Review: Book - Downshadow

So this book wasn't too bad. It wasn't great, but I recommend it for a decent Forgotten Realms read.

It involves a man named Kalen Dren who lives a double life as a paladin of the Three-Fold Gold and a member of the Waterdeep Guard. He suffers from the Spellplague which keeps him from feeling anything physical. His boss Araezra Hondyl has a secret "love" for him though she doesn't know who he really is. The only one that does is his adoptive sister Cellica, a halfling with the ability to charm with her voice.

But someone else has a desire for him - red haired half elf named Fayne. Unfortunately, she's a bitch and turns out to be some sort of demon with the ability to cloak her image. She changes faces and has some sort of agenda which seems to be guided by her patron, a gold skinned elf. Fayne is not really a likeable character. She's a user, a slut, and a generally crappy person. Then again, she's a demon, so I guess it works out.

Then there's Myrin, who has no idea who she is, though she appears to have some sort of spellscar as well. Blue runes flame up and down her body when she gets angry and then she unleashes a powerful magic. Unfortunately, she's also has amnesia. Myrin falls for Kalen - also known as the Paladin, Shadowbane - but he doesn't believe that he's good enough for her.

There's also a bald headed, smooth skinned Dwarf named Rath, who is a monk and has completely turned away from his people. He's a jerk and out for himself. He has little or no monk like qualities, except that he can beat the crap out of people with his bare hands. He gets involved with Fayne and they both want to take down Shadowbane, but for different reasons.

All of this seems to revolve around this Myrin girl, but there's never really an explanation as to why.

I found a couple of mistakes in continuity, but for the most part it's well written if not a little confusing in places.

One can pick it up at Amazon for about $8. I got mine at Half Price Books. I probably would have paid full price for it, but I didn't and that's ok with me. It'll head back to the used book store next time I head up there, though. Gotta recycle those books, ya know. =o)


Devin said...

Here's my thing: I haven't read game fiction (well, aside from the occasional Warhammer Fantasy novel) in many years. And, as it turns out, I was a huge fantasy/sci-fi snob for many years (it took a fantasy/sci-fi class at art school to make me relax a bit), so I actively avoided game fiction.

But every time I walk past the rows of Forgotten Realms, Eberron, and other gameworld novels in a bookstore, I get this little twinge of "Hey, who cares what anyone else might think of me? Deep down, don't I really want to pick one up and read it, just to have a little guilty fun?" I can only assume it's like the feeling some people get from glancing at the Harlequin Romance novels.

...Though I don't know if that realization makes me feel any better about it.

Anyway, I guess I secretly want to read some game fiction. But I'd still like to avoid the ones that are truly awful.

Any recommendations?

Zachary The First said...

Nice review! I added this to my list. Also added your blog to my site, b/c I forgot to after Doc introduced it to our happy little circle. :)


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