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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eberron lives!
I don't normally give five stars for the WoTC novels as, while they may be very entertaining, ultimately they are to some extent cash-in knock-offs for gamers rather than great novels in their owns right. Non-gamers, for example, normally have great difficulties getting in to them (I know, as it has been said to me by a number of friends). In that respect, The City of...
Published on 4 April 2005 by Alex Fell

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Builds momentum
This is the first book in the trilogy. 4 heroes of the very rescent destruction of cyre, A warforged scout, a halfling healer, a human artificer and a human warrior, find their way to Sharn.
The beginning of this book is so hard to read, it jumps all over the place and is incredibly "bitty." Some of the characters are hard to care about at first, but some you feel...
Published on 9 May 2010 by Chris Grey


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eberron lives!, 4 April 2005
By 
Alex Fell (Rugby, Warwickshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The City of Towers (Dreaming Dark) (Mass Market Paperback)
I don't normally give five stars for the WoTC novels as, while they may be very entertaining, ultimately they are to some extent cash-in knock-offs for gamers rather than great novels in their owns right. Non-gamers, for example, normally have great difficulties getting in to them (I know, as it has been said to me by a number of friends). In that respect, The City of Towers is not much different - I don't think it will set the non-gaming world on fire.
But on the other hand, for this gamer, the book is fantastic. And the reason for that is that, in a fell swoop, it has brought the Eberron setting to life. I own the Campaign Sourcebook, the adventures and some supplements, but I could nver quite get into the "noirish" feel of the setting - it was more of a collection of stats and rules. But Baker (as the inventor of Eberron) has really done a great job at making Eberron breathe.
It has a gritty feel; world-weary, war-shattered heroes; femme fatales (albeit that one is a 3' gnome); skulduggery and murder; a twisty plot, where no one is who they seem; and the grungy, corrupt city of Sharn is presented in all its dubious glory. The book also works nicely with some of the additions to the rules brought by the Eberron setting, such as the new races (warforged [one of the heroes], shifters and changelings); dragonshards; the dragonmarked houses; the greater mixing of the character races and "monster" races (there has always seemed a slight whiff of racism about the treatment of intelligent monsters as evil sword-fodder in the more Tolkien-esqe settings, which Eberron corrects to some extent) like goblinoids, orcs and ogres; and the generalised use of magic in almost an industrialised way.
The book is also well-written - I don't know if this is Baker's first novel, but if it is he has made a pretty decent fist of it. The characters are well drawn with nice interaction and dialogue, the setting is vivid, and the plot bounds along nicely (and it is quite long, for one of these books). And..... As a bonus, it has appendices explaining the Eberron setting - really useful for introducing players who are new to it.
I don't think this book will set the non-gaming world alight - they are unlikley to "get it". And as a work of art it is probably a four stars at best. But for this gamer (and for other gamers too) this really is a fantastic "in" to the Eberron setting. As an almost revelatory experience in that respect, it gets its five stars. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Builds momentum, 9 May 2010
By 
Chris Grey (Wellington Somerset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The City of Towers (Dreaming Dark) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the first book in the trilogy. 4 heroes of the very rescent destruction of cyre, A warforged scout, a halfling healer, a human artificer and a human warrior, find their way to Sharn.
The beginning of this book is so hard to read, it jumps all over the place and is incredibly "bitty." Some of the characters are hard to care about at first, but some you feel an immediate connection to. But this story picks up the pace and becomes quite exciting. As the story progresses, its clear that the supporting cast are very strong, the gnome wizard in particular is very lifelike.
I am not at the very end yet but am thoroughly loving it now, though it remains quite bitty, its less and less so and the story is really picking up the pace. I am very keen to buy the next too so thats a good sign, as i want to know more.
However Daine is INCREDIBLY annoying. If he loses his sword one more time I am quite prepared to run him through myself or fireball his ass!!
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The City of Towers (Dreaming Dark)
The City of Towers (Dreaming Dark) by Keith Baker (Mass Market Paperback - 1 Mar 2005)
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