Thursday, October 29, 2020

Review: Ice Out by Greg Tito

 For those of you who are unaware, Dragon+ is a bimonthly e-magazine started in 2015 that replaced Dragon and Dungeon magazines after they went out of print in 2013. In the recently released issue 34 there are a host of Icewind Dale related goodies --even a solo adventure-- but of course my favorite is the Forgotten Realms fiction morsel of Ice Out by Greg Tito. Remember that Dragon+ is free, so go ahead and give this a read if you wish. 

The "cover" art for Ice Out

The story follows gnome Darma Fizzlebottom. The first thing I noted is that the story is written in first person. A couple sentences near the start are in third person, which was a tad confusing, but since most tales in the Realms are told in third person, first felt a little odd but after a couple paragraphs it was fine. It could easily work as a journal entry, memoir, or report.

Our adventurous, waterdhavian gnome naively braves the tundra from Bryn Shander. On here escapade we are introduced to nine cast members to set up a classic whodunit mystery (the worthy priest of Lady Luck was my favorite). Darma is an investigator by trade and seems to have an uncanny knack for reading people.

The story relies on the swift thinking Darma and is peppered with gnomish humor. multiple "swear[s] to Garl” are mentioned. This works as a euphemism but fits the lore of the Realms; Garl Glittergold is a gnome deity with the domains of luck, trickery, and protection. Also Elminster's Razor was an ingenious homage to Occam's Razor.

Overall it is a short read, and I rate it as Good. It ends well and I think we could get another tale about Darma. I loved the surprise of Fluffy and Orilothal at the end, as well.I believe fans mysteries in the Realms would enjoy this little hearthfire tale; check out my review of Spellstorm for another mystery. I also think this shows a good median for given fans fiction, since it has been rather short for years. Maybe with more stories like this, we can slowly expand the library of Realm's works, and mayhap get some more novels beyond Drizzt sooner rather than later.

You can track my current progress here.

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