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Monday, January 22, 2024

Review: The Veiled Dragon by Troy Denning

 Hello, friends! Today I wanted to look at The Veiled Dragon by Troy Denning. This is a 1996 novel that is technically book twelve in The Harpers series but is really only a sequel to Denning's earlier Harper novel, The Parched Sea.

The story starts with our heroine, Ruha. She has left Anauroch and is now in the Dragonmere aboard a caravel piloted by Captain Fowler, a half-orc with the classic piggish snout. After her adventures in the first book in her homeland she is now in the employ of the Harpers herself. She is assigned by Storm Silverhand to get to Pros. She has had one previous assignment in Voonlar. We learn she botched that job and a hundred people ended up in slavery as a result.

The sea trip quickly turns deadly as a dragon is spotted. The cover will give some of this away, but it is honestly a very cool introduction. I even did my own take on it in a short story of my own.

The rest of the story involves the Shou. Like the Bedine, these are analogous to a real-world group. I don't think these would be written today but likely were written to sell Oriental Adventures but are obviously orientalist in nature. While I do not care for such an obvious real-world analog in Faerun, the Shou themselves are not deemed lesser but different. There is an odd dialect that the Shou speak that has aged poorly.

Essentially the novel starts great but quickly descends just by the nature of what is being explored. It has some exciting moments and good action, and the descriptions that Denning conjures for a desert-dweller experiencing the sea are executed well. For example, the waves are described as dunes. But after reading this Mediocre book I was looking for better Realms novels.


You can track my current progress here.

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