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Steven E. Schend

Forfatter af Blackstaff

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Værker af Steven E. Schend

Blackstaff (2006) 182 eksemplarer
City of Splendors {AD&D2 Forgotten Realms Boxed Set} (1994) — Redaktør, nogle udgaver56 eksemplarer
Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves (1998) 54 eksemplarer
Undermountain: Stardock (1997) 39 eksemplarer
Calimport (1998) 38 eksemplarer
Cloak & Dagger (2000) — Forfatter — 38 eksemplarer
The Fall of Myth Drannor (1998) 37 eksemplarer
Maddgoth's Castle (1996) 36 eksemplarer
Lands of Intrigue (1997) 36 eksemplarer
Empires of the Shining Sea (1998) 34 eksemplarer
Sea of Fallen Stars (1999) 33 eksemplarer
Undermountain: The Lost Level (1996) 32 eksemplarer
Alchemy & Herbalists (2002) 32 eksemplarer
Hellgate Keep (1998) 27 eksemplarer

Associated Works

Realms of the Deep (1999) — Bidragyder — 132 eksemplarer
The Dimension Next Door (2008) — Bidragyder — 64 eksemplarer
The Dragons of Magic (2001) — Bidragyder — 59 eksemplarer
The Monsters of Magic (2003) — Bidragyder — 55 eksemplarer
Gamer Fantastic (2009) — Bidragyder — 40 eksemplarer
Fellowship Fantastic (2008) — Bidragyder — 36 eksemplarer
Pathfinder Adventure Path #33: The Varnhold Vanishing (2010) — Bidragyder — 30 eksemplarer
Pathfinder Adventure Path #35: War of the River Kings (2010) — Bidragyder — 28 eksemplarer

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Schend, Steven E.



A diabolical empire is far more fascinating than I ever expected (as I've never been one to use devils or demons in my campaigns). Making it more than just a moustache-twirling society, Keith & others expand the information on Cheliax and make it a living setting worth looking into for ideas both within the Golarion setting and in any others.

Bias alert: I contributed to this book (overruns of my Westcrown article for PATHFINDER #25 Bastards of Erebus).
SESchend | Nov 2, 2021 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Blackstaff
Series: Forgotten Realms: The Wizards #1
Author: Steven Schend
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 320
Format: Digital Edition


Khelben Arunsun, better known as the wizard Blackstaff and chosen of Mystra, “began a great work” and now he will be “certain to complete it”. With the help of an apprentice, a dead apprentice, a former apprentice who is now an evil lich, a rogue and a host of veritable potentates in the magic community, Blackstaff will unleash The Killer Storm that could wipe out all of Faerun and channel it in such a way as to bring back an ancient city that has been buried for 12 Millennia.

Of course, Blackstaff has to manipulate almost everyone, find out that he's the expectant father of twins and then sacrifice himself “because of reasons” to complete the city raising ritual.

Nothing makes one's life more complete than dying for “reasons”.

My Thoughts:

While Khelben is the ostensible main character, as he's the titular Blackstaff, it turns out that some nobody apprentice named Tsarra Chaadren is actually the main character. She gets part of her friend's soul when a magical test goes wrong because of an attack and then at the end she has to take on Blackstaff's memories and become the new Blackstaff. No pressure. I didn't like or dislike Tsarra because she was such a nobody. She might have been an up and coming nobody, but she was still a nobody.

In the same vein, the rogue Raegar Stoneblade [oh my bloody phrackingness, WHO comes up with these names?!?!] is as bleh as she is. Him and Tsarra falling in love was predictable as was his “you killed my friend so I'm going to get you” schtick against the villain.

Which brings us to the Lich. Priamon “Frostrune” Rakesk. At least Frostrune is a cool name. He does a good bit of manipulating of the others and things seem to be going his way. Of course, he's putty in the hands of Blackstaff, so his eventual eternal torment [because you can't die if you're already dead] in the hands of an evil underlord came as no surprise.

Storywise, this was one of the more decent ones that I've read recently. It gives me hope for the next 3 books in the The Wizards tetralogy. It was also nice to just read a standalone story. These “vaguely related by one idea” kind of books in the Forgotten Realms [The Citadels, The Cities or The Rogues
for example] are so hit and miss that it is a real crapshoot if you are going to get a decent one or a stinker. Thankfully, this was one of the more decent ones.

I think it helped that I had read The Archwizards Trilogy relatively recently and while not really liking it, it did introduce me to Blackstaff, the Phaerim and other such characters so that I didn't go into this blind. Also, Arilyn Moonblade and Danilow Thann are mentioned, who I met in the second The Harpers book. It is tying little pieces like that together that help in my enjoyment of the overall Forgotten Realms books.

… (mere)
1 stem
BookstoogeLT | 2 andre anmeldelser | Jul 5, 2017 |
Really this single book could have been a series which would have provided a much more enjoyable experience. It isn't that a single novel isn't good its just that it can only scratch the surface of so many of the facets of the character and situation. More development would be my preference. Note to WOTC

That being said the book moves fairly quickly from situation to situation providing sufficient detail but not a lot of motive (see above). Writing is good and keeps the reader engaged even from the beginning. I did not experience the classic "setting up the story" boredom with this book. I think this will help keep younger readers reading.

Content is also at an appropriate level without excessive foul language or detailed sexual content. The protagonist is developed sufficiently but the author does not descend into details of his evil acts favoring summary statements. There is one scene where torture exists but it is both short and not too detailed. I would probably give the book a PG rating if it were a movie.

The ending is the best part and provides a fertile ground for a major change in the setting (I think a good one). But I'm not going to spoil it.

RANT: I do believe that I am growing weary of the Forgotten Realms setting. First is seems to be moving in a direction I don't follow and because the focus on magic is so overpowering. But that was the design of the world from my understanding. Gone are the days where a mage using magic missiles or a lightning bolt was awe inspiring. In many ways the setting seems to suffer from the same issue as general role playing games; a game is created and to keep attracting players there is an ever increasing escalation of options, powers, and whatnot until every character is a virtual god. It is game system/setting inflation which ultimately devalues the whole of the creative work.
… (mere)
tillywern | 2 andre anmeldelser | Nov 15, 2012 |


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