Book Bout-Book Review of The Sundering Book IV: The Reaver

Book– The Sundering Book IV: The Reaver

Author – Richard Lee Byers

Price- $19

TL;DR– An Ok Realms story. 73%

Basics–  Set sail for adventure. The Reaver follows the story of Anton Marivaldi, former sailor turned pirate.  Anton and his crew kidnap a boy prophet of Lathander, a formally dead deity.  Anton is betrayed by his crew, and escapes with the boy.  The two have different goals with one trying to sell the other and the boy trying to make his way across the world on a quest he doesn’t understand, but they work together as they can’t survive alone.  Along the way they encounter the church of the evil sea god Umberlee, Thay wizards, a plan to save the Sea of Fallen Stars, and possibly redemption and rebirth.

Setting– The book does feel like it belongs in the Forgotten Realms.  I’ve always considered the Forgotten Realms to be the “God” setting with much of what’s going on having to do with evil gods making plans against the good people of the Realms.  This story is entirely motivated by a good god plans to help the world, an evil gods power grabs, and a lich trying to become a god. 5/5

Characters–  The book falters here a bit.  Anton is the “main” character even though the book is an ensemble cast.  He gets the most screen time, but he also tends to be the one I have the most problems with.  He’s a cold hearted pirate!  But, then he decides to give it all up and help the boy.  He says he’s this monster stating every horrible thing he’s did before the story starts, BUT, given the slightest provocation, he only does good, honorable things.  It felt a bit disingenuous as if he was merely boasting.  3/5

Story– The book falters a bit here too.  It runs a bit longer then it needs to.  When you get into the story, it’s not bad, but I found myself asking “Is this the end yet?” a few too many times.  Also, the book is a bit hard to get into.  You don’t really like the main character for the longest time, and since you spend a long time with him, it’s hard to get into the book.  Brevity and trimming a few of the scene might have helped this story.  That said, I also wanted a bit more in the end.  The book kind of ends abruptly with the character making some quick plans and the book just ending.  Everything is resolved, but I felt like it needed a bit more. 3/5

Summary– Of the Sundering books, this one is probably my least favorite so far.  I’m glad I read it, and anyone who loves the Realms should sit down and read this too.  But, if you want a good introduction to the world of the forgotten Realms, this might not be the best choice.  It’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not the best book I’ve ever read.  73%%

Audiobook Bonus Round!-  I listened to this book as an audiobook.  That may have hurt my impression of this book.  Eugene H. Russell IV isn’t a bad narrator, but he has the habit of breaking into Shatner-esque diction.  Some passages were amazingly clear, but others sounded as if a computer had read the passage with awkward pauses inserted between words. 3/5

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