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Neversfall: The Citadels Mass Market Paperback – November 27, 2007
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About the Author
ED GENTRY started writing when he entered the Maiden of Pain open call and plans to continue doing so for many years to come. Ed's short stories appear in Realms of the Dragons II and Goblin Tails, the Anthology (2004) from Poison Clan Press.
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The story did have good pacing, action, and the beginnings of an interesting plot. These things were able to keep me reading for a while, but eventually it was not worth continuing.
Simply put, Neversfall is a story about soldiers and chain of command.
Plot is what really carries this book. When you look at it, its not overly complicated, nothing to blow you off your feet, but it has been executed to perfection. There are certainly many realms novels that dealt with sodliers and war, but not a single one depicted the life and troubles of a standard foot soldier better then this one.
Characters are similar to plot. On the first glance, they are ordinary, maybe even too ordinary, but they are given so much introspection and thought that actually towards the end of the book you understand that they are better fleshed-out then most of today's fantasy book characters. Villains are also refreshing, in a sense that none of them are standard, boring i-want-to-rule-the-world-because-im-evil villains. Due to spoiler reasons i wont talk about "main" villain, but Formians are beautifully depicted, and really seem "alien" as you would expect them to be.
Book is pumped up with lore about Maquar and Duprari and "the Adama", the philosophy-turned-religion they all follow. Gentry certainly weaves it through the whole book, and that is something not many authors can do.
I havent got much more to say, except that i hope Gentry is given more space by the Wizards in the future.
A great fantasy read i recommend to everyone who is into the genre.
I do have at least one issues with the book. Namely the question that started the whole book never gets answer and worse no one even brings it up again after the first couple of chapters.
It looks like the author has written some political history text books. It's nice to see he can jump from that into the fantasy world. I hope he continues to write for the FRs. Overall I found the book very enjoyable and a real page turner.
The plot of this book, at least at the start, is there is a citadel in the untamed wilderness where everyone has went missing. No one knows why or how. Pretty simple storyline. However, Mr. Gentry adds several sub plots to the mix to liven things up. For starters the replacement regiment sent to investigate the disappearance is made up of two different military groups. One being the hard lined Maquar and the other being a mercenary band from Durpari. Later in the book there is a bit of a political sub plot, as well as something that is present in many books, but the way Mr. Gentry presents it makes it much more poignant and that is morality. While I enjoyed the book, I really enjoyed the last two to three chapters when the morality issue came to a head. There are a few other things mixed in for good measure, but I will let you find them for yourselves, you know those dreaded spoiler things.
The characters in this novel are equally as entertaining as the plot. The main character is Adeenya, the mercenary leader. I was a little surprised that this book featured a strong female lead character. However, after finishing the novel, I think that choice was perfect. I like how Mr. Gentry explained how she came into the life of a mercenary as well. Another character that features prominently in this novel is Taennen who is the Maquar second in command. He is a solid character, well written and just enough depth and back story to be interesting without overburdening the reader with needless details. There are several other characters that are equally as interesting, but in an effort to keep this review succinct, I'll refrain from listing all of them. I will say this though, for only three hundred and twelve pages, there is a great deal of character development with the majority of the characters. Mr. Gentry obviously put a lot of thought into how the characters were going to act, their motivations, and he succeeded in giving each one of them a voice.
The only criticism I have for this novel is I wish we could have learned more about the Durpari mercenaries that were present. It seemed aside from Adeenya and her second the rest were just fodder. I understand word count issues and such, I just thought a little more there may have helped.
I really enjoyed this novel from start to finish. I am not a role player, so I am sure some of the details that Mr. Gentry included were lost on me. For instance I do not know anything about the Durpari or Maquar but Mr. Gentry provided enough information that I was able to glean a general idea of what they were. The prose that Mr. Gentry writes is like a familiar song on the radio that you can listen to time and time again. It's easy, smooth, and just has a natural feel to it. At no time did I get the sense hat he was forcing something on the reader. I enjoyed the little details that he tosses in as well, it makes the setting, characters, and plot come alive without plodding though useless details.
This is the first book in the citadel series, and I must say that if this is the quality of all the books in the series it will be a fantastic series. This may be Mr. Gentry's first Forgotten Realms novel, but he writes like a seasoned veteran and other authors need to be on alert, there is a new voice in the Realms and he is playing for keeps. I am eager to get my hands on his next novel. Looking back on all the novels I have read in 2007, I am thinking this novel may be in my top ten for the year. I will certainly be recommending this novel to many, many readers. Well done Mr. Gentry, this is what a Forgotten Realms book should be!