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Swordmage (Forgotten Realms: Blades of the Moonsea, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – December 2, 2008

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; Reprint edition (December 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786950226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786950225
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard Baker is a best-selling author and award-winning game designer, and one of the principal architects of the new edition of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. A former Navy officer, he currently resides in Western Washington.

More About the Author

Richard Baker is an award-winning game designer and a best-selling author. He's worked on the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game lines since 1991. Rich traces his D&D experience back to 1979, when he began playing the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game as a 7th-grader. He spent a significant amount of his high school and college years playing D&D at every opportunity, and after serving as a surface warfare officer in the United States Navy, Rich decided to take a shot at working on the game he grew up playing - and so he joined the staff of TSR, Inc., and became a game designer. Rich's list of D&D design credits numbers over 50 game products, including the Origins Award-winning BIRTHRIGHT Campaign Setting, the ALTERNITY Science Fiction Roleplaying Game (which he co-designed with Bill Slavicsek), and the newest edition of the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game. He has also served as creative director for the ALTERNITY and FORGOTTEN REALMS game lines. As an author, Rich has published eight fantasy and science fiction novels, including City of Ravens, Forsaken House, and the New York Times bestseller Condemnation. Rich is currently employed as a senior game designer at Wizards of the Coast, Inc., and works every day on new products for the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game.

Customer Reviews

The series gets better in the second book, i am really excited to read the third.
I do understand the fear someone may have with not knowing what they could do, but it just didn't feel right to me.
Travis Eisenbrandt
The setting was very well done and the Mr. Baker weaves some interesting subplots around the whole story arc.
Epheros Aldor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Andy Gray on May 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Swordmage by Richard Baker is the first book in the Blades of Moonsea trilogy. Forgotten Realms fans will be most interested in this book due to the fact that it is the first book in the post-Spellplague era. The second book is titled Corsair, but as of yet there is no release date announced for it. The prelude takes place in 1477 DR and the rest of the novel takes place in 1479 DR. There has been much talk about just what the Spellplague means to the Realms and the repercussions of it. After finishing this novel, I have to say that the jury is still out. There was not much real `change' blatantly apparent in this book.

The plot of this book is a somewhat recycled, clichéd, plot. That of a small town trying to turn back what appears to be an insurmountable horde of monsters. To further cliché that plot line there is an evil mastermind using the horde as a marionette to further his own goals. There are also several subplots woven into this story. The largest, most important subplot for the book, is the political tensions in the town of Hulburg. There are several factions vying for control of the city and the textiles within the city. There is also a mystery surrounding the death of a beloved captain of the Shieldsworn. Another subplot is the discovery that someone, or a group of people, are violating long standing laws and breaking into barrows scattered around the realm. The reason these laws are in place and just what lays in some of the barrows is well explained in a few small subtle passages. Along the way a few other subplots are tossed into the mix to add to the overall story. Even though the basic premise of this novel has been told before, as well as some of the subplots, for he most part it works for this book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Epheros Aldor on May 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Richard Baker's "Swordmage" is the first book of the Blades of the Moonsea trilogy, which takes place in the Dungeons & Dragons' Forgotten Realms world. This is the first novel utilizing the new fourth edition rules introduced during the course of this year.

The story takes place approximately one hundred years after the Realms event called The Spellplague, which is the method used to introduce the changes to the rule set. It is set in the Northern Moonsea in a growing and thriving town called Hulburg. Geran, the main character, is a human swordmage who studied magic and swordplay from the elves in Myth Drannor and is the nephew of the town's leader, the Harmach. After ten years away from home, Geran receives a letter stating that his childhood friend had died. He returns to pay his respects and makes sure that his friend's estate and family are taken care of and not ruined by the loss.

Traveling with Geran is a halfling named Hamil, a good friend from his earlier adventuring days and his business partner. Upon returning to Hulburg Geran notices the many changes in the city, not all of them positive. A run-in with a nefarious slave trading gang in his city sets Geran off to find out what has happened while he was away. Little by little Geran learns that the situation in Hulburg has gone down hill while leaving the Harmach powerless to do anything about it.

Meanwhile, brewing in the plains far north of Hulburg a mysterious warlock makes a deal with an orc chieftain to raise an army. This army soon begins marching south to take control of the lands around them with Hulburg in its path. Geran also discovers the reason behind his friend's death and investigates the opening and robbing of sacred barrows located near the town.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert "Dimndbangr" Hicks on August 9, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
To me this book moved along at a faster pace than most first books in a trilogy. There are some character introductions, plot settings, and establishing the landscape and I will say there are a few places where the pace does bog down a bit, but I don't feel it slowed it down too badly. The characters are the shining beacons here. Mr. Baker really seemed to put a lot of thought and care into his characters and made them a joy to read. The imagery is also nicely done. I had a wonderful time walking the streets of Hulburg and beyond. I say it this way because I really could envision myself walking the streets and soaking in the sights. The details were explicit enough and I was able enjoy the background better in this book than I have in other books for a while now.

Happy reading

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Head on May 9, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed Swordmage a Hell of a lot. It's a terrific read that makes great use of both the logic and the history of the Forgotten Realms to tell a story that I think all D&D fans will get a kick out of. In fact, between my day-to-day gaming--where on of my players is playing a swordmage--and Richard Baker's writing, I think swordmage is now my favorite class. Bottom line, I'm at the point where I want to BE a swordmage when I grow up. And I'm 36! Ha!

Anywho, Swordmage works because Richard Baker is not only a good writer, he's also a WOTC game designer. Thus, the book works strongly within the mechanics of the game. We see a recognizable Rogue, a Ranger, a Swordmage, a Sorcerer, a Vasaan Warlock Knight, and a Half-Orc Warlord. And the half-orc barbarian is easily the best character of the bunch! Baker uses the logic of the PHB2 racial description to good effect in designing the character. The half-orc is smarter and far more patient than any of the pure-blood orcs around him, and that gives him an obvious and demonstrable advantage. It's kind of fascinating, really. Easily my favorite part of the book.

Meanwhile, the swordmage class is a lot more interesting now that I understand it a little better. I had had this conception in my mind that a swordmage was basically a fighter who used the occasional spell to augment his physical attacks. With that in mind, I thought that having a swordmage's attacks based around his Intelligence score was a dumb, power-gamey solution to the non-existent problem of balancing the importance of abilities throughout the various classes. But in Swordmage you can see clearly that my understanding of the class was fundamentally flawed.
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