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Lord of Souls: An Elder Scrolls Novel Paperback – September 27, 2011
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As an evil floating city lays waste to the land, several disparate groups attempt (in their own way) to stem the tide of undead that threatens the Elder Scrolls universe.
In the run up to the much anticipated Skyrim, this tie-in novel is the sequel to The Infernal City and continues the stories of Prince Attrebus and his compatriot Sul, Annaig (who has become a Demon Chef in Umbriel), the reluctant revolutionary Glim... as well as two Scouts, and a pair of Spies for the Emperor.
I have to say, while I did enjoy each plot line individually, throwing them all together in a single novel seemed to have the effect only of watering down the action and drama. Attrebus and Sul's brief adventure for the sword with which they hope to extract Umbriel (the demon, not the city) is alright, but I was much more interested in Annaig and her concoctions of emotion-based haute cuisine.
Then there's Glim and his budding relationship with an oddly harmless demon girl or the orc warrior woman (who's name escapes me at the moment) and her retreat to the capital... or Colin and his collaboration with another of the Emperor's personal spies that hovers on the cusp of being interesting. They all fall flat towards the end.
And that's a complaint about the entirety of the novel, really... every story, every encounter, every conflict, it's like they're half there and not fully fleshed out. It's like you're watching a compilation/recap episode of a series where they only show you the important snippets here and there. There's great stuff, but they're just thirty second (or, in this case, page) clips of the action, not well developed, fully formed stories.
I was especially disappointed with Colin's parts.Read more ›
As to the latter, frankly, I don't see why they'd bother. There is a lot of good fantasy out there, and you'd be scraping the barrel if you had nothing else to read besides this. No, it's not bad by any means, and is even quite a page turner, but it's just not as good as the best of the genre.
So, most people who are interested in this book will be fans of the games. In that case, wouldn't you want to absolutely TARGET those fans, hit them hard, and give them the most fan service possible?
Well, this book doesn't do that. It makes mention of a few familiar places, events, people, and the different races of Tamriel. That's about it. It supposedly tells the history of what happens between Oblivion and Skyrim, but it barely scratches the surface. If you're looking for a briefing before going into the Skyrim game, you're not going to get it here. Instead, you'll get an interesting tale taking place mostly in kitchens about a floating city. It's mostly forgettable, but it's definitely not bad.
So, it does not really excel as genre fiction, and it does not really excel as video game fiction. That sort of makes it hard to recommend unless, like me, you're just desperate to read something about The Elder Scrolls.
This book is definitely worth a read. Greg Keyes is an excellent author. He describes events and scenes just enough to convey what is important, but not too much to clutter your mind's eye. His dialogue is natural and engaging.
The first book, "the Infernal City," introduced the plot and the characters and left off with a giant floating city coming towards the Imperial City.
In this second book, the characters are all brought together (in pairs at various points in the novel), and the plot lines are resolved. (Although I did not enjoy how all of the lines were closed out.)
The prince, Attrebus, and his dark elf guide, Sul, are able to travel through Oblivion and eventually made bargains with several of the denizens there to recover a sword that Sul hopes will allow him to slay the master of the floating city.
Annaig and Glim are still trapped on the floating city and lead decidedly different lives; Annaig becomes a chef in Hell's kitchen (or at least Oblivion's) while Glim leads a revolution for more rights and consideration for the proletariat.
Colin continues to uncover rot at the heart of the Imperial city.
The first book could have taken place in any fantasy setting. The second book definitely has an Elder Scrolls feel to it.
Beware, take care for spoilers follow ...
In the end, the sword is unable to harm the protagonist, but there is a work-around ... Annaig and Glim are able to point out to Attrebus and Sul where the soul of the antagonist is held.
In the end, it is a group effort that brings down the evil overlord of the floating island.Read more ›
<Warning - May contain SPOILERS>
The Lord of Souls is the second and currently final book in the Elder Scrolls series written by Greg Keyes. Based on the award winning Bethesda video games, the story continues with our various heroes and their fight against the floating city of Umbriel. Attrebus and Sul are still searching for the legendary sword Umbra in hopes that it will aid them in destroying Vuhon, Lord of Umbriel. Annaig and Mere-Glim, still trapped in the floating city, perform their duties as cook and sump skraw just to survive. Colin continues to investigate the conspiracies against crown and kingdom. Lastly, two new Imperial characters, albeit rather minor, are introduced to the story. Mazgar, a female orc warrior and Brennus a human mage are part of an Imperial reconnaissance that aid in the flight of the Cyrodiil citizens as Umbriel approaches. As with the first book "The Infernal City," the timeline is still approximately 40 years after the Oblivion crisis. Here are my thoughts on The Lord of Souls;
+ More action this time around.
+ Great cover art.
+ Attrebus becomes a bit less of the cliché Prince. Inspector Colin gets more face time which was great as I really enjoyed his character.
+ Quick, enjoyable and easy read written by an accomplished author.
+ It's good to have another novel in the world of the Elder Scrolls.
Cons <Contains SPOILERS>
- Majority of the romantic relationships in the book still felt forced, instant and unrealistic.
- Again there were no maps included.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
More books need to either be written or not be written in the Elder Scrolls universe. The book itself is a fun read, but feels lacking. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jord
I wasn't expecting an Elder Scrolls book to be a pretty fun read. If you got Infernal City, Lord of Souls ties everything up nicely, and much of what made Infernal City good... Read morePublished 6 months ago by David B.
Wonderful book, horrible packaging, basically a piece of cardboard folded around the book and stapled shut.Published 7 months ago by Orlo J. bartholomew
This novel delves deep into how bizarre and fascinating the Elder Scrolls universe can be when it's not restricted for the sake of balanced video game game-play. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Off the Block
Wonderful book if you are a fan of The Elder Scrolls series. Gives you a first person view of Tamreal and many other things and adds a lot to the lore.Published 9 months ago by David geddie
It has been a while since I read this book, but I still remember it vividly (in the pit of my stomach?). Read morePublished 10 months ago by Moonstalker