- File Size: 2844 KB
- Print Length: 324 pages
- Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (August 21, 2012)
- Publication Date: August 21, 2012
- Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008ADEK3W
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #793,655 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Temple Hill: Forgotten Realms: The Cities Kindle Edition
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|Length: 324 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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The book is set in Elversult, in the Eastern Heartlands of Faerun, where it deals with the main character Corin and his efforts to come to grips with the loss of his arm during an ambush two years earlier. During a routine mission, Corin's White Shield Company was betrayed and ambushed leaving him crippled and shattering his dreams of a glorious future as a warrior. Now along with a half-elf thief and a gnome wizard/priest/thief (!!!) he must save Elversult's ruler, as well as himself...
The plot as a whole is excellent! The book is so incredibly well written and presented that the reader feels that they have been transported to another plane of existence and are actually present among the characters, seeing what they see, feeling what they feel, sensing what they sense.
The description of the first encounter, on the outskirts of the city of Elversult, was simply breathtaking: "The horses lay beside their masters, kicking and thrashing in blind agony, as lethal to their owners now as they had been to their enemies in glorious battles of the past." (Page 5)
"He scrambled back to his feet and saw Igland writhing on the ground, his hands clutching at a stump that used to be his left leg." (Page 11)
"The force of the blow threw Corin onto his back, his severed hand dropped twitching to the ground beside him." (Page 13)
This is all done similarly to Steven Pressfield's extraordinary best-selling novel Gates of Fire (1998), as Drew Karpyshyn too provides detailed, realistic and mature descriptions of battle.
On pages 50-51 and 262 respectively, the author provides two more exceptional descriptions that help teleport the reader to the world of Dungeons and Dragons: the first describes the rationale behind a good-aligned thief and the second provides a detailed imagery of a stone to flesh spell at work.
In addition, evil characters are very well portrayed throughout the book: "And if Yanseldara gets even a hint of what is going on I will rip your fingers off and devour them one by one, rings and all." (Page 85)
"Graal snapped the finger at the knuckle and a helmet of white bone popped up through the already graying skin. He twisted the mangled digit and tore half of it off, allowing him to slide the ring free." (Page196)
Finally, the author does an AMAZING job of presenting a great dramatic effect with the following quotes stealing the show: "When they ask who took your hand, human, tell them it was Graal!" (Page 14)
"His left hand unconsciously rubbing the stump that was once the best sword arm in the now defunct White Shield Company of Elversult." (Page15)
"Azlar had unleashed the medusa on Graal's troops, they scattered before her like dust. In her wake he saw only statues and corpses bloated by the poison of her venomous tresses." (Page193)
"Regret was a crutch for the weak. The strong learned from their mistakes, they didn't wallow in them." (Page 216)
Orcs, Orogs, Nagas, Medusas, Beholders, and factions like the Purple Masks, the Harpers, and the Cult of the Dragon have been very well presented.
The story, the dialogues, and the details are all wonderful, and create a strong sense of mystery and anticipation.
In short, Temple Hill is a book well worth your while!
like grabbing the major characters by the throat, shake
them blue and yell "GET OVER IT...!".
Set in Eversult, a city built by smugglers, the tale revolved
around 2 fairly experienced characters; one was Lhasa, a thief/burglar of human-elven descent, marked by the Purple Masks for her refusal to join THE thieves' guild of the city, the other was Corin, a washed-out fighter who lost his sword arm in the last assignment which caused his White Shield company to disband. Watching over the pair was Fendel, a gnomish tinker priest of Gond.
While on the run from the Purple Masks, Lhasa crossed paths (and more) with Corin. The latter had bankrupted himself after two years of unsuccessfully trying to restore his sword arm at the Temple of the Morninglord. Somehow, though drunk most of the time, he managed to keep himself in good shape enough to tackle a patrol of the Maces, the ruthless enforcers of order in the city. Lhasa persuaded him to be her bodyguard, holding out the hope that her mentor Fendel would be able to provide him with prosthetic arm.
To finance the replacement arm, and to flee from the Masks, Lhasa took on a dangerous assignment, not knowing it was from a traitor who betrayed the White Shields two years before. Corin and Lhasa soon found themselves embroiled in an underworld war between the Cult of the Dragon and an shadowy independent syndicate led by someone known only as Xiliath. Xiliath's top lieutenant Graal was the one who had taken Corin's arm.
No stilted dialogue, excessive self-pity or tedious passages, this book went right into the action. Both Lhasa and Corin acted well for their situations, and no wasteful time nor words that would make the readers feel impatient with the characters.
The book also gave a good introduction to Eversult, which had not been covered in any other FR novels - a city built by smugglers, highlighting its unique flavour, distinguishing it from being just another city with underground mazes.
Now, that said, it behooves me to mention a point in this author's writing that I didn't find altogether agreeable. Mr. Karpyshyn has an odd tendency to tell about an event happening from one character's perspective, and then retell the same even from another character's perspective. He does this even with fight scenes and not particularly dramatic moments. Further, the text of each retelling is so similar - at times word-for-word - that it leads one to suspect that he was trying to fill pages.
As a lover of fantasy novels who is fond of stories that conclude in the same volume, I heartily recommend this book to others despite the above-mentioned flaw. If you appreciate fantasy, I doubt you'll regret buying "Temple Hill".