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The Mark of Nerath: A Dungeons & Dragons Novel Mass Market Paperback – August 3, 2010

22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Dungeons & Dragons Novel
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (August 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786956224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786956227
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Dan on August 11, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In the best fantasy novels, a fictional world comes to life. Intriguing and complicated characters can make a reader suspend disbelief and imagine him or herself as a participant in a land far removed from his or her own. Inspired details about a world greatly aid the process.

This book, to understate matters, is not one of the best fantasy novels. It's not because this is a novel based on a role-playing game, though. TSR's Dragonlance books were excellent reads, as were Salvatore's Icewind Dale novels. Even some of Wizards of the Coasts recent offerings have at least provided enjoyable experiences. In comparison to those, this is an ameteurish effort. There are too many lackluster characters, introduced too haphazardly at the beginning of the book. Their personalities are undeveloped, even into the final pages. Their tragedies too trite to draw sympathy, as if they were drawn from a d100 table of a rule book, making sure to hit all of the important formulas with a realization of what made the formulas work in the past.

The world itself suffers in this novel as well. This book is intended as the first in a series to instill life into the standard world of Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition, the Nentir Vale, but the setting seems even more of a hodgepodge here than it did in the core Dungeon Masters Guide that made gamers such as myself miss the complexity of TSR's worlds of Forgotten Realms. The pieces of the world lack interconnectedness, such as readers could find in Tolkien's worlds in which the different races could stand in for different types of human beings.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Beacom on November 18, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Do yourself a favor, read the 1 and 2 star reviews first, then come back to this one.

Everything they said is true. Characters are very iconic, but shallow. There are a lot of them. The writing is amateurish. At certain points, the use of D&D gaming/rules/spell terminology is clumsy. The story feels improbable. The dialog is weak. Bill S. uses the name Nu Alin about 30 times over the course of 5 pages at one point in the novel, making you want to rip your hair out every time you read it.

Ok, so why did I like it? I think I know. I'll tell you and you can decide if you'll like it too.

1. It does a nice job of quickly detailing lots of important areas in the Nentir Vale. If you're a gamer in the D&D core world, you may find this interesting to read about further.
2. I love playing D&D 4E and I love talking about gaming sessions. So reading what amounts to an epic D&D campaign isn't so bad. Having played similar storylines, this really felt good to me. I was interested to see how things turned out.
3. I actually liked the characters. In D&D, the characters story and motivations are provided by the players, not the DM. If you read the book with this in mind, it's easy to inject your own flavor for the characters. I realize this is not traditional for a typical novel, but I consider this work heavily in the "crossover" category where it's a hybrid of D&D and novels. If you read it as such, it actually kinda works.
4. Reading this book will feed the D&D need. If you can't find a group of gamers, or you're not getting as much game time as you'd like, this book will help fulfill that need.
5. This book reads fast and easy and requires next to zero mental commitment.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Travis Eisenbrandt on August 12, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Mark of Nerath by Bill Slavicsek- This is the first book in a new setting of novels in the Dungeons and Dragons universe, which is conveniently called Dungeons and Dragons. This book is also a stand-alone novel. This is Bill Slavicsek's first full-length novel, but he has worked on a number of role-playing game modules and co-authored Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition For Dummies and Dungeon Master 4th Edition For Dummies. The Mark of Nerath was released in August 2010 and published by Wizards of the Coast LLC.

Magroth wants to escape his banishment into the Shadowfell. The once alive ruler of the kingdom of Nerath was slain by one of his personal guards, and was somehow transported into the Shadowfell. After an enticing offer from a priestess of Orcus (the demon lord of the undead), he readily agrees to the terms. After easily accomplishing the first two tasks, Magroth now has to find and kill any remaining descendants. At the same time, a group of adventures are hunting down a green dragon that is terrorizing the countryside. After encountering the dragon, three of the five people in the group are killed leaving a warrior woman named Shara and a rogue halfling named Uldane. After losing both her father and her beloved, Shara now wants to seek out and slay the dragon who did this. At the same time, an apprentice priest of Erathis (the goddess of civilization) named Falon is attacked by a group of undead, only to be saved by an old dwarf named Darrum. After the dwarf discovers who Falon is, and after Falon's mother tells him who he is as well, they set off to keep Falon hidden. At the same time, a corpse awakens in a graveyard being compelled to action by the Raven Queen (the goddess of death). The revenant named Erak sets off to finish an unknown goal.
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