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The City of Ravens (The Cities #1)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  390 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Ravens Bluff
The City of Ravens
For the first time, Jack Ravenwild's designs exceed his talents. His ambitions plunge him into the middle of a plot to destroy the city, a noble quest to find a lost hoard, and a conspiracy to seize the reins of power through the nobility's Game of Masks. Worse yet, Jack must choose between a life of freedom and saving the city he doesn't ev
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 15th 2000 by Wizards of the Coast (first published December 1st 2000)
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Shadowdale by Scott CiencinDissolution by Richard Lee ByersMaster of Chains by Jess LebowShadowbred by Paul S. KempDarkwalker on Moonshae by Douglas Niles
Forgotten Realms 22222
14th out of 54 books — 17 voters
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis StevensonThe Double by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Scapegoat by Daphne du MaurierWilliam Wilson by Edgar Allan PoeA Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
74th out of 113 books — 73 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 785)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
Jan 26, 2015 Dirk Grobbelaar rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, books-i-own

Skullduggery and dark doings, he thought. A dangerous prize and a lovely lady!

Great fun, this.

It is shared world fiction (one of my occasional guilty pleasures), so my expectations were aligned accordingly. However, this one still managed to surprise.

It was an ominous-looking thing, with a silver skull embossed in the center and dire runes inscribed at each hasp. The title was stamped out in silver chasing: The Sarkonagael, or Secrets of the Shadewrights.

When written right, the Forgotten Realms
Apr 17, 2012 Daniel rated it really liked it
I would have to say that this is probably one of my favorite Forgotten-Realms books. Baker did a great job with Jack Ravenwild, and even though Jack was an unsavory character I found myself hoping for his success.

The book starts out with Jack running around accepting as many quests as can come his way. The author makes each one fun and exciting, with a mixture of investigation and intrigue. Soon most all of them go a-rye in some way and soon Jack is left to pick up the pieces and reap the rouge
Dec 22, 2014 Darren rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book more, but there are a number of reasons why I just couldn't do it. Unlike most of my other reviews which go through structure, pacing, worldbuilding and the like, I am going to focus on what worked and what didn't work for me:

What worked:

- Strong nod to classic sword n'sorcery... I couldn't help but draw ties to Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser with Anders and Jack (and I love Leiber's Lankhmar series).
- Excellent Realmslore and detail - made me consult my Grand Histo
Jul 29, 2009 Cody rated it it was amazing
This is possibly most well written book in the Forgotten Realms 'verse, save only for Richard Baker's novels that came after. This novel can stand alone, separate from the usual swill that comes out of that company, as a wonderful story about a thief and a riddle. The characters are fully developed, the world is fully explored, and the reality in which it takes it brought down to Earth, to make it nearly believable. I recommend this book on the highest level that is populated only by LORD OF THE ...more
Daniel Winegar
Jul 27, 2011 Daniel Winegar rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly loved reading this book. The character is a skulduggerous scoundrel, and as such, only has work associates, that don't even completely trust him. As per his attitude and personality, he trusts nobody but himself. He gets involved in several stories and adventures at the same time. I feel the protagonist consistently followed his, albeit eccentric, personality. Altogether an enjoyable read full of danger, laughs, realistic consequences, and intrigue.
Michael G
Aug 21, 2012 Michael G rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
A light, fun fantasy novel that captures the feel of the Forgotten Realms setting well. The main character is a rogue in the purest sense, but you feel sympathy for him anyway. I loved this book and think it's a real shame Richard Baker didn't get the opportunity to write more to follow. One of my favorite light fantasy novels.
Aug 22, 2008 Bill rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone interested in fantasy fiction
Recommended to Bill by: I LOVE Bakers work...I have read all of his novels
I have been reading and playing D and D/RPG games/books since 1978. I have played all 4 versions of D and D. This is hands down the best book written in the fantasy fiction arena. Bar none.
Pierre van Rooden
Jan 26, 2011 Pierre van Rooden rated it really liked it
I only recently finished City of Ravens, and now Richard Baker has revealed he is working on a new book with Jack Ravenwild. Which prompts me to write down a review of the first book.

City of Ravens is a bit of a chaotic story, in that there are several unrelated stories runnign at once. These come together at the end, in a fashion, but mostly they stand on their own. In a way, it shows the chaotic life of a multi-talented rogue, but on the other, one often expects a coherent story, and in that t
Jordan Steinhoff
Jul 10, 2011 Jordan Steinhoff rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
More of a 3.5 than a 4 but no half ratings.

My first attempt at a D&D book since the mid 90s.

I found it surprisingly enjoyable.

Couldn't hear the dice rolling like Salvatore or Weiss and Hickman.

Also, being a stand alone Baker was able to tell a concise story despite dealing with many divergent plot lines.

Jack was an amusing, if not likable Rogue. He was fairly standard to the archetype as were all the characters but Baker put together the story threads in such a manner that, even though none
Frank Mikes
Dec 06, 2014 Frank Mikes rated it it was amazing
This was a surprisingly good book and I'm going to look through and see if I can find any more by Richard Baker. He has managed to neatly thread the needle with a character who is confident without being arrogant, a charming rogue who doesn't appear smarmy or ingenuine. The secondary characters are all well drawn and three dimensional.

He then brings these characters together and weaves several plot-lines together into a suitable climax and resolution. I say well done, this is not your standard D
Jeffery Chatham
Mar 31, 2014 Jeffery Chatham rated it really liked it
Not a bad book. It's a bit of a mess because the main character gets involved in basically everything he can and goes by several different aliases but the ending is solid and I can't wait to read the (sadly kindle only) sequel to it.
Apr 01, 2015 Charles rated it really liked it
Light and insubstantial.
This book was about a thief has to get a book called the skargonal. when he gets the book he finds out that half of the city is after too. he makes alot of new enemies while after this book.
Cheri Edwards
Apr 19, 2013 Cheri Edwards rated it it was amazing
Richard Baker is one of the best authors in The Forgotten Realms.....very exciting book. Reminds of some of the early FR book.....great writing, as this one is.
Dec 15, 2012 Wes rated it really liked it
Good book. A little slow with lots of different things going on in the beginning, but it picked up nicely at the end.
Feb 23, 2012 Ken marked it as sold
Sold to Lewis White on eBay on 7-Jun-11:
Charlie Ewing
Charlie Ewing marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2016
Chris rated it liked it
Apr 28, 2016
Craig Maccormick
Craig Maccormick marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2016
Summer rated it it was amazing
Apr 24, 2016
Kevin P
Kevin P rated it did not like it
Apr 15, 2016
Michael A Morin
Michael A Morin marked it as to-read
Apr 08, 2016
Joost marked it as to-read
Apr 05, 2016
Turner rated it it was amazing
Mar 30, 2016
Geronimo Lothbrook
Geronimo Lothbrook rated it really liked it
Mar 23, 2016
Anthony Adam
Anthony Adam marked it as to-read
Mar 21, 2016
Cj marked it as to-read
Mar 20, 2016
Ahmed H. Mansour
Ahmed H. Mansour marked it as to-read
Mar 20, 2016
Karen Littleton
Karen Littleton rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2016
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  • Temple Hill (Forgotten Realms: The Cities, #2)
  • Star of Cursrah (Forgotten Realms: Lost Empires, #3)
  • The Lost Library of Cormanthyr (Forgotten Realms: Lost Empires, #1)
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  • The Yellow Silk (Forgotten Realms: The Rogues, #4)
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  • Crypt of the Moaning Diamond (Forgotten Realms: The Dungeons, #4)
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  • Stardeep (Forgotten Realms: The Dungeons, #3)
  • Sands of the Soul (Forgotten Realms: Sembia, #6)
  • The Alabaster Staff (Forgotten Realms: The Rogues, #1)
  • The Black Bouquet (Forgotten Realms: The Rogues, #2)
  • Black Wolf (Sembia #4)
  • Venom's Taste (House of Serpents #1)
  • War in Tethyr (Forgotten Realms: The Nobles, #2)
  • The City of Splendors (Forgotten Realms: The Cities, #4)
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Other Books in the Series

The Cities (4 books)
  • Temple Hill (Forgotten Realms: The Cities, #2)
  • The Jewel of Turmish (Forgotten Realms: The Cities, #3)
  • The City of Splendors (Forgotten Realms: The Cities, #4)

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