Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Mortal Consequences

The third and final entry of author Clayton Emery’s Netheril trilogy opens with protagonists Sunbright Steelshanks and his love interest Knucklebones outrunning a snow lurker, en route to the former’s tribe’s hunting grounds; In the meantime, a creature known as the gulguthhydra is hungry for revenge. The barbarian and thief find the tundra weakened and encounter yak-men, after which they meet the dwarf Drigor. In a city where they take aliases, Sunbright and Knucklebones confer with an elderly woman named Bly, who promises the former that she can find his tribe.

When Sunbright does reunite with his kinsmen, including his mother Monkberry, he finds that he is unwelcome in his clan, and thus fights several of his tribe’s top warriors. Candlemas also finds a solution to the rusty crop blight, and encounters the aforementioned creature that seeks vengeance. An orc named Toch receives some minor attention during the middle of the story, remembering vaguely belonging to the One King’s army. Given the decaying land, Sunbright makes it a point to lead his tribe to greener country, encountering the Cormanthyran Elves of the High Forest, who happen to be the people of his former love Greenwillow.

Battle erupts between the Rengarth Barbarians and elves, although they ultimately call a truce, with the Moon Elves offering their forest refuge, to the reluctance of the nomads, and a final conflict arising with the monster that receives attention throughout the story. The book concludes with a brief epilogue summarizing the fate of the Netherese Empire, and satisfactorily ends the Netheril trilogy, with plenty of fantasy and action, although there is some confusion about the reference of orcs as “ores,” and a plot synopsis of the book’s predecessors as a reminder would have been welcome. Regardless, I definitely enjoyed the trilogy and would gladly read more Forgotten Realms books.

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