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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

An anthology showcasing the dragons of the Forgotten Realms world, including a new story from New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore. This anthology features stories by R.A. Salvatore, Ed Greenwood, Elaine Cunningham, and the authors of the R.A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen series. It fleshes out many of the details from the current Year of Rogue Dragons trilogy by Richard Lee Byers and includes a short story by Byers. The artwork on the cover is part of a four-panel Matt Stawicki piece that can be seen as a whole only when matched with the covers from the Rogue Dragons trilogy.…

Realms of the Dragons

Edited by Philip Athans

Overall Book Review:

Realms of the Dragons is an anthology of stories that take place in the Forgotten Realms Dungeons & Dragons setting. The stories in this collection span many different time periods in the history of the Realms and features a diverse cast of characters. While these stories will be most interesting to readers who are already familiar with the Forgotten Realms, the skill and diverse voices of the writers weave tales the any fantasy lover will enjoy. Dragons of all kinds, from heroic protectors to evil villains, are found within the pages, and the narratives contain such styles as heists, war stories, and even a mystery. Each story is unique and stands alone, which makes it a good book to pick up for a quick read.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 5 religious exclamations, 13 mild profanities, 2 derogatory names; 1 anatomical term.

The word “bloody” is used in the British slang (not tallied); the word “whore” is used to reference the profession (not tallied.)

Violence/Gore: A few fights with minor injury; few instances of fantasy violence with death and blood described; a monster threatens a character with teeth and claws; a few instances in which blood is used in magic rituals; characters find skeletal remains; report of deaths in battle; monster are dismembered in fights a few times; a helpless monster is killed; a few reports of deaths in battle; a few reports of murders; minor property damage; a character has a frightening dream; a character cuts another with a knife; a character is knocked unconscious; a building is burned; a character hits another; report of a town sacked in war; a few mentions of rape; a few verbal threats; characters threaten each other with weapons; a monster eats a character; a monster kills and eats an animal; a character intentionally wounds himself to break a spell; a character sees the aftermath of a murder, with blood described; characters find the aftermath of a magical attack, which includes strewn body parts; report of a fight; characters are burned to death (not descriptive).

Sex/Nudity: A vague sexual implication; characters flirt from a distance; characters flirt verbally a few times; characters caress area not normally covered by a bathing suit, and it is implied that sex follows; a few mentions of rape; a few mentions of brothels; a few reports of a couple sleeping together; use of the word “orgy”; implication that male slaves are used for sex by females; a woman wears only breeches and tattoos; a character tells a few jokes with sexual implication.

Mature Subject Matter:

Slavery (mentioned; carried out – a child is sold by his mother); rape (mentioned); prostituion (mentioned); gladiatorial fighting.

Alcohol/Drug Use:

Poison is used; adults drink alcohol in a tavern.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My taste in literature leans heavily towards sci-fi, fantasy, and (my favorite) horror, and the latter can present some fairly murky waters for parents to let their children explore. I enjoy novels of both the standard and graphic varieties. Since those genres, and graphic novels in particular, tend to appeal to boys, I hope that I can help other Boy Mommies in their quest to find books that their little video gamers--I mean, future bibliophiles will read and enjoy. When I am not reading, I enjoy tabletop role-playing games, video games, and singing karaoke. I have a wonderful husband who lets me indulge my reading habit by sharing the housework and being a great dad to our genius kids and their faithful hound.