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Paul Kemp enjoys good beer, good wine, good company, and a fine scotch every now and again. He writes sword and sorcery and space opera and works very hard to make them a fun ride.
While his mind is often in the fantastical fictional worlds, his body lives in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, with his wife Jennifer, his twin sons, his daughter, and their various and sundry pets.
He is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn and the University of Michigan law school. When he's not writing , he practices corporate law in Detroit. Yes, that does make him a tool of "the Man," for which he shall bear everlasting shame.
"Shadow's Witness" is the second book of the Sembia series, and the first novel of the respective series, since the first book was a set of short stories.
Paul S. Kemp truly unleashes his writing talent in this book, bringing us a great story about even better characters. The character(s) really carry this book. Erevis Cale, whose interesting concept was introduced in the "Halls of Stormweather" anthology, is given flesh and blood in this book with his constant introspective, dilemmas, and most importantly, those little details that really differentiate good characters from truly great ones. Supporting characters are also very good, with a little left to be desired in the villain department. Somehow, I enjoy human(oid) villains much better than demons and such.
The plot is also good, not overly complicated, but with strong twists and turns. I only wished for a little bit more intrigue and scheming, but after all, this is a character-driven book.
Kemp breaths life into city of Selgaunt, the setting of this book, and gives the other authors in these series a great foundations to build on. Very rich in lore, this book.
I must say that I've read "Erevis Cale" trilogy before this book, and I guess it took out the suspense for me a bit, since I knew, generally, how it was going to end.
If you liked this book (and you really should've), then you ought to check out above mentioned "Erevis Cale" trilogy (A fantastic trilogy), and the subsequent "Twilight War" trilogy. There is also a good short story indirectly connected to Erevis Cale in "Realms of Dragons I" anthology. All of the mentioned was written by Kemp, of course.
Check out this novel, you will get an evening of great fun.
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Shadow's Witness by Paul S. Kemp is the second book of the Sembia: Gateway to the Realms series. It follows the events of Resurrection by Paul S. Kemp, the short story in The Halls of Stormweather anthology. The story is about the Uskevren's butler, Erevis Cale seeking revenge for a tragedy that befalls the Uskevren household. Along the path of revenge, Cale goes up against demons, Harpiers, and the struggle to except a god.
Negatives: 1) Wounds and Damage. The thing that really bugged me about the story is that Cale can take insane amounts of damage and live. I would think that getting cut from your gut to your throat would be very fatal. But I guess not. 2) Uskevren complications. The other thing that bothered me was I would want to know what happened after Cale returned. Hopefully, the following stories will answer my questions. 3) A Certain Character. Drasek Riven didn't seem as developed and really lack a lot of depth. And seeing that I'm a fan of Riven in the Erevis Cale Trilogy, I was really let down.
Positives: 1) The characters. I really enjoy the character of Cale. To be a killer and yet have a sense of humanity is pretty interesting (to say the least). I also liked Jak Fleets ability to find some humor when he is scared. 2)The books pace. The story read really well. I didn't want to put it down for to long and I finished it fairly quick. There were some parts that weren't as well paced but most of the story flowed well. 3) Simplicity. I was most impressed by how easily the story read. Most author use 'fancier' words to spice up a lot of Forgotten Realms stories, here everything is pretty basic wording. Yeah, sure it may not seem that impressive, but reading other authors, I've noticed that they place in words that didn't fit in with the other wording.
*I would have given it a 4.5 but Riven really was a disappointment
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This review is for the book `Shadow's Witness', which is Book II of the seven book `Sembia: Gateway to the Realms' series. This review is intended as a critique of the writing and flow of the book, not to reveal "spoolers". Please note: I am assuming that people have read The Halls of Stormweather, Book I of the series, prior to reading this review. If you haven't, you may wish to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my overall recommendation of this book, which will not contain any information about previous books in this series.
This book focuses on Erevis Cale, the head butler of the Uskevren household, written by Paul S. Kemp. This story takes place a few weeks after the events of the short story `Resurrection'. A great evil force is unwittingly unleashed upon the city of Selgaunt. Jak Fleet and Cale unite, after not speaking since the events of `Resurrection', to deal with this situation. During their quest, Cale has to struggle with whether he should continue his deception of those he has come to love, or risk losing everything by telling them about his past and the circumstances under which he came to be in their employ.
Erevis Cale comes alive within these pages, and the reader is provided with much more information about his past and insight into his motivations. He becomes a character that the reader comes to like, not because he is a hero or is struggling against overwhelming odds, but because the reader can sympathize with him. The reader is made to feel that they, if given similar upbringing and circumstances, would likely have made the same decisions.
Overall, the book is well written and well paced.Read more ›
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