The Adversary by Erin M. Evans. Book review

THE ADVERSARY by Erin M. Evans, Wizards of the Coast, h/b, $27.95,

Reviewed by Sandra Scholes

Author of such Forgotten Realms novels as The God Catcher, Brimstone Angels and Lesser Evils, Erin M. Evans has created another epic story that concerns the world of Faerun. Keen readers will notice the places of Icewind Dale, Cormyr and Baldur’s Gate from the map. Other writers have penned some decent tales based on the Forgotten Realms saga, and Erin’s is another tale on it using magic user, Farideh as a main character.

Farideh regrets the deal she made with a devil some years before and in order to save her twin sister from the same fate she goes in search of a wizard. Even the kindest people have the best intentions so when she comes across Dahl, a harper agent they join forces and come to a remote village where nothing is what it seems. In the third book of the Sundering series, Farideh has to delve into the politics of the devils and the wizards, all the while trying to stay alive. Though she has thick horns and a tail she bears strong demon powers she can use to harm, or destroy, but she chooses to keep her powers at bay. It proves to be hard for her, when up against humans who should, in her eyes be careful what they say in her presence. Dahl turns out to be a bit of a rake, but helps her even though she seems to take an instant dislike to him for some past action. As Farideh is a proud warrior, he has to ask others what the reason for her dislike might be, but his concern fades when he finds out she has been betrayed by someone else, someone she thought she trusted.

The reason for why Farideh looks the way she does is evident in the book from the start: Almost a hundred years ago thirteen tiefling warlocks used their powerful magic to summon up Asmodeus the king of the Hells to become a god, turning the thirteen into devils, Farideh being a direct descendant of them. This fills her with a sense of pride humans could not possibly understand. Her past agreement with Sairche was that she would protect her sister – but for a price and, if she has anything to do with it, it will have a detrimental effect on her. Farideh might come across as being a strong magic user but she does have a lighter, more feminine side she shows at times. In this case it is when she has been betrayed. The image of her on the cover shows her gathering her magical power in her hands to wield it at the enemy.

For most enthusiasts D & D fiction started out back in the eighties with the Dragonlance Saga, so it is refreshing to see that new writers have continued to write stories set in different worlds for the Forgotten Realms novels. The quality of the writing is there, as are the richly conceived characters and the amazingly detailed world they live in.  It is no wonder readers keep coming back to read these fantasy novels.

Other books in the series are The Companions by RA Salvatore, The Godborn by Paul S Kemp, The Reaver by Richard Lee Byers, The Sentinel by Troy Denning and The Herald by Ed Greenwood.