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Depths of Madess (good forgotten realms book)





basementgamesltd
Hey all,


Depths of Madness, by Erik Scott de Bie, is the first book of the Forgotten Realms' new series called The Dungeons and is a deranged tale of seven strangers awaking to find themselves trapped in an ancient ruin. The strangers do not recall how they arrived in the dungeon, and worse none of them can be trusted. Erik brings back the mysterious thief Twilight, a character introduced in an earlier short story (a story this book is not dependant upon), and throws her in with six other intriguing personalities. Among the group is a power hungry, devil worshipping warlock; an eccentric halfling whose mysteries may even rival Twilight's; a noble elven priestess and her aged human husband, a wizard of no small measure; a quiet, brooding goliath; and an enigmatic swordsman.

The group must band together despite all the personality friction in order to escape a dungeon whose very walls shift, closing and opening passages in chaotic fashion. Dangers lurk in front of and behind the strangers as two competing entities vie for control over the oblivious group. Evil fiends, an unrelenting troll, magical constructs, and even simple hunger remain constant obstacles to the small band, but the deadliest obstacle of all is themselves.

Erik has thrown together a terrific tale that has the reader turning each page in hopes of acquiring small measure of release from the tension. Bits of comedy keep the pace from getting too strained though it provides very little reprieve from the character's engaging situation. Characters reveal themselves little by little, enlightening the reader with tidbits of information to keep them guessing at what's really happening.

Erik's style is not fluffy with involving descriptions, it's fast paced and hard edged with the focus on the interactions of the characters and their environment. His handling of tension and stress do not falter even as the characters walk the fine line between the rational and the irrational.

The story is very engrossing, even when the mundane issues of being lost in a labyrinthine ruin come to play. I would prefer to have seen more of the characters reactions to just being underground along with having little resources than the myriad of encounters they experience. The problems of being underground, in the dark with walls pressing in everywhere, as well as the severe distrust and need for each other is more than most personalities can bare, but throw in the issue of depleted resources and the strength of self-preservation and that is one dangerous story. Aside from the more in depth psychological aspects that aren't well fleshed out, the story is very enjoyable.

The tale is well done and carries the reader through to the surprising end. The reader will, of course, make their own judgments and opinions of the characters but no matter they will still be caught unaware when the story unfolds. I recommend picking this up for good read and interesting conversation afterward.


keep it real........
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