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Unclean (Forgotten Realms: The Haunted Lands, #1)
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Unclean (Forgotten Realms: The Haunted Lands #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  776 ratings  ·  33 reviews
You understand now.
I am not your beloved anymore.
I am
Foul, and a slave to creatures fouler still.
destroy me if you can.

The realm of Thay has long been ruled by the uneasy peace of an alliance of wizards, but all along there has been one who believes he is the true master. And when that one wizard finally moves against his former allies, his ho
Paperback, 344 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by Wizards of the Coast
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This was my first contact with Forgotten Realms novels. I must say that this novel was a good choice to start with. In no time all was explained and i was able to follow with no problems.

I was particularly impressed by the impression of a huge complex world i got from this book. It shows on every step that Forgotten Realms universe is a well established one. By the end of the book i could identify a few places where i read/seen/played/heard something that relates in some way. So i can safely sa
The first book of a trilogy on Thay and its Red Wizards, and of Szass Tam and his grab for more power. It's a decent read, but slow at times. I'm ambivalent about the book. The highlights would be the political manoeuvrings and character interactions; really well done.

It's a great overarching plot that the book kicks off, filled with assassinations, manipulations, espionage, backstabbing, blackmailing and even a war with the undead. I can't wait to see how this turns off. What I didn't like, is
Brenda Cothern
Please Note: This review is for all three books in this series.

Unclean, Undead, Unholy, The Haunted Lands Trilogy, by Richard Lee Byers
FR Date: 1375 - 1478

Richard Lee Byers, author of Dissolution (War of the Spider Queen Series) and The Year of the Rogue Dragon series, works his magic once again with his new series, The Haunted Lands. This three book trilogy includes Unclean, Undead, and Unholy. The adventure is set in the Forgotten Realms in Thay, land of the Red Wizards who are renowned for th
Things I liked: Characters are interesting in creative, enemies are interesting and creative, characters are deep and complex. They change throughout the series into completely different people. They start out innocent and turn jaded.

Things I didn't like: Too many battles that all played out the same. The enemy always caught them in a trap and killed everyone except a few. THE GOOD GUYS NEVER REALLY WIN A BATTLE IN ALL THREE BOOKS. That's another reason. It gets so damn boring when "and somehow
Forgotten Realms Queen
Another good read from the Forgotten Realms series. A must for people fascinated or interested in the undead.

Nothing spectacular about it. It had a good solid story, interesting characters, a nifty twist and heart wrenching decision for the lead, and was put together very well.

There was a bit of confusion and muddling as it seemed that Richard Lee Byers wanted viewpoints from everyone and their monkey's uncle, but those moments were few and did not last long.

An enjoyable read altogether.
The background story of Szass Tam and the Red Wizards is great. The start of Aoth Fezim's tale is very good too. So why isn't this book perfect? It's too complicated! It presents you wih so many characters, some of them for just a few moments, that it's hard to get a good feeling on who is who, up u til tne second half of the book. This is ainly due to knowing there are two factions among the zulkirs at first, but now kowing a whole lot more about them. Thay is not a common or average land and i ...more
Adrian Ciuleanu
I’ve just finished the entire Haunted Lands series by Richard Lee Byers and I’m going to review them one by one. The first book of the series is called „Unclean” and in my opinion is the second best in the series. Why not the first? Because, the author presents the readers at once a lot of characters, plots and sub plots and things can be a little confusing for someone who is not familiar with the setting and land where the action takes place. It wasn’t the case for me because I’ve read previous ...more
Thay has been ruled by an alliance of Red Wizards for ages, but one undead wizard has long considered himself superior to all others, and when he decides that he alone should rule, the land will be torn apart, and everyone must chose between an undead tyrant, and a group of self-centered mages and autocrats who oppose him.

So begins the first book of Richard Lee Byers' The Haunted Lands series, which takes place in the Forgotten Realms universe. That would make this technically a Sword and Sorc
This was a solid Dungeons and Dragons-style novel that I had checked out of the library several weeks ago. The writing was actually decent. There was nothing particularly surprising or aesthetically pleasing about it, but on the other hand, I didn't find myself groaning much at all.

The plot mainly involves a bard character who is seeking to free his girlfriend who has been sold into slavery. It also mainly involves a warrior-mage who rides a griffin. In a land where wizards rule, their lives ar
Marco Filippo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the first in the Haunted Lands trilogy by Richard Lee Byers.

Szass Tam means to be King of Thay; instead of just one on a very volatile counsel of wizards. Among the ruling elite of Thay there is backbiting, bickering, and treachery on good days. Szass Tam intends to put an end to all that.

His non magical skills are the envy of real world politicians. He secretly instigates riots, then appears on the scene to quell the mob. To the everyday Thayan schlub he appears a man of the people.

He d
Written by Richard Lee Byers, this novel is set in the Forgotten Realms universe based upon the Dungeons and Dragons role playing game, so I'm warning in advance I am judging it as such.

The plot starts of as a murder mystery where in a country of wizards, run by a council with an appointed member from each order of wizardry, one of the ruling members is found dead in his chambers. Thus begins the council to investigate on who may had murdered their dead peer, a very difficult in a country where
Overall this an excellent read, and I think anyone who is a fantasy novel fan should read this book.

Plot: 4 stars. The plot for Unclean was laid out pretty well. It is a basic grab for supreme power by the lich Szass Tam, and adds some good cloak and dagger elements through the scheming of the characters involved. That being said, Byers does a good job of adding in political elements - all the wheeling, dealing, backstabbing – which really kept me on my toes while reading. I think Byers put in a
Jun 10, 2013 Maris rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Forgotten Realms fans
Prior to this book I didn't know a single thing about Thay, besides the fact, that its ruler was evil necromancer called Szass Tam, the fact I found out from the novels by R.A Salvatore where it was depicted how his dredd ring lay waste to the city of Neverwinter. But this book changed the fact and I have enriched my knowledge regarding the matter of the realm.

And more or less this book feels like sort of an introduction to the realm of Thay, its structure, its politics and main players. And its
I went into this with fairly high hopes. D&D with marauding undead? How could that disappoint? It turned out, however, to be very okay. Similar to many other books of this ilk, it suffers when the rulebook makes its presence known. Whether it's a kooky creature's name or off-kilter reference to a skill, it's jarring whenever it happens. Generally the whole thing is fairly plainly written which somehow makes some passages—aborted foetus similies, casual references to rape—seem all the more il ...more
Michael Smith
This book was a little too hard to read. The story was great though. Unfortunately, the style of writing, long sentences that never took a breath and odd choices of words - words that didn't fit the genre - seemed to take me away from a good read and had me going back rereading parts. Some sentences were as long as whole paragraphs and I had to pause to digest them. And some words, such as Pimp, Bogey, and Cartel brought me out of the fantastic world of Forgotten Realms and back to mundane earth ...more
While I enjoyed this book, I found the battle scenes a bit tedious. Even while looking at the action on a purly technical level by relating what was happening to how I would run a campaign or even play this situation. Granted this is a trilogy; nevertheless, there should have been more of a hook to compell me to the next book. I'm not quite sure what is missing. The characters are well developed and I have invested emotion into them. Perhaps the plot is lacking or the cause the protagonists are ...more
Gabe Redel
The imagination in this story was fantastic. I loved the ingenuity of the characters and the originality of their magic. The monsters were pleasingly disgusting, and the higher ranking characters, especially on the evil side, were rotten with creativity. All of that was great. And the action in the battle scenes were pretty remarkable as well. I don't even have any complaints about the plot. But what I am most annoyed with is the way Richard Lee Byers writes. His sentences have no flow at all. H ...more
Loved it... brilliantly crafted fantasy with wizards and bad, bad monsters. Nicely done.

Πρώτο βιβλίο της σειράς αλλά δεύτερο βιβλίο που διαβάζω από τον συγγραφέα. Ο Byers έχει ένα ιδαίτερο τρόπο γραφής που δεν συναντάς συχνά, και αν και η ιστορία του βιβλίου κουράζει κάποιες φόρες, αξίζει σίγουρα για την γραφή του. Η ιστορία της σειράς έχει να κάνει με πόλεμο σε μια άγνωστη περιοχή, με νεκροζώντανους και το τέλος της μαγείας στον κόσμο.
Ο συγγραφέας είναι σίγουρα ένα "κρυμμένο" διαμάντι μέσα στα χιλίαδες βιβλία του FR.
Ben Arispe
good story, good characters. The author gives us a fair amount of action throughout. Although it's set in the world of Faerun from Forgotten Realms, I found myself refreshed because it happened in a different part of the world than I usually read about. (Waterdeep or the Dales) It was a good setup to the trilogy and features a character we see most recently in R. A. Salvatore's Neverwinter trilogy!
Not bad...had some geniunely creepy images, which surprised me. It moves slow when not on the main characters (who don't meet until nearly 3/4 of the way through) because it is the first of a trilogy. You are left wanting much more at the end. It fails as a stand alone.
One of the best Forgotten Realms books I've read as of yet. The story behind the ascension of Szass Tam is filled with all manner of political intrigue, epic battles & Forgotten Realms lore. I've learned more about Thay from this one book than from anything else I've read.
Kurt Vosper
Good series...introduces the Brotherhood of the Griffon who are in the employ of the empire of Thay and the early Sazz Tam (sp) who is looking to destroy creation and become THE god. Entire series was interesting with good action and introduces some fantastic characters.
Damn good book. At times, I think all the point-of-view switching is a little unnecessary, but the author manages to pull it off and well. I'll definitely be reading the next one in the series.
The War with the undead has started. This Book covers all the background main characters and the build up and maneuvers that has let to this War.
The following link, highly recommended for its review of this and other fantasy authors.
I like it but it is the 1st of a trilogy and is laying the ground work for everything
This was unexpected but surprisingly really good!
Good start to a promising trilogy...
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A resident of the Tampa Bay area, Richard spends much of his leisure time fencing, playing poker, shooting pool and is a frequent guest at Florida science-fiction conventions. His current projects include new novels set in the Forgotten Realms universe and the eBook post-apocalyptic superhero series The Impostor.
More about Richard Lee Byers...

Other Books in the Series

Forgotten Realms: The Haunted Lands (3 books)
  • Undead (Forgotten Realms: The Haunted Lands, #2)
  • Unholy (Forgotten Realms: The Haunted Lands, #3)
Dissolution (Forgotten Realms: War of the Spider Queen, #1) The Rage (Forgotten Realms: The Year of Rogue Dragons, #1) Undead (Forgotten Realms: The Haunted Lands, #2) The Rite (Forgotten Realms: The Year of Rogue Dragons, #2) The Ruin (Forgotten Realms: The Year of Rogue Dragons, #3)

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