Author: Paul S. Kemp
Wizards of the Coast, 2007
I almost wish I hadn’t read this book. Almost, since I have to wait until September for Book 3. I hate to keep comparing Kemp’s work to other authors writing in the Realms…so I won’t. Instead I’ll say that the dark, bleak corner of Forgetton Realms carved out by Kemp reminds in tone and style of Glen Cook’s Black Company series. This is to his credit of course but Kemp has a voice all his own. His easy managment of multiple perspectives, deft use of both 3rd and 1st person, and fascinating characters lets him stand nose to nose with some of the best fantasy writers out there.
My favorite character this time around was Abelar. His part in this story is almost a timeless one of keeping faith even in the darkest of time; but no less powerful fbecause of that. I don’t want to spoil things for anyone but I really felt for him and had a blast reading his sections. The plot gets more twisty here and, like The Empire Strikes Back, this is a novel much darker tone than the previous novel but lacks even the faint note of hope that ESB ends with. A fantastic second novel that is, in my opinion, better than the first.
Mr. Kemp I only hope that one day you found your own little corner of the fantasy universe because, as much as I do love the Forgotten Realms (and I really do), I’m anxious to see what you will do with a world wholly your own. Kudos, sir.
BTW: I noticed a link on amazon.com to a site called Four Bit Stories and I just have to say that you had me at Lovecraft. Impressions later.