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The Ruby Guardian: The Scions of Arrabar, Book II [Mass Market Paperback]

Thomas M. Reid
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Nov. 1 2004 The Scions of Arrabar (Book 2)
The second in a trilogy of Forgotten Realms novels from Thomas M. Reid.
This title continues the trilogy exploring the political intrigue of a mercenary society in the Forgotten Realms world. The entire series is authored by R.A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen author and rising star Thomas M. Reid and features stunning cover art from artist Duane O. Meyers.

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About the Author

Thomas M. Reid held numerous positions with TSR and Wizards of the Coast, Inc., including brand manager for the D&D© brand and creative director for Star Wars© RPGs. His most recent novels were The Sapphire Crescent and R.A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen, Book II: Insurrection.

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Letius Fordallin of the Iron Lion Mercenary Band swatted away the buzzing, biting flies that swarmed around the hunk of sunmelon he held; then he took another bite. Read the first page
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4.0 out of 5 stars An improving series. Jan. 5 2005
By Craig
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is the second title in the "Scions of Arrabar" trilogy, and is an improvement over it's predescessor, "The Sapphire Crescent". The plot revealed in the first book is expanded upon here, and expands onto a larger world stage. As the characters struggle simply to survive, I found my interest growing as their misfortune increased. The rather sad plot device used in the first volume having been done away with, this second book succeeds where the first one failed. A truly solid offering.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An improving series. Jan. 5 2005
By Craig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is the second title in the "Scions of Arrabar" trilogy, and is an improvement over it's predescessor, "The Sapphire Crescent". The plot revealed in the first book is expanded upon here, and expands onto a larger world stage. As the characters struggle simply to survive, I found my interest growing as their misfortune increased. The rather sad plot device used in the first volume having been done away with, this second book succeeds where the first one failed. A truly solid offering.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thomas does it again Jan. 16 2005
By Laethyn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Thomas does it yet again. What started in the first is continued here. A fantastic tale, great intrigue, memorable characters. Thomas' skill in writing improves with each release of a new novel. Looking forward to book 3 with extreme eagerness. Keep em coming Thomas!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read Jan. 31 2006
By Derek J. Jordan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
To start off this is the second book in a triliogy set in the Forgotten Realms by Thomas M. Reid called The Scions of Arrabar. The Scions I am guessing are those that are 'heirs' or something of the sort.. and Arrabar is the city they are in.

To tell the true, I can't really remmeber much of the first one because I read it a while back, but this on picked up alright and got me on track about page 60. Vambran his sister Emriana thier aunt Xaphira and Uncle .. as well as the rest of the Matrell family were thrown into turmoil in the first book and the family now ( in this book ) have threats from inside planning to take over the estates. Every family member is at risk and it does not look like any are to make it through.

Also, we are introduced to the Druids and thier leader. Thier cause is to take out all those that would harm the forest, but Vambran has other plans for himself then them killing him. The final take in the book is against the entire city of Arrabar and may take the entire world if nothing is done about it.. but that must be found out in the next book, The Emerald Scepter.

If you enjoy deception and misdirection with family ties then you will enjoy this series.. I have yet to find what the "whole scope" of these books are, but hopefully that will be answered in the final. A die hard fantasy fan, that has read a few Forgotten Realms books will enjoy this, and its not too hard to pick up if not although it is easier.
3.0 out of 5 stars Parts are Good, Parts are Bad Aug. 17 2014
By Mitch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It'd be disingenuous to say I didn't enjoy this book, because I DID read it cover to cover in rather short order. That said, this book (and the trilogy of books it's part of) has more than a few issues that kept it from being as enjoyable as other entries into the Forgotten Realms novels.

The book keeps a pretty brisk pace, never dwelling any too long on any particular character. This works both for and against the characters, because the Vambran, main character, is very boring, very poorly developed, and seems to fall into bed with female characters shortly after meeting them despite having no discernible personality aside from being very loyal to his family and to his fellow mercenaries. He never says anything particularly charming, witty, intelligent, or even insightful, nor do I remember any description of him that suggested he was particularly handsome. He seems to be somewhat resourceful, as well capable fighter, and it's good that he is, too, because that's pretty much all he's doing from start to finish. He's a very flat character that almost comes off like a Mary Sue/Gary Stu character that the author once played in a D&D session of his own. He is basically this book's Wesley Crusher. The only 'reason' to even feel like Vambran is remotely sympathetic is because the bulk of the people he's fighting are portrayed in a less flattering way than Vambran himself tends to be, and his segments often had me thinking "I don't care if he succeeds/fails, lives/dies." He does things your average good guy is supposed to, but he lacks depth and it isn't difficult to guess what he will do or say from one moment to the next, and his motivations seem practically nonexistent. He wants to survive, which is understandable, but the desire to save his home city and the people he encounters seem more like he's doing it just to push the plot forward than because of anything the reader is given to help understand why he feels the way he feels or does the things he does.

By contrast, the other 'main' character, Vambran's younger sister, Emriana, is largely incompetent in terms of taking care of herself, but makes up for it by having some spark of a personality, being a bit of the stereotypical spirited young noblewoman who wants to be an adventurer like other members of her family. Unfortunately, this zest for adventure seems to manifest itself most often in very stereotypical ways, such as blundering into one trap after another as she tries to help, usually ending up making things worse. She can be a bit of a "self-rescuing princess", thankfully, but even she is written with just barely enough of a compelling personality to make her a character I wanted to see live to the next page, whereas I was actively hoping Vambran wouldn't after a while.

If it weren't for the parts involving Emriana and the political maneuverings of the key players/villains in the home city which shape the overall plot, this book (and the series as a whole) would be borderline intolerable. No character really develops much depth from start to finish, and the rare attempts to actually have Vambran show anything but his stereotypical, largely unexplained, main character blind loyalty to his teammates come off as incredibly hollow because there's never any time taken to build up relationships between Vambran and any of the other mercenaries to show why he'd care about the fate of any of them, or why the reader should either; we're just supposed to assume he does and we should because the author says so. Emriana at least establishes some semblance of relationships with her aunt and her grandmother, both of whom show more personality in their comparatively short times in the limelight than Vambran throughout the entire book, and when events in Emriana's part of the story start to happen you can at least feel for her just a bit because you have reason to understand her attachment to her aunt and grandmother, but even she starts and ends as pretty much the same person.

The broad strokes of the plot, as well as the segments involving the various villains and Emriana were enough to keep me reading. The big, overall plot itself is rather interesting. It has a bit of a Game of Thrones-y, Machiavellian mixture of political maneuvering and intrigue to it. It's just a shame that more than half the book is taken up by a character who could be called "Generic Hero" and it would have almost no noticeable effect on the story. It makes me wonder how many (if any) of the novel's attempts at developing the characters were edited out to keep the book from being too long.
4.0 out of 5 stars I read a lot of books Jan. 5 2014
By zoe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Most of the Forgotten Realms or D&D books I read are the same in that they are fine and good for passing the time. I find it's necessary to know all the background info in order to understand the next book that comes out. It was good, but nothing really exciting.
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