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Monday, March 9, 2020

Completed Series: Brimstone Angels

This is the first in a series of post that cover the Forgotten Realms series that I have read all of the novels in.
I will give the books and whole series a grade but it is not empirical, but is based off feelings at the time I read the books and how I feel now. The ratings do not have specific qualities that mark them, they are just descriptive words. Here they are for your reference from worse to best.

Ugly
Bad
Poor
Mediocre 
Acceptable
Good
Exceptional
Amazing



Brimstone Angels by Erin M. Evans is the first series of Dungeons & Dragons novels I ever read. This was from the end of August to the middle of September 2017 when I read all six in that two week period. At the time I had never played D&D, though I had played other TTRPG's, Brimstone Angels was a strong factor for my later start of playing of the game.

The books are such:
Brimstone Angels (2011) - Acceptable
Brimstone Angels: Lesser Evils (2012) - Good
The Adversary (2013) - Good
Fire In the Blood (2014) - Good
Ashes of the Tyrant (2015) - Good
The Devil You Know (2016) - Good

My first impression was that it was fun but a little slow. It slogged a bit because of strong usage of lore.  This changed drastically during Lesser Evils as the story got more exciting when the Harpers went to search for the library of the netherese Tarchamus the Untielding. From there  I flew through most of the books. There is a decent focus on relationships, which range from okay to a little annoying, but that takes a backseat from the great action and the unfolding storyline involving devils, gods, warlocks, and politics.

Farideh and Havilar are easy to relate too, and a fun set of twins. This is probably is heightened because I myself am a twin and am relatively their age. There story takes them from Neverwinter to Waterdeep, to Suzail, to Djerad Thymer and to lost libraries and secreted Netherese fortresses. The cast of characters, from the Zhentarim, Harpers, nobility of Cormyr, devils of Malbolge to the devoted of deities is very rounded and likable, even when they aren’t necessarily of good alignment.

Farideh is the main character and at the start of the story she makes a pact with a cambion which results in exile for her glaive wielding twin sister, Havilar, and her adoptive dragonborn father, Mehen. Ilstan, Dahl, Tam, and Lorcan are among the most memorable support characters.

Book 3 is also book 3 for The Sundering, and I feel it fits in pretty well. It did not seem forced to me, while some things in books five and six maybe could have been condensed.

Lore wise, I gained quite a bit of knowledge about Cormyrean politics, the denizens and hierarchy of the Nine Hells, a plethora of draconic curses, tiefling types, and a nice guide to deities statuses during the Second Sundering.

A note for those who wish to own books physically (like myself), the first and second books are generally quite expensive though 3-6 can be found easily at reasonable prices.

Overall the consistent quality of the books makes me say that Brimstone Angels is: Exceptional.
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You can track my current progress here.

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