- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 3255 KB
- Print Length: 324 pages
- Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (1 April 2010)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0036S0F7G
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #327,187 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Twilight Falling: The Erevis Cale Trilogy, Book I Kindle Edition
|Length: 324 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 1 of 3 in The Erevis Cale Trilogy (3 Book Series)
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Top Customer Reviews
It's been about a decade since I last dipped into the world of Forgotten Realms fiction (in novels, anyway). I'd read many books in the setting during my teenage years and in my experience the good writers and books (Troy Denning, James Lowder, early R.A. Salvatore etc) were massively outnumbered by the bad ones, to the point where I decided to give up on the novel line shortly after the launch of the 3rd Edition of the setting, though I continued to run D&D games in the Realms for many years. Over the last few years I've heard enough good things about Paul Kemp's work in the setting to finally convince me to return to the Realms and give his work a go.
Twilight Falling is a standard D&D novel with a twist. There's some villainy afoot which may threaten the Realms and some heroes have to set out to defeat it. The twist is that our heroes are distinctly morally dubious: both Cale and Riven are murderers and assassins in the service of one of the Realms' dark gods. Cale is aware of his moral conflict and strives to live a good life, using his friend Jak as his moral compass, but at the same time is prepared to use the divine powers Mask grants him as a priest to further his own ends.Read more ›
However, I should also mention that I enjoyed the two sequels more (Dawn of Night and Midnight's Mask) and the subsequent trilogy a LOT more (the Twilight War)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Cale is an assasin/butler whose master is dead. He decides to leave his employment and is hunted down by a vicious band of terrorists( joking), shapechangers who are after an artifact which will gain their master power.
The race is on for Cale to find out what the Hell is going on and why they are after him. His only companions are a halfling theif/cleric and a ex Zentil Keep assasin who really doesn't like either of them. Trust is pretty low.
When i say Cale tries to do good, i mean that his basic intentions are good but he has no problem getting down and dirty solving a problem, or torturing someone to get what he wants.
This book far exceeds the majority of Forgotten realms books i have read or sold ( I work in Dymocks Garden City Perth) and i should know having read my share of FR books. Now we all like our Salvatore books with Drizzt but i have to say that i like Cale better, not only can he fight, but the story is darker and you get that feel that the lights are down low and monsters around the corner. Also Mask the god isn't so much of a pansy as i have read in other books. With Salvatore you get that knight in shining armour feel which can get predictable after a while.
Paul Kemp has crafted a novel of dark fantasy, rife with meaning, tone and richly detailed characterization, all the things you would wish from an outstanding work of literature. Along with an interesting plot and a writing style that practically forces the next page to be turned, This is among the finest fantasy novels I have read in some time.
Erevis Cale is an assassin, who, at the beginning of the story, also works as a butler for a powerful merchant family in an part of the Forgotten Realms known as Sembia. This book starts off where a previous novel of Mr. Kemp's, "Shadow's Witness," ends. The death of the family patriarch has provided the impetus for Erevis Cale to move on, to leave behind the life of family butler and to embrace his new role, that of a Priest to the God Mask, Lord of Shadows.
As Cale puts it, several times, Mask is a bastard, and rarely do things go well for Cale as he, and a former rival Drasek Riven, another assassin, are drawn into the schemes of a mage the god Cyric the Mad and his attempts to transform himself into a Shade, a being of shadow that is practically immortal. Along with Cale and Riven is Cale's friend Jak Fleet, a Halfling cleric and a former member of a group of do-gooders called the Harpers. These three heroes must discover who is trying to kill them and why before the Shadow Mage accomplishes his task.
Throughout the novel, Mr. Kemp creates characters that, for want of a better phrase, are as real as possible in a fantasy setting. Erevis Cale is constantly at war with himself. Is he a cold-blooded murderer, like Riven, or does he have a good soul, as Jak believes. The answer is a resounding yes...to both questions. Even Riven, who soul is perhaps the darkest of them all, finds levels of goodness that he isn't even aware he has, caring for two stray mutts and ensuring their health long after he is forced to leave them behind. Jak, the conscience, is willing to take the steps toward darkness after a violent and disturbing experience leaves his near death.
The tone of this book is dark, brooding and crammed with action and violence that, while not overwhelming, is not what one would expect in a Forgotten Realms novel. This, however, is one of the book's strengths, as it lends an almost realistic feel to the swords and sorcery otherwise being employed by the characters.
Finally, what makes this novel stand above most other fantasy, specifically shared-world, work, it the depth of exploration Mr. Kemp gives to the themes of this story. Redemption, friendship and loyalty are all given their just due by each of the characters, all of whom arc beautifully from beginning to end. As in life, our experiences change us, sometimes for the better, other times not to much. From the first page to the last, each of the three major characters experiences this arc...and leaves you gasping for breathe as the last scene unfolds...and sets you up for Page One of Book Two, "Dawn of Night," which you absolutely MUST begin reading immediately upon finishing Twilight Falling!
The only complication about entering the Erevis Cale Trilogy is that it really helps to have read the entire preceding Sembia series, starting with Halls of Stormweather. Only Shadow's Witness stars Cale and is by Kemp, but the story of the Uskevren clan is made up of many threads, and a few of those are tied up in Twilight Falling. One can go on and enjoy the book, of course, but a more complete attachment to Cale - and yes, the other stars of the Sembia series - is necessary to fully appreciate certain moments. It also helps to have read a post-Shadow's Witness Cale short story whose name escapes me at the moment, but which is now available for free on Mr. Kemp's website.
Whew. Enough intro. One of the first things one might want to say about a Kemp novel (or a Salvatore novel or a Gemmell novel) is that the action, the fighting, the choreography, is great. And it's true. But don't make the mistake of thinking that action-heavy equals plot/character-lite. I believe a mantra Kemp goes by is "don't write action sequences; write suspense sequences that require action to resolve." It's an approach that's worked very well, and the reason is that suspense, I think, requires a level of affection for the characters in the predicament. A mindless fight with characters you don't care about is unfulfilling. A fight with characters you do care about, but with a conclusion that you can see coming, is also unfulfilling. But when the outcome's up in the air... Yes, there's plenty of great action in Twilight, but none of it is unnecessary, and little of it is predictable.
Kemp's created a terrific ensemble cast, giving his antagonists as much care and attention as his heroes. Of course, in Selgaunt, one is advised to use the word "hero" loosely. Cale is a decent man at heart, with iron discipline. What makes him interesting is why he needs that discipline, why it's so admirable. Like many of my favorite fantasy heroes, he's got a potentially dangerous temper and a talent for violence, and though he does his best not to let these consume him, when it's necessary to cause some pain, he doesn't hold back. Some might agree with his style, others might not -- because Twilight is written in a fairly tight POV, there is no omniscient authorial apology or justification for Cale's actions, only what he thinks of them and what his companions have to say. You make your own judgment, and that's a good thing. You're not being preached to in Twilight, even if it sometimes seems like some characters are preaching to each other. There's enough internal conflict and uncertainty that the answers aren't easy.
Difficult answers in a fantasy novel? And a shared-universe work at that? Surprised? Well, don't be. Kemp doesn't so much give us good and evil as virtue and malevolence, and assorted motivations and worldviews that keep things interesting. There's no take-over-the world scheme here, or destroy-all-that-is-good-and-beautiful. No, the motives make more sense, because they're more personal, and personal, I feel, is at least a little more plausible than sweeping and world-encompassing. These characters are people, not plot devices, and that, ultimately, is the reason these books are so good.
and"dark" assassin who teams up with his little friend and fellow hitman to save the world and exact a little revenge too!
All in all great plot deep characters and a cliffhanger ending, keeps you wanting more from this author!!!!
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