- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 42 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.com Release Date: January 8, 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00A7GXEKU
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Whisper of Waves: Forgotten Realms: Watercourse Trilogy, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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The Whisper of Waves is the first in the Watercourse Trilogy. The book starts off well and then it's downhill all the way to the end... Upon reading the first few pages one immediately feels the difference in mood compared to other Forgotten Realms (FR) novels, especially the older ones; this is not your second edition era FR novel.
In short, the author tries to set a darker mood, but instead it is just kind of strange and weird, while the plot is all over the place and not that interesting at all. Although Philip Athans seems to indicate that he has a grasp of essential knowledge relevant to Faerun, he doesn't do much with it. Moreover, these abrupt shifts from one character to another are frustrating and take away form the overall enjoyment. Other drawbacks include the dullness of the main characters, which at times makes reading the novel painful.
That said, Philip Athans provides for an extraordinary behind the scenes look into the Red Wizards' network: "`You will leave for your new homes when the sun rises on Ches,' the tharchion commanded. `Once there, you will make yourself a part of your city's life pulse. You will learn the names of all whose names are worth knowing. You will indebt yourselves, ingratiate yourselves, inculcate yourselves. You will not command, you will not conquer, you will not take nor will you accept control. You will listen, you will watch, you will remember, and you will report. When you are commanded to do so, you will act. When you are recalled, you will return. The interests and the future of Thay in each of these places rests in your hands, so should you fail that is the first part of you that will be taken by me in payment," (pp.35-36) and "... I was sent here to establish a trade in magic items imported, secretly, from Thay. I was charged with establishing buyers, developing a market, eliminating competitors, and so on..." (p.292)
In addition, the author, through Chapter 5, provides for an amazing encounter involving a black dragon; possibly the best I have seen to-date, while Chapter 43 deals with naga lore: dista'ssara (human) and naja'ssara (water nagas).
Moreover, a good number of Philip Athans' descriptions of battle were breathtaking: "Rymut smiled, remaining silent, and watching while one of his people... was disemboweled by a lizardman's ragged claws. The yellow-gray ropes that came out of her body splashed in the swamp water and glistened in the sunlight filtering through the trees above. Flies landed on them and took off again quickly, taking their little nibbles even as the guts sank into the swamp," (p.26) "... the sergeant stumbled around a bit, his iron helmet melted to his scalp, his clothes and armor burned away to reveal what was left of the skin underneath, just a mass of swelling blisters," (p.99) "With a mouth as big as the man was tall, the demonic beast bit the man so cleanly in half that his legs continued to run for fully three steps before falling into a twitching mess on the rain- and blood-soaked deck," (p.149) and "Phyrea closed her eyes just before it hit him in the forehead. The vial broke and the oil did what the oil was made to do. The sound was a dull thump that rebounded from wall to wall... She turned, and her smile became a grimace. The headless man was still standing. His body quivered, blood rained around his feet, and his arm jerked." (p.164)
Furthermore, on page 95, the author provides for a good dose of drama: "A woman cradling a baby in her arms crouched in the middle of the street, screaming at a black firedrake that toyed with them before making a meal of both mother and child."
Finally, Philip Athans is on the ball when he writes that: "Old men take credit for the works of the young..." (p.175)
In conclusion, I am not really looking forward to reading the sequel, Lies of Light, but I will do so anyway in the hopes of encountering improvement.
That having been said, I enjoyed the book and I am looking forward to the other two. I paid absolutely no attention to the dates, only to find out based on the other reviews that this is am important detail. How it's important, I don't know and I haven't asked him either. I thought it was distracting to the plot and characters, so I blew it off. Sue me.
It is a little more political than I'd like, but not overly so. It had an awkward love scence that I hope is not repeated (Sorry Phil) and if it has to be repeated, maybe with more panache. Other that that one scene it was a good book and made me glad I picked up book two so I could continue the story. Looking forward to more.
The story in this book is far from your standard hack and slash fantasy novel, rewritten a million times over. To put it short, it is about a visionary who will reshape the trade in the Realms by determination itself. The book is divided in 70 or so small chapters, but every single one of them has a story to tell, and they are chronologically ordered, so there is nothing confusing or disjointed about them.
Being book one of a series, it is largely focused on its numerous characters, a wide variety of colorful individuals, getting tied together only towards the back end of the book. Characters are much deeper, unique and more believable then in any Realms novel I read so far. And I think I've read them all. Book is charged with emotions, and is completely free of clichés. A rarity in these times. Characters aren't your typical bunch of comic-relief dwarfs, mysterious elves and prodigal wizards. They are people with their strengths and more often, their weaknesses.
Usually in second part of the review I put my complaints about a novel. Ill leave it blank this time.
If you want something intellectually challenging, pick up this book, you will love it. If you want hack and slash fantasy (like most of the reviewers here it seems), then pick any other book from the fantasy shelf, you have a 90% chance of hitting the mark.
Most recent customer reviews
sadly the book seemed to have so much promise. but in about the middle of the book it just fell apart.Read more