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Realms of the Dead: A Forgotten Realms Anthology (The Haunted Lands) Mass Market Paperback – January 5, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: The Haunted Lands
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786953632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786953639
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Travis Eisenbrandt on January 29, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Realms of the Dead edited by Susan J. Morris was released in 2010. This is an anthology based in the Forgotten Realms setting. This anthology is comprised of twelve short stories written by Richard Lee Byers, Lisa Smedman, Erin M. Evans, Bruce R. Cordell, Jaleigh Johnson, Christopher Rowe, Philip Athans, Richard Baker, Rosemary Jones, Ed Greenwood, Erik Scott de Bie, and R. A. Salvatore. This anthology is included with Richard Lee Byer's The Haunted Lands trilogy, and deals with all things undead.

"Pieces" by Richard Lee Byers- The story follows the events after the second book in The Haunted Lands trilogy entitled Undead. Bareris Anskuld was a bard in life, and still is in death. Along with the specter of a paladin named Mirror, Bareris seeks revenge for the 're-death' of his love. In this story, Mirror and Bareris go to join a resistance group against the undead horde that the lich Szass Tam rose to take over the land of Thay. But it's hard for undead to join a group opposing the undead.
Negatives:
1) Undead. I didn't really care for how a few of these undead were explained. It didn't really paint a vivid picture in my mind and kind of was a little bit of a bummer.
Positives:
1) Bareris. Now I liked Bareris in the trilogy, a lot. His thirst for revenge is something that you can really feel. That and he has to be one of the coolest bards in any story.
2) The Ending. It's was dark and it really worked considering the whole premise of the anthology and trilogy itself is about death. The 'twist' it takes I really enjoyed.
Overall: 5/5
*Even though I didn't really like the undead description's, it was a interesting story with a great ending and with a character I really enjoyed.

"Soul Steel" by Lisa Smedman- This short story is about revenge.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Realms of the Dead is an anthology with stories from different points in the D&D timeline, some soon after the Spellplague, others a century after. We get a range of stories, not all focused on the undead that appear in most of the offerings. Most of the time the undead are window dressing, and we get to see many different types of the undead one might encounter in the Forgotten Realms.

"Pieces" by Richard Lee Byers is an interesting story where two undead, one a ghost and the other an undead bard who still possesses some of his magic powers, attempting to solve a murder mystery against the will of those who want to take advantage of the distraction to remove some insurgents from their midst. We see something of the underground opposing the ruler of Thay. It's an OK story, taking a good while to develop, and all the characters seem to be one step ahead of each other. If they were as clever as they thought, they'd not have repeatedly gotten themselves into so much trouble. It's frustrating that the characters just kept hitting their own walls so much.

"Soul Steel" by Lisa Smedman is a tale of an elfmaid seeking vengeance against the liege who murdered her brother. When she discovers the reason why, she will not relent. She arrives at a dangerous plan, requiring conspiracy with a drow wizard to forge a weapon capable of destroying her sworn enemy. The situation gets very complex, with a dwarf prisoner joining her cause, then becoming something of her savior, with a couple other twists along the way. Another decent story, but nothing spectacular.

"The Resurrection Agent" by Erin Evans is a story of two colleagues who served an information broker in various capacities trying to see that she receives a proper burial.
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By Robert on February 20, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I find that the forgotten realms stories, no matter the author, are great stories that add to that fictional realm. A realm of danger, mystery and adventure. Every time I pick up one, I'm instantly transported to another place, adventuring along side the characters as they do all those things that define them and make a compelling story. Each story also fits into a timeline that melds them all together, one of my other favorite features to this series.
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Most of the Forgotten Realms or D&D books I read are the same in that they are fine and good for passing the time. I find it's necessary to know all the background info in order to understand the next book that comes out. It was good, but nothing really exciting.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a great collection of high fantasy stories that verge on horror. After all, each of the stories is about the undead in some way. Yep, there are ghosts, zombies, faceless fiends, and other things that I couldn't even place. The angel of decay creature in Christopher Rowe's "Feast of the Moon" is a great one. The descriptions of it are worth reading alone.

And many of them feature gods or demons or clerics. Again, they're about the undead, so they're all connected to the afterlife or people's beliefs. It's one of the most interesting parts, how people view the undead. Sometimes they're scary, sometimes they're just fun, but all of them are fantasy.

All of the stories are pretty good, although some of them seem as if they're trying to lead into a novel. Bruce Cordell's "Wandering Stones," for instance, just leaves us with a question about why something happened. Literally. One of the last lines asks the question that isn't answered.

The standouts are Richard Lee Byers's "Pieces" and Jaleigh Johnson's "The Bone Birds." Both of these are well-written and amazing pieces of short fiction. But they're all good. Each of them creates a believable little world within the Forgotten Realms.

And they're all short, less than 40 pages, I think. Most are around 30. So they're easy to read, and the characters are believable.
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