Customer Reviews for

Eberron: The City of Towers (Dreaming Dark Series #1)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2006

    Interesting Mystery

    Let me start by saying that while I did not think this novel was anything special, I did enjoy the book. 'The City of Towers' was the first book in the Eberron novel line and served as an introduction to the setting for many readers. As such the author provides the reader with a great deal of information on the world of Eberron, it's inhabitants, and it's history. While this information was interesting and highlights the difference between Eberron and other fantasy settings, at times the shear volume of it took away from story and left me feeling like I was reading a guide book for the world or a campaign supplement rather than a novel. I think this is the source of many of the negative reviews. However, there were a number of things I liked about the book. First, while the book is an action, adventure book, it is also a mystery. The characters in the novel are hired to track down a missing person and recover some rare Kyber Dragonshards (magical crystals with the power to bind other creatures and magic) that this person was carrying. Over the course of the novel, the reader learns that the mystery goes much deeper and that the main characters are caught up in some larger plot that is tied to their pasts. The author does a good job of dropping clues and revealing things with out giving the entire plot away (although I was able to guess some things ahead of time). While most of the story is revealed in this book, the novel leaves much of the deeper story for the future books in the series. I also liked the characters in the book. While fairly typical fantasy characters, they did seem to have interesting back-stories that the author revealed slowly as the book progressed. Mr. Baker also did a good job of tying these stories into the main plot of the book. My favourite character was that of the Warforged Pierce, who struggles with his role in the world and purpose now that the Last War is over (The Warforged are magical sentient constructs that were created to fight in the war and have only ever known war). Finally, the book had plenty of action and adventure. While I did find the first half of the book a bit slow (primarily because of the amount of information about the world incorporated into the story), the second half really picked up. The final 75 or so pages really pulled the story together and finished with a bang. The ending left me looking forward to the second book in the series ('The Shattered Land'). As I have said, overall I liked the book. However, as mentioned, I did find all the 'introduction to Eberron' stuff a bit tedious and it did detract some from the story overall. Much of this stuff seemed unnecessary to me and would have been better left to the appendix at the end of the book. Furthermore, some of the creatures and situations introduced in the book seemed a bit silly to me. Perhaps silly is not the right word, but they just did not fit. However, I believe that the good in the book outweighed the bad and in the end I think 'The City of Towers' was a good introduction to the setting and the Dreaming Dark trilogy. While not the best Eberron novel out there it was good enough for me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2011

    Where is the ending?

    While it is a good book, it does not resolve a lot of plot points at the end. It feels like he just got tired of writing and quit. I read that some of it is resolved in the other trillogy but not all.

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  • Posted March 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Castles in the Sky, Dungeons in the Dark

    For as long as we can imagine, human beings have been looking to the skies and wondering what lies out there. In attempts to get closer to the stars, civilizations have been buidling monuments and buildings to take them higher. Only recently within the last century have we been able to create skyscapers able to go above the clouds. In the world of Eberron created by Keith Baker, anything is possible. The towers there start on the ground like the buildings we have now, but they read way beyond the physical limits of their structure. Magic flows throughout every inch of Sharn, the City of Towers, keeping everything in a perfect balance. But for balance there must be equal parts; for the majestic glory of the towers far above, an equal yet opposite devasting force lies below the city. Forces work in the dark and out in the open, all with intentions of ruining that balance once and for all.
    The Last War is over after ravashing most of the land of Eberron, and four adventurers are weary from their recent roles in the battles. They have come to Sharn, the biggest city in the world, looking for a new life or a mission that they can busy themselves with. Little do they know that they have been watched for sometime now; beady little eyes looking at them from the shadows just waiting for the time to strike. These four possess power more than they could imagine, but only the evil underneath the city knows about it right now. Although it seems all the fighting is over since the Last War had ended, most of the struggles had yet to begin until the secrets of Sharn began pouring out. The challenges for these heroes had jus begun.
    From a distance the group looked normal--a human soldier, a warforged bodyguard (magically enhanced robot in lay-mans terms), a halfling rogue, and a woman healer. But for the evil that lay roosting underneath the surface, they knew the truth. It would stop at no end to make sure that these four land in its clutches and unleash its horrible plan. Obviously the plans intended for the adventurers is deeper than this one novel (because it's a trilogy), but the introduction created in this story pulls you in faster than you can imagine. Horrible things happen to this innocent group of fighters, but their strength against this greater evil is more than an army could ever muster up. They truly resemble a band of heroes through their actions while in the city of Sharn.
    The City of Towers has a amazing yet weird way of sucking you into the storyline put forth by the motley crew. Evil lurks in the midst of the good, and balance is what keeps everything going. Balance is what this saga seems to be based around, and it is up to these four to maintain it. The towers themselves are held in place due to magic, but it is the love for one another and the courage to push through all the problems that give this group so much character. This story is very good for a Dungeons and Dragons book, especially since it is written by the same man who made the Ebberon world designed for the game. You will be immersed in the many wonders that the city and the people have to offer, and it should never disappoint. It is all too true that where good things seem to lie, another bad thing is just lying nearby. This tale definitely earned its place on the good side of my bookshelf.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2006

    Excellent mix of action, magic and mystery

    This book, the second book in the Dreaming Dark trilogy, has a little bit of evrything. There is plenty of action and adventure and all the magic one might expect in a D&D-related book. But at its most basic level this book is mystery set in the fantasy world of Eberron (and a very good mystery at that). The Shattered Land is filled with plot twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. Add to this an interesting set of characters all with their own mysterious background and what you get is an exceelent story that keeps the reader on the edge of his or her seat, eagerly awaiting to see what comes next. While I was able to see some of the plot twists coming, many of them caught me by surprise. One aspect of the book (and the series in general) that I really enjoyed is that the motivations of the characters are often unclear. The characters are well thought out and have interesting backstories. Many of them are wrestling with their mysterious pasts and trying to figure out how the past is related to the events and struggles they are currently facing. The author does an excellent job of dropping clues without revealing everything. This keeps the reader guessing about how various events fit together with the main thread of the story. Some of these mysteries are solved (at least in part) in this book while others are left unanswered (presumably until the third novel is released). As mentioned by some of the other reviews, the book does an excellent job of familiarizing the reader with the setting. The reader is brought along as the characters explore the mysterious continent of Xen'Drik, almost sharing in the discoveries. One word of warning. This is the second book in the series and to fully enjoy it and follow the mysteries I recommend you first read The City of Towers, also written by Mr. Baker.

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