The first being Swordmage and the second book is called Corsair. This trilogy is set in the Forgotten Realm universe. Richard Baker has written numerous novels for the Forgotten Realms and others. Warning Spoilers for Corsair will be present, but there will be little to no spoilers present for Avenger. The story picks up a few months after the events at the end of Corsair. We soon learn that Geran Hulmaster is entering into the city to cause unrest and problems for the ruling power.
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The Blades of Moonsea trilogy comes to a thrilling conclusion in Avenger. The Hulmasters were usurped from their family stronghold and forced to flee Hulberg at the end of Corsair , the second novel. Avenger picks up a few months later as the Hulmasters are struggling to devise a plan to retake their home. But before any plans can be enacted, the family is struck upon by assassins. The assassins are defeated, but not before the family suffers serious losses. Garen immediately takes revenge upon those who have harmed him and his family by returning to Hulberg and destroying the evil forces who sent the assassins.
The Wizard, Rhovann has created dozens of runehelm guardians, giant constructs linked to one shared consciousness. The brutes are strong and nearly unstoppable. Their links minds allow them to act in unison and hunt like a wolf pack. The longer Garen and his kin delay their attack, the more time Rhovann has to continue building his runehelms. When Garen returns to his family and reports his findings they realize that the only way they have any chance of retaking their homeland is to eliminate the runehelm threat.
They seek the advice the lich, King Aesperus. The King In Copper agrees to provide Garen with a weapon capable of destroying the all the runehelms simultaneously with a single stroke. In exchange for the weapon and the knowledge of how to use it effectively, Garen must recover pages from a lost spell book and return them to King Aesperus.
The pages are in Myth Drannor. The task is not as straight forward as they hoped, but they are eventually successful. They return the pages to King Aesperus and he gives Garen Umbrach Nyth, and enchanted blade that is especially powerful against creatures from the Shadowfell. Rhovann has used essence from the Shadowfell to power his runehelms. By travelling into the shadow realm, Garen can use the sword to destroy the shadow magic acting as the runehelms power source.
As the Hulmasters march their army back to Hulberg, Garen and his companions sneak back into Hulberg. If they can destroy the runehelms then the army waiting outside the city has a good chance of retaking Hulberg. The thrilling climax has Garen battling his nemesis Rhovann while his kin battle an army bolstered by the runehelms. I really enjoyed this book and this series.
The story in Avenger is very linear, which works. One of the things that really frustrates me about some of the other Forgotten Realms authors is that they have a lot of different characters doing different things all the time.
The story keeps jumping around and it seems disjointed. The only cut-aways are a couple of chapters back in Hulberg featuring the villains or the sympathisers. The back and forth near the end really adds something to the story-telling.
Wizards of the Coast boasts that the novels are generally written for a PG audience, but this book had a pretty saucy sex scene and a very graphic torcher scene that were both appropriate in the context of the story, but not typical for this kind of book. The trilogy was great and the conclusions was fantastic.
Each book can stand alone, but the real payoff comes from reading all three books. I hope we see more of Garen, Hammil and Sarth in upcoming books.
A Salvatore and Richard Lee Byres. Avenger: 8 on a d10 Blades of the Moonsea Trilogy: 8 on a d10 Looking for instant updates?
Blades of the Moonsea