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Unclean (Forgotten Realms: The Haunted Lands, Book 1) (Bk. 1) Mass Market Paperback – April 10, 2007

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Unclean (Forgotten Realms: The Haunted Lands, Book 1) (Bk. 1) + Undead: Haunted Lands, Book II (Forgotten Realms) + Realms of the Dead: A Forgotten Realms Anthology (The Haunted Lands)
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Product Details

  • Series: Forgotten Realms: The Haunted Lands, Book 1 (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (April 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786942584
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786942589
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #758,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Lee Byers is the author of over thirty fantasy and horror novels, including a number set in the Forgotten Realms universe. A resident of the Tampa Bay area, the setting for many of his horror stories, he spends much of his free time fencing and playing poker. Friend him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter, and read his blog on Livejournal.

Customer Reviews

Good story and interesting characters but I was often confused.
Joseph M. Creaney
Not once in this book did I want to put it down, and I found that I couldn't read it when I went to bed or I wouldn't get any sleep.
A good quick read with plenty of action, new monsters, and a few truly interesting characters.
Patrick M. Carroll

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 17, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Richard Lee Byers, Unclean (Wizards of the Coast, 2007)

I have to admit that with a very few exceptions, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons books since the first six Dragonlance books have been a guilty pleasure at best; unless one of the best of TSR's (now WOTC's) stable of writers-- Bob Salvatore, Ed Greenwood, Weis and Hickman-- was at the helm, I knew I could expect all the trappings of genre writing without any real strong points to distinguish the book in question. Even some "name" writers, on their way up (Laurell K. Hamilton) or on their way down (Gene DeWeese, who wrote the wonderful Something Answered way back when) turned in substandard AD&D books. It got to the point where I stopped following AD&D series altogether. All of them. Then, through some agency I no longer recall, I started hearing the name Richard Lee Byers, and how he was going to be the guy who put AD&D novels back on the map. I heard it enough that when I found out he had a new Forgotten Realms trilogy starting, I decided to pick up the first one and see if there was any substance behind the smoke.

Boy oh boy, is there. I grant you, this is still very much genre writing, but it's good genre writing. Byers manages to integrate game mechanics into his story without it being annoying, something a lot of writers over the years who wrote for TSR/WOTC never managed to do (and, perhaps more annoyingly, many others simply tossed the rules out the window and went their own way). But that is far from the only thing about Unclean that impresses.

The story centers on Thay, the mysterious home of the Red Wizards, and the lives of a number of disparate personages therein. For those unfamiliar with the Forgotten Realms, a quick overview: Thay is ruled by the eight most powerful Red Wizards, known as Zulkirs.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Neso on November 4, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Thay is one of my favorite parts of the Realms, and when i saw they are giving it a whole trilogy, which really delves into the future of Thay, i was really excited. Then i saw they gave it to Byers, and my eagerness turned into disappointment. I personally consider Byers one of the weakest Realms authors, who pumps up his word count with one pointless battle after another. Year of Rogue Dragons is a testament to that statement. To be fair, Byers is capable of writing a good book and The Shattered Mask: Sembia: Gateway to the Realms, Book III (Forgotten Realms) proves it. So, with those mixed emotions i started reading this novel. And im really happy i gave it a shot.

This novel is everything i expect a big-scale epic fantasy novel to be. Many subplots, many interesting characters, big epic (yet not boring and pointless) battles, and even some tragedy. Seems that the Wizards gave their authors some more breathing space, so now more often then not we see shades of gray, which is a welcome change from the boring good vs evil concepts we all reread a million times over. To put it simple, there are no heroes in this book, and that is what makes it big. Also there are no annoying characters, and that is a miracle lately.

I really have no complaints about the novel. I see a lot of people criticizing two romances in the novel, but to be honest i dont see anything wrong with them. They dont take too many pages, and they arent cheesy at all. I really dont understand what is the big deal with them.

A must-read for every Realms fan, and a highly reccomended book for a casual fantasy reader. Cant wait for the next installment.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Gray on May 7, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Unclean by Richard Lee Byers is the first book in The Haunted Lands trilogy. This book marks the second trilogy penned by Mr. Byers in the Forgotten Realms universe. The first trilogy, Year of the Rogue Dragons, finished up in 2006 with The Ruin. This novel focuses on one of the more intriguing areas of the Forgetting Realms landscape, Thay. There have been countless novels with bits and pieces about Thay, yet rarely do books focus exclusively on Thay and the subterfuge that is Thay.

The plot of this book, at times, is hard to follow and a little disjointed. The reason for that seems to be that there are many story lines and sub plots that Mr. Byers needs to get started, since this is part of a trilogy. At times, these extra sub plots take away from the main plot. There were a couple of times where I found myself just starting to get going with the main plot only to be jerked away by a sub plot. The main plot centers on what appears to be the beginnings of a civil war within Thay. Two of the sub plots are romantic in nature, which both seem artificial to me and thrown in just because there needed to be a romantic element to this story. I believe this novel would have been better off focusing on the main storyline and cutting back, what I see, as some unnecessary sub plots.

The characters in this book are the redeeming quality, to a point. Long has Szass Tam been a popular figure in Forgetten Realms lore, fans of his are finally given a book with him as a prominent character. A few other characters will be familiar to perceptive readers as well. Mr. Byers does a pretty good job at mixing the established characters in with some new ones and weaving them throughout the story. Two memorable characters are Aoth and Bareis, both are solid characters and should take this trilogy far.
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