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The Magehound (Forgotten Realms: Counselors & Kings, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Counselors & Kings Series

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Product Details

  • 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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 14, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Given the task of writing about a relatively unexplored region of the popular Forgotten Realms setting and letting go of the characters which made her such a popular author, Elaine Cunningham has gone back to what made her original books such critical successes--an intriguing plot, interesting characters, and a knack for revealing just enough to keep her readers hungering for more.
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think my biggest dissapointment with this novel was that it did not have EC's other characters in it, but that in no way makes this a bad novel. Elaine Cunningham, is an excellent writer and this book is one of her best ones yet. It is nice to finally see a little written about area of Toril finally come to life. My favorite part about this book is the way that the characters are not always 100% confident on where they stand morally, it makes for much more interesting characters, not to mention, more realistic. Other excellent features include philosophical debates, interesting antagonists (Kiva is great), some humor and a nice amount of action. If you enjoy good fantasy, with characters that are not practically demi-gods then you can not go wrong with reading the Magehound, its an wonderful novel. I can't wait for book II.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Once again, Elaine Cunningham returns to the lands of Faerûn, known to many as the Forgotten Realms. Considered by many to be one of, if not the premier Realms author, we are once again reassured of her talent for 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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Magehound" is the first book in the Counselors and Kings trilogy by Elaine Cunningham, the popular author of many books in the Forgotten Realms series. As evidenced by this book and her others in the Forgetten Realms world, Ms. Cunningham is definitely a fan of elves as a few to several of her characters are of elvish descent.
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.
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