minted were-wolf, is trying to put his life back together after the battle his whole family faced in the last book.

At the same time, the Werewolf that turned him is in league with a family enemy. And if that isn’t enough, a prophecy about The Black Wolf is coming into play.

Finally, a woman is involved.

 

My Thoughts:

Thamalon Uskevren is a great man, who made his house great. And if you ever wonder why Great Houses become Middle Houses, it is because the children.

Each of the Sembia books follow an Uskreven child. And lordy, are they all spoiled brats! They aren’t hopeless, but their weaknesses are great enough that not one alone could keep their House great and they can’t get along.

I’m not a big fan of were-wolves, but this worked. It was an adventure family revenge story that just happened to have were-wolves AND vampires. Oh yes, vampires. And they aren’t the Dracula sexy vampires, but more like a sea leach. It was gross and I loved it.

Obviously, things turn out as you pretty much expect, it IS Forgotten Realms after all but that is part of the fun. A fun, comforting adventure read that doesn’t push me mentally in any way. I need those sometimes.

 

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Author: David Gross

Black Wolf

Forgotten Realms: Sembia, Gateway to the Realms #4

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

Shadow’s Witness

cover
Shadow’s Witness

Forgotten Realms: Sembia, Gateway to the Realms #2

Paul S. Kemp

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. One long novel, as opposed to the previous book, but Kemp did a decent job.

The gore factor was a bit higher than I was expecting. Lots of graphic brains and body parts going every which way. Liked the fights and the demon was a pretty good adversary.

And I like Mask. I am finding him to be an enjoyable godling to read about, even tangentially.

The Halls of Stormweather

The Halls of StormweatherThe Halls of Stormweather

Forgotten Realms: Sembia, Gateway to the Realms #1

Philip Athans

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

Before I begin this review, I’d like to state that I have had a very hit or miss pattern with Forgotten Realms. I’ve read a couple of Ed Greenwood’s Elminster books and found them extremely boring. Then I read the War of the Spider Queen series and absolutely loved it. Then, on recommendation from my brother, I started the Drizz’t series. That was just awful! Then I found the sequel to the War of the Spider Queen, The Lady Penitent trilogy and once again, loved it! Then I tried the Abolethic Sovereignty trilogy and couldn’t finish it.

So I’m always leery when trying a Forgotten Realms book/series, as I just don’t know what I’ll end up with.

I’d heard of Erevis Cale somewhere or other and wanted to see if he was an interesting character, so I dug around and found this to be the first book with him in it. And then I found it was a bunch of short stories centering around the Uskevren family, of whom Erevis was the butler.

I enjoyed the stories, as they introduced me to the city Selgaunt and the area of Sembia [do you know how long it took me to figure out that Selgaunt and Sembia were actually two different places and not just different names for the same place?!?]. I also found that the short story format worked well with each character, as we get a snaphsot of them without the author of said short story showing all their weaknesses by trying to write a full blown novel about that character.

So I just sped through this book, loving it and looking forward to the next. Which I’ve finished and will be reviewing tomorrow. Man, when Forgotten Realms is good, it is GOOD!