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Series: The Haunted Lands
Author: Richard Lee Byers
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Format: Kindle digital edition
Following a griffin rider/mage, a mercenary and the machinations of several Red Wizards of Thay, including Szass Tam.
Some power is raising hordes of undead, some not seen for centuries and invading the Kingdom of Thay. The griffin rider is the survivor of 2 attacks and becomes a de facto general in the new army raised to fight the hordes. The mercenary is trailing a band of rogue Red wizards who have taken his betrothed, along with hundreds of others, for experimentation. And the Wizards council is playing games as Szass Tam, the lich wizard, attempts the long game of taking over Thay.
This was pretty standard fare. There seemed to be a couple more POV's than I was used to in a Forgotten Realms book but since they all advanced the story, it made for the scope of the story to be told in a wider sense. It worked even while annoying me for not staying strictly with 2-3 characters like I am used to in a FR book.
My issue [and I always seem to have at least one with any of these churned out stories] was the plot line dealing with the mercenary and his kidnapped love interest, who ends up being turned into a super vampire. His pov and adventures added nearly 1/4 of what we see and while it was necessary, the whole "love interest" part just didn't ring true. It would have worked better if the love interest was a family member instead of a love interest.
And at the 90% mark, I realized I had already read the end of the story arc in the book The Crimson Gold, a stand alone book in the Rogue series. Which was kind of a downer, as the suspense is gone, but at the same time was neat as I now had a destination already in mind and I just needed to see how the author would get to there.