- Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (1 May 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786929537
- ISBN-13: 978-0786929535
- Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1.9 x 17.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,542,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Plague of Ice: Bk. 7 (Dungeons & Dragons Novel) Mass Market Paperback – 1 May 2003
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As a mysterious plague of frigid cold and ice engulf the realm at the height of summer, a small band of heroes braves the depths of a ruined, icy city, inhabited only by deadly traps and unearthly monsters, to solve the mystery and free their world. Original.
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I liked that this story does not flash back and forth between heroes and villains, it just sticks with the party and we make discoveries as they do. In this way you are actually surprised once in a while about what is causing the ice plague and why.
I did have one gripe that keeps this one from getting 5 stars and that is while Sonja uses a nice variety of different druid spells to get throught the novel Hennet seems to only know magic missile and web. I understand that sorceres know fewer spells than wizards and priests but come on. For example when the characters encounter a dragon he fires a magic missile at it. Magic missile on a dragon, is that wise? He did acquire an invisibility spell in Oath of Nerull but hasn't found a need for it in this one. But as I said Sonja does use a lot of interesting magic.
There are some very interesting cold terrain monsters to be encountered in plague of ice which I liked and also two encounters with orcs and gnolls which I found tiresome. Don't get me wrong Lain has really gotten orcs and gnolls down I just wanted something new this late in the series.
I was liking the dialouge quite a bit, there are a couple of memorable lines especially from Sonja. And of course Lidda kept things lively.
The plot on this one continues the Regdar and Lidda thread from earlier books, which was a nice touch (they reference to how they met, and Jozan, for example, and more importantly, Regdar is on a bit of a death-wish ever since Naull disappeared). Ditto for Hennet, who is stinging somewhat over the parting of ways with Ember from a previous title. It's nice to see the plot unfolding over many titles, though there are some discrepancies, as noted by one other reviewer: (a) Hennet never uses Invisibility, which would have come in handy a few times, and (b) where's the wand he won in the competition? Y'know, the one that reflects magic back? Even mentioning that it had been used up would have been nice. Further, he seemed very chaotic and unfocused in his magic use and his mental processes - he really just leaps in and then tries to figure things out when it's too late.
When a deep cold seems to be spreading all across the land, can Lidda, Regdar, Hennet and an arctic druidess save the world? Of course. Duh. But as always, the fun is in the journey... And although there are some tedious battle scenes, the non-iconic druidess character, Sonja, is quite interesting as an "arctic druid."
Our three returning heros Regdar the fighter, Lidda the rogue and Hennet the sorceror are mostly who they were previously. There are some continuity problems with Hennet but nothing as egregious as previous continuity errors have been so I'm much more forgiving. The one-shot ice druidess was nicely developed, continuing with the tradition of the iconic characters being supporting casts almost to the better developed guest stars.
There is nothing special about the plot, but it is well crafted and does a great job of projecting the cold to the reader. The dungeon crawl late in the book was actually entertaining and had some surprises. For once Regdar and Lidda didn't run in like complete buffoons, Lidda actually did some scouting.
A bittersweet triumph, a return home and a nice night's reading is complete. This is the best iconic D&D book since Oath of Nerull, also featuring Hennet.
I liked the introduction of the ice druid in this book, she's introduced quickly and immediately shown in action, then slowly developed over the whole novel. That's a lot more than even the iconics get, which is a shame. Do you remember how in the description chapter of the Player's Handbook, it says that Lidda calls the Move Silently skill "foot-paddin'"? Well, I'm still waiting for her to say it in the novels. I guess the rest of that kind of development is supposed to be left up to players who want to play as Lidda.
Speaking of development, I thought the mephits in this novel were the best-developed and most interesting monsters of this series. Yeah, a lot of work was done on the gnolls in City of Fire and Treachery's Wake, but most of that work went to building up their nastiness, making us readers want the heroes to kill them.
Well, that's about all I have to say for now. Except that I think this is the best offering so far in the D&D iconics line, and I hope that whichever one of T.H. Lain's "multiple personalities" wrote this one will continue to write more for this series.