Thursday, November 17, 2011
I first read Azure Bonds somewhere around fifteen years ago, and my recently renewed interested in the Forgotten Realms meant I couldn't pass it by when I saw a used copy on sale for a buck. It's a book with a fantastic opening premise: a warrior wakes up in an inn with strange, mystical tattoos on her arm and absolutely no recollection of how they got there. Who ensorcelled her, and why? The search for answers leads deep into a conspiracy involving evil magicks, exiled gods, assassin cults, and more. Alias, the main character, is memorable, as are the companions she makes on her quest: a saurial named Dragonbait, a halfling "bard" named Olive Ruskettle, and a merchant-turned-mage named Akabar. The book is set in Cormyr and the Dalelands, which is where the adventures of the Royal Karameikan Fist Adventuring Company have taken place, so it was fun to see how the novels depict places like Shadowdale, Suzail, etc. Intriguing mystery, interesting characters, fast-paced action scenes: it's all there.