logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Tim-Waggoner
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-09-04 20:36
Sea of Death, Blade of the Flame #3 by Tim Waggoner
Sea of Death: Blade of the Flame, Book 3 (The Blade of the Flame) - Tim Waggoner

 

Fear the Drowning Deep Square: A lich summons a plague of were-sharks to bring down civilization.

 

At the end of 'Forge' the party has befriended a war-forged with psionic powers, so you think that their missions would be getting easier. However, the dragon wand that was snatched from them and the loss of Makala to darkness means the party has a lot of work to do.

 

An ancient demonic curse, an island plagued with undead, unholy pacts, and just the existence of were-sharks makes for a compelling adventure on the sea. Waggoner fit a lot into these stories and provided satisfying conclusions to character's individual story-arcs, two romantic plots (and a bromance), and makes a case for returning to these characters.

 

I'm not sure they did. Waggoner wrote one more novel for Eberron, 'Lady Ruin', which doesn't name-check any of the characters from the 'Blade' trilogy. With these tie-in novels to D&D, Wizards of the Coast tries to be crafty and instead catches itself in a trap. 'Dragonlance' and 'Forgotten Realms' were dominated by characters created by one or two authors - this created internal consistency and reader loyalty, but also meant that the campaign setting was beholden to creative that may not want to write the stories they're told to write. To avoid this Wizards pushed out a LOT of novels in a short period by many different authors. This mixed bag probably created some short-term cash-flow, but the market was saturated and the books quickly went out of print.

 

I for one would have been happy to see a core story-line produced. It would only increase sales of the core product (the pricey D&D manuals) and keep the brand alive. There is a new Eberron Adventure coming out for 5th edition this fall, we'll see if there's any novel tie-ins.

 

Anyway, this is the strongest group of Eberron novels so far. Obviously recommended to D&D and Eberron fans, but also fans of fantasy-horror.

 

The Blade of the Flame

 

Previous: 'Forge of the Mindslayers'

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-09-03 18:33
Forge of the Mindslayers, Blade of the Flame #2 by Tim Waggoner
Forge of the Mind Slayers - Tim Waggoner

Some months after the events of 'Thieves of Blood' the remaining party members led by Diran take are on an aggressive campaign against evil. Their travels have led them across the Principalities into an obscure corner where two small baronies locked in a trade stalemate, an old curse prevents cooperation.

 

In the mountains they cross paths with the lich Lathifa in her lair, and she is fascinated by the dragonwand the artificer Tressler carries. It was apparently fashioned from a powerful and lost magical artifact. The lich sends her barghest servant after the party to get the wand at any cost. In those same mountains an orc rival of Ghaji is working for a mad assassin from Diran's past and a Kalashtar. The terrible trio are working to rebuild an abandoned experimental Cannith forge.

 

There are a lot of coincidences going on, but a lot of it can be explained as the manipulations of Vol, who, admittedly, has had 3,000 years or so to line things up. In the shadow of her plans the struggle for the psi-forged facility pales. Waggoner continues to dig deep into the character's pasts with well-timed flashbacks and broadens the character's relationships with each other. The villains are hardly bungling, but there was something funny about how these five scheming villains could hardly stop plotting and backstabbing and rubbing their hands together to get REVENGE and be the BEST at being EVIL!

 

This was really enjoyable - I had to dive right in to the next one. 

 

The Blade of the Flame

 

Next: 'Sea of Death'

 

Previous: 'Thieves of Blood'

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-08-31 20:47
Thieves of Blood, Blade of the Flame #1 by Tim Waggoner
Thieves of Blood - Tim Waggoner

Diran Bastiaan is a priest of the Silver Flame with a dark past and is travelling in the Lhazaar Principalities with his friend the half-orc Ghaji on a general quest to root out evil wherever they find it. In the city of Port Verge Diran runs into an old colleague and former lover, Makala.

 

Shortly therafter the city is raided by the Black Fleet - black ships that come in the night and take nothing but people - and after a fight with a vampire Makala is taken.

 

Teaming up with an elf woman, Yvka, with an agenda of her own (and a fast ship) Diran and Ghaji set out across the cold Lhazaar sea to find out the truth of the Black Fleet and to rescue Makala.

 

Despite the never-ending quest to save my girlfriend plot, 'Thieves of Blood' is an excellent adventure with elements of real horror. Eberron often touches on elements of the genre - but when you have rabid ghouls tearing people apart and vast quantities of blood magic, I'm going to look at the book differently. The Blood of Vol always have potential, but Waggoner nails it.

 

Diran and Makala's complicated back history as former assassins, Ghaji's reflections on prejudice, and great use of the settings own character without suborning the plot makes this a winner. Along with Yvka the addition of an elderly artificier and a Ravenloft-level traumatized halfing to the party make things more interesting. Makala, even as a captive, is allowed heroism, but I could have used more time with her and some more thought-out motivation for the female antagonist. This stands on its own well, but there's real potential for development as the trilogy moves forward.

 

The Blade of the Flame

 

Next: 'Forge of the Mind Slayers'

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-03-17 23:51
E.J. Waggoner: From the Physician of Good News to Agent of Division
E.J. Waggoner: From The Physician Of Good News To The Agent Of Division - Woodrow W. Whidden

One of the pivotal figures at the 1888 Minneapolis General Conference sessions, he did not plan to follow his father into ministry but when he did he tragically followed his example.  Woodrow W. Whidden’s E.J. Waggoner: From the Physician of Good News to Agent of Division follows not only the life of the Adventism’s most controversial figures, but also the developments of his theological thinking which both contributed to Seventh-day Adventist thinking and to his separation from Adventist doctrines.

 

Whidden brought the most out of limited sources available to detail Waggoner’s life beginning with the troubled family life of his troubled Adventist minister father and egotistical, uncaring mother.  Waggoner’s family were encouraged and rebuked by Ellen White throughout the young E.J.’s childhood and his home life might have led to heartbreak later in his life.  Not wanting to follow his father into the ministry, Waggoner studied medicine and became friends with John Harvey Kellogg as he began his career in medicine which came to an end after a “vision” at a campmeeting in which Waggoner was impressed by Christ on the cross and began his lifelong theological study of justification and sanctification.  Upon entering the ministry, Waggoner became was prolific in preaching, lecturing, writing, and in editorial work for the next two decades in both the United States and Great Britain but that would later result in have no time to nurture his marriage resulting in a scandalous divorce after his family’s return to the United States.  The lead up and aftermath of the 1888 Minneapolis is hinge of the biography and Whidden analyzes Waggoner’s role thoroughly.  Yet the most interesting aspect of the biography was Whidden’s analysis of Waggoner’s theology on justification and sanctification throughout his life divided into four time frames by Whidden.

 

The difficulty of finding sources to chronicle Waggoner’s life did not deflect from Whidden’s achievement in revealing the numerous facets of his subject’s life especially in the lead up to the “biggest” scandal in Adventism at the time with Waggoner’s divorce.  The most important aspect of the book was Whidden’s in-depth discussing of Waggoner’s evolving theological beliefs, especially justification and sanctification, and how his bent towards mysticism as well as his slow moving away from distinct Adventist doctrines.  Another important aspect is Whidden’s analysis of Ellen White’s interactions with Waggoner both in encouragement and concerned rebuke as well as if Waggoner’s later theological beliefs takeaway his emphasis on his Christ-centered message before, during, and after 1888.  If there is on serious drawback is that Whidden’s study of Waggoner’s theology is very deep and can be a tad mindboggling.

 

E.J. Waggoner is an insightful look into the life of one of the most important second generation figures in Adventism.  Woodrow Whidden’s expert work on getting out the most from the few primary sources available as well as his theological analysis is a great asset for any reader in Seventh-day Adventist biography and history.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-02-18 18:54
The Mouth of the Dark
The Mouth of the Dark - Tim Waggoner

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

I enjoyed the story of this father in search of his missing daughter, when everyone else is brushing this off as ‘she’s an adult, she must’ve gone with a boyfriend, she’ll surface again later’. In itself, it’s a sad illustration of how people can sometimes be very callous and not pay attention to others, including Jayce himself, who acknowledged that he hadn’t been very close to Emory and wants to find her in part because he’s feeling guilty about neglecting her.

The world of Shadow was also fascinating, in a (gruesome) way: a catalogue of all that can go twisted in people, but given a sort of physical shape. This made for a weird read, with gory and sexual depictions at times, the latter diving at times into the very disturbing—for instance, when Jayce finds a sex toy in Emory’s bedroom, or that specific flashback when he goes home and finds her in the basement: the whole sexual angle intruding in a father/child relationship cranked up the creepy factor fairly high here, and I can’t say I’m comfortable with that. This ties well into the horror part, though, but let’s just say one has better steel themselves against it. For me, it was disturbing (= sex conflated with parent/child) rather than horrific (= it didn’t scare me).

From a storytelling point of view, I had trouble with the timeline: the whole plot unfolds over less than two days (if you except the flashbacks), and I felt that this was too short for Jayce to go from ‘don’t know jack to Shadow’ to ‘oh one more disturbing thing… m’kay, let’s go on’. I also guessed pretty early what the big twist would be, so I wasn’t surprised at all when that was confirmed.

All in all, what I enjoyed most here was the world of Shadow itself, in all its bizarre glory.

Conclusion: 3 stars

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?