The Steel Throne Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 2002
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About the Author
Edward bolme has been involved in Origins(tm) award-winning game design and fiction for 14 years. This is his first novel for Wizards of the Coast, Inc., but he has contributed short stories to various anthologies, including The Dragons of Magic, A Magic: The Gathering(r) anthology, and Neverwinter Nights, a Forgotten Realms(r) anthology. He lives in Washington.
Top Customer Reviews
While the previous 7 books in the series deal with the doings of one main character within a short timespan (a few months, at most), this one spans the decades long conflict known The War Against Spirits and there is no main character. Instead, each chapter centers on one character, then jumps forward one month, or several years, to the next. This, far from being confusing, makes for an entertaining and dynamic read.
When dealing with game-based fiction, or shared-world fiction in general, one must thread carefully the narrow line between fulfilling reader expectations and crafting a compelling read, with a few surprises to boot. In my opinion, Mr. Bolme has succeded. Most bases are covered, questions long raised are finally answered, and a plot and characters only hinted at in one-liners on a piece of cardboard are made alive in this most satysfing novel.
This is the story of the Spirit Wars, in which the spirits of the dead return to the world of the living in the (more or less mortal) flesh. The people of Rokugan (a fantasy empire based heavily on feudal Japan) revere their ancestors, and so are in turmoil over the return of those ancestors. Among the spirits that returned were Hantei XVI, paranoid megalomaniac Emperor from long ago, and Hida Tsuneo, aka The Stone Crab, his loyal (if not loving) servant and general.
The schism between the mortals of the present age, sworn to the service of Emperor Toturi I, and the returned spirits, whose loyalties still lie with the Hantei dynasty, grows ever greater throughout the book. This one has sword fights, hopeless battles, true love, tests of courage, human weakness, and more Machiavellian plots than you can shake a stick at.
Fans of the Legend of the Five Rings CCG and RPG will be delighted, as will any reader of good fantasy fiction. This sets the groundwork for the Winds saga, in which the heirs of Toturi contend for the Steel Throne of Rokugan. Read on, MacDuff!
On it's own, this book is a fabulous introduction to the world of Rokugan (from the game, "Legend of the Five Rings.") it's a great place for anyone to use as a jumping on point for this richly detailed world. And for those that have been following the Four Winds arc in the game, this story fills in many of the details - giving us a great background for why the characters are the way they are. The observant reader may also discern hints about these characters' destinies...
Overall, I'd have to say this is the best book in the L5R series to date. A great read!
Most recent customer reviews
Great read, but it jumps around a little too much. There was a lot to be said but not enough pages.Published on March 28 2004 by Dennis DeMercer
This is without a doubt one of the best L.O.T.F.R. books written by Edward Blume. A new writer to the series, he does the already fantastic series justice. Read morePublished on Feb. 2 2004
The Steel throne is a very excellent book. Takeing place a little after the lion, Mr. Blume does an excellent job re-creating the mysticical land of Rokugan. Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2004