The Gossamer Plain by Thomas M. Reid
Posted by travizzt on November 4, 2009
The Gossamer Plain by Thomas M. Reid- This is the first book in The Empyrean Odyssey trilogy. This follows the Alu-fiend, Aliisza, and the cambion, Kaanyr Vhok, after the events in the War of the Spider Queen series. This is my second read through in honor of the last book The Crystal Mountain coming out.
I’ll just simply reword what the description says on the back of the book. Still upset with his defeat in Menzoberranzan, Kaanyr Vhok takes his Scoured Legion to bring down the human city of Sundabar. In order to do this, Kaanyr needs to take a trip the elemental plane of fire. While on a simple mission for Vhok, Aliisza stumbles upon something that she wasn’t ready to find inside and finds allies she thought she’d never have.
1) The pace. The first 150 pages or so, were just slow and hard to really plow through. Many scenes were just hard to read and at times, I was starting to fall asleep. Most of those scenes were when Vhok and Zasain are traveling the Plane of Fire. At least it picked up a little towards the end.
2) Setting Up. The problem that can explain why the first part dragged on is because it was mostly setting up things to come. The first 100 or so pages just set up things and honestly, could have been really told with in a chapter or two.
3) Tauran. The whole two emotion celestial was just annoying like nothing else. Oh wow, he’s has a sad smile (which is annoyingly repeated every other time Aliisza talks to him). He was a robot. He didn’t radiate anything other than annoying and boring.
1) Plot and the Plot twists. First off, the plot was excellent. After you got around the set-up part, you started to understand what was going on. But just when you think you thought of it all, BOOM a twist. Sure some of these are obvious… Myshik betraying the group (obvious after he’s introduction), Aliisza’s change and her reverting (obvious after you recall the moments lost to her), and Zasian being more than he appears (Not a typical Banite, as Vhok so cunning figured out early yet didn’t worry too much over it).
2) The Cliffhanger Ending. Usually I’m not a fan of cliffhangers because they are well, sloppy. However, this ones ending fairly well and even when I first read it, I wanted to read the next one ASAP. I still do want to read the next one after reading this one again. It still hooked me.
3) Zasian, Aliisza, and Vhok. I liked all these characters for different reasons. With Zasian, he didn’t seem like a typical priest of some evil god, hellbent on destroying the world. Plus the way he tricked everyone was just brilliant, you never would have suspecting him being what he was. Aliisza I liked for a few reasons. The first being, I liked her in the War of the Spider Queen series. Even though she was a minor character, she was interesting. In here, she was more so because of the changes she goes though. I wanted her to be changed. Vhok is very different. I didn’t like him in the War of the Spider Queen series because he was a very minor character with little to no depth. However, in this story he grows a lot. His anger and humor at times are rewarding. It’s also important to mention that Aliisza and Vhok are among my favorite Forgotten Realms characters.
* Although, I do like Vhok and Aliisza, the slowness of the first half the book along with the long set up, just really hurt what could have been an amazing beginning to a great trilogy*