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Pool of Radiance: The Ruins of Myth Drannor…
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Pool of Radiance: The Ruins of Myth Drannor

by Carrie Bebris

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Played the computer game but didn't finish. Finished the book though.

Do not expect a subtle story which introduces something fantastically new or deals with some little known area of Faerun. This book is fast moving telling a story. While the author doesn't bore the reader with 100 pages of background material characters have enough developed detail to provide for personality. I think the rate at which the story unfolds is actually a strength. Background material is provided along the way and actually develops with the story.

What can be appreciated is the authors attention to detail regarding the rules behind the game. This isn't one of these books where the author goes off the deep end with totally new spells, character classes or whatnot. Straight forward from the game rules, not that I am an expert.

Even though the lack of detail kept things moving a little more detail around certain key elements, which are part of the overall history or story of Faerun, would have pushed my rating up. The book reads too well without knowledge of the greater setting. Unfortunately the other books in this setting can be read without this one and not much is lost. I prefer a balance.

Overall a nice read. ( )
  tillywern | Jun 24, 2012 |
Pool of Radiance: The Ruins of Myth Drannor is a novelization of the D&D computer game of the same name, which is a sequel to the classic Pool of Radiance PC role-playing game. No familiarity with the original Pool of Radiance is required (or at least I was able to follow the story without having played the original game or reading its novelization).

Kestrel is an independent thief operating in the city of Phlan. One night while sneaking to her stash in the ruins of an old tower, she spies a fight next to a newly formed pool of amber-colored liquid. One of the combatants stumbles in to the pool and rots away before her eyes. The Pools of Radiance, which were destroyed years ago, are reforming.

Before she knows it, she is being dispatched with a group of strangers to the ruins of the old elvish capital, Myth Drannor. A cult has been spotted there and it is believed they are behind the reappearance of the pools. The party that had previously been sent to investigate never reappeared...

The writing was okay. It wasn’t amazing by any stretch, but Carrie did a competent enough job describing what was going on. Scenes of battle were handled very well. They were clearly written and exciting. Description wasn't over-written, but I was always able to form a clear picture of what was going on

I appreciated that Kestrel, the star of the book, was not the leader of the party of adventurers. She is a selfish, but still likeable character which isn't always easy to pull off. She resents being shanghaied into this adventure and does not share her companion's starry-eyed optimism about their mission.The uneasy group dynamic was in fact the best handled part of the book.

I also think she did a good job of adapting the D&D rules to a novel. The spellcasters tended to use the same spells repeatedly, rather than having a spell for every occasion. And though she did a good job representing the D&D rules, it didn’t read like a ‘how to’ guide or intrude in the story.

The biggest problem I had and the one that would keep me from recommending the book, is that it is too faithful to the video game on which it was based. Though she did a good job of unobtrusively following the D&D rules within a novel, the book felt like an adaptation of a video game.

The characters ran through an endless series of fed-ex quests (get request from character A, retrieve object from dungeon B return object to character A and so on). These are necessary in a video game where the player has to feel like they are always on the verge of accomplishing something while they pursue the larger quest. But in a book it just felt like muddy, ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ storytelling. In fact, often I wasn’t quite clear why they were looking for the Ring of Binding or the Gem of the Weave or whatever other object they were chasing in this particular twenty page segment. The storyline would have been better served if Carrie had streamlined some of what the game contained, eliminating some of the side quests. it made the pace feel sluggish.

In the end, the unfocused storytelling really drags the book down. I can't say for sure if this was from editorial pressure or if Carrie just needs to work on the flow of events in a novel. All the other strengths of the writing would convince me to give her a second chance, but I could not recommend this particular book. ( )
  jseger9000 | Jun 16, 2011 |
I enjoyed this book. Straight on one story line and limited the main characters so I didn't have to spend time trying to remember who was who. Very enjoyable read and recommend it to those who wish to read it. ( )
  NightHawk | Jul 12, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786913878, Mass Market Paperback)

A malevolent pool.

A diabolical cult.

A horrific plan.

A dracolich and his sorcerous queen have seized control of the Mythal, the ancient magic that once protected the war-ravaged elven capital. Once the elven ruin is completely in their thrall, the cult intends to expand its domination one city -- and one soul -- at a time.

The fate of all Faerûn lies with four reluctant heroes.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:16 -0400)

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