- Series: Counselors & Kings (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (April 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786915617
- ISBN-13: 978-0786915613
- Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.3 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #971,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Magehound (Forgotten Realms: Counselors & Kings, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
This novel takes place in magic-rich Halruaa, where wizards rule as kings and their counselors, the jordaini, are their sworn servants, valuable for their peerless training and resistance to magic. This is a great start to her new trilogy, Kings and Counselors (borrowing a line from the Bible, Job 3:14) and promises to be as defining of Halruaa as her prior work was on elves and as her colleague, Salvatore's, work was on the drow. The development of the Halruaan society meshed flawlessly with the plot, with few passages of sheer (and oftentimes boring) description. Rather, instead of telling her readers, Cunningham shows her readers what she needs them to know about the setting. Magic is plentiful, and almost mundane to the characters, but never to the readers, a trap that many Realms authors seem to fall into when describing the fantastic.
The ending seemed a little rushed, perhaps due to space constraints, but that is more a fault, I think, of the limited number of pages that TSR dedicates to every novel, and not a fault of Cunningham's otherwise superb storytelling.
In "The Magehound", we receive the first serious look at the lands of Halruaa since the age-old "Shinning South" Game supplement. Before I picked it up, I was concerned whether a novel could maintain my interest, and any semblance of consistency in a land so saturated with magic. Legends and tavern tales proclaim that even the lowliest barmaid can wield a minor spell or two to lighten their load. How then could a problem of manageable scale arise and be solved in a matter of one novel? Well, I am happy to say, it is and it is not. I don't want to ruin anything, but I think it was well managed in achieving some sort of conclusion, while at the same time allowing enough questions to linger for the next book in the series; as I was pleased to learn this was to be series, as opposed to a one shot view of that fabled land.
The novel's tone and voice are easy to follow, and make for a swift read. The characters are interesting, and while we only learn so much, the depth is there, but as yet untapped; and if I can cling to her previous works as evidence, I believe these characters will become as real as Arilyn and Danilo. For that reason, and the fact I liked the story, I have to recommend this title, give it a read.
The story revolves around a young jordaini that has his best friend taken from him. The primary villain, Kiva, the Magehound, is the one responsible and Matteo, the jordaini, seeks justice. While Matteo himself does not have magical abilities (it is forbidden for jordaini to have them), he does meet others with magical abilities to help him on his quest. The Magehound convinces those who follow her that her plans for conquering a swamp filled with undead are honorable. However, they soon learn that she is simply one who intends to better herself.
The storyline drags a bit in places, but that is to set up events later in the book. The ending is satisfying, but abrupt. The buildup is too long for the quick resolution. There are a number of subplots left hanging which will be resolved in the next two books. The fight scenes are also not discussed in detail like they are in Salvatore's books (his strongpoint). Cunningham seems to spend more time describing the characters and their world. This is not necessarily bad, but when a book is this short (312 pages) and too much time is spent in this manner, the overall flow of the book is affected -- hence my rating of three stars. It's still an enjoyable read, but be prepared to read the other two books in the trilogy soon afterward to have all questions answered.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great start to the trilogy of books in Halruaa. Elaine is a fun author!Published 1 month ago by Destroyer
Story flows good but does jump a bit. Excellent take on magic. The main characters are fun and draw you into the story.Published 14 months ago by Meggabah
Very character-driven and cute. The book acts as a good prologue for this distant nation and it's many secrets. Read morePublished on December 15, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Even though I've always been a fan of Elaine Cunningham I had resisted the urge to pick up this series. Not sure why but, I should have read it ages ago! Read morePublished on February 27, 2013 by Peter Minners
I am a fan of Ms. Cunningham. She always writes a good story. It flows, it entertains, in gives a hint of romance, a hint of mystery, and of course battle scenes. Read morePublished on October 28, 2012 by bluewynd
The setting is the land of Halruaa, one new enough to me that it might as well have been a separate world. Read morePublished on December 12, 2008 by Judah
I waited a few years to read this trilogy. I had reservations to begin. It starts out in a far removed corner of the Forgotten Realms mostly overlooked within the vast... Read morePublished on October 27, 2007 by Richard K.
In "Magehound", Forgotten Realms regular Elaine Cunningham spins a tale of the magic rich land Halruaa, an area seldomly explored by Realms novelists. Read morePublished on June 11, 2006 by Ty Arthur
I found this book to be pretty boring actually. I didn't think this book was original enough, and didn't feel at all attached to any of the characters. Read morePublished on January 2, 2004