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The Forest King (Dragonlance) [Mass Market Paperback]

Paul B. Thompson
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Jun 2009 Dragonlance (Book 4)
The surprising history of Balif has finally come to light...

The Journeyman is charged to use the ancient Anvil of Time to travel back along the river of time and find the lost stories that fell between the pages of the history books.

One of the most intriguing figures in Dragonlance(R) is that of Balif, the elven general who was an intimate of Silvanos, the first Speaker of the Stars. Balif founded the city of Balifor, granted the kender a homeland, was an advocate for the wizard Vedvedsica, lived under a curse, was altered by the Graygem--but no one elf could do all those things. Or could he?

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The Forest King (Dragonlance) + Dragons of the Highlord Skies: The Lost Chronicles, Volume Two (Dragonlance Novel: The Lost Chronicles)
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; Original edition (2 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786951230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786951239
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.8 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,000,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An enthralling read 10 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was quite exciting and entertaining. The story had a good plot and there was a fair amount going on. It had a good and unique ending.
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5.0 out of 5 stars buy it 25 Sep 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
the last book in a series, so to complete the series u have to buy this last titel. each book is a storie for it self.
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2.0 out of 5 stars M'eh 13 Sep 2010
By Dazzo
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Compared with other dragonlance novels I have read this one just did not cut the mustard. Unbalanced with a rushed an very disappointing conclusion, it adds nothing of substance to the Dragonlance mythos.

The writing style was very competent however, perhaps if it hadnt had to be crammed into one book it might have been ok.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Will the real Balif please stand up? 5 July 2009
By Alan K. Foo - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The latest (and perhaps the last) book in the "Anvil of Time" series explores the fate of Balif. Now that is a name that has been spoken in many books. Heck, there's even a whole city named after him. Stories and legend are few and often contradictory. It should come as no surprise that the Journeyman chose to chronicle Balif's fate. Paul B. Thompson has the unenviable task of writing the truth behind the legend of Balif; I say unenviable because Balif's backstory is a jumbled mess. Was he an elf? Or a kender? Was he really a general? Did he live and perish during Silvanos' time or Sithel's? What was his connection with another well-known character, Vedvedsica?

Wrapping your head around all that would have produced a headache but Thompson did a remarkable job threading the various storylines and legends behind Balif into a more or less coherent narrative. We finally get to read about the origin and emergence of the kender as a race and the founding of their new homeland. Any book with a kender or three is always amusing. Additionally, Thompson strongly tied aspects of this book to the Elven Exiles trilogy and to a lesser extent, the Barbarians trilogy (both were co-written with Tonya C. Cook). I guess Dragonlance authors have finally wizened up to the benefits of continuity. It is heartening to read about how events that happened in the different time periods share similar roots or origins. In order to ease readers into the book or clear up confusion, I suggest the editors and/or publishers include a timeline with these novels. After all, time travelling is a theme in all the books in this series.

Thompson portrayed Balif as a character fallen out of grace but still with enough dignity to go out with his head held high. While Silvanos appeared in scant 10 pages, his presence shadows almost every major event in the story. I found the author's interpretation of Silvanos and Balif's relationship to be a high point in the story because it sheds a rare light on the first Speaker's inner dealings. Yes, there were a few more important/prominent characters but I was riveted by Balif most of the time. In this book, the Journeyman becomes a bookish scribe as opposed to his strong but silent countenance in previous appearances (in fact, he spoke more than he did in the past 3 books put together.) Honestly, I expected more from him but I guess different authors will write each version of the Journeyman differently. He is still a most fascinating character and the best plot device this side of the Dragonlance mythology has ever seen. At times, I felt like I was channeling the fellow because the Journeyman is doing essentially what readers are unconsciously doing: uncovering a story and reaching new understanding of events.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good... but not Great 2 July 2009
By Bryant Keith - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I just finished The Forest King: Tracy Hickman Presents the Anvil of Time, Volume Four last night. Going into the book, I knew that it would be about Balif, the legendary Silvanesti general. I had recently read Destiny (Dragonlance: Elven Exiles, Vol. 3), which mentions Balif and Vedivisca. I was hoping this book would fill in the gaps to the mystery hinted at in the Elven Exiles Trilogy. Sadly, it didn't take me long to realize that it wasn't giving me nearly the details of Balif that I had hoped to find. It really was more centered on another character named Mathi. One I didn't care nearly as much about. Also, not to give much away, but I was hoping to learn more about the mystery of Treskan... but was left with many questions. Maybe the answer to the riddle that was Treskan was right there and I didn't pick up on something at the end, but I don't think so.

Finally, this novel seemed to continue the disappointing editing that many Dragonlance novels have had of late. It seemed to get worse as the book went on. Very strange. Mathi is a female. Treskan a male. Several times they would be talking about Mathi, only to use a male pronoun like "he" or "him" or "his". Very distracting.

Overall I was disappointed because I wanted to read more about Balif during his height in power, but instead got his downfall.

One last thing. Is the cover supposed to be of Balif or Silvanos Goldeneye? I assumed Balif, but then there is the "goldeneye" that throws me off.
4.0 out of 5 stars Too sad to get a great rating 25 May 2013
By Kimberlee Vantassel - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Alas, the disposition of the great general, Balif (bah-liff' NOT bay-leaf, as the text is quick to point out) is too sad of a reading to get a great rating. However, we do learn of the trial of Vidvidsica as well as the beginning of the land of the Kender, procured for them by Balif.
5.0 out of 5 stars sally 2 Nov 2012
By sally - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
this was a very entertaining book, i have read the rest of the series, i liked them all. very good reading.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good concept 12 Sep 2009
By Robert E. Begnell - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This final volume her my attention a lot more, but still there were parts that were extremely mundane.
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