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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Dawn of Night by Paul S Kemp This is the second book in The Erevis Cale Trilogy The first is Twilight Falling and the last is Midnight s Mask However, the first appearance of many of these characters are found in the Sembia Gateway to the Realms series There is a short story in Halls of Stormweather anthology entitled Resurrection and the second book in the series entitled Shadow s Witness Then after this trilogy, the story continues in The Twilight War trilogy Shadowbred, Shadowstorm, Dawn of Night by Paul S Kemp This is the second book in The Erevis Cale Trilogy The first is Twilight Falling and the last is Midnight s Mask However, the first appearance of many of these characters are found in the Sembia Gateway to the Realms series There is a short story in Halls of Stormweather anthology entitled Resurrection and the second book in the series entitled Shadow s Witness Then after this trilogy, the story continues in The Twilight War trilogy Shadowbred, Shadowstorm, and Shadowrealm Caution Spoilers are present if you haven t read Twilight Falling The story picks up right where Twilight Falling left off We find Erevis Cale, now a shade, and the group in the Plane of Shadows Somehow Cale transported his friends to the Plane of Shadows from the closing and disappearance of the Fane of Shadows, saving them all from drowning On the Plane of Shadows, the group try to find their way out of a bog, Cale faces down a shadow dragon, and they come across a city full of the dead Throughout this adventure, Drasek Riven slowly makes Cale embrace his shadedom which allows them to leave the Plane Meanwhile, the slaadi and their master the Sojourner, plan on using the Weave Tap to tap into the magical properties of Skullport, an underground city beneath Waterdeep The Sojourner wants to create a thing called the Crown of Fire and needs to plant seeds from the Weave Tap to cause this to happen After discovering where the slaadi are, Cale and the group travel to stop them But are they in time Negatives 1 Villain Parts They just are so boring I hate to say it, but it feels like nothing happens and it just drags on and on The Sojourner is the worst of them His scenes are just so lackluster and just feel unimportant and a little forced He honestly isn t that interesting of a character With the slaadi, Azriim I really liked in Twilight Falling, but here he just seems like he is just there He doesn t do anything and he seemed to lose all his quirks and everything that made him interesting up until the last 100 or so pages It just felt forced and the scenes didn t feel right They didn t have the menace or presence that they did in the last book Like I said, the parts were really boring.2 Grammar and Spelling Errors Now, this isn t a fault on the book, but rather an observation on a lot of recent Forgotten Realm books They have been really sloppy I think these books have editors, but they sure are missing a lot of these misspellings, grammatical errors, and errors in who s who and what s what There were times when I honestly couldn t believe what was in there, or missed rather It just boggles the mind.3 The Love Interest The love interest between Cale and this random woman named Varra was just so sudden and unexpected that I barely believed it doesn t fit in here For one things, she s just in one chapter, and yet Cale acts like he is in love, well to be honest not love love but he cares about her It s just so random and unbelievable Positives 1 Good Guys Now while the villains were boring and unexciting, the heroes are just wonderful Cale s fight against if he is human was beautifully done His concern about what he has become and his worry about what he is done in a way in which you can sympathize with what he is going through Riven is another interesting character In the last book, Riven was a mean, cruel, yet likable assassin Here he starts off as a little bit of a nicer version of himself, but slowly comes to become the heartless killing machine he is Magadon is the last character who I really liked He reminds me a lot like Drizzt Do Urden of R A Salvatore fame in his ideals and character He is a nice foil to the two assassin s in the group Then being what he is, just makes him eveninteresting.2 Descriptions of Cities I really liked the way that Paul S Kemp described the cities of Elgrin Fau and Skullport He paints Elgrin Fau as this lost deserted city on the Plane of Shadow The emptiness and eerie feel really makes it feel lonely and creepy And it only get worse in a good way Then with Skullport was given this view of utter corruption and horror The Skulls the enforcers of the city were really brought to life While other authors views of the city seemed to hint at the corruption throughout the city, Kemp really brings it to life.3 Twist The ending really comes at a shocker You honestly never would have thought this is the way the second book would have ended But looking back, you could see what happened and why it happened It was perfectly executed Side Notes 1 Jak While still a little annoying, the halfling did seem able to handle himself a little better in the book than the last He didn t come off as pathetic.2 Explanations I like how things were explained There are some stories in which you don t understand why this or this happened, yet here you get an explanation For example, the exit out of the Plane of Shadows Simple, yet you could see why it had to be done that way.3 Cover Art It annoys the eye Cale s face is okay It is a little annoying with the frown, or at least I think he s frowning, but he looks bland Then what s up with the globe It s barely mentioned in the story, yet bam It s on the cover again At least the book Cale received would have madesense Then what s the stuff coming off Cale s face Shadow It just looks like a cheesy tattoo artwork with skulls Overall 4 5Final Thoughts The boring villain scenes really made parts of the book a chore to read through But the story with our heroes really make it bearable The second book of a trilogy that really should just be one long book, which means this book really felt like the middle of a book There wasn t a whole lot of point to the plot, besides the heroes are chasing the villains and some stuff happens along the way Cale does get a huge power upgrade and can do some pretty neat shadow magic stuff now Jack isannoying and pointless than ever Riven gets crueler and view spoiler becomes a villain hide spoiler There is some vague mention of g The second book of a trilogy that really should just be one long book, which means this book really felt like the middle of a book There wasn t a whole lot of point to the plot, besides the heroes are chasing the villains and some stuff happens along the way Cale does get a huge power upgrade and can do some pretty neat shadow magic stuff now Jack isannoying and pointless than ever Riven gets crueler and view spoiler becomes a villain hide spoiler There is some vague mention of goings on by the Slaad but nothing really seems to happen fully It s just a stepping stone in the whole process.Despite this, it was a fun exciting short read There were some really cool creatures, scenes, and locations The shadow dragon in the beginning was fittingly terrifying The skulls in control of the Underdark slave market city were neat and made me think of Bob from Dresden Overall a worthwhile book for one read and I look forward to the conclusion Erevis Cale and his allies have survived a confrontation with the slaadi servants of the enigmatic Sojourner, but now find themselves lost on the Plane of Shadow with no way home Meanwhile, Azriim and his fellows seek to execute the next part of the Sojourner s plans and head for Skullport, one of the darkest and most dangerous cities in the Realms.The second volume of the Erevis Cale trilogy picks up immediately after the first book and once again pits Cale and his band of willing and not so w Erevis Cale and his allies have survived a confrontation with the slaadi servants of the enigmatic Sojourner, but now find themselves lost on the Plane of Shadow with no way home Meanwhile, Azriim and his fellows seek to execute the next part of the Sojourner s plans and head for Skullport, one of the darkest and most dangerous cities in the Realms.The second volume of the Erevis Cale trilogy picks up immediately after the first book and once again pits Cale and his band of willing and not so willing heroes against Azriim and his fellow slaadi The first novel, Twilight Falling, was entertaining but also suffered from clunky writing and some bad pacing Dawn of Night is a notable improvement, with anotable focus on the battle of wills between Cale and his sometimes ally Riven to prove themselves the better man The prose ispolished though still prone to odd lapses and there s also a satisfying amount of weirdness invoked when Cale and his friends find themselves lost on the Plane of Shadow Skullport one of the most vividly memorable locations in the Forgotten Realms setting is also brought to life in all its squalid, grubby splendour.As well as the Cale Riven rivalry, the book also brings into play several other interesting devices The duality of having two adventuring bands diametrically opposed to one another is an interesting touch, and Kemp imbues each character with their own quirks and motivations that fleshes them out nicely It s not the deep seated characterisation of modern masters of fantasy, but it s enough to make the bookinteresting than the average tie in novel Kemp also takes an interesting approach to magic, which is so codified by rules and structures since it is based on the DD magic system that it s use has become routine and even perfunctory This depiction may be slightly dull the wonder of someone unleashing a powerful magical spell in another book is here totally missing but it also makes sense in a world where the use of magic has become routine over the course of thousands of years.On the minus side, the book suffers somewhat from middle book syndrome there is no beginning or end, which is to be expected and there are moments when the setting s game origins are again laid bare, such as being able to tell when the characters have succeeded at making a saving roll against a spell These are much less frequent than the first novel but still a little wince inducing when they happen.Overall, Dawn of Night represents a notable improvement over the first book in the series It s still, at heart, an adventurous romp with an unusually conflicted band of heroes as its sole major twist which is less of a twist now than when the book originally came out , but remains an entertaining read What a ride Again, strong character development interspersed with deep and varied Realsmlore makes Kemp s writing style highly addictive In my view, he is a masterful bottom up storyteller who draws you in with an intense focus on character Setting is a function of the characters s journey and in this instance, as in all of the Cale books I ve read thus far, it really engages.As a big Realms fan, I throughly appreciate Paul s attention to detail in fleshing out areas that scream for the spotli What a ride Again, strong character development interspersed with deep and varied Realsmlore makes Kemp s writing style highly addictive In my view, he is a masterful bottom up storyteller who draws you in with an intense focus on character Setting is a function of the characters s journey and in this instance, as in all of the Cale books I ve read thus far, it really engages.As a big Realms fan, I throughly appreciate Paul s attention to detail in fleshing out areas that scream for the spotlight Examples in this book include, Skullport and The Skulls , Starmantle, The Weave Tap, and Elgrin Fau, to name a few.A Realms fan be you Read this you must It s surprising the things you can see when you re willing Immortality was easy to attain, he knew It was living a meaningful existance that was hard The worst things you can imagine, those things you can buy cheap It s the things you won t even consider until you see them that cost the real coin. This was an excellent little bit of FR fantasy Kemp has done a great job weaving this tale of assassins and sorcerers In this installment, we see the party move from the Shadow Realm to the infamous Skull Port, an underground city of never do wells precariously ruled by a group of insane flying, flaming skulls the last remains of a band of wizards from Nethril We are introduced to the power behind the evil Sladi that were introduced in the first novel, and if we weren t concerned about our h This was an excellent little bit of FR fantasy Kemp has done a great job weaving this tale of assassins and sorcerers In this installment, we see the party move from the Shadow Realm to the infamous Skull Port, an underground city of never do wells precariously ruled by a group of insane flying, flaming skulls the last remains of a band of wizards from Nethril We are introduced to the power behind the evil Sladi that were introduced in the first novel, and if we weren t concerned about our heroes succeeding in the first book, we most definitely are now This is very much an Empire Strikes Back kind of plotwhich is, of course, an excellent ploy to keep us reading Which I intend to Totally fell short for me I really liked the first one I got about half way through this and quit The writing wasn t horrible It s just that the plot just didn t make any sense The charachters had no reason to be in the situations they were in or make the choices they did It read like a steamrolled D D game Totally fell short for me I really liked the first one I got about half way through this and quit The writing wasn t horrible It s just that the plot just didn t make any sense The charachters had no reason to be in the situations they were in or make the choices they did It read like a steamrolled DD game *FREE ⇨ Dawn of Night ⇜ The shadows recede from a lost temple in a forgotten wildernessThe sun rises on a new calling for a man as loyal as he is mysteriousThe day s beginning finds Erevis Cale holding in his steady handspower than he dared hope for andresponsibility than he ever imaginedFor now, he will have to put his trust in a god served by thieves and born of chaos Second book in this D the main characters are all dark and brooding edgelords that end up blending together a bit, they are super serious all the time and easily offended by banter, female characters are barely existent and poorly handled and villains are saturday morning cartoon y I think teenage boys would definitely be the target audience There s a memorable encounter early on in this book 2 and plenty of v Second book in this DD trilogy I picked up after reading The Godborn by the same author I feel lukewarm the main characters are all dark and brooding edgelords that end up blending together a bit, they are super serious all the time and easily offended by banter, female characters are barely existent and poorly handled and villains are saturday morning cartoon y I think teenage boys would definitely be the target audience There s a memorable encounter early on in this book 2 and plenty of variety in action and sights, but I definitely prefer the author s later work I liked Skullport and the denizens of that city I enjoyed this book a littlethan the first.