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The Sapphire Crescent: The Scions of Arrabar, Book I (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. November 2003

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Synopsis

The peace, stability, and security of the world of Arrabar, a nation of mercenaries, is threatened when members of one family begin to turn on one another, in the first volume of a new fantasy trilogy by the author of Insurection. Original.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Thomas M. Reid held numerous positions with TSR and Wizards of the Coast, Inc., including brand manager for the D&D¨ brand and creative director for Star Wars¨ RPGs. His previous novels include The Temple of Elemental Evil for the Greyhawk¨ line and R.A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen, Book 2: Insurrection for the Forgotten Realms line. Reid lives in Texas.

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Von A.F.H. Tintenkrieger am 19. September 2006
Format: Taschenbuch
Dieses Buch hat mich auf ganzer Linie enttäuscht.

Der Author hält sich nicht an die Regeln des Settings (Forgotten Realms/D&D), zeichnet die Charaktere arg blau äugig und teilweise einfach nur naiv bis dumm. Es mutet sehr unglaubwürdig an, das z.B. der Priester in dieser Welt so alt werden konnte mit solch einem Vorgehen.

Darstellung und tatsächliches Können passen hier nicht zusammen.

Die Handlung wirkt daneben völlig vorhersehbar und flach.

Während ich sonst ein absoluter Liebhaber von Büchern aller Couleur und der FR Romane im Speziellen bin, habe ich dieses Buch weggeschmissen. Das hat keinen Platz in irgendeinem Regal verdient, an dem nicht ein x-beliebiges, besseres Buch stehen könnte.

Genauso enttäuschend war der Beitrag des Authors zum Zyklus der Spinnenkönigin-Krieges, tatsächlich war ich über das Buch enttäuscht bevor ich den Namen des Authors mit diesem Machwerk in Zusammenhang gebracht hatte.
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2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Pomelio am 29. August 2005
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Das Buch zeichnet sich durch lebhafte und sehr detaillierte Beschreibungen der Orte und Charaktere aus. Dennoch liesst es sich angenehm leicht und fliessend. Es entsteht ein Bild im Kopf des Lesers und besonders für Kenner des D&D Regelwerkes ist das Lesen äusserst spannend, da Reid sich sehr kreativ in dessen Bahnen bewegt.
Die Geschichte beginnt harmlos mit einem Mordfall, doch im Verlauf des Buches verwickeln sich die beiden Protagonisten immer tiefer in eine grosse Verschwörung, die im Hintergrund abläuft und müssen schliesslich um ihr Überleben kämpfen.
Reid baut die Spannung geschickt in kleinen Schritten auf, bis es letztendlich zum Showdown kommt.
Die Personen agieren äusserst glaubhaft und man schliesst die Protagonisten rasch ins Herz. Teilweise sind sie jedoch etwas durchschaubar und es mutet "schwarz und weiss gemalt an.
Das Buch fesseltdennoch mehr als andere FR Romane was auf die hervorragende Schreibarbeit von Reid zurückzuführen ist.
Einziger Kritikpunkt ist die Anknüpfung an Band 2 die meiner Ansicht nach, etwas an den Haaren herbeigezogen wirkt, da nur wenig darauf eingegangen wird.
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2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 21. Dezember 2003
Format: Taschenbuch
Die Charaktere entwickeln sich schleppend und zeigen sich als relativ farblos, die Geschichte liesse sich auch in einer Kurzgeschichte verwursten. Man muss mal sehen, wie die Geschichte sich in den folgenden beiden Büchern entwickelt, ich bin jedoch skeptisch. Bin vom Autor eigentlich mehr gewöhnt.
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1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Floating Signifiers am 15. Februar 2005
Format: Taschenbuch
Dieses Buch hat mich ziemlich überrascht, denn im Gegensatz zu anderen Forgotten-Realms-Titeln steht nicht Kampf oder Ähnliches im Vordergrund, sondern eine Verschwörung. Diese zieht sich durch das ganze Buch, wobei sie immer nur Stück für Stück preisgegeben wird. Somit kommt keine Langeweile auf. Allerdings ist die Handlung teils etwas vorhersehbar, was dann auch mit zur Bewertung beiträgt. Außerdem wird in diesem Buch das Setting sehr detailliert geschildert, wodurch man sich die Handlungsorte sehr gut vorstellen kann und ganz nah am Geschehen dabei sein kann. Alles in Allem ein gutes Buch, man darf auf den Nachfolger gespannt sein!
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 Rezensionen
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Political intrigue galore - but weak twists and turns 24. August 2004
Von J. Stoner - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book was a good read. I enjoyed it, it was entertaining, it had some twists and turns (however weak), and some interesting magic, and some likeable (and hateable) characters. Everything you could want from an above average book.

I'm excited to read the next two books in the series but it seems like the books will be rather stand-alone-ish because "The Sapphire Crescent" was almost completely closed book. The ending threw some things at you that were somewhat relevant to the storyline, but nobody would have ever thought about it because the book is so closed and self containted. And that's what I mean by weak plot twists. I never saw this one coming - not because it was so clever or well hidden, but because it was almost unrelated to the main storyline. It was something like "Oh, but now we know who THESE guys work for..."

But all in all, this book was good. Some really good battles, some interesting way of describing the magic used (almost psionic) and mercenaries with passion. Oh, and the cover of this book is awesome and is so classy-looking.

Read this book, it doesn't dissappoint, but it's not like other Forgotten Realm trilogies that leave you hanging between books.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Interesting read 20. Februar 2006
Von Kafu Rahmansha - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Before "The Sapphire Crescent," I had read one previous book from Thomas M. Reid (The Temple of Elemental Evil), and I felt it was quite poor. Thus, I entered this with much trepidation and few expectations. However, I was generally satisfied with Reid's improvement over his writing quality and ability to carry a story. He creates a book that, while not genre-breaking, is interesting enough to finish without feeling like you've wasted your time.

"The Sapphire Crescent" is a tale that delves into the delicate political balance between powerful merchant families in the city Arrabar. Its distinctiveness lies in its simplicity. The entire world is not at stake. Rather, the welfare of only one family takes the forefront. The hero, Vambran, is a member of this family, and also a mercenary soldier with a shady past. By accident, he happens upon a mystery that goes far deeper than its initial appearance. As Vambran explores deeper into this mystery, he puts himself, and his loved ones, in further danger. The ending delivers plenty action sequences, as well as additional twists to the storyline. On the whole, the story is pretty solid.

Reid managed to develop strong lead characters. I found myself feeling concern over their plight and satisfaction in their successes. Unfortunately, the supporting characters were almost completely void of any development. Vambran's two friends might have well been twins since they acted the exact same way, and his mother was really just a log of a character with no personality to speak of. It would have been nice to have seen more time spent on the characters that weren't the core of the main story. They all seemed like cardboard cutouts.

At times, Reid's writing gets a little tedious. He has this tendency to describe objects or places that need no description whatsoever, such as flowerpots or fences that are never focal to the story. Every once in a while you'll wade through a couple pages of meaningless description or action ("She climbed up this. Then she climbed up that. Then she wedged her way into this.") that could have been summarized in one small paragraph or skipped altogether. I often felt like Reid was trying to prove he's a good writer. Yet, he'll completely ignore things that really COULD use some description. What was his friend wearing? What kind of facial expression is he making? Etc.

I really believe that "The Sapphire Crescent" could have been more effective as a stand-alone novel. Everything seems wrapped up nicely at the end. Then suddenly, there's an extra chapter added simply to give reasons for a sequel. These reasons are not that significant, but obviously this series is supposed to be a trilogy, so we've got to have something more to go on. It'll be interesting to see how Reid follows up on this. Will be keep to same premise, or will the next two books totally veer in a different direction, causing the storyline to wander aimlessly?

A 3½ star book that I'm rounding up. It really doesn't quite deserve 4 stars, but hey, I'm in a good mood. We'll see how the sequels turn out . . .
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5 Stars for a magnificent book! 2. Mai 2004
Von Myros - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Okay, I have to admit.. I dont like heroes that are obssessed with justice and doing good, but Vambran is truly one of a kind and I couldnt help but like him!
Thomas M. Reid is really becoming one of my favorite authors of all time, the Sapphire Crescent places Vambran in the midst of a crime that took place during a festival called 'Spheres'. Merely witnessing the murder takes him through perils and mysteries waiting to be solved.
You might think the book is sort of slow... however once you reach Chapter V, you wont be able to put the book down!!!
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Fair Start. 5. Januar 2005
Von Craig - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book was an entertaining read. The main plot was interesting, and the characters were engaging. It's not high literature, but it's a decent way to pass the time. My rating would have been higher if it were not for the "mystery" saviour that appears to bail our hero out whenever he finds himself in a jam. Even the slowest of readers would instantly discern the identity of this person, which makes the whole device rather lame. Still, the book does manage to rise above this shortcoming and manage to be a worthwhile read in the end.
The Sapphire Crescent by Thomas M. Reid 1. Mai 2010
Von Travis Eisenbrandt - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
The Sapphire Crescent by Thomas M. Reid- This is the first book in The Scions of Arrabar Trilogy. The second book is called The Ruby Guardian and the third book is called The Emerald Scepter. The Sapphire Crescent is set in the Forgotten Realms setting. Thomas M. Reid's other Forgotten Realms novels include; The Empyrean Odyssey (The Gossamer Plain, The Fractured Sky, and The Crystal Mountain) and one book in R. A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen series called Insurrection. His other works include; Truth & Steel, Forged, The Temple of Elemental Evil, and Gridrunner. He has also contributed a number of short stories to various anthologies. The trilogy is currently only available used or from online sellers. The Sapphire Crescent was released in 2003 by Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

Vambran Matrell returns home to Arrabar for his younger sisters' sixteenth birthday party only to have both of them witness a murder by the city watch. Determined to revenge the slain, Vambran embarks on a mission to find out who is responsible for the deaths. As Vambran gets closer to learning the truth, his sister, Emriana, does some investigating on her own. What they find surprises both of them and could implicate their family and ruin their lives.

Negatives:
1) Villains. To be honest, I thought the main villains, that we see, were a joke. They presented themselves as more of a comedy duo then anything else and I just could not buy it. However, as the story starts to end, the other conspirators that were discovered were better and not as pathetic. The 'starting' villains were a sad joke and the 'hidden' villains were better and more menacing. However, even though the 'hidden' villains were better, they still were generic and obvious. There was really only one villain, who only appeared for about five pages, who was the most interesting, but I can't really take a character that only appears for five pages into too much consideration, right?
2) The Last Third of the Book. To put it simply, the last one hundred or so pages were just frustrating. I found myself yelling at some characters because they just came off pathetic and dumb. The whole thing can be traced back to a huge plot hole. Late in the story, Vambran is chasing after someone who hurt a family member and winds up losing him in an alley. So what does Vambran do? Wait for the person to come back. Let me repeat that one more time. Vambran, instead of returning back to check on his family, waits for the thug to return. Why? Wouldn't it make more sense for him to hurry back to his family to keep them safe? There is some poor excuse that emotions clouding his judgment, but that felt forced and unreal. Speaking of stupid actions, we have another one that Vambran commits later. After hearing one villain say to his sister that he will have his way with her, Vambran comes into the room and threatens him with a drawn crossbow bolt. Honestly, if someone threatened a family member with rape, how many people would take the advantage away by threatening them and not just outright kill the guy? Sure, Vambran has this 'ethical code' that he can't hurt an unsuspecting man, but he just threatened to rape your sister! Then he acts like the whole thing wasn't a big deal. There are more problems that come up during the last third of the book and it just adds to my frustration.

Positives:
1) Main Characters. The characters of Vambran and Emriana were really well thought out characters. The story felt like it was more character driven than anything else. Vambran was good. You can understand and easily see his views on certain actions. Yes, he does make some really stupid mistakes (look at the second negative above), but for the most part you understand his viewpoint. He's written in a way that almost makes him into a living being. Emriana was the same way, but to a lesser extent. She still was great and she really seemed like a teenager at times. She also suffers from the stupidity bug, but it isn't as bad. You can blame most of her 'mistakes' on being that age and being relatively sheltered. Emriana was still a good character. The big problem was everyone else felt shallow, unreal, and wooden. But at least the main characters were good.
2) Murder Mystery. I really did enjoy the whole murder mystery plot. It was really fun trying to find out who did it and who was involved. I'm not really going to elaborate much without giving away the plot, but it really was engaging and interesting, not to mention fun. Not to mention that it was a shock to see who was involved. But it does get a little ridiculous with the twists. It still is a fun mystery.

Side Notes:
1) Containment. I really did like how, for most of the story, everything was contained. It felt like a stand-alone novel, up until the ending.
2) Hard to Follow. There were times when the story and actions were hard to follow. It didn't really hurt the story, but it was just hard to envision these people doing some of these things.
3) Cover Art. It's not horrible and it does do a good job in showing Vambran, but honestly, it looks like a romance novel cover.

Overall: 3/5
Final Thoughts:
The Sapphire Crescent is a fairly decent story. It's mostly character driven and it does have an interesting murder mystery. But I just can't overlook the flaws. The villains were awful for seventy-five percent of the story, and were only interesting in the last quarter. The last one hundred pages were just plot hole upon plot hole, and it makes everything frustrating and annoying to read. It's not an awful book, but at the same time I can't say it was great or good. If you like interesting characters and a decent mystery, pick it up.
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