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Knight of the Black Rose (Ravenloft #2)

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,648 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
On the fabled world of Krynn, Lord Soth finally learns that there is a price to pay for his long history of evil deeds, a price even an undead warrior might find horrifying.
Dark powers transport Soth to Barovia, and there the death knight must face the dread minions of Count Strahn Von Zarovich, the vampire lord of the nightmare land. But with only a captive Vistani woman
Paperback, 313 pages
Published December 31st 1991 by TSR (first published 1991)
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Community Reviews

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Dec 07, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it

What does it take to make a good man go bad? That question has as many answers as there are men...and women. For some it's an easy choice; for others it's a long and winding path. Soth of Dargaard Keep is a man who made his choice centuries ago, and paid the price for his crimes. Soth, once a holy knight from a noble family, is now a soulless monster encased in armor.

This novel takes one of Dungeons and Dragons, more infamous creatures (to DnD fans anyway) and throws him in the crucible of Raven

Adrian Lamo
Feb 13, 2016 Adrian Lamo rated it it was amazing
I've re-read this book a number of times: As a child, as a young adult, and as whatever I am now at 34. James Lowder ability to give characters depth and death is uncommon in mass-market fantasy novels, and re-reading KotBR at various ages has always been like reading an entirely new book.

Lord Soth, once a member of the chivalric order of Knights of Solomnia, is undone by his passions - a topic explored amply in several Dragonlance novels. Taken to the setting of Ravenloft by treachery and force
Dec 17, 2014 Tom rated it liked it
KNIGHT OF THE BLACK ROSE is a very well written book by James Lowder. It chronicles the events of Lord Soth's life after his disappearance from Krynn. The black knight finds himself ripped from the famed lands of the Dragonlance and deposited into the world of Strad in Ravenloft. This book is full of great dark characters, and the reader gets to know more about the famed death knight along the way. The book has it all. The excitement and superb storytelling make it a fun read. The characters are ...more
Alexander Draganov
Feb 16, 2016 Alexander Draganov rated it really liked it
Badass gothic fantasy novel with larger-than-life villains who try to outsmart each other. The books contained some disturbing scenes and well described battles and although it lacked true horror, I enjoyed it very much. Soth is always a fun character to read about and Strahd is really cool, old school villainous vampire. DnD fans will like this adventure.
Apr 30, 2016 Maggie rated it it was amazing
I read this first at 17. A friend loaned it to me because it looked interesting and she knew I would take good care of it. That connected me with the Dragonlance book series, which I was already aware of thanks to other friends who loved the work of Weiss and Hickman (specifically, the Death's Gate Cycle). I read this one, Vampire of the Mists, and maybe two or three others.

Some three years later, I was invited to play in a DnD campaign, my first ever, by the man who is now my husband. Imagine
Paul Michael
May 11, 2011 Paul Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: cebu
Most people thing Ravenloft is a horror series but in truth it still is Dungeons and Dragons. Having Lord Soth was a great crossover as he is one of my favorite villians from Dragonlance. A great read.
Apr 03, 2011 Darin rated it really liked it
Second time reading. Lord Soth is one of my all-time favorite bad guys and this book gives an excellent summary of his history, pride, and downfall.
Shreekanth Pavar
Lowder succeeds in transporting us from the magical world of Krynn to the dreary, haunted Kingdom of Bavaria. His depiction of Lord Soth captures the essence of the character convincingly but his portrayal of Strahd lacks the menace or fear that a vampire should engender. The count, upstaged by the death knight in his own realm, hides behind his minions and hence never comes across as a worthy opponent.

Despite revisiting it throughout the book, Lowder also fails to delve into the tragedy of Sot
Peter Greenwell
Jan 09, 2016 Peter Greenwell rated it liked it
More of a 2.5 out of 5 but I'm rounding up as the book maintained a good, chilling atmosphere.

Prior to this book, I never read any Dragonlance or knew a thing about the character of Lord Soth, but from skimming through reviews here and elsewhere, I can see the death knight's inclusion into the Ravenloft milieu was akin to sacrilege for some.

But on its own merits, this book tells a mostly decent story, though wading through Soth's flashbacks was something I could do without. The inclusion of Azr
Jan 11, 2013 Tarl rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror
Lord Soth and Krynn are a part of my childhood. This is my third time reading this book, but the first time reading it as a writer.

'Knight of the Black Rose' tells the story of how Soth ended up in Ravenloft. Beyond all the issues with Soth and Ravenloft vs Krynn, this book in itself is a fairly enjoyable book. Lowder writes the Ravenloft setting really well, maintaining the whole dark setting fairly well. Not once during the entire book did I ever get the sense that the world was anything othe
Aug 24, 2010 Travis rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Knight of the Black Rose by James Lowder- This is the second novel that was released in the Ravenloft campaign setting of Dungeons and Dragons. This is also the first volume in Terrors of Lord Soth duology with the second volume titled Spectre of the Black Rose, which was co-written by Voronica Whitney-Robinson. James Lowder has written a number of books. His Forgotten Realms works include; book three of The Empires series called Crusade, the fifth book in The Harpers series called The Ring of W ...more
Apr 26, 2013 Jeffrey rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction-fantasy
This ill conceived novel is what you get from a culture of corporate cross selling. It's a cross over between the relatively new (at the time) Ravenloft setting and the immensely popular Dragonlance setting.

It was obviously made to try and sell tweens on the new campaign setting. I say this with confidence because it spends to much time riding the Dragonlance coat tails and name dropping places, characters and other details from that setting that it doesn't get around to having it's own plot unt
William Quest
Aug 15, 2015 William Quest rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, fiction
Very few Dragonlance books written by authors, other than Weiss and Hickman, do I like. I really enjoyed Knight of the Black Rose. It was interesting to witness Soth's fall and failure on Krynn, as well as his quest to escape Ravenloft. James did an excellent job in capturing both Strahd and Soth's characters. The story that is told is exciting and rich, and he keeps true to the spirit of the land and doesn't try to change it to make it fit his visions.
Andrew Bass
Jun 21, 2016 Andrew Bass rated it really liked it
Another good Ravenloft novel. Much, much less Strahd here than in any of the other novels that feature him, but that's because the Death Knight Lord Soth is the star of this show. He isn't a good guy, and though I've never read any of the previous non-Ravenloft Soth novels, apparently it's no surprise that he's going to do what is good for him and that's about it. He's a decent foil/sometime ally for Strahd, and this one reveals a bit more about Barovia and the lands bordering it. Never boring, ...more
Selim Tlili
Jan 13, 2016 Selim Tlili rated it really liked it
Fun blast to the past. I've owned this book for decades but hadn't read it since I was a teenager. Soth is an interesting protagonist; one who created his own damnation and learns absolutely nothing from it.
Soth is a worthy foil to Strahd; one of the most interesting vampires ever created and the main character of the Ravenloft universe.
Fun read. Easy to finish.
Apr 01, 2012 Dragoonfliy rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Lord Soth was my absolute favorite character in the Dragonlance series, but I found myself disappointed with a book that was exclusively about him and his many wonderful flaws.

Nothing in the book felt particularly memorable to me, unlike Soth's moments in the main Dragonlance arcs, where his appearance generally threw me into a fit of fascination. It also removed some of the finality of his appearance in the last book of the "Twins" Dragonlance saga. I don't know if I'm comparing the Ravenloft b
David Colpitts
Feb 10, 2013 David Colpitts rated it really liked it
While not the greatest piece of literature ever written I found myself drawn in quickly to this tale of undead creatures. If you are a fan of the Ravenloft world or more so that of the Dragonlance character, Soth, this is definitely a book to read. Following the un-life of Lord Soth of Dargaard Keep, he is quickly transported to the land of Barovia following the attack on Palanthas back on Krynn. What follows is his subsequent quest to return to Krynn and the soul of Kitiara Uth Matar he hopes r ...more
Lewis Dix
May 20, 2013 Lewis Dix rated it liked it
I loved this story as a kid, so when I came across it in the Kindle store I had to pick it up and give it a read. Especially considering my own recent foray into the Dark Fantasy genre.

It's a good fun read, but I feel as though its age definitely shows. I think I originally read this almost 15 years ago, and my how has fantasy (or at least my taste in fantasy) changed in that amount of time. Though I love Lord Soth as a character, he's very one dimensional, as are all the major players.

Feb 15, 2013 John rated it liked it
So a friend gave me this book about 25 years ago. I just read it now. I liked it, it was entertaining. I feel it was a bit juvenile to give it a glowing recommendation.

It's hard to understand some of the decisions Lord Soth makes, but he's undead so I get it. I can see how he would not think like a human. He's dead, his memories are an imprint, he's driven down a path and when he died he's not going to deviate, that is a bit frustrating for us and the other humans around him.

On a different note
Sep 11, 2015 Seth rated it liked it
Fun. Wished I'd read the Dragonlance books that inspired this, but it was still a good read.
Michael Champion
Sep 29, 2015 Michael Champion rated it it was amazing
There are no heroes in ravenloft, and maybe that's why I enjoyed this book so much.
Joshua Fallaw
Dec 10, 2012 Joshua Fallaw rated it liked it
I read every Dragonlance book I could get my hands on growing up, but never was interested in the Ravenloft world. Got this because it was about Lord Soth. The book started out good but quickly became dull and predictable. I knew how it was going to end as soon as [spoiler alert] Strahd said that thing about the mists and creatures of power. Speaking of the ending, it was rushed and just kind of petered out. I will stick to the many Dragonlance novels when I want to read about the denizens of Kr ...more
Aug 13, 2008 Jacob rated it it was amazing
Only one of two (the other being the sequel, Spectre of the Black Rose) Ravenloft novels I read, primarily because of the main character, Lord Soth.

It wasn't anything 'great' as far as literature went, but it was, for me, a very fun read. The image of one being (albeit cursed and possessed of some rather nasty powers) besieging a castle and fighting off an army of unnatural beings, was highly amusing.
Aug 29, 2012 Taddow rated it really liked it
Lord Soth is one of my favorite all time villians and I think this is one of the better books staring the fiend. I think its a good match-up against Strahd with the vampire actually facing a challenge. This is my second time reading this book (the first being when it was originally released) and I still enjoyed it.
Mar 03, 2008 Laura rated it it was ok
This was my first Ravenloft book and I was totally disappointed. I was hoping for a nice guilty pleasure but it was not well written enough or a good enough story to keep more than my passing interest. Really just more schlocky than anything else.
Dec 14, 2011 Fred rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I'm not sure how I would feel about this book today, but I read it at least back in 1997 maybe farther back and I loved it then. One of the best evil characters in the series of Dragonlance comes to Ravenloft. Can't beat it.
John Steiner
Oct 02, 2011 John Steiner rated it liked it
This novel is better than "Vampire of the Mist" solely because Lord Soth is such a dick throughout the story that surely, I thought, he'd be the one to ice-pick Von Zarovich and be done with it.

Too bad.
Jeff Waltersdorf
Sep 05, 2009 Jeff Waltersdorf rated it it was ok
Here we go, another of the Ravenloft novel line. But will seeing inside the mask of the mysterious Lord Soth ruin another villain, just the like the Star Wars prequels diminished Darth Vader?
Chris Leapley
Oct 14, 2011 Chris Leapley rated it really liked it
Not a bad book for a mass market TSR-era story. If you are a fan of Krynn and are interested in Lord Soth, the book is worth your team - and it is a very quick and easy read.
May 03, 2012 krin rated it liked it
Shelves: dark-fantasy
I liked this dark fantasy in which even the evil Lord Soth can, at times, have some redeeming qualities. I look forward to reading the next book, The Spectre of the Dark Rose.

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aka Richard Awlinson, J D Lowder

James Lowder has worked extensively in fantasy and horror fiction on both sides of the editorial blotter. He's authored several best-selling dark fantasy novels and has had short fiction appear in such anthologies as Shadows Over Baker Street and The Repentant. He's penned comic book scripts for several companies and the city of Boston. His book and film reviews, fe
More about James Lowder...

Other Books in the Series

Ravenloft (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • Vampire of the Mists (Ravenloft, #1)
  • Dance Of The Dead (Ravenloft, #3)
  • Heart of Midnight (Ravenloft, #4)
  • Tapestry of Dark Souls (Ravenloft, #5)
  • Carnival of Fear (Ravenloft, #6)
  • I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire (Ravenloft, #7)
  • The Enemy Within (Ravenloft, #8)
  • Mordenheim (Ravenloft, #9)
  • Tales of Ravenloft (Ravenloft, #10)
  • Tower of Doom (Ravenloft, #11)

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