Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Edge of Chaos [Books]

I've very much enjoyed playing in a Forgotten Realms campaign for several months now, and it recently gave me the craving to read some of the fiction set in that fantasy world (something I hadn't done in several years). The only option at my local library was The Edge of Chaos, but it proved to be a pretty good read. The novel is set in the Faerun of D&D 4th Edition, a hundred years after a massive cataclysm has reshaped the world. The story concerns an adventurer named Duvan who operates in around Ormpetarr, a city on the border of the foreboding Plaguewrought Land--a vast area of the continent inundated by Wild Magic and geologic upheaval which promises almost instant death for all who enter. A nefarious organization in Ormpetarr named the Order of Blue Fire is secretly planning a massive magical ritual to extend the borders of the Plaguewrought Land, and Duvan, along with a monk of Kelemvor named Slanya, are forced to try to stop them.

I'm not familiar with Ormpetarr from my time spent playing and directing games in the Realms, but the description of the Plaguewrought Land was quite evocative and seemed like a great setting for some high-octane campaigns. The description of the faith of Kelemvor was also quite well done, so much so that I could imagine playing a priest or monk of that god sometime. The story itself was entertaining and fast-moving, and held some surprises: more adult content than I had expected (Duvan, for example, visits prostitutes) and a willingness to kill of some major characters. All in all, pretty good stuff.

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