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The City of Splendors: A Waterdeep Novel

The City of Splendors: A Waterdeep Novel [Kindle Edition]

Ed Greenwood , Elaine Cunningham
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

In the streets of Waterdeep, conspiracies run like water through the gutters, bubbling beneath the seeming calm of the city’s life. As a band of young, foppish lords discovers there is a dark side to the city they all love, a sinister mage and his son seek to create perverted creatures to further their twisted ends.

From the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1638 KB
  • Print Length: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (6 Sep 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005899TDW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #499,318 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars is ok 9 Sep 2010
By Dicky K
I remember enjoying this, and I don't many of Ed's, he tends to get a bit lost. I think he often puts down less in his books than he knows, which leads the reader to feel disengaged.
But this was an enjoyable read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.4 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly mediocre 28 Sep 2005
By Victor Hwang - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ed Greenwood, along with very capable co-author Elaine Cunningham, revisit The City of Splendors, Waterdeep. It was Waterdeep that Greenwood first imagined when creating the fantasy world that is the Forgotten Realms. Having read almost every novel and sourcebook ever since, I was, to say the least, eagerly anticipating the release of this book. Unfortunately, this hefty 456 page novel did not live up to those admittedly lofty expectations. I am not sure what the previous two reviewers were looking for in this book that they gave it 5 stars, but I was certainly disappointed and bogged down by the petty and disjointed dialogue that the two authors try to pass off as urban intrigue and plot development. They do a particularly poor job in developing the main villain(s). Some of the lesser protagonists are neither convincing nor endearing. On a brighter note, Forgotten Realms fans will be happy to find that Piergerion Paladinson, Mirt the Moneylender, Khelben Blackstaff, Elaith Craulnober and a couple other noteworthy Forgotten Realms personages make cameos/play significant roles in the story.

If you are not a Forgotten Realms fans, I would honestly stay away from this hardcover. If you are looking for an epic, well-written fantasy novel, THIS IS NOT IT. I am sorry to be so harsh in this review, but this book lacks the customary fast-paced, engrossing feel that I associate with some top-notch Forgotten Realms novels. If you are skeptical, feel free to pick it up and pass your own judgment on City of Splendors: A Waterdeep Novel.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars dry and unimaginative 18 Oct 2006
By ken in the city - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
being a loyal forgotten realms fan, i was disappointed with greenwood's take on waterdeep. the story line never drew me in and the characters were one dimensional and largely uninteresting. would definitely not recommend this book - thank goodness he didn't write a trilogy.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something Different 6 Jun 2006
By George J. Krashos - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As well as being an entertaining read, the most important aspect of this novel is that it deals with the lesser lights of the Realms. Too often, authors in the Realms have been accused of favoring super-powered fiction protagonists, unkillable and unbeatable. Here the focus is on more common, everyday individuals who discover the makings of heroism and come to realise the strength and power one can glean from true friendship and love. It is a novel that presents nuances that are not readily apparent, and in my case, took a second read to understand more fully. The book contains insightful social commentary regarding "haves" and "have-nots", albeit in a fantasy, quasi-medieval setting. It elaborates on important Realms characters such as Elaith Craulnobur and Mirt the Moneylender and introduces a new cast who will in time become cornerstones of Waterdeep and the surrounding environs. Read this book and understand that the shades of gray that we know exist in real life can also be effectively portrayed in a piece of fiction set in a made-up place.

-- George Krashos
3.0 out of 5 stars "Behold Waterdeep gone mad!" (p.422) 31 Aug 2009
By L Gontzes - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book is set in the bustling (mega) city of Waterdeep, on the Sword Coast, on the shores of western Faerun, where it describes the adventures of a group of young Waterdhavian nobles who pass their time eating, drinking, playing, and womanizing (all in excess as befits the city's nobility). Their world, however, will never be the same when a cult set on dominating the City of Splendors tests the group's resolve and plunges the young nobles in more adventures (and trouble) than they can handle. Now they must not only save Waterdeep, but themselves as well...
The City of Splendors: A Waterdeep Novel is the fourth, and last, in the Cities series, which consists of The City of Ravens (set in the city of Ravens Bluff), Temple Hill (set in the city of Elversult), and The Jewel of Turmish (set in the city of Alaghon).
The book starts off incredibly well, immediately catching the reader's interest and attention before stagnation (and subsequently boredom) quickly sets in, only to pick up again with 100 or so pages to go.
The plot as a whole is interesting (for the most part). Ed Greenwood and Elaine Cunningham do a good job of presenting essential knowledge relevant to Faerun, including customs, religion, and the history of the peoples of Toril (especially since the Forgotten Realms is setting is Ed Greenwood's brainchild and Elaine Cunningham has long worked successfully within this setting) e.g. in their depiction of a Dathran, (i.e. rogue witches of Rashemen) (pp.216-217) and the exotic poison Stratha, the Bane of Elves (p.284), to describing gnomes: "It was the way of gnomes to remember faults, longings, and other weaknesses for future bargaining." (p.79)
Moreover, on page 237 they provide a very good description of someone turning down a magical item due to alignment conflict.
Furthermore, the two authors are on the ball with the following two quotes: "I suppose many might be unhappy that Waterdeep's governed in secret, for how can they rise in power and influence unless they can see the path ahead," (p.79) and "If a thing is said often enough: fools aplenty will believe it's true." (p.145)
Finally, the authors provide for great dramatic effect with the following phrases stealing the show: "Boz was calmly biting off fingers, one at a time, to get at the coins clenched in the orc-blood's fist," (p.20) and "Watch your tongue, wench, or I'll cut it out and eat it." (p.25)
On the downside, the book has too much of a French/Russian Revolution theme, with class struggle and the likes, to the point that at times it seems like a political manifesto.
Moreover, for close to 350 pages (out of 476) the book was sooo very slow, with Chapter 6 almost putting me to sleep; dreadfully frustrating reading!
In addition, why didn't the noble families pay for their kin to be raised from the dead? It is not as if there is a shortage of temples and priests or of money.
It is also difficult to believe that Mrelder's efforts alone led to the rumors of Lord Piergeiron's death spreading like wildfire across a city like Waterdeep.
Furthermore, the outcome of Lord Piergeiron and his bodyguards' excursion into the Dock Ward was highly unlikely and improbable; he was hit by a tavern sign and collapsed like a 0-level commoner? The paladin warrior lord of Waterdeep??? And in the midst of it all Mrelder, the monk/sorcerer, stole the Guardian's Gorget! Are you joking?
Moreover, Mrelder neutralized Waterdeep's archmage, Khelben Blackstaff, with such ease and efficiency that he successfully kept him incapacitated throughout the story, while the latter's apprentices were presented as if they were buffoons. Are you kidding? Mrelder did that? If the monk/sorcerer and his mentally deranged father could pull that off, and if a waitress/housemaid is of more use in protecting the city than the Open Lord of Waterdeep, then a score of maimed kobolds can take the City without even breaking a sweat!
Additionally, what friends would leave their buddy alone and drunk in the seedy part of the city as the Gemcloaks did with Beldar at the Gelded Griffon? (p.221) Great friends indeed!
Other drawbacks include the ill relationship between father and son that makes you want to skewer them both, but most importantly the "genius" that conjured them!
Finally, Ed Greenwood and Elaine Cunningham could have and should have done a much better job when dealing with a part of the Realms that they know better than the back of their hands.
In conclusion, The City of Splendors: A Waterdeep Novel will provide for a fair amount of entertainment though it could have been so much better. 3.3 Stars
The authors provide room for a sequel, though I am not sure there is a demand for it.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Earth Shattering, But Entertaining Enough 13 Oct 2010
By Arielis - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
WATERDEEP: City of Splendors

Like many of the other reviewers, I was looking forward to reading a book that focused on Waterdeep. I admit that the story did leave me a bit disappointed as I felt that ultimately the story could have been about any city, and it didn't really fully take advantage of having the setting placed in Waterdeep.

While I found it took a while to become connected and attached to the plot and characters, but overall the story is still solid. It was a bit tedious in the first few chapters, but by the time I'd hit the mid-point, I was fully immersed. It is a typical Good VS Evil, with the dark clouds of doom slowly gathering, but it's still an interesting read. There is a nice balance between giving the reader insight into the plans and thoughts of those who are 'Good' and those who are 'Evil'. Without the focus on the thought process and planning of the 'Evil' side, this book would have lost a lot and would have ended up being pretty dull.

A lot of people were disappointed by this novel and I can see where they're coming from, but it's still a good book. For the casual reader, it will definitely be satisfying. But for an Greenwood/Cunningham novel, you may be disappointed.
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