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Undead: The Haunted Lands, Book II

Undead: The Haunted Lands, Book II [Kindle Edition]

Richard Lee Byers
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Join heroes fighting the undead hordes!

Undead armies have massed and march to the beat of an evil necromancer's drum. The living citizens of the magic-rich realm of Thay must unite and mount a defense before they die and join their enemy's ranks.

The second book in The Haunted Lands series, the events in Undead will have tremendous impact on the Forgotten Realms world.

From the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Richard Lee Byers is the author of over twenty novels, including the Forgotten Realms titles The Shattered Mask, The Black Bouquet, Queen of the Depths, The Rage, The Rite, The Ruin, and Unclean. He is also the author of Dissolution, the first title in The New York Times best-selling R.A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen series.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 663 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (26 Jan 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0013TTKC6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #201,814 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 Really good 26 Jan 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are reading this then I guessed you read the 1st book, It gets better in this one and the final 3rd one isn't too shabby either. Many questions answered and plot turns, gripping and good fun. Don't read the anthology as there are spoilers there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the plot is thickened by an ex-machina 3 Jan 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
In the last book a love interest was killed, and szass tam was revealed to be behind the undead attacks. In this book Szass Tam is fighting against the other Red wizards and is about to make a decisive move to destroy his opponents.

Could they possibly be saved at the last moment by a deus ex-machina that will change the entire world? it turns out yes.

There is betrayal from the most unlikely of sources which will leave you wondering; why? rest assured the reasons will be revealed along with Szass Tams big plan...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even Better than "Unclean" 16 Mar 2008
By Boombox Blaster - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been a hopeless fangirl of Szass Tam ever since I read Jean Rabe"s "Red Magic" 12 years ago in high school, and I was thrilled to discover a new Tam-centric triogy, written by the talented Richard Lee Byers, coming out in the Forgotten Realms universe. Volume I, "Unclean," was satisfying and entertaining despite the cliche romantic subplot, and the latest installment in the trilogy is even better. Byers also writes Szass Tam much better than Jean Rabe, portraying the character as highly intelligent and charismatic, with genuinely devious schemes.

This book takes place ten years after the first, and every character has improved for the better. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but both Tammith and Mirror are MUCH improved in this volume, and Szass Tam gets plenty of lines as his evilly charming self. I have always been intrigued by the evil society of Thay, as well as its would-be regent Szass Tam, and Byers does a great job with his grey-area characters of the battle mage Aoth and the bard Bareris -- "good" guys from an evil world. I think both Aoth and Bareris are improved for the better in "Undead," and I can't wait for volume III in 2009.

I had heard that this volume was more action-focused, which made me worry about endless boring fight scenes, but there was nothing of the kind. "Undead" is great blend of action scenes and character development, and I never felt like either element was lacking. As in the first book, there are a lot of vignettes from minor characters that add to the poignancy or interest of a scene, and there are a lot of female warrior characters who are treated with dignity and respect, to my pleasant surprise. 4 and a half stars rounded up to 5.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid characters and decent story 26 Mar 2008
By Andy Gray - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Undead by Richard Lee Byers is the second book of the Haunted Land trilogy set in the Forgotten Realms. The first book is titled Unclean (Forgotten Realms: The Haunted Lands, Book 1) and the third book, scheduled for release in March 2009, is titled Unholy. This trilogy is the second trilogy penned by Mr. Byers in the Forgotten Realms, the first trilogy was titled Year of the Rogue Dragons. Mr. Byers also has several other stand alone books, or books apart of other series, set in the Forgotten Realms such as; Dissolution (Forgotten Realms: R.A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen, Book 1), The Black Bouquet (Forgotten Realms: The Rogues, Book 2), The Shattered Mask: Sembia: Gateway to the Realms, Book III (Forgotten Realms), and Queen of the Depths (Forgotten Realms: The Priests).

The plot of this book is a direct continuation of Unclean, so if you have not read the first book, then you really need to do so before reading this novel. There are many plot elements that occur in this book that are set up in the first novel. The main plot of this book is the continued civil war that is occurring in the realm of Thay. There are several sub plot scattered throughout the novel as well such as; numerous political aspects. Things such as who is on who's side, and will that person betray the side they are currently on to help the other side. The romantic sub plot from the first part continues into this novel as well. A sub plot involving Szass Tam's army and what it takes to keep an army, such as his, moving and `happy'. There are also a couple other sub plots, but I won't talk about those for fear of spoiling things for some people. Overall, the plot seems a little more developed, which is to be expected, from the first book.

The characters in this book are mostly the same as the first book, but there are a few more added that help the story progress. The main characters remain largely the same. Characters such as Aoth, Bareis, Tammith, and Szass Tam headline the character cast. Much like I felt with the first book, the characters of this book seem to really be an aspect that keeps things interesting. While I enjoyed these same characters in the first book, I was unsure just how much character development would take place in this book. I was pleasantly surprised at the level of character development that did take place. There is even at least one instance that the character development goes beyond normal expectations and adds an interesting touch to what should be a very interesting character in the third book. The thing I like most about the characters, is that they really aren't flashy, they just are. They seem normal, and real. Even the lich Szass Tam has some character development, which surprised me because he has been around in the realms for a long time.

My only real criticism with this novel is how the chapters are setup. They are organized as several small `snap shots' of scenes featuring different points of view. To me, setting up chapters like this causes them to feel disjointed and as though they are jumping around. I would have much preferred slightly longer scenes, and smaller chapters. The way it is right now it is very hard to develop any continuity and consistency. As a reader, it seemed like just as I was getting into the story I was jerked out and thrust into a different plot line. It made for difficulty following things and I am almost positive I missed things due to this.

Some things I really enjoyed about this book.

As I said above, I enjoyed the characters quite a bit more. In fact, I enjoyed them even more with this book, since Mr. Byers did not have to spend as much time setting things up. He was allowed more liberties with them and it really showed.

Also, I have always been interested in Thay, as I am sure many other readers have been. This book, and trilogy, allows us a glimpse into the intrigue and cut throat nature that Thay is.

Overal, I enjoyed the book however, I am still left with the impression that if it was written differently (style wise) I would have enjoyed it more. I don't feel as though I was able to get the full experience and see the full vision that Mr. Byers had. With that said, I think this trilogy is a must read for Forgotten Realms fans as there is one event in this book that will certainly have an impact throughout the entire Forgotten Realm landscape. This is a book I will recommend to hard core Forgotten Realms fans, but aside from that I am not sure how often I will be recommending this one.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Forgotten Realms... 22 Feb 2009
By Jase Webb - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am not a professional reviewer by any means, but when I came to add my review for Undead I was shocked that it didn't average 4 1/2 or 5 stars. I am wondering if perhaps I read a different copy of Undead by Richard Lee Byers than a few others here? Because for me, it is 5/5 without question!

I found this book to be absolutely spectacular for a variety of reasons. One is that I feel as if this trilogy is truly epic, as it is greatly affecting and changing one of the more popular regions of Forgotten Realms, the Red Mage realm of Thay. For better or worse, the Realms are evolving. And after reading 100s of novels over 20+ years, I can say I am slightly depressed to see many things I have known for so long changing, but at the same time I have to admit that shaking things up and evolving isn't necessarily such a horrible thing.

This book also contained many "Wow" moments, I can count three or four where I literally dropped the book! Without giving away any spoilers whatsoever, one was a major event that is shaking the very core of the Realms, and it was introduced in such a sudden yet subtle way I literally didn't see it coming. *nor did the characters in the realms, which I think was part of the point, which made the way the author introduced it even more genius* Another was the interaction between a certain undead archmage and a villainous god, where not only the action but the dialogue was superb.

One of the criticisms about this book from a prominent reviewer was that the book "jumped" from one scene to another in rapid succession. However, I had every intention of raising the review because of it, certainly not lowering it! What is affecting Thay in this trilogy is an epic event, and one thing I dislike in novels is an epic event focusing on only a small handful of individuals or happening at a slow pace. I want to see some of the greater picture! Spice it up a little! The way the author introduced us to a variety of scenes from different locales was excellent, and was part of what kept me reading.

Just to throw in another point that came to mind before I'm finished, another important thing I liked about Undead is that the characters are extremely diverse in both class and personality. Primary characters contain combinations of Mage, Bard, Warrior, and Monk just as a few examples. Going hand in hand, the book also introduced truly new and creative undead instead of the generic staple, and the imagination put into the new undead aspects is quite splendid. If you like character and monster diversity, you will no doubt appreciate this book.

In Summary, Undead is easily in my top 10% of Realms novels. Interesting characters, epic plot, a wide cast, jaw dropping moments, excellent action and dialogue... it is hard to find a better formula. 5/5, no doubt in my mind whatsoever.
4.0 out of 5 stars Second is as good as the first, once it gets rolling. 19 Aug 2008
By Robert Beveridge - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Richard Lee Byers, Undead (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)

(warning: this review contains spoilers for Unclean. If you haven't read that one yet, don't read this review.)

Byers continues with his Haunted Lands trilogy, and the second book is a worthy successor to the first. Undead picks up ten years after Unclean left off, with that book's main characters scattered around doing the things they normally do. Szass Tam, however, has spent the last decade quietly researching a few tricks that could, if everything goes right, give him unimaginable power and allow him to win the war for control of Thay at last. All that stands in his way are a number of squabbling ex-heroes, a turncoat vampire, and a dream.

Since we already know the characters, Byers dispenses with most of the setup and throws us right into the action. If it's been a while since you read Unclean, this may prove a minor drawback, as there is such a thing as too little reminder of what came before. You'll be back up to speed quickly enough, however, and Byers never lets the pace flag here. Like a number of other reviewers, I think this one is a bit better than Unclean, in part because of the hike in average pace, but also because we get to know some of these characters a lot better than we did in the previous book. Byers manages to fit in small bits of character development that really do add up to something, and in genre writing, that can be pretty impressive. I like this series a great deal, and can't wait for book three. ****
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ups and Downs 9 Aug 2009
By Patrick M. Carroll - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was a bit disappointed with this second installment. On the plus side, there are few new characters so the story is better able to find its footing and begin to develop. The action takes off and there is some resolution to the war that rages inside Thay. On the other hand, the adventure happens in broad strokes and lacks the personal touch of the second half of the first book. There is also some rather poor editing and there are times when phrases stick out as unfitting (the wizard was decked out) and times when pronouns are confused and thus the section has to be re-read. I am looking forward to reading the third installment. Szass Tam is a tough villain and I hope there is more about his story and that he gets some time in the third novel. All in all a decent enough read that, while it wasn't a page turner, didn't require me to force myself to finish.
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