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 Sacrifice of the Widow: Prelude and Chapters 1 - 3

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Alaundo Posted - 31 Jan 2007 : 17:11:34
Well met

This is a Book Club thread for Sacrifice of the Widow (Book 1 of The Lady Penitent), by Lisa Smedman. Please discuss the prelude and chapters 1 - 3 herein.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Artemas Entreri Posted - 16 Mar 2015 : 14:09:14
Enjoying this one so far. Lisa Smedman writes some interesting Realms books!
whyfight Posted - 26 Mar 2007 : 01:50:13
ihave read up to chapter 2 and i must say that lisa smedmen is a wonderful writer. Only thing is the prelude confused me very mush i didnt get the sava game at all, so.... if someone would like to clear it up for me that would be great, like i dont get why they are playing this game to begin with and that the pieces have actual souls in them, utterly confused with the whole prelude and its driving me crazy(i could just be dense or slightly stupid)
initiate Posted - 26 Mar 2007 : 01:28:11
Dargoth Wrote:
Are the novels date stamped at all?

Unfortunately, chapter by chapter DR stamping isn't included in every chapter of the book. There is, however, a year given for chapter 1, [really, really would have liked to see an exact date here, as it could clear up something that a lot of people have been wondering about for a while.] Also, a year and month is given at the beginning of Chapter 2, [which takes place quite a while after the first chapter], and given that the rest of the book takes place over weeks rather than months the lack of exact dates isn't a huge problem.

I've left some spoiler space justin case you'd rather not have the dates spoiled for you.


Chapter 1: Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR, [a redepiction of one of the key scenes from Resurrection from a different PoV
Chapter 2 and presumably rest of book: Ucter, Year of Risen Elfkin, 1375 DR, [possibly crossing in to Nightal]

Dargoth Posted - 26 Mar 2007 : 00:28:30
Question for those who have it

Are the novels date stamped at all? (Ideally at the start of each chapter??)
RodOdom Posted - 25 Mar 2007 : 22:24:37
I'm really enjoying this book. I'll be on the lookout for more Lisa Smedman stories from here on out.
Uzzy Posted - 08 Mar 2007 : 12:59:14
I have to agree with Lord Rad and all the positive comments here. This is the first 'up to date' novel I've read (missed the RoTAW, Last Mythal and Rogue Dragons trilogies.) so I was rather glad that this book referenced, rather then needed those other books. The Sava game was well done, time honoured literary devices are always best. The Recap explained the jist of the story perfectly, letting me straight into it. Interesting characters, locals and well paced battles. Hard to put down!
Lord Rad Posted - 01 Mar 2007 : 22:43:49
The opening chapters of the book really worked perfect for me. Great intro, recap and scene-setting. The spellgaunt scene was particularly well done and quite frightening, as was the hiding arachne which came to attack moments after. Definately shows the full perils of the Underdark!

So far, very impressed. Definately Lisa Smedman's best book, IMO.
Lord Rad Posted - 01 Mar 2007 : 22:41:06
Been away from Candlekeep for too long, but just finished this book yesterday so thought i'd jump in these threads to join the discussions of this excellent book

Looks like i'm also in agreement with KnightErrantJR, Besshalar and Danubus36 here Great start to the book and the recap on a moment set back in the WotSQ book was very well done. I loved it was done from a different POV also. Further mention of the portal at Ched Nasad was also a nice point to read as this particular scene was one of the most gripping scenes and amazing cliffhangers in the WotSQ series for me (and also from all other FR novels!)

When Q'arlynd is introduced it gave me a nice feeling inside. His relationship to Halisstra and the background was excellent. His depiction of Ched Nasad (the falling rock killing the priestess was quite amusing too ) and his scheming to get House Melarn back up and running made me realise that I was really going to like this character.
Rinonalyrna Fathomlin Posted - 07 Feb 2007 : 18:13:42
I think that might be the case. Also, now that I think about it, wasn't the game "winner take all" all along? I mean, these are goddesses who would really rather not co-exist with each other forever.

I have to say I'm really loving the book so far, though. I think Lisa Smedman is a fine writer, and I expected her to make this book enjoyable. I thought the chapter with Thaleste and Cavatina was interesting and different--the veteran/mentor was very young, and her novice was much older for a drow, simply because of their circumstances. And also, I do like and take interest in Eilistraee, even though I'm not as keen about the "evil drow protagonists" concept that was in the WotSQ series. I'm very happy that this time there are protagonists I feel like rooting for.
KnightErrantJR Posted - 06 Feb 2007 : 23:08:50
Originally posted by Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
My interest is definitely piqued, although I was surprised at how quickly Eilistraee agreed to a "winner take all" game, especially considering the nature of her opponent.

I took that scene as an interesting framing device that is symbolicly setting up what is going on. While its obviously that Lolth and Eilistraee have set up a "winner takes all" kind of contest, given that the Sava board was carved out of the Great Tree (which in itself is a kind of abstract concept) and that they were seated on the edge of their realms playing against one another, I took this as a bit of artistic license, especially in light of the whole "mortals can never REALLY know what is going on with the gods" mindset.

Given that they intimated that Lolth's silence represented a brief few turns in the overall "game," I took it as a bit figurative that Eilistraee was ready to make it "winner take all," in a way kind of meaning that they had been heading to a more final resolution for a while, in terms of mortals, but fairly suddenly for gods . . .

Or I could just be really overthinking all of this.
Rinonalyrna Fathomlin Posted - 06 Feb 2007 : 23:00:10
Originally posted by KnightErrantJR

I'm always happy to see recent events incorporated into Realms novels, so I really like that we got references to the events of...the Last Mythal books.

That ain't good news for me.

In any case, I just started this novel and have only read the prelude so far. My interest is definitely piqued, although I was surprised at how quickly Eilistraee agreed to a "winner take all" game, especially considering the nature of her opponent.
KnightErrantJR Posted - 06 Feb 2007 : 20:13:19
The book has been really interesting just to see the variety of Eilistraee worshipers and the regions that they are in. Ed recently responded to a question along these lines, and its interesting to see that answer "in action" in Lisa's novel.
Danubus36 Posted - 06 Feb 2007 : 19:43:52
I agree with everyone here. The book starts off great! I was a huge fan of the WoTSQ series and this book for me was a must buy. I really didnt know a lot about the Eilistraee worshipers and it was nice to see more about them. Halisstra's brother seems like an interesting character and Im wondering which one will be the one to bring about the doom and which one will be the savior from the prophicies.
Besshalar Posted - 01 Feb 2007 : 09:00:21
I agree wholeheartedly with KnightErrantJR its a great start and has me wanting for more. I enjoyed the prelude with the gods although I thought it was a bit reminiscent of Jason and the Argonauts with the gods Lolth and Eilistraee playing sava.
The characters introduced thus far seem quite interesting and I'm a sucker for smart alec drow wizards ( I loved Pharaun) .
KnightErrantJR Posted - 01 Feb 2007 : 05:20:34
All I can say to start off is . . . wow.

Okay, I can say more. Going into this book I expected this to be more or less narrowly focused on Halistra and the drow in and around the Velarswood, especially after the hints at the end of the WOTSQ books and in the Last Mythal books.

I am really facinated that the scope of this book really seems to be the whole drow pantheon, with references not just to Lolth and Eilistraee, but Vhearaun, Selvetarm, Kiaraunsalee, and Ghaunadar . . . so far I've been really interested in seeing how this is coming together, even though I really don't know where this is going (are we really going to see either Lolth or Eilistraee die at the end of this?).

I like the idea that we are seeing some other POV for some of the events of WOTSQ, and Qilue should be an interesting addition to the cast of characters in the book. I found the choice of "monsters" in the first section, the aranea and the like, to be very interesting. Halistra's brother is an interesting character so far, and I like the dynamic between him and his svirfneblin slave.

I'm always happy to see recent events incorporated into Realms novels, so I really like that we got references to the events of City of the Spider Queen adventure and the Last Mythal books. I get the feeling that this series might fill in some of the gaps and answer some of the questions that were left at the end of the WOTSQ books.

At any rate, this looks like a rousing start, and I'm definitely looking forward to continuing this book and seeing where we are going from this start. Its curious that the title character, the Lady Penitent herself, has only had a few cameos and some foreshadowing of her current position.

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