Read City of the Dead by Rosemary Jones Online

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A haunting adventure hand-picked by Ed Greenwood... Something is causing trouble in the City of the Dead, and Sophraea Carver, born and bred next to the historic graveyard, is determined to solve the mystery before it places all of Waterdeep in peril. Set in the classic City of Splendors and presented by Forgotten Realms(R) campaign setting creator and celebrated authorA haunting adventure hand-picked by Ed Greenwood... Something is causing trouble in the City of the Dead, and Sophraea Carver, born and bred next to the historic graveyard, is determined to solve the mystery before it places all of Waterdeep in peril. Set in the classic City of Splendors and presented by Forgotten Realms(R) campaign setting creator and celebrated author Ed Greenwood, you don't want to miss out on this exciting glimpse into what the latest edition of the Realms has to offer....

Title : City of the Dead
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780786951291
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 305 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

City of the Dead Reviews

  • Robert
    2018-11-27 13:03

    City of the Dead by Rosemary Jones has a pretty linear plot line. It is a tale of revenge involving the graveyard that unwittingly puts a family and all of Waterdeep at risk of the walking dead. The main character, Sophraea Carver with the help of an out-of-towner “Better than some, worse than others” wizard Gustin Bone investigates to get to the bottom of the strange occurrences happening in the graveyard. A couple of subplots flavor up the story with the alternate agenda of Gustin’s visit to Waterdeep, a merchant man’s overreaching hand, an old lord’s ambition to keep Waterdeep from changing too much, a family’s day to day activities, and of course a love interest.The pacing of CotD moves along nicely and doesn’t get too fast or bogged much down at all. The novel flows quite well, however, there are a couple of bumps in the road that, to me, interrupt it and that was due to the choice of names for some of the characters, names such as Fidelity, Judicious, Vigilant, and the antagonist Rampage Stunk. I found that I had to re-read sections to make sure that those were indeed the character names and not random words put in the sentence.Ms. Jones was able to take the CotD and bring it to a much greater life than I have seen before. I have read in other realms novels where characters entered the graveyard but the vision that I got was nowhere near as vibrant as it was with reading this one. I also was given enough details to get the author’s vision without overbearing details.I was able to connect well with all the characters. I even wanted to reach into the book and throttle the antagonist and his henchmen. The character development was also done very well, even the old Lord’s character developed some at the end. Other readers may find something different from me, but I was just having so much fun reading CotD that I may have missed a few things. A couple minor criticisms:1. Like I mentioned before, the names of the characters were a bit silly to me. I will say that at least they were not long jumbles of consonants crammed together, but using everyday words for names made it a bit confusing. I did like Sophraea’s father’s name and the way that it fit with the family’s profession.2. Though there are some nice battle scenes throughout CotD, I just never really felt that the characters were in any mortal danger. I could easily predict a few times of how they could escape from the predicaments that they were in. I did enjoy some of the escapes though.Some positives:1. Aside from the title, this is definitely not a dark fantasy novel. It is very lighthearted and a joy to read. I do like dark fantasy as well, but this was nice as it was a break from the norm. It was just a fun, fun read2. The characters were fun to read. The humor was not too silly or over the top. Each one seemed to have their own voice and make decisions logically based on the situations and their knowledge.3. The writing was awesome. I had a hard time putting this one down. I looked forward to every moment I could get to jump back in. Ms. Jones knows how to keep things interesting and always leaves something to look forward to.4. The vision added to the CotD made the graveyard as welcoming in the daytime as it was foreboding at night. I was very easy to envision the graves and mausoleums as well as a few added bonuses that truly enhance Waterdeep as the City of Splendors.Overall, I enjoyed myself very much. I enjoyed Crypt of the Moaning Diamond also, but this was even better. If you only like reading dark fantasy or serious fantasy epics, then you may want to skip this one. Now if you re looking to get started into the Forgotten Realms, I can recommend this as a place to test the waters. There is no previous realms lore needed to understand how things are in Waterdeep. There is a small amount about the spell plague, but it is used differently in a way that enhanced the story. I am not a gamer, I have only read FR novels, but to me there was little to do with the 4E rules and this book did not seem much different from previous realms books. For those who are adamant about reading realms books because of the 4E, I would recommend trying this one out. You may be pleasantly surprised.-Dimndbangr

  • Pierre van Rooden
    2018-11-15 13:05

    (Originally posted in a book discussion at Candlekeep)I liked this book a lot. The characters were not overpowering, though I am unsure how powerful you need to be to animate stone... Gustin didn't seem very powerful, but letting a statue walks doesn't sound trivial. I liked Sophrea. I think she should have gone and become a seamstress at the end of the book though. It would have been a bit more unexpected (and there is nothing wrong with being a seamstress).One thing bothered me in this book though, and that is the way the Blackstaff (and in fact, every person in Waterdeep with any interest in preventing undead armies marching the street, like the guards, or the bad guy's cronies) was presented.I mean, nobody thought about following the hordes of undead when they walked about for most of a tenday? There are 100+ wizards and no-one bothered to get down to where these undead came from by following them? It is not like they are easy to miss. Even if all divination spells fail, you have mundane ways to track. And the Blackstaff not knowing about the Dead End gate sounds rather far fetched.My theory would be that the Blackstaff knew what was going on and simply deemed it not worth the trouble to interfere. (As the author commented on my original post at Candlekeep, she is likely a bit preoccupied to worry about a few undead). Still, one would think someone of power would have been interested.And the Carvers dutifully fixing the gate every day and not bothering to put someone on guard at night, even after the gate is torn down several nights in a row, seems rather gullible. I would have put someone on watch after the first time someone opened the gate, just in case.I also was a bit disappointed that the ugly, oily, fat guy was the bad guy. It would be nice to have an adventure where it is the other way around. I want an ugly, oily, fat guy to be the hero in a future book, please. These nitpicks mean I have to tone down my rating to 4 stars. That still makes it a very enjoyable book.

  • Nathan
    2018-12-16 13:21

    There are certain things I expected from a Rosemary Jones fantasy novel. A resourceful heroine, an affinity for the working class, some misfit characters, a great sense of humor, and thrilling action more akin to The Princess Bride than Conan the Barbarian. But City of the Dead tromps through George Romero's sandbox. How was she going to balance her playful romp style with the threat of an undead apocalypse?When, about 4 pages in, I burst out laughing at a brief, non-verbal exchange between a protective statuary and ghostly essence of Waterdeep's famed necropolis, I knew I was in good hands. Somewhere between the topiary dragon, the "dark dearlings," and the mounting horror of what is about to be unleashed, I was completely won over. I ended up reading the book straight through, pausing only briefly for brief family activities, and couldn't go to bed until I finished it. That's the kind of book City of the Dead is: a spookhouse thrill-ride that grabs you by the hand and won't let go until you get to the other side. If you're a fan of fantasy fiction and have, know, are, or have ever been a teen girl, this should be on your shelf. If you like a fun story masterfully told, that goes double.I eagerly anticipate her next book. And until then, I won't be able to "visit" Waterdeep without thinking fondly of the Carver family and the vital service they provide to the city.

  • Doris
    2018-11-27 13:01

    I really liked this one. The only downside was the ending felt a little rushed, as if she couldn't quite get the idea there.However - dancing with the dead has interesting connotations. I really have never liked the thought of zombies but this was well done. It had a reason and a well rehearsed plot. The who and the why were obvious, but the reasoing and handling were well done. There is even a foreword by acclaimed author Ed Greenwood. Worth reading if you like magic and heroes and want the white knight to be female. And believable.

  • Heath
    2018-12-13 10:12

    It certainly wasn't what I expected of a Forgotten Realms novel set in a graveyard (It felt more like something set in Ankh-Morpork than Waterdeep) but I loved the characters, as well as the generally humorous tone of the book. I sincerely hope we'll see more of Sophraea and Gustin in the future.

  • Travis
    2018-11-28 07:14

    City of the Dead by Rosemary Jones- This is the fourth book released in the Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep series of stand-alone novels. The series is set in the Forgotten Realms setting of the pen and paper role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons. The other novels in this series are Blackstaff Tower by Steven E. Schend, Mistshore by Jaleigh Johnson, Downshadow by Erik Scott de Bie, The God Catcher by Erin M. Evans, and Circle of Skulls by James P. Davis. Since these books are stand-alone, you can read them out-of-order. This is Rosemary Jones' second full-length novel set in the Forgotten Realms, her first was Crypt of the Moaning Diamond (part of The Dungeons). She has written a few short stories for various anthologies as well as co-authoring Encyclopedia of Collectible Children's Books. City of the Dead was released in 2009 and published by Wizards of the Coast.The Carvers have been taking care of Waterdeep's cemetery, called the City of the Dead, since it was created. The family knows the graveyard inside and out. The families only daughter in a few generations, Sophraea, plans on leaving the family to pursue a career in dressmaking instead of caretakers. All she needs is a noble's signature to be accepted in an esteemed program. Good thing she knows an older nobleman! The problem is, somehow the dead keep rising and she decides to investigate. With the help of a wizard named Gustin, Sophraea tracks down the problem. But is it too late?Criticisms:1) Choppy. The main problem with novel is how choppy and cluttered actions and some sections are. The scenes felt like something was missing. Maybe a word, an action, or a sentence. The transitions between some paragraphs were poor and jumpy. For example, there was a scene with Sophraea and Gustin talking with something about these certain graves being opened. They are just talking, not much else is happening. Then suddenly, they appear next to the graves. No transitions, no sense or word of movement, nothing. It felt clunky and sudden. This just didn't happen once. Once would have been okay, but it happens every other chapter. This problem just really threw me out of the story.2) Danger. This isn't a major problem, but it still is bothersome. No one really felt like they were in any actually harm. Even when you would think that a main character may be in harm's way, something happens and all anyone gets is a bump in the head or a little cut. It was more bothersome than anything.Praises:1) Characters. The two main characters, Sophraea and Gustin where wonderful. Sophraea did feel like a competent and different kind of heroine. She isn't all that powerful or amazing, but her mundane nature and innocence really sold me on her. She felt like a real person and not some all-powerful, all-knowing heroine. Gustin is pretty much the same way, except that he seemed a little more like an adventurer. Plus he has a wonderful sense of humor and an interesting outlook on life. With the other minor characters, they all played their parts pretty well. The best minor character, Lord Adarbrent, had more of a lonely old man presence that was unique. His character really showed a lot of depth that I wouldn't have thought he would have given the story. Another character, the antagonist, Rampage Stunk was a pretty good villain, albeit a little stock. The only problems with the characters are the silly names. 2) Premise. It was nice to see a story about the 'regular folk' in a fantasy setting. Just having the story revolve around the cemetery caretakers was interesting. It's the type of thing you would hardly see in a full-length novel, and I have to say that it really worked using 'normal' people. Then having the consequences of what is happening not be world shattering was interesting. Sure having the dead rise may not be a good thing, but it never had this epic feel to it and it really worked out for the best. It just was nice to see a story that wasn't overly serious and had characters that you would normally only see in passing as the main focus.Side Notes:1) Names. Oh dear god where these names just silly. Let's look at Rampage Stunk. Really? Rampage? Why not just call him Evil McBaddie? Then you have some of the Carvers family members names. They were just as bad, but I could let them slide because they weren't as silly as Rampage.2) City of the Dead. I really liked how the cemetery was described. It never felt creepy or foreboding. It felt like a real life cemetery, only more magical. 3) Cover Art. It's interesting. I do like the blue 'ghosts' because they do catch your eye with the back ground being this brown-gray color. The only major issue is the size. I really do not like how small the actual picture is, and that border is why to distracting. I would rather have a full-length picture.Overall: 4/5Final Thoughts:City of the Dead was a pretty good read. When I first picked the book up I thought it would have been a horror story, but I was surprised that it's more of a comedy than anything else. However, the story did have some problems. For one thing, there were parts that didn't fit together well at all. They felt clunky and just a bit sudden. The other problem was that I never felt the characters were ever in mortal danger. Also, some of the characters names got under my skin after a while. However, the story does recover from these problems. The two main characters were great. Sophraea felt like someone you would meet anywhere. Gustin had this funny outlook on life that worked really well. Then you have the premise. Having a story about regular people and not some all-powerful adventurer was great. You got to see another side of Waterdeep. Would I recommend this? Yes. Anyone could pick this up and have a great time. City of the Dead was a good, fun, and lighthearted read.

  • Robinson Mason
    2018-12-02 08:27

    None of the stock descriptions I'd read about Rosemary Jones' book City of the Dead really did it justice or prepared me for the story within. While some, like what's on the back of the book cover, are technically correct, they just don't impart the lighthearted yet multi-layered feel of the book.It was a pleasant surprise and and a joy to read. As an instant fan of Rosemary Jones' from Crypt of the Moaning Diamond, it was not a question of if I would buy City of the Dead, but when. So without reading much about the concept (or really even paying attention to the fact that Ed Greenwood was endorsing it), I was on the hook for Rosemary's next book.The book is not a traditional D&D epic-type fantasy with overpowered heroes and endless trudging over picturesque landscapes to some predictable goal that can be found in some Fantasy novels and trilogies. No flaming swords of fire here! Not that I don't enjoy some of that sort of story now and again -- I do. But this new book really got me thinking about the different ways that one might approach shared-world inspired fiction and Fantasy novels in general. Rosemary really took a risk with this out of the box story concept and it paid off, at least for me. If I had to draw a comparison with another writer or style, I'd choose Charles Dickens. It's been over ten years since I've read anything by Dickens, but that's what Rosemary reminded me of with her new book.But here I am four paragraphs in and I haven't even told you what the book is about yet. Well, the heroine is, for lack of a better description, a very ordinary young woman. She's powerful in her own way, to be sure, but most of her might comes from her strength of character and determination. "Plucky" is what Ed Greenwood calls her. She's very much a product of her upbringing, and Rosemary again introduces the concepts of class and being born into one's station that she touched on in Moaning Diamond. That said, she has an independent streak and a lack of desire to fall into some traditional role planned out for her.Do you want a nutshell description of the story? I'm sorry but there really isn't one to give. The fun in reading this story is getting to know all of the characters within. The plotline is secondary. But if you've read this far then you're unlikely to be satisfied with that evasive answer so I'll put it another way. This is the story of a girl from a family of Carvers. Gravestone-carvers, that is, who lives in a city of magic and legend and cannot help but be swept up in adventure despite her best attempts to avoid it. Her name is Sophraea.And when you get Sophorea you get the whole Carver family in the bargain, an interesting an unique bunch to say the least.(SPOILER ALERT) A slightly more fantastic character, suitable for the D&D genre who is introduced as her partner later in the story is Gustin, a wizard. He casts spells and works rituals and while far from being overpowered, he adds a sense of the game that might otherwise be missing. I say this because if not for the setting of Waterdeep, the story of Sophraea might have been told just as effectively in a more generic horror setting.Sophorea and her partner find curiousity getting the better of them, as well as a baddie with a very....Dickens-like name who just begs to be disliked. I must say that I was not surprised at all with one of the "mystery" twists at the end and saw it coming, but again, getting to know the characters was such fun that this did not impact the story negatively for me.I strongly recommend Rosemary's book and hope that Wizards of the Coast will ask her to write another full novel soon.

  • Chris
    2018-12-02 08:19

    One of the D&D/Forgotten Realms series' main draws is its action - after all, the books are made to complement a game whose players spend half their time locked in combat. "City of the Dead," however, bucks this trend, and it is a refreshing change of pace.The heroine, Sophraea, is not a wizard or swordfighter, but an average Waterdhavian, youngest member of the city's family of graveyard maintenance workers and artisans, a little woman in a family of big men. Her sidekick, Gustin, is a wizard, but a bit of a bumbling one at that - equipped with a paltry variety of spells and only truly skilled with a couple of them, and out to use his small skills to cheat Waterdhavians of gold. While I love these novels for their strong, heroic protagonists, I found this a much-needed break within the Waterdeep books and the larger universe as a whole. Not everyone needs to be of the same calibre as Drizzt or Elminster.That being said, I did feel that the characters weren't very deep or complex (due in no part to their more "normal" status). Aside from Sophraea, Gustin, and Lord Adarbrent, the other characters were practically caricatures, many of which bore bizarre naming choices (particularly Sophraea's father's generation, and especially the antagonist, "Rampage Stunk"). Soph and Gustin were great, but I would have liked a slightly better supporting cast.Other than that complaint, this was a great novel for the D&D series, proving its novels can have magic, mystery, and intrigue without plunging into epic, drawn-out battle scenes every other chapter. Salvatore should be taking notes.

  • Paul
    2018-11-26 14:21

    I have fond memories of reading City of the dead at home in my parents back garden, on an uncharacteristic hot sunny day, I had the house to myself and my 2 dogs. I read City of the dead in record time for me, as I found I didn't want to put it down. Sophraea Carver is a really strong character among many in this book I loved her interactions with her pirate captain grand mother and Briarsting and his co-hort the topiary dragon.After finishing City of the dead I decided to look up other books by Rosemary Jones and am now enjoying Crypt of the moaning diamond. I wrote to the author just to say thanks for the memories and my enjoyment, and surpeisingly got a quick response. Which she responded with the following"There's one more Carver story, about Leaplow Carver, in the anthology Realms of the Dead. And one of the characters in that has a tie to Crypt. Because I love cross referencing :)Unfortunately, that's it, unless Wizards invites me back to their sandbox to play.Right now I'm working on a number of short stories for several anthologies coming out in 2010 and 2011. I post new work available as soon as possible at my website.Thank you for the great e-mail. Made my morning! "Will deffinately follow her work and wish her all success.

  • Rosemary
    2018-12-16 12:59

    For those frustrated by the tiny print of the paperbook edition (i.e. all my relatives over the age of 30), there comes this e-book edition which allows my nearsighted, bookish family to make the print as large as they want. I also got a "finally found your book" from a friend in Hong Kong, who was able to magically download it onto his Kindle despite being far, far away from our usual bookstore haunts. So, yay to the publisher for bringing this out as e-book. Enjoy!

  • Angela
    2018-11-30 11:24

    A good tale set in the city of Waterdeep. While not as fast paced as others the tale was good and on the whole more like a mystery story rather than an adventuring type. The many characters were colorful and interesting although there were some that stood out more then others. Would recommend the book for those that enjoy the world of Faerun.

  • Erika
    2018-11-25 09:24

    I have had rather bad luck in my book choices lately and found this book to be a delightful surprise. The characters are likable, the plot exciting and the setting vivid. Simply put, it was a great time.

  • David
    2018-11-19 14:27

    Terrible flat characters, a nothing-plot, and character names that would jar me out of the narrative so fast that my head would swim. Truth be told, I got 66% through this. I may go back and finish it, but its not likely.

  • Peter
    2018-12-02 13:17

    Surprisingly good and not what you'd expect