The Sundering, Book II
Paul S. Kemp
Wizards of the Coast
Oct 1. 2013
A summary for people…”In the 2nd book of the multi-author Sundering series launched by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, the shadow legacy of Erevis Cale lives on even as his old foe Mephistopheles seeks to stamp it out at any cost. Cale’s son Vasen—unmoored in time by the god Mask—has thus far been shielded from the archdevil’s dark schemes, alone among the servants of the Lord of Light who have raised him since birth.
Living in a remote abbey nestled among the Thunder Peaks of Sembia, Vasen is haunted by dreams of his father, trapped in the frozen hell of Cania. He knows the day will come when he must assume his role in the divine drama unfolding across Faerûn. But Vasen knows not what that role should be . . . or whether he is ready to take it on. He only knows what his father tells him in dreams—that he must not fail.
Enter Drasek Riven, a former compatriot of Erevis Cale, now near divine and haunted by dreams of his own—he too knows the time to act is near. Shar, the great goddess of darkness, looks to cast her shadow on the world forever. Riven has glimpsed the cycle of night she hopes to complete, and he knows she must be stopped.
At the crossroads of divine intrigue and mortal destiny, unlikely heroes unite to thwart the powers of shadow and hell, and the sundering of worlds is set on its course.” Amazon.com
Most readers coming into The Godborn will probably be coming off reading the Companions, by R.A.Salvatore. Which, from my perspective, is ideal. Because you couldn’t have asked for two more different books to read in a series. Paul S. Kemp does a masterful job of writing this second book in the series. But he does it in an unexpected way. I would say this book is dark fantasy bordering on Horror. And I loved it. This is not to say it is overly gory or against the tenets of the broader Forgotten Realms flavor. Rather it is like a Halloween story for the Forgotten Realms which is great, especially as it is coming out in October. The myriad of characters are richly drawn and while I did mostly see the ending coming I did really enjoy the journey to that ending. Vasen made a compelling main character. Which sometimes is a hard feat in the Forgotten Realms where characters like Drizzt and Elminister seem to overshadow everyone else. But the author did an excellent job making Vasen relatable, cool, and capable. I really appreciated this in a novel dealing mainly with gods, devils, and Shadovar.
I was also impressed at the reconstruction of events dealing with Mask. Giving even the casual reader of the Forgotten Realms books a good place to start. I would recommend for ANYONE who is a returning reader to the Forgotten Realms or even someone with no experience with them to start reading the Companions and then this book as a follow up to get you situated to what will be going on further down the line. Basically, because I can see these masterful authors weaving a perfect foundation for MANY books to come. I cannot wait for what the future has in store.