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The Swords of Evening Star (Forgotten Realms Novel: Knights of Myth Drannor) Mass Market Paperback – 12 Jun 2007


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast,US; Reprint edition (12 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078694272X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786942725
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.9 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,014,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A Bridger on 2 Oct 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book has been a thorough dissapointment to me, it left me feeling let down as it could have been quite good. I am a huge fan of the Forgotten Realms series of books and have read more than a few Ed Greenwood books before. One of the appealing points of Forgotten Realms books is that they are accessable by almost any reader without any prior knowledge and you will understand the vast majority of what is going on and you will pick up the rest. However, that is not the case with this book - I have read more than 50 Forgotten Realms novels (More than a few about Cormyr itself) and even i had trouble following what was going on all the time - especially towards the rather confusing end.

The problem i had is the book was actually quite good until it got to the last 70 or so pages. There was certainly flaws in the book before then but they could be overlooked with Ed Greenwood's excellent writing style and the description of the characters. At that point i would even have gone so far as to give it a 7/10. However, it is the ending the truly ruins this book for me. All semblance of a plot seems abbandoned at this point, the paragraphs shorten to rapid 4 or 5 lines and characters are introduced almost a random and then removed just as quickly. The ending is almost impossible to follow and by the end i'm not completely sure what actually happenned. The ending seems rushed to fit into a page limit and the author seems to write what instantly comes into his head instead of following even a basic prior plan. The Knights Of Myth Drannor collection is going to be at least a trilogy so there is not even a pressing need to have the ending as it is.

I'd have never have thought that a badly written 70 pages could ruin a 420 page book but it has happenned here.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 24 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable start, awful disjointed middle, decent yet random ending. 10 Jun 2008
By Van - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Overall the book was rather weak, with a bit of action at the end but not too many other redeeming qualities. The writing style became very disjointed during the middle of the book (much like my review) and never seemed to correct itself. Besides that, the characters were fairly boring, and there was too much wizard glorification for my tastes. The book ends with somewhat of a resolution (if any), but just enough loose ends to leave the reader curious about the next book. If not for the hefty price tag of what might also be another disappointed book I'd pick it up myself.

I enjoyed reading the beginning of the book which dealt with some restless youngsters desiring the life of an adventurer, as well as all the wise-alec quips Florin was giving Narantha. However, my enjoyment of the book came crashing down after the daring rescue, and the start of their actual adventures.

That's not to say the beginning was perfect either. There were plenty of parts where I couldn't help but roll my eyes as all the side characters were singing Florin's praises. It goes a little something like this:

S - Man I wish we could go on an adventure
J - Yeah I bet Florin McAwesomesexypants is on an adventure right now
I - Yeah, since Florin's so awesome
J - And Sexy! I think I'll waste a few paragraphs pining for Florin while I stare at the moon and weep bitter tears because my worth can be measured by the number of times I cast magic missle. {Which happens thrice, if that)
S - I wish I could be like Florin.. Unfortunately, I am but a mere sham of a priest that will be delegating into the side character role with nothing to do all day but crack jokes with my equally useless priest friend.
I - Having no effect on the convoluted story guarantees you'll live on to the next book.
Ghost of dead side characters - Boo! Hiss! Boo!!
S - Fair enough!

Not that the borderline important side characters don't have reason to worship him or anything. He's in the Odysseus class when it comes to the amount of women he beds even though he's supposedly has a nobleborn sweetheart, oh well. Then again the majority of the characters in the book end up being very promiscuous so I suppose it's too big a deal.

Afterwards, they're to explore the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar which their group was named after. Not that they spend much time there, nor do you the reader have much of a chance to understand what's going on let alone make a mental image of the place. It's around here that I felt the writing was really falling apart, it was hard to tell who was moving where, and why. Furthermore, at this point you've got about 3-5 people constantly spying on them for their own petty schemes, many of them almighty wizards whose interest in them isn't the least bit well defined. One of them never being revealed throughout the book, although I'm sure he'll make an appearance later in the trilogy.

***Minor vague spoilers ahead***
The constant scrying and scheming continues throughout the book and leads you to boredom, since you, the reader, realize that the Swords of Eveningstar are little more than rats in a cage. They end up in a town named Arabel later on where they manage to piss off every guardsman and evil crime organization agent in sight at no fault of their own. Then proceed to jump through a plethora of portals defeating some wizard who was weakly introduced earlier on. They didn't defeat him due to their own merit of course, only due to the intervention of some powerful wizard who decides to mess with his subordinates wizards plans and conveniently let the adventurers live. More of this continues with all the spying schemers playing their hands until finally they get a ticket to invincible archmage tower, then ride into the sunset with the queen of Cormyr to be knighted for their lack of grand deeds or some rubbish.

*****MORE SPOILERS ALTHOUGH IT'S ABOUT AS IMPORTANT AS THESE CHARACTERS IMPORTANCE TO THE STORY OR LACK THEREOF****
The main antagonist is also killed at the end by some other minor character, who guess what? Also happens to be a mighty wizard. Add some more cameos of important FR figures and the book wraps itself up. Maybe the next book will explain why he put melting elven wizards brains on pause and fool around with the Swords of Eveningstar. Heck I'd cast him as the hero of the story if he had been keeping the population of interfering almighty wizards in Forgotten Realms down instead of mind-melting the reclusive elven why-can't-I-Just-live-with-my-cats types. Of course without those pesky meddling mages we might actually get a story about *GASP* adventurers. Particularly the Swords of Eveningstar **Double Gasp!!**

***
Well that's enough satire out of me, time for some:
Ending Thoughts
***

While I had no problem with the constant perspective shifts, it may irritate you and ruin the plot. Not that there is much of a plot, nor do any of them really come to fruition. Essentially you're reading a book about a bunch of meddling wizards who manage to have all their schemes ruined by other meddling wizards on team good guy, with a few loose ends that will likely be tied up in later books. While the book is about the Knights of Myth Drannor (formerly know as the Swords of Eveningstar) they really contribute nothing to the story, besides being tenacious pawns for a bunch of meddling all-powerful wizards. If you've ever played a pen and paper game, be it D&D or whatever, the story feels much akin to a railroading DM and a helping handful of deus ex machina. If that's what you're into then by all means go for it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Read Red Hobbit's review 10 Jun 2009
By T. Hallman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not sure I could add much else-- Red Hobbit sums up my opinions very well.

I'm getting back into "D&D" after years of being away and this Greenwood series is the first set of novels I'm reading. I was expecting so much more. The characters are hollow with no real progression. The "characters" (from a D&D PnP perspective, not a story perspective) seem to go from Level One novices to Level 10 heroes in no time flat with no real experience.
20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Contrived characters and plot... barely worth the read 14 Aug 2006
By Andy Gray - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Swords of Eveningstar by Ed Greenwood is the first book in the Knights of Myth Drannor trilogy. The second book, Swords of Dragon Fire is scheduled for release in August of 2007. Greenwood is the creator of the Forgotten Realms and as such, it seems as though he is awarded more freedom when writing novels. There are usually two schools of people in regards to Greenwood's work, you will either really enjoy him or dislike his work. There is usually no middle ground.

I must be honest; I bought this book for only one reason. One of my favorite characters, Florin Faconhand, is one of the main heroes. As with any Greenwood book you can expect to see a plethora of characters and some are the redundant `heavy-hitters' of the Realms. Please keep in mind this entire trilogy is a `prequel' if you will to things that have already happened. You get to run into characters such as Dove and Khelban. I was surprised Greenwood didn't throw Elminster into this book. For the most part the characters were just all right. Florin I enjoyed reading about as it gave some further insight into how he got where he is. I fully expect to be more fleshed out in the second and third books as well. Yet, the rest of the characters seemed really contrived to me. They were card board cut outs of the clichés you would expect to find. Their dialog was witty and funny at times, but at other times it was like Greenwood wanted the reader to make sure they understood something so he had a character recite it to make sure. The villains in this book were not well done at all. On one page Greenwood tries to make them seem all powerful, yet in the next page they are screwing something up and their plans go awry. It didn't seem real, rather it was disjointed and out of place.

The plot is typical Greenwood, and that is not a good thing. It jumps from perspective to perspective and at times becomes so disjointed I had to go back and re-read parts of it. It almost felt that Greenwood wanted to fit as many characters as he could into this book. When, conversely, I think fewer characters in a more intimate plot would have done much better. There are no less than two times when the plot shifts focus to a new character that seems so out of place within the current story that it almost shocks the reader from the story. This constant shifting of perspective makes the plot feel jumpy and jumbled together. However, I must say in the middle of the book the plot picks up and has a very good flow, but at the end of the book Greenwood decides to start jumping around again. It is not a consistent book by any means.

Guru's of the Realms will need to read this book, for no better reason than to make sure you know the whole story of Florin and his group. However, casual fans of the Realms may be put off by the things I mentioned above. This is certainly not a book I would recommend to someone looking to get into reading fantasy. In fact, this is not a book I would recommend to someone who is an avid reader of fantasy but is looking to start reading in the Realms. It doesn't `feel' like a normal Realms book.

While I have no doubt Greenwood is a brilliant man and did a fantastic job at creating the Forgotten Realms I wish he would stick to writing source books instead of novels as his novels are almost painful to read at times.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Beginings of the Knights 27 Nov 2006
By Joel Mckinnon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Ed Greenwood takes us back on a trip down Faerun's memory lane, showing us the start of one of the most well known adventuring bands. Swords of Eveningstar comes across more like a dungeons and dragons campaign, played in true Ed Greenwood style.

This novel (first of the trilogy) does jump quite a bit throughout, changing view point and setting, but that seems to just add to the book's charm. Greenwood commands his character's well, no voice seems flat, nor does a single plot fall by the way side.

The development of the Knights allows one to connect instantly with them, each of us has had our own Dungeons and Dragons characters, and a resemblance is felt. This is quite apt, since these characters are of Ed Greenwood's own Dungeons and Dragons group.

Yes, this story perhaps is the kind that requires you to take notes, following the twisting plot lines; but is that not the essence of a great book? One that you wish to pursue on a quest of knowledge finding more as you dig deeper. I personally found myself listing the characters presented, taking notes on places, ideas, that I could use within my own Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

The master of the Forgotten Realms has presented us with a wealth of knowledge on the past, giving us readers almost a source book with which to formulate our own fantasy ideas from. A must read for any Forgotten Realms or Dungeons and Dragons fan. And even if you don't classify yourself under those labels, Swords of Eveningstar still presents itself as a strong fantasy novel, from a master within his field.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
pretentious, boring dialogue/dialect. 7 Feb 2014
By Sensei Mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While Mr. Greenwood can surely design a game world, he cannot write dialogue that flows. The Reams phrases take the reader out of the story. Also, the characters' motivations are very unclear to oh hers. The author is also very enamored with aristocracy, and that comes through in his characterizations. I thought it would be interesting to see these famous characters start out, but there was too much dues ex machina for me. I won't be reading the rest of the series.
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