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The Bookish Owl – War of the Spark: Forsaken by Greg Weisman

War of the Spark Forsaken Greg Weisman

We’re back in MTG territory with War of the Spark: Forsaken by Greg Weisman.

This was the follow-up to War of the Spark: Ravnica, which I read in my quest to learn more about the Magic: The Gathering universe after I joined a Ravnica-themed Dungeons & Dragons group. This book mainly focuses on the necromancer Liliana Vess, and since I’m fond of both bitchy women and necromancers, I have no complains about that. It’s also a redemption story, meaning it’s not all doom and gloom.


War of the Spark: Forsaken
by Greg Weisman

Return to the multiverse of Magic: The Gathering as the hunt for Liliana Vess is on in the aftermath of the War of the Spark.
 
The Planeswalkers have defeated Nicol Bolas and saved the Multiverse—though at grave cost. The living have been left to pick up the pieces and mourn the dead. But one loss is almost too great to bear: Gideon Jura, champion of justice and shield of the Gatewatch, is gone. As his former comrades Jace and Chandra struggle to rebuild from this tragedy, their future, like the future of the Gatewatch, remains uncertain.

As the Gatewatch’s newest member, Kaya aims to help write that future. In joining, she pledged an oath to protect the living and the dead, but now that oath will be tested. The grieving guild masters of Ravnica have tasked her with a grave mission suited to her talents as a hunter and assassin—a mission she is ordered to keep secret from the Gatewatch. She must track down and exact retribution on the traitor Liliana Vess.

But Liliana Vess has no interest in being found. Forsaken by her friends, she fled Ravnica after the defeat of Bolas. She was hostage to his wicked will, forced to assist in his terrible atrocities on pain of death—until Gideon, the last one who believed in her goodness, died in her place. Haunted by Gideon’s final gift, and hunted by former allies, Liliana now returns to a place she’d thought she’d never see again, the only place she has left: home.


War of the Spark Forsaken Greg Weisman

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July’s Book Haul

July Book Haul Fantasy

Okay… I know I already bought a ridiculous amount of books in June, and shouldn’t be buying more any time soon, but it’s not my fault! What else am I going to do when my mom says she has free shipping and a 15% discount code and asks if I want some books added to her order?

But mind you, there’s only 7 books on July’s list.

(Luckily, the 9 I bought on August 1st doesn’t count yet.)

July Book Haul Fantasy

The books I got were:

  • The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty
  • The Empire of Gold by S. A. Chakraborty
  • The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant
  • Truckers by Terry Pratchett
  • Diggers by Terry Pratchett
  • Wings by Terry Pratchett
  • War of the Spark: Forsaken by Greg Weisman

As usual, there’s some Terry Pratchett in the haul, as well with some sequels to books I read in June. Oh, and one new author!

Daevabad Trilogy

I enjoyed S. A. Chakraborty’s The City of Brass, so of course I had to get the last two books in the Daevabad Trilogy, The Kingdom of Copper and The Empire of Gold. And they’re beautiful, but it’s going to drive me absolutely crazy that The Empire of Gold isn’t the same height as the first two books…

The Kingdom of Copper and The Empire of Gold

The Court of Miracles

I believe Kester Grant is a debut author, and I look forward to reading her first book, The Court of Miracles. It promises criminal guild wars and personal drama in a Paris where the French Revolution failed, and I’m so in for that.

The Court of Miracles Kester Grant

The Bromeliad

July’s Terry Pratchett purchase was the Bromeliad books, one of his YA series. And for once I got a matching set!

It won’t be long before I own all of Pratchett’s books, but the next time I buy any, I will have to clear another shelf for this author…

(He already got two full shelves.)

The Bromeliad Terry Pratchett

War of the Forsaken

I continue my quest to learn about Magic: The Gathering lore with War of the Spark: Forsaken by Greg Weisman, the sequel to War of the Spark: Ravnica. This one is focused on hunting down the narcisstic necromancer Leliana Vess, and I have always had a certain weakness for necromancers…

War of the Spark: Forsaken Greg Weisman

That’s it, guys! Stay tuned for August’s book haul post, which will include half the contents of the discount boxes in Boghallen in Copenhagen…

Now, I’m off to rearrange my bookshelves!

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The Bookish Owl – War of the Spark: Ravnica by Greg Weisman

War of the Spark: Ravnica by Greg Weisman

Next up is War of the Spark: Ravnica by Greg Weisman.

As the name might suggest, this is a Magic: The Gathering tie-in novel. I have not played the trading card game, but lots of my friends are obsessed with it and some of them invited me to join a Dungeons & Dragons campaign set in the MTG world Ravnica.

Do you know how hard it is to make a good character backstory when you know nothing about the world said character lives in?

It’s pretty damn hard.

So I went into research mode after the first session. But the info dumps I got from watching YouTubers talk lore were a bit hard to keep straight in my head. But luckily for a bookworm like me, there’s also Magic: The Gathering novels! And it turns out that they (or at least the one I have read at the moment of writing this) are even quite good.

It was a bit hard to keep track of the large cast of characters in War of the Spark: Ravnica, but it’s written in such a way that even Magic noobs like myself can easily follow the story. And when I played D&D last Saturday, I recognized a name mentioned in passing by an NPC (Kaya, who had failed the mission we were about to be given) and immediately knew what that meant. Even better,  I got to explain character lore to one of my fellow players who plays a lot of MTG.

Yes, I’m a smug bastard when I suddenly know things.

Long story short: This is a good book, and I now know who all the people trying to kill me in my D&D campaign are.


War of the Spark: Ravnica
by Greg Weisman

Teyo Verada wants nothing more than to be a shieldmage, wielding arcane energies to protect his people from his world’s vicious diamondstorms. When he’s buried alive in the aftermath of his first real tempest, the young mage’s life is about to end before it can truly begin—until it doesn’t. In a flash, a power he didn’t know he had whisks him away from his home, to a world of stone, glass, and wonder: Ravnica. Teyo is a Planeswalker, one of many to be called to the world-spanning city—all lured by Nicol Bolas, the Elder Dragon. Bolas lays siege to the city of Ravnica, hungry for the ultimate prize: godhood itself. His unparalleled magic and unstoppable army appear poised to bring the city to utter ruin.

Among those who stand in the way of Bolas’s terrifying machinations are the Gatewatch, Planeswalkers sworn to defeat evil, no matter where it’s found. But as they work to unite the other mages and mount a defense of the city and its people, the terrifying truth of Bolas’s plan becomes clear. The Elder Dragon has prepared a trap to ensnare the most powerful mages from across the Multiverse—and it’s too late to escape.

As forces great and small converge on the city and the battle rages, the stakes could not be higher. If the Gatewatch falters and the Planeswalkers fail, the curtain will fall on the age of heroes—and rise on the infinite reign of Nicol Bolas.


War of the Spark: Ravnica by Greg Weisman

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June’s Book Haul

Fantasy Book haul

Guess what’s more wonderful than getting a package full of books?

Getting a HUGE package full of books.

But my order actually got split into three, so I just got one big package, one medium-sized package and a small package… But it still adds up to 22 books, so it’s a good haul. I know it’s July, but this is a post about June’s book haul, since it took some time for all the shipments to arrive.

Aren’t they pretty?

Book Haul

The books I got were:

  • The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
  • Six of Crows Boxed Set by Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom)
  • The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Hunger Games 10th Anniversary Boxset by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay)
  • The Complete Tales of H.P. Lovecraft by H. P. Lovecraft (duh)
  • Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights by Sylvia Feketekuty
  • Dragon Age: Hard In Hightown by Varric Tethras (AKA Mary Kirby)
  • Magic: The Gathering – Ravnica by Greg Weisman
  • Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett
  • Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett
  • Johnny and the Bomb by Terry Pratchett
  • Dodger by Terry Pratchett
  • This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab
  • A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
  • The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  • Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
  • House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
  • European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss
  • The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss

I had to rearrange all my bookshelves to fit them in (the Lovecraft collection was far too tall for my shelves, but far too gorgeous to put in horizontally), but it was so worth it. Some of these books are just so darn beautiful, and the six I’ve already read were great.

The Complete Tales of H. P. Lovecraft

I have long wanted to read some Lovecraft and when I came across this absolutely amazing special edition of his completed works, I knew I had to own it. It’s hardback, taller than any of my other books, and more than 1000 pages, so I will probably injure my wrists reading it, but it’s sooo pretty…

The Complete Works of H. P. Lovecraft

Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom and The Language of Thorns

I have quickly grown to love Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, so of course I had to get the books I was missing.

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are both pretty dull-looking next to the shiny copies of the rest of the series, but The Language of Thorns is so gorgeous, both inside and out. Not only is the hardback incredibly beautiful, each page inside is illustrated as well!

The only problem I have with the Grishaverse is that NONE of the subseries are the same height. It’s messing with my bookshelf OCD that I have one series with books of four different heights…

Six of Crows and The Language of ThornsLanguage of Thorns Page Illustration

The Hunger Games 10th Anniversary Boxset

I read the first Hunger Games book years ago, but when I wanted to give the series another try, I couldn’t find my copy anywhere. This gave me a great excuse to buy a complete boxset – with The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay – and the 10th Anniversary edition is really pretty. It’s all shiny and impossible to photograph.

Hunger Games 10th Anniversary Box Set

Pratchett YA

I guess the only thing surprising about this section is that there’s still Pratchett books I haven’t bought yet…

These are some of Terry Pratchett’s books for younger readers, Dodger and the Johnny Maxwell trilogy. Johnny and the Bomb was actually the very first Pratchett book I ever read, way back in middle school, and one of the first books I read in English, so I’m excited about getting to read the entire series.

However, a problem with availability means I didn’t get all the books in the same edition, so I’m going to be grumbling about that for a while…

Terry Pratchett Johhny Maxwell Dodger

The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club

I read the first book of this series without knowing it was part of a series, so by the end I hadn’t sated my curiosity about the mysterious plot the characters were caught up in. Nothing for it, except to buy the next books!

Dragon Age and Magic: The Gathering

My obsession with Dragon Age started years ago, so of course I needed some tie-in novels while waiting for the fourth game. And I recently became part of a Ravnica-themed Dungeons & Dragons party, but I have never played Magic: The Gathering, so I need to study some lore, so I know who all the people trying to kill me are…

Dragon Age and Ravnica books

All the Rest

These are (almost) all new authors to me that I’m excited to read!

Fantasy Book haul

Have you read any of these? If so, let me know in the comments if I need to move some of them further up my TBR list!

 

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To Bard or Not to Bard

Dungeons and Dragons BardI recently got invited to a new Dungeons & Dragons group and I was eager to make a character that would be useful with their existing group dynamic. I was told they could use frontliners and a healer, so – since I already play a Cleric in my other D&D group – I decided to go with a paladin.

However, after a quick chat with their DM, I discovered that a paladin would find it rather difficult to fit in with this group of, as the DM called them, ‘murder hobos’.

The campaign is set in Ravnica, the cityscape from Magic: The Gathering, a world I have absolutely no knowledge of. So what do you do when you need a character with a limited sense of right and wrong, in a world where you don’t know the various factions?

You make a conwoman Bard and tell the DM to decide which guilds she has pissed off by swindling them out of their money.

Kindra Sinclair – likely a fake name – is my first Bard character, but all my characters across races, classes, and even tabletop systems, tend to end up with a tendency to cheat at card games, so when I noticed the Charlatan background in the Player’s Handbook, I figured I might as well write it into the character from the beginning. I picked College of Lore to get a few handy healing spells and then I padded my spell list with spells that would allow me to cheat, charm and swindle everyone in my path.

I have a feeling this character might not survive for long…

I also went with a rapier and a dagger with the intention of being a melee attacker, but I spent most of the first session casting Vicious Mockery, hurling insults at the enemies, before hurriedly running away from them. It was low on grace, but since the bard is the one to compose the stories after the battle, I’ll be the brave hero in the retelling.