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Crypt of the Moaning Diamond: The Dungeons Mass Market Paperback – November 27, 2007

3.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Of all the debut Forgotten Realms authors that have come out in recent years, I think I enjoyed Rosemary's writing the best. She reminds me a lot of Elaine Cunningham in writing technique. Both writers create relationships between their characters, as well as writing sword and sorcery action. - Grasping The Wind

From the Author

Folks have asked exactly when this adventure occurs. It takes place roughly 200 years before the Spell Plague and other major troubles in a far corner of the Realms. Tsurlagol is known as the Realms' most besieged city -- and every siege needs a few sappers to end it. Enter Ivy and her crew to take down the city walls.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Dungeons
  • Mass Market Paperback: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; First Edition edition (November 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786947144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786947140
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,276,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Crypt of the Moaning Diamond is the fourth book of the Forgotten Realms' stand alone series called The Dungeons; Depths of Madness, The Howling Delve, and Stardeep being the other three. In this book, Rosemary Jones tells an adventurous story about a little group of mercenaries called the Seigebreakers, whose good natured interest lies in tearing down fortifications.

In this novel, a force of orcs and hobgoblins has taken control of the city Tsurlagol, a city that has been built and rebuilt so many times the local history has lost count. Beseeched by Tsurlagol, the nearby king of Procampur has begun a campaign to aid their neighbor and take back the city. The king hires the Seigebreakers to find a way into the city that the Procampur army can use to rout the goblinkin.

Ivy, the leader of the mercenary band, develops a plan to bring down a wall by digging beneath and collapsing it. Her band of mercenaries consists of a half orc warrioress, a Genasi mage (a half water elemental), a Teifling rogue (a devil spawn), a dwarf, and dog named Wiggles. Their plot to take down the wall involves using the Genasi's gift with water magic by flooding the foundation to weaken it. To do this the mage draws water from a nearby underground river and diverts it using her magic. Overseeing the mercenary's work is a Procampur knight who seems to be the paragon of polite society.

Due to the nature of their plan, the ground of the dig site collapses sending the Seigebreakers and knight into the river below. After breaking free of the water and regrouping they find themselves stranded underground with a river fast rising around them and no way to control it. They soon discover that Tsurlagol's history isn't gone, just hidden deep beneath the current city.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This review if for the book Crypt of the Moaning Diamond: Forgotten Realms by Rosemary Jones

I enjoyed this book. The writing style was good and the story was told with sufficient detail to make it easy to imagine. The setting was interesting and consistent with the Dungeons theme of this series of books.
I liked the main characters, and the story contained the important little details that help make characters seem like real people. I would have liked to learn more about them, but what was there was sufficient for the story that was being told. The villeins and secondary characters also had some depth to them, making them seem more like real people instead of simple plot devices.
The story follows a small team of mercenaries called the Siegebreakers as they venture through the ruins beneath a besieged city and face a variety of challenges. I felt that the story was fast paced with a fair amount of action. It was a little short on character development, but it was still enjoyable reading.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is not your typical DnD setting book. Far too often it seems like the authors of these books put use the (once) TSR/(now) WotC logo as a crutch for sloppy and weak texts.

Ms. Jones nicely avoids that trap and provides a very entertaining tale that blends both action and whimsy. At times the pace did flag somewhat and the tension that was supposed to be generated with the rising water disappeared halfway through the novel. However several cleverly written scenes and fresh takes on standard (even repetitive) ideas more than compensated. In just one example, it other hands the use of 'monster poetry' is just careworn and hackneyed, but under Ms. Jones capable quill it was a rather snappy. I found myself both smiling and rolling my eyes (in a good way) at it. In fact I found myself laughing several times during the second half of the book and now have a completely unique way to deal a rust monster should one ever show up in a game.

In retrospect, learning of the author's opera writing background seems to fit the story very well - faint echoes of an enjoyment of Gilbert and Sullivan seems to stir in the quirky-yet-strangely-consistent characters.

It was disappointing to find out that this was her first novel as I was hoping to pick up a few other fantasy works by her. I guess I'll have to just keep my eye open for what she puts forth in the future.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book ended up surprising me I enjoyed it a lot more then I thought I would, the last couple of Forgotten Realms I've read have been so-so. The book is a stand alone and doesn't assume the reader has any knowledge of the Realms. It centers around a group of mercenaries that specialize in sapping walls and the like rather then actual pitched battle with enemy armies. As the book opens a they've been brought in to help bring a quick end to a siege that's started to drag on. Without giving away too much of the plot they end up discovering ruins the city was built on while digging and have to make their way through them trying to find a way to bring down the walls. All and all the plot was good it wasn't anything new but it was paced well I didn't find myself skipping ahead as I tend to do. My favorite part about the plot was the fact that it was so low key the main characters weren't unstoppable heroes single-handedly winning the war and they weren't on some epic quest that would radically alter the world. They were a small (albeit important) part of a larger army fighting a in relatively minor conflict and to me this was a welcome change from a lot of fantasy novels today.

The main strength of this novel though was definitely the characters they really end up making the novel. The main is Ivy the nominal leader of the Siegebreaker mercenaries and most of the novel follows her occasionally going to others when important to the plot. I found her to be one of the more enjoyable characters I've read lately particular in her interaction with the other characters.
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