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Knight of the Black Rose

de James Lowder

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480841,592 (3.29)2
James Lowder brings forth a tale of horror & adventure in this, the second novel in the RAVENLOFT fantasy horror setting. By pitting Lord Soth, a strong evil character from the DRAGONLANCE saga, against the vampire lord of a dark domain, Lowder creates a strong tension that receives a resolution befitting the characters' nature. The death knight, Lord Soth is trapped in a netherworld with which he must come to terms. But as he searches for a way out, his obsessions become his doom. Each story in the RAVENLOFT series is complete in itself. KNIGHT OF THE BLACK ROSE is sure to appeal to the Gothic horror aficionado. Lowder also wrote CRUSADE, book three of the Empires Trilogy, set in the FORGOTTEN REALMS world.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 8 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I've probably had this book sitting around for 20 years and finally decided to read it because I'm running the Curse of Strahd campaign. I didn't expect it to be amazing and it wasn't. It's a strange setup, the main character is an evil bastard, so you don't want him to succeed at anything. The powers he's fighting against are not well defined so you don't have a "bad guy" to hate (unless it's the "hero"). So it's original, but confusing and not very satisfying. ( )
  ragwaine | Nov 18, 2021 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Knight of the Black Rose
Series: Ravenloft #2
Author: James Lowder
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 324
Format: Digital Edition

Synopsis:


Lord Soth was the highest in the Order of the White Rose. He was brave, virtuous, courageous and was a paragon. Until he committed adultery with an elf maid, had his first wife killed and then in a paroxysm of jealous rage burned his castle down killing his elven wife and new born son. For hundreds of years Soth wandered the land of Krynn as the Black Knight, a cursed, powerful, undead being in the service of the dark goddess. Soth met a beautiful general and even though she died, Soth plotted to bring her back. His plans went awry when he and his seneschal were sucked into the alternate realm of Ravenloft.

Told of a portal that will let him escape, Soth attacks Count Strahd's enemy, a vampire duke of another portion of Ravenloft. Surviving all attacks, Soth survives only to find the portal is a fake. It leads nowhere. He heads off into the mists to force his way out. The dark gods of Ravenloft present him with a choice, renounce his pride and return to Krynn once again as a warrior of Light, or hold on to his damnable pride and be the owner of the Red Rose, a new portion of Ravenloft. Soth damns himself and vows vengeance against one and all.

My Thoughts:

I had read a Forgotten Realms book by Lowder a while ago, the Ring of Winter and it did not impress me. Therefore I lowered my expectations, already pretty low from the first book, and I made the right choice.

The first book was about a noble sun-elf turned vampire but he was still a good guy fighting against Strahd's machinations. In this book we have someone even worse than Strahd and I was hoping to see some anti-hero action from Strahd. Vampire versus Undead Power Knight. A clash of Dark Titans, powerful destructive magic unleashed across the land. Nope. Strahd is a manipulator and he doesn't change. He gets Soth to do some dirty work for him instead of clashing with him.

Soth wasn't bad for a villain. He's powerful, motivated by pride, hate and lust and yet has never forgotten his origins as a Knight of the White Rose. Unfortunately, he's also as flat as a pancake. He had a few instances to shine darkly but his power was wasted. I don't know if I hope he returns as a nemesis to Strahd or not.

Considering that Ravenloft seems to grow at the whim of the unnamed dark gods' whims, I have this feeling Ravenloft will soon be full up of ultra-powerful badguys, who do nothing. Somebody powerful needs to die and they need to die spectacularly. Killing off gypsies just doesn't cut it.

★★★☆☆ ( )
1 vota BookstoogeLT | Jun 6, 2019 |
An enjoyable enough tale if you like a tragedy or specifically the antihero Lord Soth. I only entertained this book for that reason. I'm not too fond of the Ravenloft setting so I'm not rating this higher. ( )
  tillywern | Sep 19, 2014 |
I liked this dark fantasy in which even the evil Lord Soth can, at times, have some redeeming qualities. I look forward to reading the next book, The Spectre of the Dark Rose. ( )
1 vota krin5292 | May 3, 2012 |
A good read for those interested in the Ravenloft campaign setting and the Dragonlance series by Weis and Hickman. Although Lowder's sustained study of the character of Lord Soth is interesting for its breadth, it falls somewhat short in terms of depth. Soth appears as a somewhat flat, stock arch-villain. His good qualities are extremely covered up by his overtly evil behavior. Although the narrative suggests that Soth was good at one point, it never truly convinces the reader that there was ever anything redeeming about the fallen knight. If there were only a few brief episodes in the narrative where Soth would truly do something good, i.e. out of character, he would have emerged as a much more dynamic and interesting character.

But Lowder's task appears to have been difficult. It seems Lowder's goal was to pay homage to Soth as the grand villain from Krynn, and in order to do justice to the quantity of his villainy--as he appears in Weis and Hickman--Lowder obviously stopped himself from presenting Soth as possessing any genuine redemptive qualities. But only one moment of genuine kindness would have sufficed, I think. All the same, it was an entertaining read. ( )
2 vota jsnrcrny | May 12, 2008 |
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To Debbie, for her patience and support, even when the death knight too over the apartment.
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One name recorded here, in these scrolls that make up my history of Krynn, has become a byword for corruption and monumental evil throughout the continent of Ansalon: Lord Soth of Dargaard Keep.
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James Lowder brings forth a tale of horror & adventure in this, the second novel in the RAVENLOFT fantasy horror setting. By pitting Lord Soth, a strong evil character from the DRAGONLANCE saga, against the vampire lord of a dark domain, Lowder creates a strong tension that receives a resolution befitting the characters' nature. The death knight, Lord Soth is trapped in a netherworld with which he must come to terms. But as he searches for a way out, his obsessions become his doom. Each story in the RAVENLOFT series is complete in itself. KNIGHT OF THE BLACK ROSE is sure to appeal to the Gothic horror aficionado. Lowder also wrote CRUSADE, book three of the Empires Trilogy, set in the FORGOTTEN REALMS world.

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