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City of the Dead: Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep Mass Market Paperback – June 2, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
Book 4 of 6 in the Shadowbane Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The City of the Dead holds more fun than a clan of mischievous kobolds poking sticks at a Gold Dragon's bum whilst clamouring in uncharacteristically plucky fashion 'you're not that tough bullion boy!'" - Paul Billinghurst (June 12, 2009), Amazon.com.uk customer

From the Author

When Ed Greenwood invites you to play in his graveyard, what do you do? Have fun! This chance to explore a ghostly corner of the Forgotten Realms let me answer a question that always intrigues me:  when the adventurers go rushing off, who stays at home, keeps the city running, and what adventures do they have? If you like the Carver family, be sure to check the anthology Realms of the Dead for a bonus story about Sophraea's impossible brother Leaplow.
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Product Details

  • Series: Greenwood Presents Waterdeep
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; Original edition (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078695129X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786951291
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,883,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nathan Crowder on June 15, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are certain things I expected from a Rosemary Jones fantasy novel. A resourceful heroine, an affinity for the working class, some misfit characters, a great sense of humor, and thrilling action more akin to The Princess Bride than Conan the Barbarian. But City of the Dead tromps through George Romero's sandbox. How was she going to balance her playful romp style with the threat of an undead apocalypse?

When, about 4 pages in, I burst out laughing at a brief, non-verbal exchange between a protective statuary and ghostly essence of Waterdeep's famed necropolis, I knew I was in good hands. Somewhere between the topiary dragon, the "dark dearlings," and the mounting horror of what is about to be unleashed, I was completely won over. I ended up reading the book straight through, pausing only briefly for brief family activities, and couldn't go to bed until I finished it. That's the kind of book City of the Dead is: a spookhouse thrill-ride that grabs you by the hand and won't let go until you get to the other side. If you're a fan of fantasy fiction and have, know, are, or have ever been a teen girl, this should be on your shelf. If you like a fun story masterfully told, that goes double.

I eagerly anticipate her next book. And until then, I won't be able to "visit" Waterdeep without thinking fondly of the Carver family and the vital service they provide to the city.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
City of the Dead by Rosemary Jones has a pretty linear plot line. It is a tale of revenge involving the graveyard that unwittingly puts a family and all of Waterdeep at risk of the walking dead. The main character, Sophraea Carver with the help of an out-of-towner "Better than some, worse than others" wizard Gustin Bone investigates to get to the bottom of the strange occurrences happening in the graveyard. A couple of subplots flavor up the story with the alternate agenda of Gustin's visit to Waterdeep, a merchant man's overreaching hand, an old lord's ambition to keep Waterdeep from changing too much, a family's day to day activities, and of course a love interest.

The pacing of CotD moves along nicely and doesn't get too fast or bogged much down at all. The novel flows quite well, however, there are a couple of bumps in the road that, to me, interrupt it and that was due to the choice of names for some of the characters, names such as Fidelity, Judicious, Vigilant, and the antagonist Rampage Stunk. I found that I had to re-read sections to make sure that those were indeed the character names and not random words put in the sentence.

Ms. Jones was able to take the CotD and bring it to a much greater life than I have seen before. I have read in other realms novels where characters entered the graveyard but the vision that I got was nowhere near as vibrant as it was with reading this one. I also was given enough details to get the author's vision without overbearing details.

I was able to connect well with all the characters. I even wanted to reach into the book and throttle the antagonist and his henchmen. The character development was also done very well, even the old Lord's character developed some at the end.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
City of the Dead by Rosemary Jones- This is the fourth book released in the Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep series of stand-alone novels. The series is set in the Forgotten Realms setting of the pen and paper role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons. The other novels in this series are Blackstaff Tower by Steven E. Schend, Mistshore by Jaleigh Johnson, Downshadow by Erik Scott de Bie, The God Catcher by Erin M. Evans, and Circle of Skulls by James P. Davis. Since these books are stand-alone, you can read them out-of-order. This is Rosemary Jones' second full-length novel set in the Forgotten Realms, her first was Crypt of the Moaning Diamond (part of The Dungeons). She has written a few short stories for various anthologies as well as co-authoring Encyclopedia of Collectible Children's Books. City of the Dead was released in 2009 and published by Wizards of the Coast.

The Carvers have been taking care of Waterdeep's cemetery, called the City of the Dead, since it was created. The family knows the graveyard inside and out. The families only daughter in a few generations, Sophraea, plans on leaving the family to pursue a career in dressmaking instead of caretakers. All she needs is a noble's signature to be accepted in an esteemed program. Good thing she knows an older nobleman! The problem is, somehow the dead keep rising and she decides to investigate. With the help of a wizard named Gustin, Sophraea tracks down the problem. But is it too late?

Criticisms:
1) Choppy. The main problem with novel is how choppy and cluttered actions and some sections are. The scenes felt like something was missing. Maybe a word, an action, or a sentence. The transitions between some paragraphs were poor and jumpy.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
None of the stock descriptions I'd read about Rosemary Jones' book City of the Dead really did it justice or prepared me for the story within. While some, like what's on the back of the book cover, are technically correct, they just don't impart the lighthearted yet multi-layered feel of the book.

It was a pleasant surprise and and a joy to read. As an instant fan of Rosemary Jones' from her other book the Crypt of the Moaning Diamond, it was not a question of if I would buy City of the Dead, but when. So without reading much about the concept (or really even paying attention that Ed Greenwood was endorsing it), I was on the hook for Rosemary's next book.

The book is not a traditional D&D epic-type fantasy with overpowered heroes and endless trudging over picturesque landscapes to some predictable goal that can be found in some fantasy novels and trilogies. No "flaming swords of fire" here! Not that I don't enjoy some of that sort of story now and again -- I do. But this new book really got me thinking about the different ways that one might approach game-world inspired fiction and Fantasy novels in general. Rosemary really took a risk with this out of the box story concept and it paid off, at least for me. If I had to draw a comparison with another writer or style, I'd choose Charles Dickens. It's been over ten years since I've read anything by Dickens, but that's what Rosemary reminded me of with her new book.

But here I am four paragraphs in and I haven't even told you what the book is about yet. Well, the heroine is, for lack of a better description, a very ordinary young woman. She's powerful in her own way, to be sure, but most of her might comes from her strength of character and determination. "Plucky" is what Ed Greenwood calls her.
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