Guide Road of Shadows (The Inner Seas Kingdoms Book 3)

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It is only because of "the goddesses" or some other Deus Ex Machina that he really manages to survive or succeed. And all his thoughts and attitudes are, shall we say, politically correct for a fantasy hero. Really nothing exciting here. I think the part I enjoyed and hated the most was Kestrel's tragic or comic love life.

I laughed so much. I'm guessing the author had to make him bad at something or he would be too good at everything he's the type that becomes an expert swordsman after a week of practice, you know the type. Something has to go wrong so we can stand reading about this too-perfect-to-be-true hero. So, he has a string of insta-infatuations with about every single beautiful girl he encounters on his journey, has at least one scene of awkward sexual tension that simple leaves a either him hanging, or b leaving us feeling like he's twelve which by the way I though he was until later, it's never specified.

Actually, the best way to describe it is that it felt like a dating sim. Conclusion But you know, for all the bad that I've written about this book, I am actually already reading the second one. I can't really explain why.

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The writing has improved a bit now which hopefully will continue. I suppose I am invested now. So, who should read this? If you are considering reading this book let me give you my opinion. This is perfect for someone new to the genre or someone just starting a happy-reading addiction welcome to the family. Also, this is a book for those not looking for something serious, dark or complicated. This is as simple as it gets. It's light hearted maybe some won't agree, there are some gruesome stuff happening but nothing is shown or expounded on.

We always have a level of distance to these events. If you want to pass the time and laugh at some of the horrible sentence structures and dialogues and feel better about your own amateur writing but still actually get a solid plot , then this is also a good read. Hope this is helpful. May 17, Jason rated it it was amazing.

Great book. This book is great!!! I have read 3 different series by this author and they are all great. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys good writing and great characters. If you are reading this stop and but this book you will not regret it. He is bound by two different sets of gods. Both human and elf, read this book it is awesome.

Jan 21, Curtis rated it really liked it. The editing is also excellent, and I look forward to reading more. May 31, Patrick rated it did not like it.

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Feb 13, Dantegideon rated it it was ok. Jun 21, Cheryl rated it it was amazing. Great Journey! Wow, is all I can say. This is a great book if you like elves and such. I'm not giving any details. Read the book. You won't be discouraged. Feb 25, Pickyreader rated it really liked it Shelves: magic , one-main-character , fantasy. I so enjoy a book about elves in it. I loved how Jeffrey Quyle portrayed them in a real light. The elves have their prejudice same as the human's. This was a great story and I am very much looking forward to reading the next. Aug 21, Kyra Dunst rated it really liked it.

This was a lively story with elves, sprites, and imps. This first book In the series was well written and the characters were memorable. Anyone who loves an epic fantasy should love this book. Inside the mountains, demon trolls creep around the extensive Underdark caverns. In the setting, the High Forest is a vast region of old forest growth that stretches from the Nether Mountains range in the north to near the settlement of Secomber in the south, and along the Dessarin Valley along the western face. The eastern border of the High Forest follows the course of the Delimbiyr river, which flows southward from the Nether Mountains then bends to the southwest to pass north of the High Moor.

What lies within this deep forest is somewhat of a mystery [ who? The more notable locations in the forest include the majestic Star Mounts—providing the headwaters of the Unicorn Run and the Heartblood River; the Lost Peaks in the northwest that form the headwaters of the Dessarin river; the fabled Grandfather tree; the Dire Woods in the east; as well as many dungeons, ruins, abandoned settlements, and mysterious locales. Among the known inhabitants of the woods are the aarakocra among the Star Mounts, centaurs , dragons , drow , a few elves and humans, gnomes , korred , gnolls , orcs , pegasi , pixies , satyrs , treants , and unicorns.

The few humans who dwell here are generally rangers, druids, or adventurers used to surviving in wild environments. Trade with the outside world is infrequent, as the forest is self-sufficient and its resources provide for the inhabitants. The Druid Ogian, a Chosen of Meilikki has gained a reputation of great prestige across the western heartlands for his reclamation and subsequent occupation of the Stronghold of the Nine in the High Forest. He is a known ally of Silverymoon, the Caelcilern, and the Druids of Talltrees among others and is believed to know firsthand many of the secrets of the ancient forest.

In the past, the forest formed part of the elven kingdom of Eaerlann. However, most of the elves have since departed to join the retreat to Evermeet. The forest is no longer ruled by any one group, but instead, contains many forces and groups in competition. The most powerful of these are the treants led by Turlang. However, wood elves are growing in numbers and seek to reestablish the kingdom of Eaerlann.

Standing in their way, however, are innumerable tribes of orcs, gnolls, and an alliance of demon-spawned elves from Hellgate Keep. The southern slopes of the legendary Star Mounts contain the Endless Caverns, which are said to be home to dragons and to connect to the Underdark. To the south of the caverns is the "Stronghold of the Nine," an abandoned dwarven site now apparently claimed by elves.

To the east of the mounts and south of the Heart Blood river, is the ruined Netherese city of Karse. The region of forest within the wide bend of the Heart Blood river is called the Dire Wood, where a great massacre once took place. Strange supernatural phenomena originate from this place, and it is home to two liches by the name of Wulgreth [ citation needed ]. At the northern end of the High Forest is an area called Turlang's Wood, a place where the forest is continuing to expand thanks to the tending of a band of treants. At the northeast tip of the forest, their efforts have sealed off Hellgate Keep, the site of a deadly battle with a powerful demon named Kanyrr Vhok.

The Hordelands also known as the Endless Wastes is a region in the fictional fantasy setting of the Forgotten Realms , modelled on the steppes of Mongolia and Central Asia. It was once the territory of the mighty empire of Raumathar. Now, the Hordelands is populated by the Mongol-like Tuigans. Mainly located in the vast Trackless Sea , the equivalent of the Atlantic Ocean , the islands are small, but significant, as both the home and main place of worship of the elves , Evermeet , and of the gnomes , Lantan. Other notable locations of island kingdoms are the Shining Sea and the Lake of Steam.

The distant island of Nimbral , is also known as the Sea Haven, is located to the southwest of Lantan, in the Trackless Sea. The deceptive inhabitants, called Nimbrali, are expatriates from Halruaa , focusing heavily on the school of illusion, and are all accomplished illusionists. It seems their prolonged contact with magic changed their mage into something else than humans. Nimbral illusionists do not have any forbidden school of magic. Prespur is an isle located in the Sea of Fallen Stars.

Tharsult is an island of unscrupulous traders, located in the Shining Sea, with the capital of Urbeth. Illefarn , Imaskar , and Netheril were also major Lost Empires. Ammarindar is a dwarven kingdom founded before Cormanthyr and Netheril. Its capital city, Hastarl , was located at the junction of the Unicorn Run and the River Delimbiyr, a site now occupied by the village of Secomber. Coramshan is the ancestor of Calimshan. Deep Shanatar was once High Shanatar , a mighty dwarven realm in the Underdark. Of the original eight kingdoms that composed it, the sole survivor is the reclusive Iltkazar.

Eaerlann was an ancient elven empire located in the High Forest. Eastern Shaar was once the kingdom of titans, but is now nothing more than an extension of the Shaar.


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It is bordered to the north by the country Unther , to the east by the Giant's Belt mountain range which separates it from Raurin , to the south by the Toadsquat Mountains , and to the west by the Great Rift , which separates it from the Shaar. Its major feature is the Council Hills. Guge is an ancient kingdom that existed in the Endless Wastes. It is apparently inspired by the real ancient kingdom of Guge in Western Tibet.

Ilythiir was the ancient elven empire of the dark-skinned, tropical elves who became the drow. Jhaamdath was a militaristic psiocracy government by psionicists , one of the few on Toril. This ancestor of present Chondath was founded circa — DR and destroyed in — DR by elven high mages of Nikerymath. Their tutelar divinity was Auppenser. Miyeritar was an ancient elven empire of Dark and Green Elves.

Recently, a small portion of this realm was brought back by the wizard Khelben, in the novel Blackstaff , by Steven Schend. Pelvuria , also known as The Great Glacier , is a great, magical glacier created in DR that was once Ostoria , the kingdom of Giants the city of Gharreil is a testimony of it.

It is now home to several kingdoms: Alpuk, Angalpuk, Nakvalicach and Novularond. Raumathar was the great eastern empire that once included Rashemen and Thay. It is over two millennia old and almost a thousand years dead, perishing in battle with its foe Narfell. Its people were known as powerful battle-wizards, and their art of fighting is still known by some. An ancient empire of Giants located in the North, Ostoria was divided up into separate kingdoms for each of the giant races.

A falling between the giants and giant-kin led to the destruction of the empire and the creation of the Great Glacier Pelvuria. A country that had occupied the once fertile lands of the current Quoya desert, Tsharoon lies in the Endless wastes. The region is dominated by the large titular lake Moonsea, that is connected to the Sea of Fallen Stars to the south by the River Lis.

The shoreline is a wild, frontier area that is home to several city states that are dominated by despots, and the region doesn't have a capital. The most notable of the city-states is Zhentil Keep at the western end, the greatest base of operations of the once-secret society of the Zhentarim ; Mulmaster in the southeast; Phlan ; Melvaunt on the northern side; and Hillsfar in the southwest. The region is rich in ruins notably the one of Northkeep , monsters, pirates, and harsh, cold terrains.

West of the Moonsea is the northernmost of the Dales , Teshendale. North-west of the sea are the Dragonspine Mountains. The Dragonspine Mountains is a mountain range northwest of the Moonsea, which houses the infamous Citadel of the Raven on their western slopes. The sunken city of Northkeep was the first human settlement on the shores of the Moonsea. Voonlar is a place conquered by the Zhentarim.

The Nelanther Isles are a widely scattered chain of nearly one thousand islands west of Amn and Tethyr in the Trackless Sea.

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More than half the islands lack potable water and are an unfit place to live. The hundreds of islands that can support life are fought over by ruthless pirates who tend to prey upon the shipping of lines Amn, Tethyr, Calimshan , the Sword Coast and the Moonshae Isles. Among the hundreds of islands, only the largest of the islands are named.

Only a handful of these names are known to the mainlanders, while the pirate captains know them like the back of their hands. The bulk of the Nelanther pirates have never been captured due to the multitude of hiding places among the islands. Mainlander maps show many of the main islands and many of the minor islands, but not the shoals, currents, small exposed or submerged islets, and other hazards amond the inner Nelanther.

Aside from their shared acts violence and larceny, the Nelanthers have surprisingly little in common with the Pirate Isles of the Dragon Coast. The Nelanthers' pirates are nonhumans such as orcs , lizardfolk , ogres and minotaurs. These various races and factions wage war on each other as often as they do with outsiders. The reavers of the Nelanther Isles are entirely honorless pirates that torture their victims, leaving them to horrible deaths.

The Nelanther youth are born into the society's violence and their only escape is death, typically while still young. Nearly all fit adults fight aboard ships, while weak and crippled children who somehow survive are left ashore to make repair ships or salvage wrecks.


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  • Except for a couple of smaller settlements, the pirates of the Nelanther Isles live in their ships or in huts that can be abandoned at a moment's notice. They were once powerful nations, but over the centuries the region has succumbed to internal warring, which has weakened the countries. It is situated west of the Silver Marches and east of the Sword Coast , where the cities of Neverwinter and Luskan lie. Contrary to its name, much of the area is really not a savage frontier and it is quite civilized.

    Its major ramifications include the Dragonmere a. Some notable isles include the Pirate Isles and the Isle of Prespur. The vast savannah-like landscape that forms Shaar is modeled after African savannah and veldt. Rich in detail, epic in scope, Schiff 's is a luminous, deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life. I put that word in quotes on purpose, as, of course, it is impossible to write a true biography of someone we know only from the writings of her more-or-less contemporary enemies and from the writings of those who came later and defined her by their own prejudices.

    She is a young woman when we first encounter her. Much of the first part of the book is more about Julius Caesar; to history, she is important only through him. It is only after his death that Cleopatra, to history, becomes a major player in her own story. I thought I knew everything there was to know about Cleopatra, but there were some surprises in this book.

    That said, this is not an introductory work on Cleopatra or her times. Instead, it is a complement to other works. It is very interesting, very insightful, and very worth reading. Shakespeare attested to Cleopatra's infinite variety. He had no idea. Schiff's reverence for Cleopatra and the umbrage she takes at the outrageously sexist myth men have created around her are immediately apparent, as are Schiff's own highly engaging storytelling abilities.

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    This is not just another dry biography, it is as colorful as was Cleopatra herself, while also managing to retain factual integrity. It is clear from the outset that this book is intended as a feminist revisioning of the biography of one of the most famous women in the history of the world. And considering the fact that this biography has heretofore been written mainly by chauvinistic men, this intention seems more than fair. As Schiff so righteously asserts: "Affairs of state have fallen away, leaving us with affairs of the heart.

    A commanding woman versed in politics, diplomacy, and governance; fluent in nine languages; silver-tongued and charismatic, Cleopatra nonetheless seems the joint creation of Roman propagandists and Hollywood directors. She nonetheless survives as a wanton temptress, not the last time a genuinely powerful woman has been transmuted into a shamelessly seductive one. Possibly, but not in an age when Rome controlled the narrative. Cleopatra stood at one of the most dangerous intersections in history: that of women and power.

    Clever women, Euripides had warned hundreds of years earlier, were dangerous. At one point, Schiff talks about " Cleopatra's high-handedness. Strategy came more naturally to her than did diplomacy. She may have been tactless; megalomania ran in the family. She had no trouble reminding those around her that - as she would assert later - she had for many years governed a vast kingdom by herself.

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    She may occasionally make statements that are slightly too sweeping just because they sound really good, but overall this book is an excellent blend of sparkling prose, engaging storytelling, and serious scholarship. CLEOPATRA: A LIFE is a gem in the world of narrative non-fiction, its merrily light step along a path paved with very important facts about a very important woman making it the single most readable biography I have had the pleasure to encounter in a very long time.

    This is just one of the sentences that particularly struck me: "A Roman could not pry apart the exotic and the erotic; Cleopatra was a stand-in for the occult, alchemical East, for her sinuous, sensuous land, as perverse and original as its astonishment of a river. However, this is done as unobtrusively as possible and rarely interrupts the narrative flow very noticeably.

    Schiff uses diverting details and arresting anecdotes to bring Cleopatra's story to life. The book is rich in jaw-dropping details, from the mind-boggling complexity of the Ptolemy family tree to the opulence and splendor of Alexandria and its customs and celebrations to the extraordinarily advanced society in which Cleopatra lived, almost equalling twentieth-century Western society in areas like women's rights and technology.

    This is one of the more tame details given of Ptolemaic celebrations: "Among the greatest hosts in history, the Ptolemies sent their guests stumbling home with gifts. It was not unusual to make off with a place setting of solid silver, a slave, a gazelle, a gold sofa, a horse in silver armor. Excess had put the Ptolemies on the map, where Cleopatra fully intended the dynasty to remain. Of all the inspirational qualities to be found in Cleopatra, perhaps the greatest is this: Until the moment of her death, she was full to overflowing with life. While those around her crumbled, she continued to plan, to strive, to live.

    She clung tenaciously to the infinite variety of her colorful life, and while always pragmatic, she never gave up hope. Possibly the most famous event of Cleopatra's life is her death, with mythical symbolism the sly woman paired with the serpent that has made it legendary. However, Schiff's hypotheses about the manner of Cleopatra's demise suggest that truth once again has the potential to be stranger, or at least more intriguing, than fiction.

    She remains on the map for having seduced two of the greatest men of her time, while her crime was to have entered into those same 'wily and suspicious' marital partnerships that every man in power enjoyed. She did so in reverse and in her own name; this made her a deviant, socially disruptive, an unnatural woman. Considering the formidable myth-making machine that men have kept rolling for thousands of years in order to control our knowledge of Cleopatra, finding the truth behind the smoke and mirrors is no mean feat.

    Schiff thoroughly deserves the last word here: "Two thousand years of bad press and overheated prose, of film and opera, cannot conceal the fact that Cleopatra was a remarkably capable queen, canny and opportunistic in the extreme, a strategist of the first rank. Cover as interesting than the book By Mary Reinert Our book club is reading this based on all the hype and the cover which is wonderful. After almost forcing myself through the first half of the book, I was rewarded during the second half.

    Truly this was an amazing woman who was living in amazing times. And, this just proves that people don't really change.

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    The politics, greed, power, lust, love, and jealousy of the powerful affected the masses and forged history. Have times really changed? The book reads at times like a college textbook, but at other times more like an interesting news article. Thankfully, the references are at the end and the footnotes are appropriate, only providing a bit of background information.

    However, the book could certainly have been enhanced by a few maps, a biographical listing of the many historical figures and a more thorough index. For example, Cleopatra's father is Ptolemy VII, but after first introducing him confusing again because lots of Ptolemy's , he is referred to as Auletes.

    But later he might again be referred to as Ptolemy. If you have many breaks in the reading, total confusion. And, "Auletes" is not listed in the index as such but under Ptolemy. This could be chalked up as sloppy reading on my part, but remember it is hyped to "read as a novel. In short, this is definitely an act of scholarship that is presented in an interesting manner. Cleopatra was a complicated woman so the book is complicated as well. The objective is by obtaining the favorable worth from guide until the end of guide. This is why; you need to learn more while reading this Film Studies: The Essential Resource Essentials , By Peter Bennett, Andrew Hickman, Peter Wall This is not only exactly how quick you check out a book and also not only has the number of you completed the books; it has to do with exactly what you have actually acquired from the books.

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