Monday, April 14, 2014

The Herald: The Sundering VI Book Review

The Herald

The Sundering Book VI

Ed Greenwood

Wizards of the Coast

Pub Date: Jun 3 2014

4/5 Stars


         I’d been waiting to read this book since it was announced by R.A. Salvatore around the time of the first of the Sundering books came out.  Of all the books in the series this was the book I was the most anticipated to read.  Especially because it was the last book and certainly that would mean that it would be climatic and exciting.  When I found out Elminister would be the main character, I nearly lost it.  Elminister is my second favorite character only to Drizzt Do’Urden so, this book was basically going to be a no brainer five star review.  Right?  No, alas not…

         There is quite a lot to love about the Herald.  I was pretty much up to my eyes in excitement through the first 40% or so of the book.  I was loving it.  But the actual story was so boring.  That even with the wit and humor that was added by Ed Greenwood.  Which must have been a second pass kind of a thing.  Because this book would have been horrible with out it.  The book just feels tired.  Like we have been fighting these freakin Netherese for SO LONG that any interest or excitement that might have been there way back when is completely and utterly spent now.  The final stroke was some of events that occur at the end.  Not mention the inconsistencies of the Weave and what it is or isn’t and how it does or doesn’t work.  The very last chapter was certainly very nice and a well made ending to be sure.  But everything from right before the climax to that point was dreadful.  Also, the constant fights with the baelnorns were absolutely ridiculous.  I was SO TIRED of these battles and yet there were some as close as 25% to the end.  They were boring and practically useless considering that you knew that the Shadovar had to win them.  It was pointless and a waste of time.

          Unfortunately, rather than Elminister getting the majority of the screen time it seemed that the Shadovar had to dominant there as well.  For every point of view chapter that Elminister had, the Shadovar had at least three.  I honestly can’t remember another more Shadovar dominated book.  My hope is that with the Sundering over, the Shadovar will fade into the background.  They aren’t interesting any more and they have completely used up their drama as villains they are little more now, than annoying.

         Ed Greenwood is one of my favorite fantasy authors; not just D&D but for anything.  I don’t know what happened here but this book had such potential, even in the earlier chapters to be excellent and by the end it just fell flat.  I tried to review this book without letting my expectations influence it.  I hope I’ve succeeded.  If you have been reading the series so far, you MUST buy and read this book.  If not, why are you reading a review for book 6 of a series?  Even though I was disappointed by this book, I DO really hope that Ed Greenwood follows the suggested promise at the end of this book and continues to write Forgotten Realms titles.  Especially with Elminister; now that we don’t have the Shadovar to worry about anymore, hopefully things will get more interesting once again.

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