Monday, August 10, 2015

The Godborn

The Sundering is a six-part, multi-author set of standalone novels that concerns the Forgotten Realms moving to the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons. The Companions was the first book and I thought reading also the rest of the series might be an excellent way of acquiring more Realmslore.

However, I am now considering skipping to the last volume (which is written by Ed Greenwood) as it seems the novels' characters have been introduced in earlier stories. Thus reading The Sundering books feels like jumping into the middle of things.

Evidently, the second book of the series, The Godborn by Paul S. Kemp, also suffers from having been stuffed with the plot of a whole trilogy it was originally planned as. Not only were the old characters new for me – the new ones did not get proper backstories either. Characters like Sayeed and Zayad were as strange to me as they were to those having read Kemp's previous FR novels.

Well, I have read Resurrection, the final volume of the War of the Spider Queen series. But it is not exactly relevant apart from being rather nice. (That epic mageduel between Gromph and the Lichdrow. Damn that was good.) The Godborn was not quite as interesting as that one, but it still managed to held my interesting well enough.

There were two things that I found important and relevant in the large scheme of things in the Realms. The first was how Mask, the god of thieves, had apparently died previously and his divine essence was split into three parts, one of them belonging to the archdevil Mephistopheles (who is the main antagonist of Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark among other things).

The other interesting thing was the main plot point of The Godborn. Shar, the goddess of darkness and loss (and also the mother of Mask, as it turns out) is trying to enter Faerûn to destroy it. A fairly significant event to put it lightly. I am perplexed how the only attempt by the gods opposing her to stop the goddess is one of the protagonists, Vasen Cale, being a paladin of Amaunator. One would think they would put more effort into preventing Toril getting destroyed.

I was also bit surprised how dark the novel was. I mean, many people often get killed in fantasy books but the way Sayeed and Zayad slaughter the population of a whole village was simply brutal.

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