Friday, October 17, 2014

The Herald: The Sundering, Book VI by Ed Greenwood

Release Date: January 1, 2014
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Series: The Sundering, Book VI

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Every scrimmage, every battle had lead to this thrilling conclusion. The fate of both Toril and Abeir came down to the success of Elminster, the Chosen of Mystra, and his few trusted companions. Without Mystra's direct help, they must rely on the Weave, the fabric of magic that she wields that they have been strengthening for years.

Agents of Shadovar pushed forward with their sieges, covering the world in order to usher in Shar's rule. Elminster must find a way to prevent Shar from blanketing the worlds in her shadow weave without losing their world entirely as the Sundering continues. Will he fulfill his duty to his Goddess? Will he lose everything he cares for in the process?

The thrilling conclusion to the Sundering was made available for request through NetGalley. Of course, I had to request it. I needed to know how the series came to its end after reading the earlier books. While each of the books were written to chronicle the separation of Toril and Faerun froom one another, they were also able to stand on their own. Each book told the journey of a different Chosen or set of Chosen companions as they fulfilled their part of the overall prophecy. 

Book VI centered around the Chosen of Mystra, the Goddess who became the magical fabric known as the Weave. The Weave allowed all the magic users to work their spells and enchantments. Elminster and his consort, Storm, spent the years working to strengthen the Weave and place various wards which would allow the Weave to continue if certain key targets were to fall. They were also instructing the next Chosen of Mystra along the way. It's the close kinship and relationship that created the feeling that this war would be one of sacrifice so that another may live. Each of the character introduced in the book, whether good or evil, faced a point at which they must make a decision. There was a definite distinction between those that were to use the Weave for the good of all in the world of Toril and the Shadovar which would have ruled without mercy.

While some of the other books in this series started off with a bang, this one began slowly, almost methodically in setting up the main characters and the circumstances in which they would soon find themselves. Once the foundation of the story was out of the way, the action kicked in and left little doubt in my mind that this was the deciding battle. Myths, legends, and lore worked with sword, dagger and shield to make their side the winning one. Though there were plenty of lulls in the action or battles, there were many moments where the characters savored life's moments. It was a brilliant balance of peace and war. While the fighting dominated most of the book, the aftermath tied the loose ends of the series together. There's the slightest hint of more to come as some questions were left unanswered and doors open.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book as well as the entire series. Each of the authors taking part in this story arc brought their own favor and flair to their parts of the journey while this book brought everything to a center point. Knowing some of the characters from previous works enhanced my enjoyment. They were friends I hadn't seen in a long time and I enjoyed their visit very much. I cannot wait to see what comes next for Elminster or the other Chosen in the Forgotten Realms worlds. If you're looking for a magic-packed, action adventure with some comedic moments laced throughout, this is the series for you. I'd recommend picking up a copy of this book. Oh, heck. Buy the entire series.

The Herald: The Sundering, Book VI by Ed Greenwood is currently available hardcover, paperback and digital versions including Kindle. The link below will bring up the book's page at Amazon.
The Herald: The Sundering, Book VI

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