Temple Hill (Forgotten Realms: The Cities) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Sep 2001
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When Lhasha Moonsilver, a fledgling thief, hires former warrior and town drunk, Corin, as a bodyguard, the two unlikely companions take on the Thieves' Guild, the Cult of the Dragon, and other deadly foes in the city of Elversult.
Top Customer Reviews
Corin (a member of the White Shield protection group) is grievously wounded in battle and loses a hand. Due to this he turns into nothing but a drunk. He's helped from his stupor by a half-elven girl named Lhasha, and together they make a formidable team.
A guild known as the Xiliath has come to Elversult and is a new force to be reckoned with. The Cult of the Dragon wants something from them and will know doubt do anything to get it.
Without revealing more of the plot I will say that there are many surprises and hugely likeable characters. You'll laugh at the fates of some, regret the deaths of others. All in all a book that can hardly be faulted except for it's relative shortness.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The main characters were a half-elf named Lhasha, a fighter named Corin and a Gnome Fendel. Each one of these characters were fleshed out some with Corin being dealt with the most. The story of how Lhasha helps Corin regain his dignity is wonderful and the interplay between her and Fendel was fantastic.
The actions scenes were realistic and the author had a good grasp of how to describe a battle, whether with swords or magic. I really felt for Corin and was pulling for him from the beginning. The theme of redemption was strong and the ending was perfect for the story. I would recommend this book to anyone whether they like Fantasy or not. A great read!!
like grabbing the major characters by the throat, shake
them blue and yell "GET OVER IT...!".
Set in Eversult, a city built by smugglers, the tale revolved
around 2 fairly experienced characters; one was Lhasa, a thief/burglar of human-elven descent, marked by the Purple Masks for her refusal to join THE thieves' guild of the city, the other was Corin, a washed-out fighter who lost his sword arm in the last assignment which caused his White Shield company to disband. Watching over the pair was Fendel, a gnomish tinker priest of Gond.
While on the run from the Purple Masks, Lhasa crossed paths (and more) with Corin. The latter had bankrupted himself after two years of unsuccessfully trying to restore his sword arm at the Temple of the Morninglord. Somehow, though drunk most of the time, he managed to keep himself in good shape enough to tackle a patrol of the Maces, the ruthless enforcers of order in the city. Lhasa persuaded him to be her bodyguard, holding out the hope that her mentor Fendel would be able to provide him with prosthetic arm.
To finance the replacement arm, and to flee from the Masks, Lhasa took on a dangerous assignment, not knowing it was from a traitor who betrayed the White Shields two years before. Corin and Lhasa soon found themselves embroiled in an underworld war between the Cult of the Dragon and an shadowy independent syndicate led by someone known only as Xiliath. Xiliath's top lieutenant Graal was the one who had taken Corin's arm.
No stilted dialogue, excessive self-pity or tedious passages, this book went right into the action. Both Lhasa and Corin acted well for their situations, and no wasteful time nor words that would make the readers feel impatient with the characters.
The book also gave a good introduction to Eversult, which had not been covered in any other FR novels - a city built by smugglers, highlighting its unique flavour, distinguishing it from being just another city with underground mazes.
The book is set in Elversult, in the Eastern Heartlands of Faerun, where it deals with the main character Corin and his efforts to come to grips with the loss of his arm during an ambush two years earlier. During a routine mission, Corin's White Shield Company was betrayed and ambushed leaving him crippled and shattering his dreams of a glorious future as a warrior. Now along with a half-elf thief and a gnome wizard/priest/thief (!!!) he must save Elversult's ruler, as well as himself...
The plot as a whole is excellent! The book is so incredibly well written and presented that the reader feels that they have been transported to another plane of existence and are actually present among the characters, seeing what they see, feeling what they feel, sensing what they sense.
The description of the first encounter, on the outskirts of the city of Elversult, was simply breathtaking: "The horses lay beside their masters, kicking and thrashing in blind agony, as lethal to their owners now as they had been to their enemies in glorious battles of the past." (Page 5)
"He scrambled back to his feet and saw Igland writhing on the ground, his hands clutching at a stump that used to be his left leg." (Page 11)
"The force of the blow threw Corin onto his back, his severed hand dropped twitching to the ground beside him." (Page 13)
This is all done similarly to Steven Pressfield's extraordinary best-selling novel Gates of Fire (1998), as Drew Karpyshyn too provides detailed, realistic and mature descriptions of battle.
On pages 50-51 and 262 respectively, the author provides two more exceptional descriptions that help teleport the reader to the world of Dungeons and Dragons: the first describes the rationale behind a good-aligned thief and the second provides a detailed imagery of a stone to flesh spell at work.
In addition, evil characters are very well portrayed throughout the book: "And if Yanseldara gets even a hint of what is going on I will rip your fingers off and devour them one by one, rings and all." (Page 85)
"Graal snapped the finger at the knuckle and a helmet of white bone popped up through the already graying skin. He twisted the mangled digit and tore half of it off, allowing him to slide the ring free." (Page196)
Finally, the author does an AMAZING job of presenting a great dramatic effect with the following quotes stealing the show: "When they ask who took your hand, human, tell them it was Graal!" (Page 14)
"His left hand unconsciously rubbing the stump that was once the best sword arm in the now defunct White Shield Company of Elversult." (Page15)
"Azlar had unleashed the medusa on Graal's troops, they scattered before her like dust. In her wake he saw only statues and corpses bloated by the poison of her venomous tresses." (Page193)
"Regret was a crutch for the weak. The strong learned from their mistakes, they didn't wallow in them." (Page 216)
Orcs, Orogs, Nagas, Medusas, Beholders, and factions like the Purple Masks, the Harpers, and the Cult of the Dragon have been very well presented.
The story, the dialogues, and the details are all wonderful, and create a strong sense of mystery and anticipation.
In short, Temple Hill is a book well worth your while!
Now, that said, it behooves me to mention a point in this author's writing that I didn't find altogether agreeable. Mr. Karpyshyn has an odd tendency to tell about an event happening from one character's perspective, and then retell the same even from another character's perspective. He does this even with fight scenes and not particularly dramatic moments. Further, the text of each retelling is so similar - at times word-for-word - that it leads one to suspect that he was trying to fill pages.
As a lover of fantasy novels who is fond of stories that conclude in the same volume, I heartily recommend this book to others despite the above-mentioned flaw. If you appreciate fantasy, I doubt you'll regret buying "Temple Hill".
The premise to Temple Hill has a couple unique elements, but is also filled with some stale, overused aspects. I like the basis of a crippled soldier who only has one arm. Not many pure "fighters" in RPG fantasy are missing limbs. That was pretty innovative. However, it was completely ruined by a ridiculous "artificial, metallic limb" given to him by a priest. This new limb nearly had a mind of its own, and as the beneficiary states, "It's a better warrior than I am!" That is simply ridiculous. This is supposed to be fantasy, not science-fiction. It would have been much cooler for the protagonist to deal his vengeance, despite his limitation. The potential, and meaningful theme of overcoming your inadequacies was completely devoured by this absurd prosthetic arm. What a shame.
Characterization was sufficient, but not excellent. The main protagonist was somewhat dull and unappreciative. He was far from the most likeable character in the story. His "sidekick," despite the flaws of a heavy stereotype, was much more interesting. She was a half-elf (way too many half-elfs in RPG fantasy) thief that was supposedly gorgeous and quite bubbly. Yes, she was certainly a pigeon-hole character, but even then I enjoyed her.
The battle at the end was very good. Karpyshyn took on the conclusion from three different perspectives, each with their own goals. It was cool to see the different thoughts of each vital character during the same major events. The aftermath was also well done, setting up the possibility of a future sequel, which will probably never happen.
I would have given Temple Hill 3½ stars, but I rounded down because of a few mistakes that were the faults of both the author and the editor, mistakes that should never happen in a professional novel. The main inn used in the story was constantly changing names back and forth from the "Glowing Staff" to the "Golden Staff." Also, near the beginning, the main character loses in sword during a riot on the city streets, only to own it again in the very next scene with no explanation given. Very irritating. There were also a couple most mistakes, but I don't need to list them all.
Overall, it's a simplistic fantasy novel that really isn't a bad read. I whipped through it in four days, so it definitely isn't a major commitment.