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Monday, February 12, 2024

Review: King Pinch by David "Zeb" Cook

 No one is beyond gold’s reach.

King Pinch a 1995 novel and is the first book in The Nobles, a series of books focusing on a noble from various locations around the Realms. It's not a true series, just like Lost Empires, and I read the fifth book first, The Simbul's Gift. This one is by David Cook, known more for his game material rather than fiction. 

Ankhapur is on the Lake of Steam and at the mouth of the Thornwash River. This is the home of Pinch, whose guardian is the late Manferic III who once ruled the city. The year is 1366 DR. 

The prologue introduces a funeral precession for a person of great import, the king has died. Pinch, whose true name is Janol Famisso is a potential heir. At the start of the story though he is a thief and crime lord working in Elturel. His partner is the halfling Sprite Heels. 

I really dig the Gord the Rogue and Lankhmar vibes. It’s also a sort of rags to riches but really dishonest to honest, or maybe not, depending on how you view kingship it could be the opposite. 

We get to see Hellriders; a temple of Lathander; military excursions, a good amount of deities mentioned like Cyric, Mask, Kelemvor, Loviator; halflings have furred feet; there is much politicking; scary dwarves; a lich, and more. 

A little darker than many of the FR novels I’ve read, not in much in tone as Erevis Cale, but the battles and aftermath are sometimes rather grim and the thief being the main character has its perks. 

The basic plot is interesting enough but some interesting fantastic (as in fantasy) twists make it more exciting. Much is not as it seems.

Cleedis and Lissa are some side characters of import. The first is an old soldier loyal to the old king. The latter is a priestess of Lathander sent from Elturel to recover the stolen items from the temple there. Of course, the most fleshed-out character is Pinch. 

Overall it is a Good read for Realms' fans. Pinch only appeared in one other fiction piece, the short story “Gallow’s Day” in the Realms of Infamy anthology. 


You can track my current progress here.

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