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Shadow's Witness: Sembia: Gateway to the Realms, Book II (Bk. 2) Mass Market Paperback – April 10, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Sembia Gateway to the Realms (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; Reissue edition (April 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786942592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786942596
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Neso on April 17, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.

Overall: 4/5

*I would have given it a 4.5 but Riven really was a disappointment
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Add Paul S. Kemp to the select few authors that really know how to tell a story in the Forgotten Realms fantasy setting.

Kemp has a distinct way of telling his stories that keep the reader intrigued, and as an author myself I appreciate the way he sets the flow of his stories. He writes interesting characters as well, and the main protagonist in this book, Erevis Cale, is mysterious as well as deadly.

This is the second story Kemp has written featuring Erevis Cale, so if you have read the first this is the next one to jump into.
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Format: Kindle Edition
May include minor spoilers!

"Shadow's Witness by Paul S. Kemp is the second book of the Sembia: Gateway to the Realms series..." and while I actually like most Forgotten Realms Anthologies I did not read part one of the Sembia - GttR series first.

Reading the reviews, written by others before me, I could not fail to notice that ALL failed to mention one aspect I consider especially well-done by Paul S. Kemp: The story draws the reader in, even while characters still have to understand their own surroundings, and when it comes a dark flavor this one here is an entertaining and less stereotypical one. For game nerds one might add that Paul S. Kemp embedded the rules of Dungeons & Dragons much better than most other Forgotten Realms authors, too. Personally I add a third special for finally having found a remedy to that Salvatore Superficialty I had disliked from the start.

So what do customers get?

A dark fantasy story of rogues, past secrets, eldritch magic, loved ones at risk, and the decision to face certain death before allowing the opposition to win! It starts with the leader of a free-spirited organization loyal to the deity called Mask (a deity of rogues) going Dr. Faust in his preparation to prove himself the chosen champion of his deity and taking-on the most dangerous competition of his own thieves guild: The notorious Zhentarim Network, patronized by the deity Cyric, in the city of Selgaunt.

Characters through whoms perspective we learn more of the story include:

Ambitious Leader aka The Righteous Man ;-)
D.
Read more ›
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