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Monday, June 26, 2023

Completed Series: The Threat From the Sea Trilogy by Mel Odom

The Threat From the Sea Trilogy by Mel Odom is one of those rare fantasy series focused on sea adventure, whether that is at port, on ships, or underwater. I read all three of these novels in December 2022. It is a rather large Realms event taking place from 1369 to 1370 DR, and spanning from off the Sword Coast to the Sea of Fallen Stars. There is an accompanying anthology, Realms from the Deep, which goes along with the events of the novels. I will be reviewing it at a later date.

Rising Tide (1999) - Good

UnderFallen Stars (1999) - Good

The Sea Devil's Eye (2000) - Acceptable

Rising Tide starts in 1354 and introduces Laaqueel. She is really one of the two main characters, though maybe slightly less of one than the other. Laaqueel is a sahuagin but is the malenti version of that race. She has a surface persons skin tone rather than green or blue and otherwise looks like a sea elf with a few very small distinguishing attributes. We will learn later in book three that malenti are only born where sahugain have settled near sea elves; they are often used as spies among them. Laaqueel  is a priestess of Sekolah, the shark god and chief deity of the sahugain. Even though she looks more relatable we are quickly reminded of her somewhat monstrous nature.

A heretical tale took Laaqueel from Baldur’s Gate and apparently leads in the end to this sea bordering Chult. This heresy is about one called “one who swims with Sekolah” and kicks off the events that will come to fruition with the trilogy.

The rest of the story takes place in 1369, starting on 9 Mirtul. It involves in ancient power known as Iakhovas. We know he is not a god, but we’re not really privy to what he is exactly, until much later in the series.

Beyond Laaqueel, Jherek is our main character. He is nineteen year old sailor, a deckhand, I believe in Amn at the start. He is from Vellen in Tethyr and has some secret the goody, worshipper of Ilmater, thinks is terrible. Jherek is rather silly, as his secret is not bad at all, but it holds this otherwise mary sue character back.Jherek has almost Christian morals, just so you can get an understanding. Plus he doesn’t drink. He is pretty good at controlling himself, though temptations on this line are a big plot point. 

Another character is Pacys, a bard of Oghma. He is aged and had his share of adventures. Another character is Sabyna, she is mage on a ship similar to Robillard's position on the Sea Sprite.

This novel is very much a prologue, and ends with a good conclusion. You really need to continue to get to a satisfying place. I think having someone that could be a mary sue as the good guy, with Pacys in the middle to experience and sing about things, and Laaqueel who is the bad guy but never comes off as truly evil (though she is partner to plenty of death dealing, it’s simply what I expect from a sahuagin. It’s not like she’s an evil sorceress) saves the book from being bland.

Sahuagin culture is interesting, the fear of fireand magic is dominant. We also get to see places like Velen and Athkatla, and the more common Waterdeep. Plus there is much sea action, so those who want a good sea adventure, regardless if you’ve read Forgotten Realms before, maybe try this shorter novel. Something like the god Sekolah was new even to me. 

Watch/listen to my review of Rising Tide on YouTube here.

the omnibus has this

Raymond Swanland cover

Under Fallen Stars takes place largely in Seros another name for the Sea of Fallen Stars. The name of the book gives that one away, its my favorite title of the series. The story starts with a triton facing a morkoth that has killed his companions in the name of the Taker, Iakhovas. The tritons had been sent to spy and were discovered. The Tritons guard against an evil in the Inner Sea, and know that Iakhovas‘s lost and magical eye is in lost Myth Nantor.

This is a section of hot progression. Famous cities are burned and we know the war is about to get even more heated.

We do get sea elves in this book, which is a nice addition. Their king in the Sea of Fallen Stars wants to look for the Taleweaver, a bard who is prophesied to sing of the conflict with Iakhovas and the seeming champion of Jherek.

We also have a dwarf character, Khlinat, in this book as well as a paladin, Glawinn, from Corymr, and the famous Elfsong Tavern makes an appearance. 

Watch/listen to my review here.

The Sea Devil's Eye starts right where book two ends, and there is little I can say without spoiling the previous books. I was a little disappointed with Sabyna's arc, and most definitely with Laaqueel's, who is my favorite character. Her nature is odd, and it makes sense, but was not super satisfying. Most of the series the good and bad guys do not actually come into contact and that changes here. The concept of fate is explored and even relations between merfolk with sea elves gets explored. Fans of Lathander and Eldath may take note though, their faiths are present.

Watch/listen to my review here.

Issue 255 of Dragon has images of the characters in the Rogues Gallery.

The greatest benefit of these novels are their change of pace from other novels. Sea fantasy is oddly rare enough, and getting a plethora of species at war dominantly underwater is very fun. Sadly it the main character is a bit of a mary sue, though Odom's talent makes up for that some. Overall, it is a Good series potentially worth your time. Hopefully I have helped you decide on whether it is for
you or not.

The cover art for the trilogy and accompanying anthology is one piece done by Don Maitz.


You can track my current progress here.

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