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The Rite: The Year of Rogue Dragons, Book II [Kindle Edition]

Richard Lee Byers
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The second in a new trilogy of novels from R.A. Salvatore’s War of the Spider Queen author Richard Lee Byers.

The Rite is the second title in a trilogy exploring the ancient secrets of dragon society in the Forgotten Realms world. Author Richard Lee Byers will write the entire trilogy, and the cover art for the trilogy and the associated anthology will be rendered by award-winning fantasy artist Matt Stawicki.

AUTHOR BIO: Richard Lee Byers is the author of over 15 novels, including the Forgotten Realms novels The Shattered Mask, The Black Bouquet, and R.A. Salvatore’s War of the Spider Queen, Book I: Dissolution.

From the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2198 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (7 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.ą r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036S4CL6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #278,529 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Richard Lee Byers is the author of forty fantasy and horror novels including Called to Darkness, his first Pathfinder novel, Blind God's Bluff, the start of a new urban fantasy series, and Prophet of the Dead, the latest in a series of books set in the Forgotten Realms universe. His novel The Spectral Blaze won Diehard GameFAN's award for the Best Game-Based Novel of 2011.

Richard is also the creator of The Impostor, a post-apocalyptic superhero series. He has published dozens of short stories and writes a monthly feature for the SF news site Airlock Alpha.

Richard lives in the Tampa Bay area, where he spends much of his free time fencing and playing poker. He is a frequent guest at Gen Con and Florida SF conventions.

He invites everyone to Follow him on Twitter (@rleebyers), Friend him on Facebook, and add him to your Circles on Google+.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Sequel 13 Oct. 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Rite, by Richard Lee Byers, is Book 2 in The Year of Rogue Dragons Trilogy set in the Forgotten Realms universe. The book continues the adventures of the band of dragon hunters from The Rage (Forgotten Realms: The Year of the Rogue Dragons, Book 1) (Forgotten Realms), as well as the Song Dragon Kara, the Faerie Dragon Jivex and the Avariel Bladesinger Taegan, as they continue to follow the liche Sammaster's trail of notes in an attempt investigate the causes of the Rage.

The book is primarily split into three section or story-lines throughout the book which are all adequately developed. In addition due to the characters being split up into smaller teams which allows for more character development than in the previous book, particularly Dorn the half-golem who is struggling against a lifetime of repressed feelings and Taegan who is coming to terms with his heritage. The character of Jovex is also developed to a much greater degree in this book which adds a touch of light-hearted humour to the novel.

Overall, this is a great sequel that will definitely appeal to any Forgotten Realms fan or anyone who enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, The Rage (Forgotten Realms: The Year of the Rogue Dragons, Book 1) (Forgotten Realms).
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By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the second book in the trilogy The Year of Rogue Dragons. In the first book, the dragons appear to be randomly attacking; and there is dark sorcery afoot - to what end, we're not sure. But none of it is coincidence. Dragonslayer Dorn and his companions must do what they can to save their world from dangers unknown.

This is great stuff, yet again diving straight into the action, as various bands seek either to hasten or to stop the destruction of their world, and the dark magic wielded by Sammaster. There are at least three separate threads of action all rapidly moving along in this story, with Dorn and his companions, Pavel and Will, and Taegan all working to combat the dark magic threatening to envelop their world.

This is action-packed, with fight scenes occurring frequently throughout the story - well-paced, well thought out action, with great impact and resonance for the reader. Thoroughly looking forward to the last book in this trilogy which promises to bring together all the storylines to a great conclusion.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The rite stuff 27 Jan. 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This continues the story of the previous volume (The Rage) with the same characters, as they struggle to find a cure to the draconic madness. It is again well written, with a detective theme in one section, and lots of dragons mixing it up. The Draconomicon is raided for monsters, but there is nothing wrong with that. Perhaps slightly less compelling than the previous volume, in that there is less revelation and more straightforward action. But I enjoyed it nevertheless, and look forward to the final installment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Rage grows stronger 12 Nov. 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The second book in the Year of Rogue Dragons Trilogy sees the half-golem Dorn and his dragon hunters searching for a way to quell the Rage. The group has split into three, each searching ancient sights across Faerūn for the secrets of the Rage. Pavel and Will hunt for ruins in Thar; Dorn, Kara, Raryn and Chatulio travel to the Monastery of the Yellow Rose to hunt through its libraries while Taegan and Jivex help the mages of Thentia decipher Sammasters notes.

The Rite is a good middle trilogy book but it does suffer from a rather mediocre middle section and is in desperate need of proof reading in places. Despite this the book is generally quite exciting with some good battles, treachery and massive dragons tearing each other apart. Overall Rite is a solid book that has its faults and sets the scene well for the final book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good follow up novel 7 Jan. 2005
By Keius - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This novel doesn't differ too much from the first novel.

Lots of dragons, action, and good storytelling.

The storyline flows fairly well and the characters

become more defined. Easy, entertaining read.

What i didn't like:

Would have been more realistic

to have seen 1 or 2 main characters bite the dust

when you consider some of the situations involved in the novel.

It almost boggles the mind how some of them survived or how

some actions taken were even possible.

ex. The snow dwarf getting on a silver dragon w/o some kind

of saddle/mount and then being able to shoot arrows while

in midst of aerial combat. Possibly using game mechanics, it

might be explained but it's not very feasible. Small things

like this distracted me from time to time.

Overall, a very solid read. A can't miss forgotten realms novel

thats integral to the timeline.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Byers keeps the story moving 15 Aug. 2005
By Andy Gray - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the middle book of the Year of the Rogue Dragons trilogy. As such parts of the story need to be moved along and things set up for what will surely be a great final installment.

Byers follows through on all accounts and does a fantastic job of keeping the story going without recycling things used in the first book. As you read this one you can sense things coming to a head in the next book. You can almost anticipate what is going to happen in book three, the the second you do there is a twist that makes you rethink all that you thought before.

All-in-all this is a very good middle book and makes me eagerly anticipate the third in this very good trilogy.
4.0 out of 5 stars Metal Dragons and their Laws 17 Oct. 2013
By S. Melvin - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Everyone knows Red Dragons, Black Dragons, Green Dragons, and White Dragons that has ever gamed in a fantasy world. They are, after all, the evil dragons of the world. Have you, however, ever heard of a Gold Dragon, a Silver Dragon, a Bronze Dragon? These dragons and many more make up the metal or good dragons. They are the most noble of the dragons and set the laws for other dragons. They keep the order, ensuring that the races of Forgotten Realms maintain balance and order.

Byers writes about these dragons and more in the second story of the Year of the Rogue Dragons. Basically a disease has affected dragons throughout the Realms and is causing them to go mad. In order to prevent this disease from spreading and affecting all dragons, a group of adventurers has been formed to find the cause, dispatch it, and return dragons to their normal state of mind.

While some may argue that parts of this book are a bit dull and lackluster, the overall theme of the story is what kept me interested. Sure, Byers could have spiced it up here and there - but he did paint a fairly entertaining picture in this 3-part series. Not every story is an instant hit, nor is every author as spectacular as the others. In his own right, Byers did what he set out to do - cover the dragons of FR and cover them in a non-traditional way. Normally stories written about dragons follow a very simple formula - there is a band of heroes (humanoids) and a dragon with a treasure trove, relic, or eating problem that needs to be solved. In this book - all dragons face the same problem and while the heroes still exist, they are heroes which include dragons and dragonkin fighting for their own survival. Not a bad departure from the norm.
3.0 out of 5 stars The Rite by Richard Lee Byers 15 Nov. 2010
By Travis Eisenbrandt - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Rite by Richard Lee Byers- This is the second book in The Year of Rogue Dragons trilogy. The first book is titled The Rage and the third book is titled The Ruin. The Rite is set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting of Dungeons and Dragons. Richard Lee Byers has written a number of books, mostly focused on the horror genre; Deathward, Fright Line, The Vampire's Apprentice, Dark Fortune, Dead Time, The Tale of Terrible Toys, and The Children of Gaia and Uktena: Werewolf, 5. His also contributed a number of stories to other series including; three Nightmare Club novels (Joyride, Warlock Games, and Party Til You Drop), three World of Darkness (Caravan of Shadows, Netherworld: Vampire, On a Darkling Plane, and Wraith: The Ebon Mask), a X-Men based novel titled Soul Killer, and a Warhammer based novel titled The Enemy Within. His also written a trilogy for the Scarred Lands called Dead God trilogy (Forsaken, Forsworn, and Forbidden). He has written a number of Forgotten Realms novels as well; a novel and a short story in the Sembia: Gateway to the Realms series (the short story is found in the first book of the series, The Halls of Stormweather, and wrote the third book, The Shattered Mask), wrote the first novel in R. A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen series called Dissolution, a novel in The Rogues series called The Black Bouquet, a book in The Priests series called Queen of the Depths, The Haunted Lands trilogy (Unclean, Undead, and Unholy) and he is working on finishing The Brotherhood of the Griffon trilogy (The Captive Flame, Whisper of Venom, and The Spectral Blaze). He's also contributed a vast amount of short stories to various anthologies. The Rite was released in January 2005 and published by Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

The lich Sammaster is not very pleased that someone is discovering and stopping him in his goal, having dragonkind turn to him to help quell the rage that is turning them insane. But he realized a grave mistake, he forgot to destroy everything he has learned, so no one can stop him. However, a group of hunters have started searching for answers and begin traveling to the sites the lich used to uncover the same clues he should have destroyed. The half-human, half-golem Dorn and the arctic dwarf Raryn travel with the song dragon bard Kara and a bronze dragon named Chatulio to one such site. Before arriving to one of the sites, the Monastery of the Yellow Rose, they discover that it's under attack by a group of evil chromatic dragons tasked to destroy everything in the monastery by Sammaster himself. The group decide to help the monks protect the monastery, while looking for the valuable information that is stored there. However, as the rage gnaws on Kara's and Chatulio's minds, will they be able to hold that back along with the attackers long enough to find the answers? On a similar quest to one of Sammaster's locations, the halfling Will and the priest of Lathander, Pavel seem to be lost trying to find the lost temple. Thankfully, after helping a tribe of ogres kill a dragon, the tribe decide to take the duo to the ruins of the hidden temple. But how long will it be until the ogres turn on the two? Elsewhere, war is brewing in the country of Damara. Their king, Gareth Dragonsbane, falls due to a traitor and is seemingly dead. With no king to lead, the country has no hope in stopping the hordes from neighboring Vaasa, unless someone knows how to help the fallen king. The problem is, will the people of Damara trust in the help? In the city of Thentia, Taegan Nightwind arrives to help aid the hunters and their mage allies, but discovers that they left to search for some of the sites Sammaster visited. However, after meeting with the mages he discovers that there may be a traitor in their midst. Taegan and his faerie dragon friend, Jivex, decide to found the traitor before they could do serious harm. But are they too late?

1) Deus ex Machina. The Rite is riddled with a lot of things, big and small, that seem to happen for the sole purpose of moving the plot along. While some of the smaller instances of deus ex machina can be forgiven, however the amount of it is just too much to simply ignore. It seemed like every major part of the story had something that suddenly appears and move it along, only to have to disappear a few chapters later. In the Will and Pavel part of the story, a the sudden appearances of dragons helps them out in a bind. In the Dorn and Kara part we see something similar but with the unlikely discovery of a hidden passage. Even in Taegan's part, he learns a lot of information about a type of dragon offscreen on the off-chance he will see one. But that said, these small things barely compare to the massive convenience of Brimstone, who seems to know everything and has all the answers. When he appears to help Will and Pavel, I didn't give his appearance that much of a thought. But after that initial appearance of the vampire dragon, he quickly became the 'god of knowledge' telling and doing everything that others couldn't. It was just so sudden and unexpected that I hardly believed that he knew the exact spell and the exact way to right things. It just got tedious and annoying to see everything being solved with either off-screen information or by sudden appearance of something, only to have it almost disappear later.
2) Dorn. Dorn is actually bearable in this book, but he still has a long way to go. He doesn't bring down any of the other characters, but he still comes across as a whiny character. For the first half of the novel, all Dorn seems to do is complain and whine about how he looks and that he knows that no one would love a 'freak' like him. It quickly becomes annoying after seeing him put himself down continuously. Even towards the end, when the complaining, thankfully, becomes less frequent, it just gets to ridiculous levels of complaining. Dorn's problems just don't stop there. In The Rage, Dorn's and Kara's relationship just kind of happened out of the blue, with no build up or reason for attraction. With this novel, it's the same story. The relationship is developing a little better, but it still comes across as sudden. there is still almost no build-up in the romance and it's so off-putting that it's unbearably stupid. It's just a half-brained attempt at a love interest and it doesn't seem be 'real' or sincere. Overall, Dorn has improved, but he is still a long way to go before becoming a decent and likable character.

1) Main Characters. The other characters, aside from Dorn and the amazingly easy to forget Raryn, do get some good development and do start to shine a little more. It also helps that most of the characters are in smaller groups, allowing some actual growth and development from these characters. It's just easier for them to share the spotlight now. The situations also allow the characters to grow a little more easily. The best example of this is with Kara. With the rage gnawing at her mind, you can see her become more frustrated and downtrodden when she is dealing with simple situations. It's easy to see her frustrations and because of this, she does grow into one of the more interesting characters of the trilogy. With Taegan, well, he's still Taegan. I did lose a bit of that mystery and uniqueness from the previous novel, but his sections were just plain awesome. He was more of a detective in this novel and it was fun to see him try to piece together the mystery. It really does add a new dimension to his character. However, in terms of 'natural' development, Will and Pavel really do take the cake. From the previous novel, you really only had the friendly banter to go off of these two, there really wasn't much else. Now they really do grow into very interesting and complex characters. After seeing some of the things they say and do, I did get a better understanding of the two. But the one character who is the most memorable from the novel is Chatulio. He is an amazing character. Each scene he's in, he seemed to steal it. Also, Chatulio has to have the most memorable scene of the novel, but I can't tell what it is. It's just a shame that their wasn't more time to get to know the dragon. All in all, the main characters have a bigger impact in the story and do become more interesting.
2) Multiple Stories. The Rite has four main story-lines going on within the novel. The first is Dorn, Raryn, Chatulio, and Kara are off to a temple in search of some knowledge concerning the rage. This story was a little more basic, but it was undeniably attack pack. Then you have Will and Pavel looking into another lead, and it was pretty much the same. It was action packed, but it seemed to have something more added in. We also have Taegan traveling to Thentia to meet up with the hunters and offer his assistance, and that was a different type of story. It comes off as more of a mystery and adds something very different to the novel. Finally, we have war ravaging the country of Damara. Now, I will say that the final story-line is by far the weakest of the bunch. It seemed like it was thrown into just to help pad out the plot, but it still was exciting to read. With so much happening, one would think that it would be hard to follow. But this wasn't the case. Everything was pretty easy to follow. I had no trouble recalling some of the events that happened a chapter ago. It was especially helpful when each story-line is distinctly different. However, it doesn't really come together quite as smoothly at the end. In fact, the epilogue felt more like a rushed recap of everything. But, having multiple story-lines felt like I was getting more out of the story.
Side Notes:
1) Dragons. There are so many types of dragons that it's getting a little ridiculous. I'm starting to get a little sick of seeing a new kind being introduced almost every other chapter. It's got to stop or down the line we'll get something like a 'wood dragon' that's made of wood and breathes out splinters.
2) Editing. Did anyone really edit this book? Seriously, I've found so many misspelled words, misplaced words (saying so instead of do or to), and a major lack of indenting new paragraphs. It does get bothersome, but it was easy to read over some of these mistakes.
3) Cover Art. The Rite's cover art is okay. The warriors in the foreground don't really look that good and seem a little odd to me. The dragon kind of looks silly and not as threatening as it should be. The scene on the cover doesn't happen in the novel, to the best of my recollection. Also, is it just me or is the colors needlessly dark? However, it does do a good job and drawing you eye with the lightning bolts. Overall, it isn't that impressive, but it does its job with drawing your eye.

Overall: 3/5
Final Thoughts:
The Rite is a definite improvement over the previous novel, but still has a number of issues. The worst thing that I found was the amount of deus ex machina going on. With the small things, it wasn't that much of a problem. However, after 'the god machine' himself, Brimstone, makes an appearance, it become unbearable and annoying. It just gave me a headache seeing all these 'random' things start happening to either help out the characters or move the story along. Also, I am still not liking Dorn. He comes across as too whiny about his lot in life and it started get on my nerves. Also, the relationship between Dorn and Kara have is as awkwardly unnecessary as possible. However, the rest of the characters really do shine. They all seem to have a bigger and more important role this time around and it really helps in their development. The multiple story-lines also help in this regard. With the group of characters split up, they each got a moment, or two, to really shine and become more than what they were. It also helps that while reading it felt like I was reading shorter stories combined into one major story. However, with that said, I am still reluctant to recommend this. While The Rite is an improvement, I think it still has a long way to go.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic of the genre 6 July 2014
By Mike - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An absolute must read, especially if you enjoy other books set in Faerun. A gem from the publishers at wizards.
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