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The Herald > The Herald - Chapters 17-19

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message 1: by Chad (new)

Chad Peek (mordrim) | 255 comments Mod
Sorry everyone that I flaked out and have been absent lately. Work and life has been a little bit more than I was prepared for lately, and my wife and I decided to head off to Vegas to help ourselves relax and rejuvenate.

Having said all that, let's wrap up The Herald and share our closing thoughts on the book as well as The Sundering series as a whole.

message 2: by Justin (new)

Justin (berliad) | 106 comments Glad to see you back, Chad!

I enjoyed the last section a lot. Wild, over-the-top battles, close calls, and ultimately the apparent deaths of several characters. The scenes of dragons and beholders running amok on the battlefield were just epic. I also found the mind duels between the lich and the legion of Netherese arcanists to be fun, though I was ultimately surprised at how easily the Netherese were defeated. I guess when you have all the power of the Candlekeep wards in your pocket, you're able to have overwhelming victories. Thank goodness for the Srinshee's sacrifice!

The final scene in Storm's kitchen was an indulgence by Ed. I think it would have had more impact on me had I been reading the past several of his novels, but it was still a nice,sentimental conclusion. There is a part of me that was almost hoping Elminster would decide to retire in that moment, as the whole book read very much as the end of an era. But letting go of Elminster would be a hard decision, and probably not good for Ed or WotC's pocketbooks.

I have more thoughts on the Sundering, but I will say that I was hoping to see more of the separation of worlds and the describing of the tablets of fate. We haven't really seen any of that...just thwarted plans from Shar and Umberlee. Denning's book did have the filling of the Underchasm, and Byers' book had the return of the Sea of Fallen Stars to its old heights with the Great Rain. But I guess we'll have to wait for the 5e setting book to get the complete story of what happened to the chunks of Abeir that had been found on Faerun, and an account of the status of the pantheon.

message 3: by John (new)

John Hayes (jhayes27) | 159 comments The ending of this book was almost a let down for me. It was a great fast paced book all the way through and then all of a sudden BAM its over. I guess was expecting some ultimate battle or something. All in all an excellent book and can't wait to see what happens in the next Elminster book.

message 4: by Dreaming (new)

Dreaming Isis | 78 comments I know I have not been active and actually think I owe some info to folks (I need to look back at older posts).
I can say that even though The Sundering ends with Ed's book, there will be other novels set during the Sundering yet to come out. :) So I think we might have some more coming our way. I know Bob and Erin both have books coming out this fall.

message 5: by John (new)

John Hayes (jhayes27) | 159 comments Netgalley has the next Drizzt book available if you haven't already got it.

message 6: by Justin (new)

Justin (berliad) | 106 comments John, agreed that it was kind of abrupt. The battle itself, I thought, ended pretty well with the Netherese city slamming down into Myth Drannor (now *that* will make for a neat dungeon!), and Larloch being overcome by Srinshee and the loosely connected Weave (I guess? I'm still a little fuzzy on those mechanics).

But then we have Elminster coming into the kitchen a few pages later. "Well, it's done! Toril has separated from Abeir!" Very abrupt jump there, though I understand that tale wasn't the book's focus.

I'm looking forward to those other books, Dreaming! I've just started Rise of the King. I really hope Richard Lee Byers will be able to continue with Anton and Umara too. I know from his Tome show interview that he really wants to. Make it happen WotC!

message 7: by Dreaming (new)

Dreaming Isis | 78 comments I have Rise of the King and will be starting it tomorrow.
I also know that Erin's next book will be out I think in October.
Ed has been said to be working on the next Elminister book and I believe Troy is working on or will be a follow up to The Sentinel.

As far as the suddenness if the split: I believe that it was happening all along. If I remember the Great Rain is actually possibly caused by Ao seperate by Abeir and Toril.

(And I LOVE the Srinshee out played Larloch and Powered up El got Telamont. I have been waiting for El to "handle" someone himself since Elminster Enraged.

message 8: by Jon (last edited Aug 04, 2014 07:17AM) (new)

Jon Crofts | 76 comments Well, now there was an ending.

I suspect that I am in a slightly odd position in that I have only had time, so far, to read Erin’s The Adversary and Ed’s The Herald. So I haven’t had much of a chance to read the other Sundering books, however I have read pretty much every other book that features either El. The Seven and even several featuring Vangerdahast and others with Amarune and Arclath.

The downfall of the Netherese, especially Telamont Tanthul, is something I have been waiting for since the Return of the Archwizards trilogy. I despised the Shades then, I still do. Although I will add a caveat to that, this is that I do tend to have a difficult relationship with Troy Denning’s writing as I am not entirely sure I have forgiven him for his portrayal of characters like El and Storm in other books. They seemed overpowered before, to see them finally get their comeuppance is gratifying.

That said, to have Ambara Dove returned to the novels just in time for her to lead some valiant charges and then die felt fairly harsh. I can certainly understand that with Florin gone, as well as the other Knights of Myth Drannor, she would be unlikely to linger. This still felt a little off, however… but maybe that was just because of the dust that had gotten into my eyes at that point….

In a way, this book wasn’t really about the Sundering at all, except that the process seems to have allowed Mystra to return to her full presence and power. It also might be that we didn’t see so much of that this in book due to the stated goal of having the deities’ actions being somewhat more distance in 5E and less of a soap-opera. To my sadness, the Mystra that seems to have been returned to us is Midnight (or Mystra 3.0), as opposed to the Mystra that was the lover of El and the Mother of The Seven (Mystra 2.0). I suppose we will see. I can only hope that this portends that El and Storm will finally be able to be together, as an ending to the tension that has been building since Elminster Must Die.

The final battle. Was it abrupt? Yes. I really don’t have a problem with that though. After a considerable number of pages showing the valiant retreat of Tel’Quessir through Myth Drannor and the back-and-forth bloodbaths it wasn’t at all unpleasant to see it come down to, effectively, a single moment where everything was perched on the edge of a knife. In that moment we had Larloch, the Netherese, El’s group and the Srinshee all pulling in slightly different directions. In the end it took the willing sacrifice of one of the mightiest beings in the Realms, Oluevaera Estelda (The Srinshee), to tip the balance. Larloch’s strength had been shown in his handling of Telamont and the others but even that was nothing in the face of the combined might of the Srinshee, Elminster and (to a smaller extent) Alustriel and Laeral. I liked it.

The kitchen scene. Oh yes, the kitchen scene. As Berliad suggested, it was indulgence on Ed’s part. However, and I can’t speak for you others, it was a needed indulgence. That after this titanic struggle where so many good souls and wonderous places had been lost, for the survivors to find a time to sit and enjoy the warmth of their bonds, and to find strength in those bonds? That felt right. It had a heavy dose of Ed’s idiosyncratic humour as well as his whimsy (Mystra sitting down for soup…) I have to admit that this scene warmed my heart. I would have liked to see El, Storm, Alustriel and Laeral retire in peace at long last. Perhaps even to a pocket dimension that Amarune could visit for her training. I cannot, and will not, lie by saying that I am not made extremely happy by the thought that we will be seeing them again… because I am.

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I look forward to future ones… and I am sorry for the essay ;).

message 9: by David (new)

David Schwarm (davidschwarm) | 94 comments Mod
> I look forward to future ones…
Do you have any concrete information that there will be future books?

Is there a WotC Novel panel at GEN CON this year? Thanks, David S

message 10: by John (new)

John Hayes (jhayes27) | 159 comments Ed and troy for sure are going to be at gencon. erin Evins, Salvatore and Greenwood have stated on their Facebook pages they are in the process of writing more. Salvatores second book after the companions will be out soon and is already available on netgalley and he has started the third book. Denning and Byers have stated their want to continue the stories they started in the Sundering. Paul Kemp was approached about another book but they couldn't agree on the amount of money Paul Kemp should be paid so as of right now Kemp will not be writing anymore in the forgotten realms. unfortunately.

message 11: by Jon (new)

Jon Crofts | 76 comments David wrote: "> I look forward to future ones…
Do you have any concrete information that there will be future books?

Is there a WotC Novel panel at GEN CON this year? Thanks, David S"

None whatsoever. However, Ed's characters are alive. They have reiterated an intention to go out into the Realms and carry on helping people. Also, Ed has been publishing books featuring these characters since about 1994.

All things considered, even without concrete evidence I shall remain hopeful.

message 12: by John (new)

John Hayes (jhayes27) | 159 comments If you count the fact the Ed himself saying he is currently working on the next Elminster book on his Facebook page and Erin Evans saying she is already working on the next Farideh book. I believe she said it is going to be called Fire in the Blood. That alone is enough evidence for me hat they are continuing the books.

message 13: by David (new)

David Schwarm (davidschwarm) | 94 comments Mod
Yeah & Agreed...I am really hoping that there is a big GEN Con announcement around the Novels & there integration with the Adventures League &/or increased Digital content or something...I hope the current silence is because they are planning something big...the Magic--The Gathering Novels have recently been releasing very cheaply as eBooks [like $1.99] which is awesome for my son & his friends...

message 14: by Justin (new)

Justin (berliad) | 106 comments Jon, thank you for the wonderful thoughts. I was waiting to for someone to mention Dove's passing who had a history with her. For me, as someone who did not have a history with her, that scene was both gratifying and touching...probably more so than the Srinshee's sacrifice, because the latter was so abrupt and spectacular.

I completely endorse your views on the end of the battle and the kitchen scene. It's wonderful to hear from someone who is such a fan.

message 15: by Mik (new)

Mik Calow (Vobeskhan) | 19 comments Well I finally finished this last night. Out of all of the Sundering novels this one gripped me the least and the ending felt really anti-climactic.

I was hoping we would get an insight into the full ramifications of the result of the Sundering and all we got was a throw-away sentance from El as they sit around in Storm's kitchen :-(

There's no sign of a Realms Campaign guide on the horizon either so gaming wise we jump from one world-shattering event straight into the next with Tyranny of Dragons.

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