Tethtoril's Bookshelf

The Sorcerer
Return of the Archwizards Series- Book 3

WotC Code:

Product Type: Novel
ISBN Number: 0-7869-2795-X
Author: Troy Denning
Cover Artist: Jon Sullivan
Release Date: November 2002
Format: Paperback book (344 pages)

The following text is taken from a description by WotC on the product:

'In the blasted ruins of Tilverton, demons stalk the shadows.
In Evereska and Cormyr, alliances crumble.
In the sun-baked desert of Anauroch, an empire of darkness is established.
In the soul of a tortured elf, the future is decided.'

Read a sample chapter.

Other novels in the Return of the Archwizards series are:

By: John Smith Date: 14-September-2003
Rating: GoodGoodGoodGood

This is the exciting conclusion to Troy Denning's Return of the Archwizards Series, and these three books were my first introduction to the author. I'm reviewing the last book mostly because all three are pretty similar.

Overall, this book was very good. I read it fast because I was excited about what would happen and the plot had a few interesting twists. Furthermore, it was great to learn about The Netherese and be introduced to an up-and-coming power in the Realms, Shade Enclave. The book is extremely action packed and will certainly satisfy any reader who loves battles involving a lot of magic.

Unfortunately, there are a few things that deny this book a "5" rating. Firstly, Denning doesn't do as good a job at character development. Galaeron, Kia, Vala and wood elf girl are interesting, but Denning just doesn't quite get into enough detail to really let you get to know them. There is a lot of stuff in the book about Galaeron's battle with his shadow, but nothing extraordinarily "deep" really happens. It is this lack of the third element in writing (character) that puts Troy Denning on a platform slightly below the respective King and Queen of FR authors, R.A. Salvatore and Elaine Cunningham.

That said, the other disappointments I had were more related to personal preference. The book is heavy on magical battles, and a lot of them end up being spell slug fests where whoever casts the most lightning bolts per second winds. Also, Vala and others have darkswords that are ultra powerful. Cool, mind you, but the swords and the machine-gun like spell-slugging just don't make for the creativity that makes truly memorable battle sequences. Instead of focusing on the ingenuity and guile of the heroes, the battles are dumbed down a bit to spectacular, yet ultimately somewhat repetetive and outlandish spell duels. This is a natural consequence of Denning using hundreds phaerimm plus their near infinte army of beholders and illithids. Personally, I prefer more melee combat based fights (ala R.A. Salvatore), but for those who like lots of magic and things blowing up, you will definitely like The Sorcerer.

Anyway, despite there being more "bad" text than "good" in this review, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to most FR readers.

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