Realms of Valor

“The nice thing about a mixed bag like this is that even when you suffer through a badly-written story, you know it’s going to be short and you’ll probably get to a better one soon. Beats slogging through a bad 300-page novel, that’s for sure.”

The Coral Kingdom

“Does he just not realize that other plots exist? That you can have a story that doesn’t start and end with an evil god doing bad things just for evil’s sake? Maybe even a plot where people are in conflict with other people, possibly for reasons other than ‘Group A is good and Group B is evil’?”

Prophet of Moonshae

“Well, all good things have to come to an end eventually. There was a long stretch of no books written by Douglas Niles for a while, but now he’s back with another trilogy focusing on more shenanigans in the Moonshae Isles.”

Feathered Dragon

“Just once I’d like to see Niles write a book with no divine intervention or mystical prophecies in it, where someone in the plot has some real agency… but I’m not getting my hopes up.”

Viperhand

“So let me get this straight, old man — you did a Ph.D in Astrology just so you could tell us “the moon’s going to keep shining, and things will be different”? Jesus, I could have told you that!”

Ironhelm

“You know the plot already; you learned it in high school. They’re even wearing full conquistador outfits in the cover art, just to ensure you don’t miss the historical parallels and confuse this for a fantasy story.”

Darkwell

“It’s as if Niles needed some sort of generically evil Dark Lord for his plot, so he scanned through the long list of Realms deities, saw a god of murder, and thought “Yeah, that sounds evil. He’ll do!” without actually thinking it through.”

Black Wizards

“The worst fault of this plot, though, is that just about every major problem in the book is resolved by some manner of deus ex machina rather than action on the protagonists’ part. Who knew that divine intervention could become so… boring?”

Darkwalker on Moonshae

“Competent, not terrible, but not doing anything that would distinguish it from any of the other million fantasy novels out there where a whitebread prince gets a girl, finds a magic sword, and defeats a great evil according to a prophecy. In short, it feels like paint-by-numbers fantasy.”