Friday, February 7, 2014

The Reaver by Richard Lee Byers [Review]
The Reaver (The Sundering #4) by Richard Lee Byers
Format: ebook
Source: provided by Wizards of the Coast through NetGalley
Date read: December 27, 2013

The Sundering
1. The Companions
2. The Godborn
3. The Adversary
4. The Reaver - Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle
5. The Sentinel
6. The Herald

Richard Lee Byers
| Website | Twitter | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
In the 4th book of the multi-author Sundering series launched by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, Richard Lee Byers introduces Anton Marivaldi—a renowned reaver with an insatiable thirst for bounty and a moral compass that always leads him toward the evil he’s never tried.

Endless, pounding rain afflict the Sea of Fallen Stars and the coastal regions surrounding it. Harvests are failing, travel and trade are disrupted, and civilized forces are giving way to the deluges caused by the storms. In panic and despair, many have turned to the goddess Umberlee, Queen of the Deeps, offering her sacrifices with hope that they will be spared the inevitable reckoning of her perpetual tempest.

Evendur Highcastle, undead pirate captain, risen from the depths to assume the mantle of Umberlee’s Chosen, takes advantage of the people's desperation to strike for both spiritual and temporal power in her name.

Vying with Highcastle for the hearts and minds of the people is Stedd Whitehorn, a little boy and the chosen of a god thought lost to time: Lathander, the Morninglord. In a time of such upheaval, Stedd’s message of renewal and hope runs in stark contrast to the savage ethos of Highcastle and his waveservants.

When Anton captures the boy in order to collect Highcastle’s considerable bounty, the reaver is quickly caught in the riptide caused by the sundering of worlds.
Thoughts on The Reaver: I've been enjoying this series as a whole and while not all the installments have resonated with me, I liked Anton and his sometimes cutthroat ways. More than that, I liked the gradual progression of character as he found something worth fighting for in the Chosen boy, Stedd.

The side of me that loves relationships between characters (not just of the romantic variety, mind you, but ALL KINDS of relationships) really enjoyed the interactions between the various people Anton, Stedd and Umara come across. As a reaver, Anton is used to a hard, brutal life and he (often) treats people as if they're his subordinate (comes with years of being a captain on the high seas, I suppose). Umara is a powerful Red Wizard who is (rightfully so) a bit arrogant about what she can accomplish with her power. Stedd is... very different from them. As Lathander's chosen, he sees good where others don't, potential where others see pain. He's innocent in a way the other two aren't. He trusts easily. At least until he's betrayed one too many times. Even then, he trusts because there's nothing else he can do.

The three of them are an unlikely group but they work. The longer they're in each others' company, the more they begin to see the world from another perspective. Seriously, watching Anton do the right thing because Stedd expects it of him made me grin. As they say, the gods work in mysterious ways and throwing Anton, Umara and Stedd together seems so wrong but ended up so right.

As a relative newcomer to the Forgotten Realms series, I've had no problems figuring out what's what with these books. Anton and his motley crew (I'm exaggerating. Not all of them are motley.)have hidden depths. Come to think of it Evendur Highcastle has some hidden depths, too. Of course, his are of the rotting, walking corpse variety and that's just eww.

Bottom line? I liked this book. It was fast-paced, kind of brutal, and chock-full of danger around every turn. *thumbs up*

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