- Series: The Dungeons
- Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; First Edition edition (October 30, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786943386
- ISBN-13: 978-0786943388
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,895,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Stardeep: The Dungeons Mass Market Paperback – October 30, 2007
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About the Author
Stardeep is BRUCE R. CORDELL's fourth novel. His previous novels include Oath of Nerull (as T.H. Lain), Lady of Poison, and Darkvision. By day, Bruce is a game designer, and in that role he has written over forty game titles, a few of which garnered awards. Bruce lives in Washington State with his wife and a menagerie of gentle house pets.
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The writing in this book at first took me by surprise, as I began to build my vocabulary via a fantasy sci-fi style book, something I also didn't expect. I immediately was drawn more to the book as it really made me feel like the author had fully invested himself into the work and into the world in which he was forming before the turning pages. The more I read, the more I wanted to read, and didn't want to put it down. The characters are all so very interesting... Kiril, Raidon, Gage, Adrik (such a inquisitive delicate soul), and also Delphe and Telarian. I loved the way they travel along, and how the roads of each start to merge within the book, and how the story and mystery is slowly revealed. I also enjoyed the care taken in the heart and soul of those characters within, and the detail that really enriched the entire book.
I especially enjoyed, being a person of faith myself, the aspects of the book that shine a light on what might be beyond the whole journey that makes it all worth fighting for. It was subtly and tastefully added, and my favorite reads are those that do just that, touching on the spirit of something more, something beyond us. A great author I think has that ability, to allow another to apply their own imagery and belief into the delicately set writings there within.
I'm not sure if the authors read the reviews at such sites, but I want to say 'thanks a billion' for such an awesome book, for expanding and doing something new in the merging of genres, and for a most magnificent journey! ~ Blessings
Gage seems interesting at first, a moderately noble rogue with a pair of demonic gloves. Raidon appears to be interesting, being half-elf and half-Shou (oriental, from the Realms' Eastern lands). Kiril is compelling at first, a noble star elf sword-mistress who has somehow fallen into drink and morose reflection. But none of them develop much beyond these caricatures. Gage is too predictable, Kiril feels more like a dwarf than an elf, and Raidon is mostly just dull. And to make matters worse, we have a magical sword thrown into the mix that instantly heals its wielder (Kiril) and can defeat most anything with ease.
I didn't really care much for any of them. Granted, this is a one-shot novel, but none are likeable and none really grow. Raidon likes pricey Shou tea, and he's a martial artist. And he misses the mother he never knew. As we never get to meet her (at least in this book), and next to nothing is revealed about her, it all comes across a bit hollow and more like a simplistic caricature. And it's a bit eye-rolling that his last name is Kane. Kwai-Chang Caine, anyone?
The most thought went into the main villain (Telarian) who is extremely compelling at first: driven with a sense of protectiveness, he slips further and further into a kind of madness. For much of the book, his goals have a certain level of rationality. But at the end, he "flips" directly into both sheer madness and a goal he was against the whole book, complete with nonsensical manaical laughter.
Sadly, the interesting locale (magically hidden Sildeyuir) ends up being little more than a pretty forest. The Empyrean Knights of the Star Elves are little more than cardboard cutout knights that do exactly as they're told, which includes the wholesale murder of a whole village of forest elves (based on the command of one person, no less). The dungeon, described as crawling with ancient and mysterious lethal dangers of the distant past, turns out to be a lot of long wide hallways and then a big unexplained "city" with a strange enemy. It's not even really connected to anything else in the plot, except to cut down a lot of the cardboard cutout knights, and it's not really explored.
This could have been set in any generic fantasy setting. It didn't feel particularly "Realmsy" except for a few dropped names here and there. And because of "Cynosure" it might have been a better fit logically for Eberron's slightly steampunk-ish universe.
Too much missed potential.
Definitely a skip.
It's a fine read and I highly recommend it.