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Robert "Dimndbangr" Hicks RSS Feed (Honolulu, HI)

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The Gilded Rune (Forgotten Realms)
The Gilded Rune (Forgotten Realms)
by Lisa Smedman
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
58 used & new from $1.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent addition to the realms, April 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Disclaimer-If you read the review and feel there is a spoiler in it, please let me know and I will remove that section. Also, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Thank you.

The Gilded Rune is a stand alone novel by Lisa Smedman. Other book by here are the House of Serpents trilogy Venom’s Taste, Viper’s Kiss, and Vanity’s Brood, The Lady Penitent trilogy Sacrifice of the Widow, Storm of the Dead, and Ascendency of the Last, as well as book four of the War of the Spider Queen series Extinction, a short story in Halls of Stormweather with a follow-up novel Heirs of Prophecy.

The main plot of The Gilded Rune is the spreading of a Stoneplague through the dwarven race. The main character Torrin Ironstar is a human who feels he is a dwarf whom has been forged into the wrong body. Some subplots involved are Torrin’s quest to prove he is in fact a dwarf and the adversity he faces, his search for the Dwarf God Moardin’s soulforge which he aims to use a unique item he has acquired to transport him anywhere he wishes, and others that would lead to spoilers.

The pace of the novel is perfect. This one builds right from the beginning and brings the reader into the characters and what is going-on with everyone while providing adventures before even coming to the main plot of the story. I felt there was just never a dull moment as the novel progressed. The story flowed nicely along just taking the reader from one stage to the next and nothing really broke from it. The characters were easy to connect with. For me this is a realms novel that has been long in coming for enjoyment. It even takes me back to the old days of FR when the reader could catch glimpses of the gods and even see the stakes in which their immortality becomes threatened.

Some criticisms:

1. The only one that I can determine here is the lack of a real antagonist. While there is a real threat to the survival of the dwarfs, there is really no true villain to focus the reader’s dislike. Once it is finally revealed how everything was started and the reasons why, it felt like “oh, ok, they are to blame.” This however is a minor criticism and does not take away from the enjoyment of the story.

Some positives:

1. The characters are awesome with this one. They really drew out the emotions of the reader whether it was to sneer at their prejudices, celebrate their accomplishment, or morn with them during their loss.

2. Of all the books post spellplague, this is the one that should have come out first as it had woven the elements of pre and post spellplague events nicely. While there are still hints of what the spellplague had done to the realms, there was enough of an old time feel to the story to keep even the seasoned veteran of the realms engaged and enjoying the story.

This was a great realms novel. I really wish Ms. Smedman had more to offer the realms as she is a prime example of what is right in the realms when it comes to providing excellent storytelling. If you are new to the FR universe, then I can easily recommend this one. Heck to anyone wanting to read about the realms or fantasy in general, I highly recommend this story.

Happy reading

-Dimndbangr


The Rose of Sarifal (Forgotten Realms)
The Rose of Sarifal (Forgotten Realms)
by Paulina Claiborne
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
42 used & new from $4.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Skip this one, March 30, 2014
Disclaimer-If you read the review and feel there is a spoiler in it, please let me know and I will remove that section. Also, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Thank you.

The Rose of the Sarifal is a stand-alone novel by Paulina Claiborne. The story takes place in the Moonshae Isles which were made popular by Douglas Niles in the late 1980s with the Moonshae Trilogy. While it was nice to look forward to returning to one of my favorite areas in the Forgotten Realms, this book just completely destroyed what I was hoping would be a return to a beloved place.

The main plot was to have a band of adventurers retrieve a part of a princess for the queen. The queen paid them half up front and kept one of the crew to ensure they did not part with their payment since they had to ship off to another island. There are many subplots and they are all over the place. The subplot involving the crew member Suka whom was left behind was the only one that was worth reading about. The pacing is disjointed and destroys the flow of the novel.

Some criticisms:

1. The language is awful. I don’t mind swearing in a novel, but this one felt like the episode of South Park where they were able to say s*** and so did it at every point they could. This book is no different. Not only that, but the book has lycanthropes and so the author has to let the reader know every time they are defecating or marking their territory.

2. The characters were really flat and uninteresting. There is not much more to go with than that.

3. The ending, if it were to be called that, was just dumb. While it is mentioned about where some of the characters will later find themselves and explain to one another about the adventures they had while separated, it still left the reader missing a final battle. This book wasn’t left open for a sequel, it was just left open.

Some positives:

1. As I mentioned before, Suka was the only character who made the novel interesting. I would like to get into it more than that, but it would lead to spoilers. Of course there were some things about her character that didn’t mesh well with the story such as her having a dog tattoo on her tongue and also having it pierced. That just felt like pandering to the younger generation.

This book would be best left out of the list of FR books. There are a few books I have not cared for in the realms and this one I think makes my worst FR book ever read. Whoever decided to publish this one should be fired. I can think of better books that should have been published such at Erik Scott de Bie’s Shadowbane - Kingdom of Night

Happy reading

-Dimndbangr


Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Zoom Lens & EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens + 11pc Bundle 16GB Deluxe Accessory Kit
Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Zoom Lens & EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens + 11pc Bundle 16GB Deluxe Accessory Kit
Offered by Focus Camera
Price: $799.00
4 used & new from $664.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent bundle, December 30, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this for my wife for Christmas and have to say this is an amazing camera and the picture quality if first rate. It is really easy to use and the 300mm lens gets some really close up pictures. All the items you get for the price are well worth it. Everything came packaged well and it made for an awesome Christmas present as I was able to pretty much get the majority of my shopping done with this one purchase.


Shadowbane: A Forgotten Realms Novel
Shadowbane: A Forgotten Realms Novel
Price: $6.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Now this is how a realms book should read., December 30, 2013
Disclaimer-If you read the review and feel there is a spoiler in it, please let me know and I will remove that section. Also, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Thank you.

Shadowbane by Erik Scott de Bie is the continuation of Downshadow. Other FR books by Mr. de Bie are Ghostwalker from The Fighters series, Depths of Madness from The Dungeons series, Downshadow from Ed Greenwood presents Waterdeep, Shadowbane - Eye of Justice, and forthcoming (possibly) Shadowbane - Kingdom of Night.

The story in Shadowbane takes place a year after the events in Downshadow. Kalen Dren (Shadowbane) has left for Luskan in search of Myrin. Luskan holds some bad memories for Kalen and what he finds there is more than he could have expected, even for a city known for its filth and miscreants. After he discovers what has become of Myrin, he now joins in to save a city that may be beyond saving. Some sub plots involve an apprentice wannabe, past dealings with a gang leader, a complicated relationship, and a few more that lead to the next book.

First off, I want to say if you own a copy of this e-book or are thinking of purchasing it, there is a short story added after the book concludes. Read that first if you want to read the story chronologically as the short story takes place a few months prior to Shadowbane. The flow of this book is smooth and transitions nicely from moment to moment and never is the reader confused about what is going on, even in the height of all the action. The pace is nicely dispersed into break neck action and moments of rest where the reader can catch their breath for the next action packed scene.

Some criticisms:

1. The only criticism I have has nothing to do with the story itself. I love print books. I feel that WotC is pushing its best writers to the wayside by making them e-books only. Mr. de Bie is up there with the greats of the realms and deserves not only to have print books but hardcovers as well.

Some positives:

1. Epic. This book felt like an epic piece of storytelling as there is so much that happens in the mere 297 pages (according to my Nook) that when I was done, I felt as if I had read one of Brandon Sanderson’s huge novels and didn’t feel like anything was left out.

2. The characters were a joy to read and I felt I could really connect with all of them, even poor Rhett who always seems to be just on the edge of getting somewhere and then…denied. Every last character has their place and even the secondary characters fit well get their due screen time.

3. The language is done superbly and I’m not just talking about some of the language he gets away which is tluining awesome - Mr. de Bie you can correct me if I used that one incorrectly - with but the words he uses to get his points across and give you the feeling you are right there in the worst city you have ever been to.

Overall this was an excellent novel and I’m looking forward to jumping right into Shadowbane - Eye of Justice. If you are looking for a good dark and gritty fantasy, this here is your ticket. However, if you have not read Downshadow, that comes highly recommended prior to delving into this one. I feel most fans of fantasy will like this one, even those who look for the huge epic novels can find enjoyment here.

Happy reading

-Dimndbangr


Men's Sublimated Print Race Cut Short-Sleeve Biking Cycling Jersey (X-Large, Key Lime)
Men's Sublimated Print Race Cut Short-Sleeve Biking Cycling Jersey (X-Large, Key Lime)
Offered by MaksActivewear

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice riding shirt, November 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Of my new shirts, this one is my favorite. I like the color and it fits very well. I wear it all the time and the material is holding up and doesn't show any wear.


Head Tiger LSR+ Adult Swim Goggles, Black - Tinted Lens
Head Tiger LSR+ Adult Swim Goggles, Black - Tinted Lens
Offered by Prime Scuba
Price: $18.99

3.0 out of 5 stars I have problems with them leaking, November 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The goggles are fit nicely and are very clear, however, I still have a problem with them leaking even if I tighten them to the point of a headache.


Blodsvept
Blodsvept
Price: $14.98
32 used & new from $7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent new CD, November 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Blodsvept (Audio CD)
Fintroll is back with another awesome CD. Of all my favorite bands that came out with new albums this year, Fintroll is by far the best of them. The traditional folk atmoshphere combined with Christianity stomping troll metal makes for a most excellent musical endeavor. Even with the addition of horns to the music, it is in no way hindered and even adds a wonderful appeal. Now if only Korpiklaani, Tyr, and Ensiferum could have continued with their original direction, it would have been a great year, but I only get one excellent offering and it comes in the way of Fintroll.


Notorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel
Notorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel
by Janet Evanovich
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.63
644 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Same ole, same ole, April 28, 2013
If you have read other reviews, then there is nothing new that I can add other than the fact that JE books are bought at a bargain by my mother at Sam's Club and then distributed out to everyone else because there really is no reason to spend hard earned money on them. One thing that was different was the fact that the reader didn't have to wait until the last 3 pages to see Stephanie get rescued and then everything wrapped up and sugar coated.

Happy Reading,
Dimndbangr


Cold Steel and Secrets: A Neverwinter Novella, Part IV
Cold Steel and Secrets: A Neverwinter Novella, Part IV
Price: $0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spoiler free review, February 1, 2012
Part IV of Cold Steel and Secrets completes the Novella by Rosemary Jones. Sarfael was left having to explain some things and as the story progresses the reader is treated to the real villainy in the shadows.

Once again the writing is smooth and fast paced as would be expected for the concluding part in a novella. There is even a bit of character development enhancing the story to keep it from being too happy. I say that as the ending is one of those happy ones where everything works out. If there is one thing I felt was a little difficult to swallow, it was the why one of the characters seems to be well enough in the end as if nothing notable sad may have happened. I would like to give more, but that would lead to a spoiler. There is also a small tidbit in the finale that leaves the story open to continue with these characters and I really hope Ms. Jones writes more about them as I really have grown fond of the characters.

Happy reading.

Dimndbangr


Cold Steel and Secrets: A Neverwinter Novella, Part III
Cold Steel and Secrets: A Neverwinter Novella, Part III
Price: $0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spoiler free review, January 5, 2012
This third installment of Cold Steel and Secrets is a little slower than the first two but continues right were the action left off in the last installment. The cliffhanger however was resolved quickly and somewhat satisfying. The rest of the story takes on from there as the characters are looking to gain the crown, however, they are not the only ones after it and what should happen if one of them found it?

The one thing I did enjoy with this one is there is more background given to Elyne's character and this helps the reader connect with her better. The rest of the characters are pretty much the same though there is some slight development throughout.

This installment is also a few pages shorter than the first two and when you take away the cover, contents, introduction, and advertisment for the last installment at the end, there is really only about 18 pages of story given for your $1.99, add tax if you order it for the Nook. The four star rating is for the story only and I am really enjoying how things are developing.

Happy reading.

Dimndbangr


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