Troy Denning is a best-selling author of novels set in such diverse universes as Star Wars, the Forgotten Realms, Planescape, and Dark Sun.
Forgotten Realms: The Giant Among Us (Twilight Giants #2)by Troy Denning
The queen is trapped in a remote citadel, surrounded by giants, and the scout who would save her
The rise of a new queen has shattered the ancient peace of the Ice Spires, and the only thing left standing between Hartsvale and the giant tribes bent on her destruction is a lone scout armed with a single golden arrow. And now that sanctuary is about to end.
The queen is trapped in a remote citadel, surrounded by giants, and the scout who would save her must now leave and undertake a harrowing journey to summon help. Only, as the scout soon learns, the greatest danger to the queen is posed not from without, but from within.
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The Giant Among Us is the second book in Troy Denning’s The Twilight Giants trilogy. Tavis the Firbolg and Brianna, Queen of Hartsvale, are back for another adventure teeming with giants. But like any Denning tale, things are never easy for our heroes. This time the threats come from within as well as without. Can Tavis save the women he loves, or will he be destined to loose his golden arrow to save the entire kingdom from a horrible prophecy of doom? The story kicks off with a suitable introduction. Giants besiege a small town, killing all that they find, even the most innocent of victims. The cover (newer one) illustrates what becomes a chilling and dark scene. It’s a sign of things to come. No longer is there a peace between the people of Hartsvale and the giant tribes. A shadow has crossed the land. Brianna finds herself trapped for most of this story. Cut off in a castle surrounded by giants, she struggles to protect her people. It’s up to Tavis to go get help. Most troubling of all, Tavis has to leave Brianna in the protection of a stranger. Even worse, the stranger has come to court Queen Brianna, and the Queen actually considers his offer. Of course she doesn’t love the stranger. She actually goes as far as to offer Tavis a role as a secret lover. Yet even if he wanted to, Tavis can’t accept the offer. Being a firbolg, he can’t live a lie. Thus he’s stuck in a bad position that just gets worse. The action, prose, and characters continue to shine in the series and Denning does a wonderful job of following up to The Ogre’s Pact. If you enjoyed the first one, you’ll definitely want to check this one out. Now to delve into some spoilers. Be warned, if you want to remain spoiler free, tread no further. Part of this book is a real torture test on the emotions of the reader. We all want to see Tavis and Brianna have a happy ending together. Yet Troy does his damndest to use that very desire against the reader. Brianna plays the role of the practical minded ruler. Her wishes to do the best for her kingdom lead her to believe that she needs to find a king. This leads her to Prince Arlien. The prince is a character that you can’t help but hate. He’s Tavis’ opposition. But things are much worse than just a troubled love triangle. Prince Arlien is really an Ettin in disguise who ends up drugging Brianna and causing trouble all around. Not only is the reader left waiting for Tavis to kill this despicable character, but Brianna’s drugged state makes her pretty much helpless throughout the book. Brianna is a very strong willed and capable person. To see her rendered useless is painful. Even good old Basil gets shelved for much of story since he gets in trouble for stealing some books. Helplessness becomes a big theme for each character and the heart of the story is their struggle to overcome each obstacle put before them. As a parting shot to pain the reader, there’s one very big question raised in the end and left unanswered. Did Arlien have his way with Brianna? Has the dark prophecy been fulfilled? Sometimes emotional roller coasters can be pretty fun, and The Giant Among Us is definitely an emotionally provoking story. I give it a five out of five for being an outstanding fantasy story filled with action, adventure, compelling characters, and sweeping emotion. It certainly kept me entertained.