Character: Though the characters are leaps and bounds ahead of Moonshae's simplistic Tristan, Robyn, and Daryth love triangle, and the moronic impulses of the God of Murder, Bhaal, the characters are still not terribly sophisticated. This is not necessarily a bad thing, the plot moves quickly and a number of unseen plot twists make the novel unpredictable (except for that which we know--the Spanish conquer America, and it seems likely that the Amnish mercenary company will do the same thing.
|Yes, this is a Spanish Comb Morion|
|Hot elfess, that is completely unrelated|
Of course, like any Forgotten Realms book it uses enough of the Dungeons & Dragons Cliches. Although, as this book takes place away from a more traditional fantasy scape, it has far fewer cliches. Even so, it does have a dwarf and elf, and the dwarf at least conforms to all the usual stereotypes, tough, stalwart, grumpy, gruff, hard bitten warrior-type with a heart of gold.
Completeness: Well... yes, and no. This is the first book that touches on the City State of Amn, a place that is near and dear to my heart from my Balder's Gate days. However, the introduction, again, of a completely new section of the map, seems premature. I know all of these guys were friends, and that they all sat around the gaming table and talked this stuff over, but the map of the Realms is enormous, why did they feel compelled to write in this story a mere four years from the start of this completely new fantasy realm?
Overall, this was not the worst installment in the Forgotten Realms books. Surprisingly, or not, the internet has not saturated this story or this book. There may be only a handful of reviews of this book on the entire internet. Which seems a shame, because it's not a bad book. I suppose it's possible that some have found it distasteful because of the historical subject matter, shunning it because of its possible racial and demographic gauchness. Still, if you're doing a Douglas Niles reread, this book ought to make it to your list.