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Son of Khyber: Thorn of Breland, Book 2 Mass Market Paperback – November 3, 2009

3.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Thorn of Breland Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Thorn of Breland
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; Original edition (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786952342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786952342
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,506,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Gypton on December 23, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book isn't very good. I read the first in the series, and was impressed by how much Baker had grown as an author since his 'Dreaming Dark' trilogy, which I thought bore all the markings of a novice fantasy author (wooden dialog, predictable plot). This book is a relapse, and I was happy that it was only about 270 pages, since by the time I passed page 150 I was eager for it to end. I agree with the other reviewer on the point that this book is not really a sequel to the first, even though it involves the same protagonist and some other plot elements. It also includes two characters from Baker's other trilogy, albeit in a form that doesn't leverage all the effort he put into developing them. If you liked Daine from the other books, you won't recognize him in this one; and if you liked his Drow sidekick, she's barely even two-dimensional window dressing this time around.

As for Thorn, by the time the book ended I felt buried by Baker's attempts to make her out to be more mysterious and more amazing with passing scene (or should I call them "encounters"?). Is she a dragon? Maybe an angel? Some key part of the Draconic Prophecy? Or just your regular, run-of-the-mill secret agent for the most secret and elite spy outfit of her country? I suppose the latter description of her was not enough for Baker, who could not resist smothering what he'd built her into in the first book by adding so many layers and questions to her person by the end of this book. Look, her character was a good one...why does she also have to be a pawn in some cosmic game? Or is she the player? I don't know, and I didn't care, either.

One more thing, as an example of the cliches I mentioned.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Eberron setting for D&D has always stressed the idea of a world of intrigue, where for every plot there's three more plots trying to manipulate the first. That seems to be the foremost virtue of the Thorn of Breland series by Keith Baker, and it shows in 'Son of Khyber'.

In 'Queen of Stone' we learned that there's more to Thorn, a Dark Lantern (spy) for the nation of Breland, than what appears obvious at first glance. The questions about Thorn's nature follow her into 'Khyber', meshing with the plots of her mission to infiltrate a deadly group of outcasts to create an atmosphere of uncertainty and the beloved intrigue.

While Khyber is the second of three planned novels, it isn't quite right to call the Thorn of Breland series a trilogy. Thorn and a bare handful of her fellows are the only ones from Stone to carry over to Khyber, so readers hoping to see more of Stone's cast will be disappointed somewhat. But that doesn't mean the cast of Khyber is lacking; the series delights in taking the reader to the less-civilized and/or darker parts of Eberron, showcasing a cast of unique and interesting characters. And there's always Thorn herself, who has been strongly developed with more of her backstory built on.

Like Stone, Khyber ends somewhat abruptly. The ending does not seem as rushed, though, despite the slightly fewer pages Khyber possesses. Instead of the break-neck speed of Stone's last 50 pages or so, the entire novel moves very quickly. This seems natural, however, as Thorn herself is almost swept away by events.

As what is, in many ways, a spy novel Khyber leaves clues for Thorn (and the reader) to puzzle out.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ok, straight up: Thorn is not an interesting enough character to have her hold an entire novel, yet she was apparently expected too. Even in her first appearance in print "Queen of Stone" she didn't have the strength of character to hold an entire novel, which was why she she had supporting cast. Son of Khyber on reflection lacked for an interesting supporting cast & my complete lack of interest in Thorn; mary-sue that she was, meant that 50 pages in i was struggling to give a damn. 70 pages in i gave up on the book completely & now consider it money wasted.

There was an attempt by Keith Baker to add interest to the character, but instead it just muddled an already boring characters background to the point where my "not caring" actually became more interesting then the character her self. What can be said about a character so compotent that she could probably win in a fight with batman.

So overall we have a novel filled with poor plot, dreadful dialogue, poor pacing, disinteresting characters & an attempt to add extra nuance in the form of stupid plot twists. If you haven't guessed yet, i advice you not purchase this book. If you want something similiar to this novel but better across the board, try the Eberron novel "The left hand of Death" or if you don't mind Forgotten Realms you could always try "The City of Ravens."
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In spite of the lingering sour taste left in my mouth by the overall lackluster writing in The Dreaming Dark series, I decided to give Thorn of Breland a shot. In the first tome, The Queen of Stone, Keith Baker did a pretty decent job to develop the story, characters, plot, etc. In this, the series' second tome, the author simply put did a pretty unacceptably mediocre and amateurish job. Extremely cliché, extremely predictable, extremely flat characters, plot and story. It seems as if he wrote your every-day PnP game campaign in book form. At times I felt all the author needed to do was to write down each of the character's rolls to "finish the job." Overall, I think this book is Baker's worst to-date.
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