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Band of Four Books In Order

Publication Order of Band Of Four Books

The Kingless Land (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Vacant Throne (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Dragon Ascension (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Dragon's Doom (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Silent House: A Chronicle of Aglirta (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Band of Four is a series of fantasy fiction novels by Ontario librarian turned author Ed Greenwood, who made a name for himself writing the “Forgotten Realms” a role-playing fantasy game. Greenwood who was born in Canada and has lived in Ontario for most of his life began writing the “Forgotten Realms” in 1979, at a time when it was owned by “Dragon Magazine” before it was sold to TSR. His association with TSR opened the doors for him to get involved in the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game for which he wrote several supplement books and numerous articles. He conceived his first fantasy setting of Forgotten Realms as a parallel world consisting of several multiverses that include the Earth. As a writer for the popular Dungeons and Dragons franchise, Greenwood became a proficient player of the game using the Reals fictional setting of Showdale and Waterdeep in his later works. His induction into the world of fantasy was in 1979 when he was charged with explaining the setting of Dragons and Dungeons. He wrote many entries into Dragon Magazine that explained spells, monsters, characters and a range of magical items. His first novel in the sword fiction and sorcery fantasy series Band of Four was “The Kingless Land” first published in the year 2000. He has also written other novels in the Forgotten Realms such as the “Shandril’s Saga”, the “Elminster” series, The “Shadow of the Avata Trilogy”, and “The Harpers” among several others. He has written more than 35 novels for TSR and co-written or contributed to more than two hundred novels and gaming products for various publishers.

The lead characters in the series are Lady Embra Silvertree a powerful sorceress and the mystical Lady of Jewels, Sarasper the worldly healer, Craer, the clever and cunning thief, and Hawkril the brave and bold warrior with the utmost fortitude and strength. Characterization has always been one of Ed Greenwood’s greatest strengths and this is evident in the “Band of Four series”. The Band of Four are not your typical character types you would find in a role-playing game as they have quite the personality that makes individual characters come alive. Coming from a role game writing background, it is quite a feat that Greenwood manages to write such eccentric characters and hold the story together. As for the plotting, The Band of Four series comes with attention to detail and supercharged action. There is enough gory injury, pumped up swordplay, and arcane magic to keep one engaged in the thrilling plot-lines from the first page to the last. Ed does seem to have one of the rarest gifts of making his images come to life with high vivid descriptions of the mystical such as surveillance eyeballs in the air, exotic monsters, and stone walls that make for an entertaining and sometimes humorous read. While the novels do not break any new ground in the genre, they are fun and interesting novels sure to cement Greenwood as one of the best writers in fantasy.

“The Band of Four” universe is a new world that is a dark and dangerous place where every person seems to be either a baron, warrior, thief or wizard. The magic and power that the characters do possess is out of the world as it requires quite complicated process before it can be conjured up. In addition to all the power and magic, the world also comes with deadly monsters including the Nightworms and the Living Dead that prowl the land during the day and night. However, the characters seem to take it all in their stride conquering all set before them even as they have many close calls. They even manage to have fun among themselves and flirt with each other in the face of danger. Nonetheless, the level of suffering, pain and violence that the heroes have to endure is quite high though it makes them stronger in the end. The four are burned, poisoned, cut, and perpetually crushed though they remain lighthearted even while on the brink of despair. Greenwood takes his experience from game writing to write fascinating action scenes that include believable spells and battles that will make any reader drool. He is excellent in the description of the sights, sounds, and smells of the battlefield, and the casting of spells that in many ways the novels feel like a role-playing game with their unexpected devils and demons, and twists and turns of plot.

The Kingless Land is an intoxicating novel that opens to Aglirta having become an outlaw in a land ravaged by the war between the barons. Several outlaw soldiers become bored and decide to steal some jeweled crowns from the enemy baron’s castle. But these are not your ordinary jewels as they belong to the baron’s daughter who is a prisoner in the enchanted castle. The soldiers pity the girl’s plight and help her escape from the clutches of her cruel father. But on their way out of the area, a bizarre looking healer them that the only way to ensure the baron never finds them is to locate the Worldstones, the legendary magic stones lost for ages. If they can find the magic stones they can restore peace in the land and wake the sleeping princess destined to be queen of Aglirta. The group call themselves the “Band of Four” and head off on a quest to locate the stones even as a cult of snake worshiping magicians and the baron’s own evil wizards are on their tail. Their pursuers are looking to find the stones and use them for their own dark purposes.

The Vacant Throne is the sequel to the first novel in the series featuring the Lady Embra Silvertree the beautiful sorceress, Sarasper the grumpy healer, Craer the sly thief, and Hawkril the gruff warrior. They just helped Aglirta assume power as King of Arglita. However, their work is not done as may lords in the kingdom still do not recognize him as the rightful leader. To quell the disquiet the King declares that the kingdom will have a recoronoation the following year when everyone has taken their side. Meanwhile, he commissions his Band of Four to go find a magical gem known as the Dwaer-Stone, that they believe will give him in an upper hand in the inevitable war between the lords of the kingdom. The four set out to find the stone and immediately confront a range of bad guys who thwart their efforts at every turn even as the Aglirta is busy dodging assassins back home.

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