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The Simbul
Learned Scribe

173 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2009 :  05:53:51  Show Profile  Visit The Simbul's Homepage Send The Simbul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
With regard to Lallara, Lauzoril, and Nevron...

...I truly loved the fact that the reader does not actually see them die. This narrowed focus on the narrative point of view--regardless if it was intentional or otherwise--serves to keep the door open for Dungeon Masters and future authors to bring them back into their stories if they so choose.

While I have many positive and critical reactions to this series as a whole, I must say the above was most certainly a worthy positive.

Edited by - The Simbul on 07 Jun 2009 05:55:12
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2009 :  14:28:32  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, Simbul. I'm glad you liked that aspect of the finale. Of course, this is fantasy, and D&D-based fantasy at that. So I'd say that it's pretty much always possible to bring back a seemingly dead character, no matter how his demise was depicted. The storyteller just has to decide whether it's a smart artistic choice.
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skychrome
Senior Scribe

713 Posts

Posted - 22 Jul 2009 :  05:17:33  Show Profile  Visit skychrome's Homepage Send skychrome a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Richard, just wanted to mention that I really liked the trilogy very much!
Unclean is my favorite. The intrigues between the zulkirs, autharchs etc were just fantastic. Undead and Unholy had more fighting and battle scenes which I generally do not enjoy that much.

Unholy has been an entertaining read and everything up to where the heroes teleport to Malarks ritual plane felt really well developed.

I also had lots of sympathy for So-Kehur who had been waiting for so long to prove himself and then sees his oportunity just walk by...

What I liked about the end, was when the brotherhood of the griffon drinks together on behalf of their lost ones. The atmosphere you created in that scene really felt like opening the cover to new and exciting adventures!

"You make an intriguing offer, one that is very tempting. It would seem that I have little alternative than to answer thusly: DISINTEGRATE!" Vaarsuvius, Order of the Stick 625
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 22 Jul 2009 :  17:20:17  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad you liked it, skychrome.
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Elsenrail
Seeker

Poland
72 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2009 :  00:35:10  Show Profile Send Elsenrail a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi, Richard.

I'm curious. As an author you could answer that, perhaps. Was the Unmaking ritual really about unmaking the entire cosmos, or was it rather a huge fantasy nuclear weapon that would "only" blast the eastern Faerun;)? I tend to think the latter - Ao didn't intervene, so the probability of big mess couldn't be that high.

I really enjoyed the trilogy and now I'm eagerly awaiting the release of "The Captive Flame". In WotC Spring 2010 Catalogue he book is described as having RSE-implications. Is the BotG a RSE series?
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The Simbul
Learned Scribe

173 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2009 :  06:10:10  Show Profile  Visit The Simbul's Homepage Send The Simbul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Gods intervene in often small ways, and they could have set into motion events that ultimately resulted in Szass Tam's failure. Alternatively, they could have chosen not to intervene because they already foresaw that he would fail due to the intervention of his enemies.

Moreover, after the Year of Blue Fire the deities are far more removed from the material world, and they are far weaker and can be killed outright. Thus it would not be so common for a deity to stride forth into the material realm to strike at a threat or enemy as it would have been in the past...which is a very good thing from the perspective of storytelling, either in a novel or at the game table.
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The Simbul
Learned Scribe

173 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2009 :  06:12:50  Show Profile  Visit The Simbul's Homepage Send The Simbul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, I do not recall it necessarily being guaranteed in the story that the Rite of Unmaking would be successful, as it was never actually completed (nor will be again if future Player Characters are successful).
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2009 :  15:59:00  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, Elsenrail, Simbul, and all.

First off, El, I'm glad you enjoyed the trilogy.

I'm not sure i'd call the new trilogy an RSE, but it does deal with big events in at least one portion of the Realms.

I completely agree that the gods don't always intervene in ways perceptible to mortals. Was it really pure chance that Bareris and Mirror met in the Sunrise Mountains? Or that Bareris and Aoth both had their existences prolonged, and thus were still around to fight the bad guys in Book Three? Maybe. But you can also interpret it as some god subtly influencing events.

As far as the question of whether the Unmaking would really have worked, after deliberately leaving that up in the air in the trilogy, I'm not inclined to answer here. I will point out that there are only two characters in the books who think it will work, Szass and Malark. They're both smart to say the least, and they're the only ones who've actually read the ancient book, but they're also both arguably crazy. There are many more highly intelligent characters who think the ritual won't work as advertised. But it will devastate the East, so they've got to stop it anyway.
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Elsenrail
Seeker

Poland
72 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2009 :  16:21:41  Show Profile Send Elsenrail a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really appreciate that you took your time to answer, Richard. :)

Can't wait to read "The Captive Flame"... I've already preordered it. :)
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JesusCraig
Acolyte

1 Posts

Posted - 03 Sep 2009 :  04:44:31  Show Profile  Visit JesusCraig's Homepage Send JesusCraig a Private Message  Reply with Quote
First, I'd like to say, this is either my favorite or second favorite series in all of Forgotten Realms. The other being The Year of Rogue Dragons. I just finished rereading Unclean and Undead and am now rereading Unholy, for the third time in less then 2 months.

I really enjoy the characters you create, I find they are dynamic and interesting well beyond the scope of other authors.

One thing I find really interesting is the way you interwove the stories of Bareris and Aoth, so intricately that I've had much internal debate as to who the main character of the series really is.

My initial inclination is to say Aoth, but as I've reread the series, I find that the books are more the story of Bareris. I'm interested to hear what other people (and of course, the author) think.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 03 Sep 2009 :  15:11:48  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
HI, JC. Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you like my stuff.

Who's the main character of the Thay novels? Well, maybe Bareris. But I could make a case for Aoth as well.

Some people would say that there should always be a single main protagonist at the center of a story, and I agree that that's not a bad operating principle much of the time. But I tend to deviate from it in my longer fantasy pieces, I guess because writers I greatly admire make it work. I suppose Frodo is ultimately the main protagonist of The Lord of the Rings, but he doesn't edge out Aragorn and Gandalf by much. I have no idea how you'd pick out a single main protagonist in George R. R. Martin's current epic. And my all-time favorite fantasy series is the Gray Mouser and Fafhrd stories, where the two heroes are equally important and interesting in every way.
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hahahax
Acolyte

8 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2009 :  15:11:34  Show Profile  Visit hahahax's Homepage Send hahahax a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really liked the character development in the trilogy, but was a bit disappointed with Aoth in the epilogue. He was mourning, but I would expect more than that from a man who lost everything he built over his life and 2 friends during the same couple of days.

Besides that, it was one of the best trilogies I've read in a long time, Bareris was quite an interesting character and as everyone said, the 100 year jump was handled perfectly. I was pissed off when I first heard of the jump, but wow, you did a great job.

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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2009 :  17:34:33  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad you liked it, hahahax.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2010 :  02:05:49  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is a great conclusion to the series. Byers never ceases to surprise and fascinate me. Szass deserves the spotlight he got. How he manipulated people and rose to a position high enough to even challenge a god really amazed me. Byers's vivid descriptions is astounding, and the battle scenes are really commendable.

What I think is a bit too much, though, is that Szass killed all the zulkirs. I mean, c'mon, does the bitch =) Lallara deserve to live? She's so interesting (her cruelty, ambivalence, prudence, and sense of humor are such endearing traits).


Every beginning has an end.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2010 :  02:15:48  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

HI, JC. Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you like my stuff.

Who's the main character of the Thay novels? Well, maybe Bareris. But I could make a case for Aoth as well.

Some people would say that there should always be a single main protagonist at the center of a story, and I agree that that's not a bad operating principle much of the time. But I tend to deviate from it in my longer fantasy pieces, I guess because writers I greatly admire make it work. I suppose Frodo is ultimately the main protagonist of The Lord of the Rings, but he doesn't edge out Aragorn and Gandalf by much. I have no idea how you'd pick out a single main protagonist in George R. R. Martin's current epic. And my all-time favorite fantasy series is the Gray Mouser and Fafhrd stories, where the two heroes are equally important and interesting in every way.



Hi Richard! I want to thank you for writing the Haunted Lands trilogy. I really had fun reading them. Seldom do I reread books for the fun of it, and this series, for the record, I reread despite a number of interesting books waiting on my shelf. I love how you give life to the characters. And your vivid descriptions of Thay, and even of the battle scenes are such a wonder! I'm looking forward to your next trilogy...



Every beginning has an end.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2010 :  17:56:46  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad you liked it, Dennis.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2011 :  19:17:15  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Simbul

With regard to Lallara, Lauzoril, and Nevron...

...I truly loved the fact that the reader does not actually see them die. This narrowed focus on the narrative point of view--regardless if it was intentional or otherwise--serves to keep the door open for Dungeon Masters and future authors to bring them back into their stories if they so choose.

While I have many positive and critical reactions to this series as a whole, I must say the above was most certainly a worthy positive.



Agreed. I'd like to think them alive.

Every beginning has an end.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2011 :  19:21:32  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Hi, Elsenrail, Simbul, and all.


I'm not sure i'd call the new trilogy an RSE, but it does deal with big events in at least one portion of the Realms.




If I'm not mistaken, majority of the readers call it an RSE. As do I. In this trilogy, the "R" in RSE could simply mean Realm, instead of Realms.

Every beginning has an end.
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nytstyck
Acolyte

Australia
2 Posts

Posted - 22 Feb 2011 :  03:09:12  Show Profile  Visit nytstyck's Homepage Send nytstyck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just finished the trilogy. Heart still pumping from that finish. Bareris and Mirror both got great, suitable deaths. I liked the irony of Nevron becoming a mane. Was that something Szass Tam caused or were we just getting a reflection of his fate in the abyss? While i will miss many of the main characters that died i think they all got appropriate deaths. I hope Mirror is happy at the right hand side of Torm?

Malark was definitely my favourite villain of the series. That final fight i could only picture him as Jet Li.

Looking forward to the Brotherhood of the Griffon book. Aoth must be a very powerful warmage by now.

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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 22 Feb 2011 :  03:51:11  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad you liked it, nytstyck. My thought was that Szass Tam did indeed deliberately turn Nevron into a mane.
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nytstyck
Acolyte

Australia
2 Posts

Posted - 22 Feb 2011 :  06:13:48  Show Profile  Visit nytstyck's Homepage Send nytstyck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Richard,
Did you decide on which God it was that Mirror worshipped? And if so, did you leave any clues in the books that would help us guess.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 22 Feb 2011 :  18:19:17  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mirror served the god of the sun. What makes this tricky, of course, is that in the Forgotten Realms, the sun god goes through different incarnations. To know the specifics of Mirror's faith, we would have to know which incarnation of the sun god was active during the age in which his ancient culture existed. And since we know almost nothing about his culture, we don't have that information.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2011 :  08:45:15  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

I first found Mirror a 2D character. But as the story progressed, I saw more details of his personality that passed him as well-fleshed out as his companions.

Every beginning has an end.
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Iandyan
Acolyte

1 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2011 :  03:21:18  Show Profile Send Iandyan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Loved the trilogy!

One of my favorite parts, like many others who have posted, is the fact that some of the Zulkirs may still live.

I can totally picture Nevron trying to work his way up the hierarchy in the abyss while desperately trying to avoid some of the more powerful demons (the balor, the huge water one from Undead which name i cant remember, etc.) who may be pissed due to previous servitude.

Another thing I really liked was when Mirror became his former self and remembered a not-so-righteous past which may have caused him to turn into a ghost instead of his soul going straight to his god after he died at the hands of the ancient wizard.

The 100 year jump was definitely interesting. Especially due to Salvatore writing a trilogy in the middle of that span which includes some characters from this trilogy (Sylora Sam, Szass Tam being the ones ive seen so far). Course that doesnt guarantee their survival in the other trilogy due to being undead and all but i guess that's a topic for another post.

Anyways I'm continuing to enjoy the current Brotherhood of the Griffon series so please keep up the good work if you can tear away from A Dance with Dragons!
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2011 :  14:31:15  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad you enjoyed it.

I don't yet have my hands on any of the three new books I'm eager to read (the Martin book you mentioned, Max Allan Collins's new Nate Heller novel, and Jim Butcher's new Dresden book), so at the moment, I am indeed hard at work.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36142 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2011 :  14:57:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Glad you enjoyed it.

I don't yet have my hands on any of the three new books I'm eager to read (the Martin book you mentioned, Max Allan Collins's new Nate Heller novel, and Jim Butcher's new Dresden book), so at the moment, I am indeed hard at work.



Eager to read that Dresden book when it comes out, myself. The first two chapters, at least, are online. And I just got done reading all of the books and short stories, in order, to be ready for this one.

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2011 :  15:45:53  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Glad you enjoyed it.

I don't yet have my hands on any of the three new books I'm eager to read (the Martin book you mentioned, Max Allan Collins's new Nate Heller novel, and Jim Butcher's new Dresden book), so at the moment, I am indeed hard at work.



Eager to read that Dresden book when it comes out, myself. The first two chapters, at least, are online. And I just got done reading all of the books and short stories, in order, to be ready for this one.

I still have to catch-up on the last two "Dresden Files" releases... but I'm going to look into those two chapters of the new book as well.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2011 :  02:14:39  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Iandyan

Loved the trilogy!

One of my favorite parts, like many others who have posted, is the fact that some of the Zulkirs may still live.

I can totally picture Nevron trying to work his way up the hierarchy in the abyss while desperately trying to avoid some of the more powerful demons (the balor, the huge water one from Undead which name i cant remember, etc.) who may be pissed due to previous servitude.




Agreed. Who knows, considering that among all the Zulkirs, he's the one that harbored the greatest animosity towards Szass Tam, he'd also be the one to lead the rise of the New Zulkirate.

Every beginning has an end.
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Neo2151
Learned Scribe

USA
113 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2012 :  11:37:59  Show Profile Send Neo2151 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not my favorite Realms novels, but not the worst I've read either. (The good guys in this one just didn't do it for me. Too much D&D in my "D&D Fantasy" these days I think, which is totally unavoidable and totally a personal problem. :P )

I do feel the need to say I think you may be my favorite realms author when it comes to a villain though. The way you portrayed Tam was a breath of fresh air. In a literary world full of mustache-twirling villains, yours actually have personality and, dare I say it, can come off as likable!

"Come looking for me, and I will blast you to dust, and then lay waste to all your descendants, ancestors, and the realm you came from, every last tree and stone of it. Why? Well, it's what I usually do."

-Baerendra Riverhand on The Story of Spellfire
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2012 :  19:44:43  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Agreed. Szass Tam was never truly fleshed out until Richard came along.

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