A new novel from the world of fantasy.
A reluctant trio must investigate a mysterious city while battling a demonic evil in a breathtaking novel set in the world of the lineage. When three different adventurers are hired to investigate the seal of Thelegrim, the great dwarf city, all three have misgivings. One is a wanted criminal and the other two don’t want to work together – but with that kind of pay, it’s hard to say no. When the three set out on a secret path to Telegrim, they had no idea what awaited them there. Terrinoth is in turmoil, and new threats lurk in the dark.
Robbie McNiven had already written the first lineage book (The Conviction of Walbehain), and so the series got off to a pretty strong start. Even if the books had nothing to do with each other, one might actually be very excited. Unfortunately, in the current case, this turned out to be a dramatic reversal.
In the next review, unlike my other reviews, there will be more spoilers. These are necessary at this point to explain why the novel is nothing special. So if you plan to read the book, you should consider stopping at this point.
I’m still here? OK, so I’d like to refer to a string at this point. This has nothing to do with the book itself, but anyone who has watched “The Walking Dead – World Beyond” knows that the plot of the series can be summed up in one sentence: young people walking across the landscape and talking. This is how you can sum up the story of the novel: the heroes walk through tunnels and talk.
In order to unravel the whole thing a bit, I’ll try to retell the plot at this point. The heroes meet in a tavern, then go to the dwarf city, pass through the tunnel, talk to the dwarves, escape through the tunnel, fight something, then pass through the tunnel, and then the final battle. It might not be so bad if the conversations you’re going to have have at least some depth. You learn something about one character’s past or the other, but even shortly before the end, you still really don’t trust each other, so that conversations hardly bring anything, while in the end you’re basically peace, joy, and pancakes. As you can see, the story is babble for the most part. The same goes for the characters, who have nice backgrounds, but there aren’t enough of them. For example, Shiver and Astarra had a difficult past, but that doesn’t really matter in the end because it doesn’t help the characters or the plot – and it doesn’t make them any closer to us as a reader, either.
Well, admittedly, one or the other happens between the individual “tunnel lanes”. Only fights. or a court hearing. But, unfortunately, this is kind of absurd. But we’ll get to that in a moment. So our heroes are sent to the eponymous city of Telegrim to retrieve an artifact. But the city was locked down because that artifact was stolen. And our three heroes are immediately to blame. And this is more than just stupid, because our heroes have been out of town for a month when they come to town. Why would they come back after so long if they really were the culprits? Even considering that one could tell they just got lost in the maze of tunnels or it’s just a distraction caused by the bad guys, it’s still a bit hard to swallow.
Speaking of scoundrels. The heroes are innocent, as the reader knows. So it must be one of the others. And there are three dwarves prominent: the king, the city keeper Pradha, and the twins (therefore there are four dwarves). Since he would hardly be the king, there weren’t many supporters left. Since said characters only have brief appearances, you can’t really “guess” and you’ll already know after a short time that the villain will be “pulled out of the hat” here. And who is the villain in the end? He said two twins who have been antagonizing our heroes since the beginning and attacking them at every opportunity. More cliches are not possible at this point.
But first, there’s the artifact theft. The heroes are separated about halfway and Dwarf Son Raythen is put on trial. At the time, he was in custody with an inventor who had already commissioned the heroes. Rethin refers to an ancient ritual in which stones are placed on one’s stomach until one dies or confesses. Then the opponent is innocent. At this point, the question should also be allowed, what is Raythen’s plan? Kill the inventor to escape? At that point, Raythen didn’t even know he was an accomplice. So yeah, big surprise — the inventor is actually an accomplice to the robbery (along with the twins). Their only plan is to spread chaos, kill many people, and destroy Telegrim. To do this, they want to dig into the aquifer and flood the city…. Are you still passing?
But they didn’t really need the artefacts so the new exercise was enough. So her plan to lure heroes to use as a distraction was just as stupid. The Profound Elves sneaking in there would have been disturbed as well. But you had to push the dwarfs with your nose. Either way, they actually didn’t need the artifact, because without the heroes they could easily carry out their plan. But never mind, Raythen escapes with the artifact in the end and all is well. or not? Well, he clearly had a plan after all and was kind of a thief (although he wasn’t to begin with). Secret plan or rip off? In the end, the heroes also ask themselves this question … and flee to a possible sequel.
And I won’t even mention the (brief) unspectacular final fight at this point. As you can see, the story has so many holes that it is not fun to struggle through this novel.
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