Review: Downshadow - Eric Scott De Bie

title: Downshadow (Greenwood Presents Waterdeep)
author: Eric Scott De Bie
series: Greenwood Presents Waterdeep 3 Book
isbn: 978-0-7869-5128-4 * 06 Apr 2009
pages: 320
reading time: 8 days (18/05/2009 to 25/05/2009)
rating: 7.5/10

This is the third book of the series entitled Greenwood Presents Waterdeep. The First being Blackstaff Tower and the second Mistshore. I haven't read any of the above but this one intrigued me. The backcover says...

The Dark Knight Must Choose: Justice or VengeanceA dangerous, subterranean labyrinth haunted by outlaws and monsters.
The upper reaches of the legendary Undermountain.
The only law is that of the sword in

Ever wondered what it's really like to be a paladin? A holy knight, struggling to live in a very unholy city? A city crowded with tempting women who take a great interest in you, and old enemies increasingly thirsty for your doom?
Downshadow shows you, in a tale packed with battles, betrayals, sticky situations, lurking foes . . . and the deadly rooms and passages of Waterdeep's most dangerous neighborhood of all: Downshadow, beneath the cobbles and cellars and the sewers that underlie them.
This is one wild ride. I highly recommend it, have read it several times through, and look forward to re-reading it many times more!
-- Ed Greenwood

When I read this cover and after reading two of the priests series I thought to myself... time to get my hands on forgotten realms books... as a bibliophile as I am I bought a dozen books... I bought two books from the Citadels and two from the Dungeons, the trilogy The Haunted Lands, the Last Mythal and two books from Sembia (The first two), the Erevis Cale Trilogy and The Twilight Trilogy... (Too many don't you think? Oh do shut up)...

Well I had read Ghostwalker by de Bie and I enjoyed it so I gave it a try. I wasn't dissapointed but I didn't enjoyed as much as I would like...

First the Plot...

We follow the adventures that the mysterious Shadowbane as he patrols Downshadow as he deal with the it's wicked denizens. The book is very entertainment because it's full of altruistic deeds (not only by Shadowbane), betrayals and deceits acts and plenty of battles. In his first book I enjoy the fight scenes and in this book he didn't disapointed me. The flux of the book is mixed. Either is fast-paced or it's too slow... At sometimes I had to re-read a part because I felt kind of lost.

There are several characters on this book that we get to know... Kalen, Araezra, Talanna, Fayne, Rath, Myrin...

We have the evil doers that were portraid nicely and I think they were the jewel of this book. (alongside with Kalen). Talanna has a small part in the plot but I think it was essential. Shadowbane.. I prefered in the beginning (the first a hundred pages) then we know who his shadowbane and I think he lost depth. Kalen is the main character (and Shadowbane). I really enjoyed the back story and the plot. I learn something about spellplague and the fate of some of the gods. Araezra and Myrin were not that interesting... well only in the love story with the main character...

I learn as I said before about the spellplague and the spellscar powers.

Some dialogue were not that interesting and think the writer should had dwell some more time in it. (I tink the first novel by de Bie was better in this area). The powers they had (and I know this is just the beginning of the spellscar powers) were kind of ... x-men alike. I think Myrin powers were kind of deus ex machina .

The writing itself was very good. I think it was kind of dark writing and de Bie doesn't mind (or even secretly enjoyed) to drag the characters to a bitter downfall so they can stand up. I think this is are "real" characters who have pass some difficulty times. I enjoyed it...

The villains were very well portraied. Specially Rath. (It reminds me some of warhammer villains).

In the end a good book that seduced me to read other forgotten realms novels...

I think this author would do great in the Warhammer World. It's a darker world where he would fit very well.
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