||The Cerulean Storm
Other Books Read By This Author (4)
- The Amber Enchantress
- The Crimson Legion
- The Obsidian Oracle
- The Verdant Passage
|01.20.20|| Does this site still work? I've been so long gone in the world of reading RPG books (mostly Call of Cthulhu) that I feel like it's been almost a year since I finished a novel, albeit a D&D novel but a novel nonetheless!
This is the fifth and final book in Denning's "Prism Pentad" series that basically defined the Dark Sun setting of Dungeons & Dragons. When I was in high school and playing D&D almost every week, our main game was a vageuly Forgotten Realms-ish more or less "vanilla" medieval fantasy setting that our friend Ron ran. Ron was in college and something like an engineering major which meant we all thought he was super smart and the logical choice to DM because he was so smart he knew all the rules and could make stuff up every week. Looking back, it feels like he winged it most weeks and relied on us to derail and spend the entire day fucking with each other in town or arguing with one another. In addition though, some of us had individual campaign settings which we more or less took ownership of and infrequently ran games to give Ron a break. My buddy Bill loved Ravenloft and once or twice tried to run pre-written modules in that setting (the one I remember most is Castle Forlorn, which he had trouble with because I guess the castle would take us to different time periods or something?) and I had Dark Sun. Something about the post-apocalyptic vibe where they turned all the races on their heads and presented such a vastly different view of what D&D could be really spoke to me. It was tough and gnarly and foreign and really felt like a different world instead of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Of course, I never read these novels back then and barely read all the source books I collected (I did love that artwork though) but I picked up enough to get the gist and ran one, maybe two adventures for my friends.
Fast forward to now and I have finally gone back and completed all five. Mostly I did this because I'm interested in writing a thing in this setting and wanted to re-familiarize myself with it, but also because I saw that the events in this book changed the setting to the point where they had to release rules supplements to address it and most people online talk about running games pre- or post-prism pentad. With this in mind I had expected pretty massive changes at the end, so much so that I was a little let down by the scope of it. I mean, yes, the heroes save the world and all, but the desert is still mostly the desert and the world remains the same. It's just that some key figures are taken off the board. Still, it's cool that Denning had a mind to alter things even this much considering box sets were written to flesh out characters he kills off. I guess for some it splits the setting and weakens the strengths of it but that doesn't bother me. The cool thing about D&D is you get to pick and choose what aspects you want to keep for your version of the world that you run. It's all just more ideas to choose from.
Anyway, as a book I think I wound up liking this one maybe at the top? Either this or the Crimson Enchantress which focuses on Sadira. Much more of this is taken up with final battle type stuff and not really any character development, but after four books it's pretty fun to have everybody finally come together and things resolve in a pretty satisfying way. The completionist in me wants to keep going and read the other half dozen books written by other authors in this setting but it's taken me years just to get through these five so I think I'll catch up on some "mainstream" authors first. This was fun though... and I still love the setting.|