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An exciting new trilogy set in the far north of Faerun! Hweilan is the last of the line of Highwatch and--as she discovers--one of the last of the Vil Adanrath, a bloodline of lycanthropes left on Faerûn. Guric, her uncle and the slayer of Hwelian's family, has released a terrible evil in order to resurrect his beloved wife and gain control of the northern countries. When An exciting new trilogy set in the far north of Faerun! Hweilan is the last of the line of Highwatch and--as she discovers--one of the last of the Vil Adanrath, a bloodline of lycanthropes left on Faerûn. Guric, her uncle and the slayer of Hwelian's family, has released a terrible evil in order to resurrect his beloved wife and gain control of the northern countries. When Hweilan escapes Guric's schemes, she is taken in by Lendri, a Vil Adanrath who has stayed in Faerûn to help guide Hweilan to her fate. From the Paperback edition.


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An exciting new trilogy set in the far north of Faerun! Hweilan is the last of the line of Highwatch and--as she discovers--one of the last of the Vil Adanrath, a bloodline of lycanthropes left on Faerûn. Guric, her uncle and the slayer of Hwelian's family, has released a terrible evil in order to resurrect his beloved wife and gain control of the northern countries. When An exciting new trilogy set in the far north of Faerun! Hweilan is the last of the line of Highwatch and--as she discovers--one of the last of the Vil Adanrath, a bloodline of lycanthropes left on Faerûn. Guric, her uncle and the slayer of Hwelian's family, has released a terrible evil in order to resurrect his beloved wife and gain control of the northern countries. When Hweilan escapes Guric's schemes, she is taken in by Lendri, a Vil Adanrath who has stayed in Faerûn to help guide Hweilan to her fate. From the Paperback edition.

30 review for The Fall of Highwatch

  1. 4 out of 5

    Travis

    The Fall of Highwatch by Mark Sehestedt- This is the first book in the Chosen of Nendawen trilogy, the second being Hand of the Hunter (due out in December 2010) and the third being Cry of the Ghost Wolf (due out December of 2011), all set in the Forgotten Realm universe. Mark Sehestedt is the author of two other Forgotten Realms novels and a Eberron novel. The Eberron novel is Tales of the Last War and the two Forgotten Realms novels are Frostfell, part of The Wizards series of stand-alone nove The Fall of Highwatch by Mark Sehestedt- This is the first book in the Chosen of Nendawen trilogy, the second being Hand of the Hunter (due out in December 2010) and the third being Cry of the Ghost Wolf (due out December of 2011), all set in the Forgotten Realm universe. Mark Sehestedt is the author of two other Forgotten Realms novels and a Eberron novel. The Eberron novel is Tales of the Last War and the two Forgotten Realms novels are Frostfell, part of The Wizards series of stand-alone novels, and Sentinelspire, part of The Citadels series of stand-alone novels. A character from Frostfell reappear in this novel. The story is about a young woman named Hwielan, the granddaughter of the High Warden of the fortress Highwatch. Her grandmother is making Hwielan leave for a year to a city in Damara to, hopefully, meet a young noble to marry. Hwielan doesn't like this idea and asks her mother her opinion, which, surprising to her, her mother agrees with her grandmothers thought. Before she can go, while at her father's grave, Highwatch gets attacked from the inside and everything she knows is lost. While being pursued, Hwielan finds her friend and teacher, Scith, who tries to figure out what happen to Highwatch, but never returns. Hwielan decides to go after him and finds him near death and tortured, and she gets caught, but it rescued by an elf named Lendri (from Frostfell) he tells her to follow him to safety. But things don't go as planned. Between being relentlessly chased by an unholy being in the form of her uncle, being captured by eladrin elf named Menduarthis and taken to the Feywild, and finding out that she is something much more, it looks like Hwielan doesn't have much chance to escape. Negatives: 1) Descriptions. Before I really say anything, they were just wonderful. It was amazing how much Mark Sehestedt described the landscape and everything in between. You really can picture everything described. However, there is a slight, slight problem. Every once and a while, the descriptions slow down the story. For example, when Hwielan is going to met the Queen while she is in the Feywild, the palace's description got in the way more than it should. It just became a little distracting. 2) Cliffhanger. It just had to stop at a cliffhanger. And I have to wait a good ten months till I can read the next one. It just isn't fair. I really never wanted the story to end. Positives: 1) Characters. The characters were just plain wonderful. They really made the story as a whole interesting and engaging. Hwielan was a wonderful main character. She brought a lot of helplessness and confusion to the story. Basically, she just was a normal girl thrown into something very abnormal and it really shows with everything she does. It's amazing how she adapts and grows while the story progresses. Menduarthis was great for many reasons. His, at times, cold attitude towards Hwielan and Lendri makes him out to be more of a villain than one of the heroes. But as the story moves forward, he becomes more and more likable and funny. In fact, he is probably one of my favorite characters within the story. Why is that? Because (Small Spoiler!) the reason for him helping Hwielan escape is because he is really bored in the Feywild. How great is that? No motivation except of his boredom, it's just wonderful. Also, the side characters and minor characters all add something interesting and really help the story along. 2) Secondary Plot. I love how every time the secondary plot is brought up, the chapter only lasts a few pages, then after those few pages, we go back to the main storyline. It makes the story flow better than having to stop the wonderful pacing for some pointless, or relatively pointless, side plot that the reader really couldn't careless for. Now, the secondary plot of the person who took over Highwatch and his reasons is really good, but I was really happy to see it as only a few pages after a few chapters with the main storyline. It just didn't bore you with things that weren't really happening in the main story. Instead it seemed to be more like a subtle reminder of the what is still going on in Highwatch. 3) Story. The story itself was just wonderful. It may have been a little simple, but it still was interesting and engaging. Basically, the story is having Hwielan running away from everything and it really does work out for the best. It makes the story fly by, because these scenes are fast paced and exciting. Even the slower parts of the story are interesting. They have an underlying sense of excitement when things get slow. For example, while being led through the Queen's palace it's a slower scene, but it still builds up what is going to happen when Hwielan meets the Queen. It just was plain exciting. Side Notes: 1) Gruesome. There were a lot of scenes were things got a little more than gory. It was great however. I squirmed a little more than I should when Hwielan stabbed one of her chasers in the eye. And reading about what this unholy creature looked like after a while was really shiver worthy. 2) Lendri. It was nice to see him return. But his whole back story seems like it needs to be told more. 3) Cover Art. I really like it. First off, it's actually in the story, when Hwielan meets Menduarthis. Secondly, the way it's horizontal and not vertical really catches your eye. Finally, the mountains are a little more than plain, they are beautiful in there own way. Overall: 5/5 Final Thoughts: The problems I have aren't really huge issues. They don't really take away from the positives at all. The story is wonderful, the characters are vivid and very interesting, and it's just plain exciting. I haven't read a story this good for a while, and I was pleasantly surprised by how great the story was.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andries van Wyk

    I think I am perhaps getting tired of this “we won’t tell the main character what is going on” type books. I like the main character. She is a good solid girl and would be great if people would just tell her what the hell is going on. In contrast, I really liked the villain and his cronies. Now there was motivation and intrigue and determination! The book had way to much “running away from things” and “oh yes I promise to tell you what is going on ........... but only once we get over the next hu I think I am perhaps getting tired of this “we won’t tell the main character what is going on” type books. I like the main character. She is a good solid girl and would be great if people would just tell her what the hell is going on. In contrast, I really liked the villain and his cronies. Now there was motivation and intrigue and determination! The book had way to much “running away from things” and “oh yes I promise to tell you what is going on ........... but only once we get over the next hurdle. And then never does”.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    3.5 stars. Fast paced generic fantasy that doesn’t pretend it is anything more. Refreshing and enjoyable read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    The Fall of Highwatch (TFoH) is the first book in a new trilogy by Mark Sehestedt called Chosen of Nendawen. The second book Hand of the Hunter is scheduled to be released in December 2010 and the Third, Cry of the Ghost Wolf, in December 2011. Those who have read Frostfell in the Wizards series will be able to read more about one of the characters from there as well as some background that bleeds over into this one. TFoH is fast paced right from the start. It takes a few pages to get the reader The Fall of Highwatch (TFoH) is the first book in a new trilogy by Mark Sehestedt called Chosen of Nendawen. The second book Hand of the Hunter is scheduled to be released in December 2010 and the Third, Cry of the Ghost Wolf, in December 2011. Those who have read Frostfell in the Wizards series will be able to read more about one of the characters from there as well as some background that bleeds over into this one. TFoH is fast paced right from the start. It takes a few pages to get the reader set up with a short background of the people and the land, introduces some characters, and then the mayhem begins and doesn’t let up until the middle. With such a frantic pace, there may be some readers who may feel that they miss a point or key information in all the action. I, however, did not feel that way. The novel has some good transitions and flows nicely. The plot has many elements and so the main plot really doesn’t come in until towards the end. It begins with a character being given a quest to find Nendawen’s chosen since he didn’t bring a sacrifice when he entered his lands. Then there is the battle that brings down the ruling family and all loyal to Highwatch except one, Hweilan, who escapes and later becomes hunted. Also during this there is Gulric who has allied himself with a spellscarred person, Argalath, who is to help Gulric revive his dead wife. Other characters appear when Hweilan is taken to the Feywild and meets the queen there to decide her fate. She also meets Menduarthis who is more than he seems. There are many sub plots such as the reason Hweilan is wanted, the deeper ambitions of Argalath, and others that may lead to spoilers. Of all the characters, I liked Menduarthis the most. I was able to connect with most of the characters. The one that I had the hardest time connecting with was Lendri. His character seemed bland and just didn’t add much flavor to his scenes. All the rest were easier, even the villains were easy to connect with. As for character development, there really wasn’t much in this book. I have a feeling that now with the story and characters set up, there will be much more development in the subsequent books. A couple criticisms: 1. Like I mentioned previously, I couldn’t connect with Lendri’s character. It has been a long time since I read Frostfell so I may be missing something with this character, but he just didn’t seem to make me care about him that much. 2. I have read previous reviews claiming that Mr. Sehestedt did not give good descriptions of the cold wastes in Frostfell and I believe he listened because even though the descriptions are a lot better in this one, later after all the fighting and chasing he seemed to describe everything and the story really slowed down there. I felt like I was being told every minute detail. This was good for getting the author’s vision across, but after the speed of the first half of the book, this sudden “Slow School Zone” pace felt too slow. 3. For those who do not like cliffhanger endings, well, this one has it. This is one of the reasons that I usually wait for a full trilogy to get published before I read it. Some positives: 1. Here’s the caveat to the description criticism. During the chase scenes and the rest of the book, the depictions were not overbearing and the author was able to get his vision across as well as let the reader fill in any gaps to make the story their own. The reader could easily envision the landscape and feel the environment around. 2. I have to say, it has been quite a while since there was a good amount of gore in a FR novel. There are some scenes in here that may turn someone’s stomach. Mr. Sehestedt towed the PG-13 line nicely in this regard. 3. I enjoyed the fast pace of the book. I really had a hard time putting this one down and I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for work and needing sleep. It has been a long time since I read something that was so engaging. 4. This is the first book in the newer 4E realms were the only mention of anyone being spellscarred is the villain. I am sure there may be more scarred people later in the trilogy, but if Mr. Sehestedt keeps it this way, I will be more than happy. It is not that I don’t like protagonists that are spellscarred, but I like the fact that this would be something different having only the antagonist being spellscarred. Reflecting back, this is one of those trilogies I wish I didn’t have to wait a year between books. Aside from the few minor issues, I enjoyed this book immensely. I really am looking forward to reading the next one. 12 months seems so far away. If you still enjoy the 4E realms novels, you should really enjoy this one. Even those who don’t should give it a try. If you want fast paced action in fantasy, then this one is for you. Even those new to the fantasy genre could enjoy this. This is one of those books I would prefer to give 4 ½ stars, but I can’t see bringing it down to 4 so I will give it 5. Happy reading. -Dimndbangr

  5. 5 out of 5

    Larry

    From 42webs.com You should be Geeking Hweilan Highwatch has never been taken. The fortress has sat, undisturbed for over a century, high above Narfell’s frozen plains. The line of the High Warden runs unbroken down to his seventeen-year-old granddaughter, Hweilan. It is a place of peace in the wilderness. If a book stopped there we’d all be quite bored. You need conflict to make a story interesting. Luckily for us, the reader, Guric, the foster son of the High Warden, makes a pact with an ancient, From 42webs.com You should be Geeking Hweilan Highwatch has never been taken. The fortress has sat, undisturbed for over a century, high above Narfell’s frozen plains. The line of the High Warden runs unbroken down to his seventeen-year-old granddaughter, Hweilan. It is a place of peace in the wilderness. If a book stopped there we’d all be quite bored. You need conflict to make a story interesting. Luckily for us, the reader, Guric, the foster son of the High Warden, makes a pact with an ancient, evil spirit to resurrect his wife. The price is his family’s blood. Highwatch falls in less than a day and the line of the High Warden is broken. The High Warden line doesn’t find this lucky at all. Hweilan, daughter of the High Warden and princess of Highwatch, escapes with little more than her father’s unstrung bow in hand and her heart full of vengeance. Although vengeance isn’t a valid form of currency in the material plane, it is for ancient spirits. On the run and looking for revenge, Hweilan makes her own pact with Nendawen, the Master of the Hunt, and primal spirit of the shapechanging Vil Adanrath. This is the story of Hweilan and the Chosen of Nendawen series by Mark Sehestedt. Why Care? As I have said in previous reviews I am a huge fan of the Forgotten Realms series (I have on numerous occasion applied for Faerun citizen ship but have been rejected due to only speaking one language, if I spoke Dwarven or Elven I would have gotten in.) but not all the books are good. Some are good, some are bad and some are exceptional. This series thankfully falls under the exceptional category. The writing of Mark Sehestedt is vivid and fluid the chilling fall of Highwatch graphically told and illustrated through his pages. His story is strong and his characters stronger. The trials and tribulations we follow of these souls are not just single dimension characters lifted from some campaign or adventure, these are fully flesh out literary characters, some of the best I have ever witnessed in fantasy. Hweilan herself isn’t a perfect warrior either. In the opening book she is nearly skill less. She cannot fight, save for a lucky shot with a knife, and is visibly shaken with every life loss before her. She is a girl who essentially knows how to camp and run. Trying to outrun her hunters, she stumbles into the darkness and left with little choice but to make a pact to survive. In the second and third books out heroine take to the DND way, training and becoming of of 4th edition new classes, the Seeker. This primal-powered archer is a combination of a druid and a ranger all rolled into one. WOTC publishing is embracing the 4th edition Faerun world entirely, they have since the edition’s launch, and with books like this the world, which took a century leap forward at launch, are finally getting fleshed out like t he edition before it. It’s books like these that not only bring more light to advertised planes like the Feywild but also shine light on world changing events like the spellplague and its lasting effect with Sehestedt’s villainous Shaman born with a spellscars. This series, one of the best all through the Forgotten Realms history, elevates Mark Sehestedt to one of the hottest new talent in Faerun. With a solid follow up series Sehestedt could easily be placed on par with Elaine Cunningham, R.A. Salvatore, Ed Greenwood, and Richard Lee Byers. If you like this: Songs and Swords Series – Elaine Cunningham The Year of the Rogue Dragons Series – Richard Lee Byers The Last Mythal Series – Richard Baker The Legend of Drizzt Series - R. A. Salvatore

  6. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    I’m a fan of Mark Sehestedt’s previous books. Sentinelspire is one of my all-time favorite Forgotten Realms novels. Frostfell, it was a decent book that, while I wasn’t in love with it, introduced a few things into the Forgotten Realms that I did like. When I found out that Mr. Sehestedt has a series entitled ‘The Chosen of Nendawen Trilogy’, my curiosity was piqued- the Vil Adanrath were one of the things in Frostfell that made me enjoy the book. Overall, I was disappointed with The Fall of Hig I’m a fan of Mark Sehestedt’s previous books. Sentinelspire is one of my all-time favorite Forgotten Realms novels. Frostfell, it was a decent book that, while I wasn’t in love with it, introduced a few things into the Forgotten Realms that I did like. When I found out that Mr. Sehestedt has a series entitled ‘The Chosen of Nendawen Trilogy’, my curiosity was piqued- the Vil Adanrath were one of the things in Frostfell that made me enjoy the book. Overall, I was disappointed with The Fall of Highwatch. Let me get to the good things before the bad things. The book shed some more light on the mysterious and enigmatic Vil Adanrath. Personally, I wish there was more on them, specifically, but beggars can’t be choosers. I particularly like the ‘kishkoman’, a dagger specific to the eastern Lythari, that is basically a dagger with a dog whistle built into it. Given the physiology of Lythari, a pretty cool idea. And, of course, the Elven linguist within me forced me to record the new eastern Lythari words that were revealed: Rathla (Blood Bound), Yachinehra (Milk Brothers), Uskeche Tet (Fire Stick/Ghost Stick), K’che (Family), Kan (Death), and Besthunit Nenle (Hurry Up Slowly). The villain, Argalath, his spellscar was an interesting application of telekinesis, I have to say. Now, to my criticisms of the novel. Firstly, the 4e terminology really threw me off, to the point that it was interfering with my reading of the novel. One character who is both antagonist and protagonist, Menduarthis, was first introduced as being something of an enigma (and still is). He was first introduced as being ‘Eladrin’- not as in a proper noun, but as in a descriptive adjective. So, I figured he was a 4e Elf, a 3e Wood Elf. We then later learned that he seemed to have innate magical powers, and was living on the Plane of Faerie. I revised my mental image such that he was a 4e Eladrin, a 3e Sun/Moon/Star Elf. The term ‘Eladrin’ was mentioned a few times, as was the term ‘Elf’. By the time the book was finished, I wasn’t sure if he was a 4e Eladrin, a 3e Eladrin, a 4e Elf, or a 3e Elf. I didn’t like these newer 4e terms being used in novels to begin with, thinking that they’d replace specific Forgotten Realms terms, and/or cause confusion, and lo and behold. My biggest complain with the novel was that it just didn’t feel like a Forgotten Realms novel. That’s not to say that since it was written in the 4e era, and is set in DR 14-something, but rather, the novel is simply generic, and doesn’t feel like a Forgotten Realms novel. That’s not through any fault of the author, per se, but rather, because of where the novel is set. After Highwatch falls (major spoiler alert, I know!), the protagonists are running around in the frosty Narfellian tundra, and the antagonists are chasing them. In the wilds, there aren’t specific locations or anything like that, to identify with the Forgotten Realms. The last half of the book takes place on the Plane of Faerie. Again, the Plane of Faerie, while associated with the Forgotten Realms, isn’t a specific Forgotten Realms location. The parts of the book that took place in “civilized” areas of Faerûn could just have easily been replaced with “civilized” parts of Greyhawk, Eberron, Middle Earth, or any generic swords-and-sorcerery-type setting. I didn’t pick up the second book in the trilogy because it wasn’t at the bookstore when I picked up The Fall of Highwatch. If I never see Hand of the Hunter, the second book, in bookstores for the rest of my life, I won’t feel like I missed out. If I do see it, however, I’ll have no problems buying it, to continue the trilogy and see how the story turns out.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Leeanna

    Forgotten Realms: Chosen of Nendawen #1: The Fall of Highwatch, by Mark Sehestedt "The Fall of Highwatch" is a Forgotten Realms novel set in the 4th Edition D&D world, but don't let that stop you from reading this excellent book. Let me start by saying that I don't play D&D, but I have read many FR novels and rather enjoy them. The fortress of Highwatch sits in the Giantspire Mountains, in the frozen regions of Narfell. The citadel has stood strong for over a century, as the landscape around it h Forgotten Realms: Chosen of Nendawen #1: The Fall of Highwatch, by Mark Sehestedt "The Fall of Highwatch" is a Forgotten Realms novel set in the 4th Edition D&D world, but don't let that stop you from reading this excellent book. Let me start by saying that I don't play D&D, but I have read many FR novels and rather enjoy them. The fortress of Highwatch sits in the Giantspire Mountains, in the frozen regions of Narfell. The citadel has stood strong for over a century, as the landscape around it has made it virtually impregnable. Indeed, Highwatch only falls because of inside treachery, when the captain of the guard betrays everyone for a second chance with his deceased love. Hweilan, the granddaughter of the Warden of Highwatch, survives the massacre, and is thrust into a wild journey through the wilds of Narfell and even a jaunt into the Feywild. On the run from a dangerous vampire-like demon, she meets Lendri, an elf who claims to be bloodkin and oathsworn, and Menduarthis, a strange male who takes her into the Feywild because he's "bored." Even after losing everything she knows - her family, her home - Hweilan is still a strong character, and more stubborn than a donkey. Sehestedt sets up an intriguing plot, and I can't wait for the other two books of this trilogy; I'm frustrated that I'll have to wait a year for the next installment - especially since the book ends on quite a cliffhanger. Just enough is revealed that you want to know more, and I kept reading long after I meant to go to sleep. The action is very very fast, and will at times leave you wondering just how Hweilan could have the energy to continue running and fighting after enduring so much, but adrenaline and the will to live make sense. Sometimes things were too predictable, but not often enough to really detract. Lastly, I have to say I absolutely love the cover design of this book - it's very different, as it's horizontal art instead of vertical. The theme is continued inside, and looks very nice overall. It's eye-catching. 4/5.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ikiriaera

    Overall, as far as Forgotten Realm novels go, The Fall of Highwatch is pretty average. While the story opened up promising enough with the siege and fall of Highwatch Tower, the story quickly begins to drag in the middle when Hwelian enters the Feywild. While there is there is the underlying story that Hwelian is a Vil Adanrath, a shapshifter, this really does not get revealed to her at all, but rather is just hinted to her by supporting characters

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    A great medieval fantasy novel. Unlike many fantasy series not everyone lives in castles and life isn't clean and perfect. Set in cold mountain lands it does a good job of building tension and describing action. You can picture yourself stalking through the forest or trekking the vast cliffs along side the protagonists.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael Smith

    Great writing, exciting story, and excellent characters. I'll definitely read more of Mark's books. The building of the main character is superb and I can't wait to see what happens to her, how she grows, and what she accomplishes. It has the same feeling that I got from reading Midnight's journey to becoming Mystra so long ago. Good read, indeed.

  11. 4 out of 5

    J.

    Tightly written fantasy novel spun around a coming of age story amidst the frozen landscape of Highwatch fortress. An unholy spirit has wrought horror in this land and Hweilan, a young girl wise in the ways of the wilderness but naive in her royal duties, has suffered the brutal loss of her family. She vows to avenge that loss and so begins an epic journey whose end may change her forever.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mphecker

    Definitely a good start for a series. Although there are some references to previous books by the author, there was enough in-story explanation to make them understandable. Looking forward to seeing Hweilan develop as a character.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nick Wilson

    A good story, a little confusing with the initial scene setting, but once everything was setup an good read, making me look forward to reading the next part of the trilogy

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jo

  15. 4 out of 5

    Levi DeMille

  16. 4 out of 5

    Daria

  17. 4 out of 5

    Daniel A

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tim

  19. 4 out of 5

    Doug Parsons

  20. 5 out of 5

    Job.Chaiyagmail.Com

  21. 5 out of 5

    Crissy Ann

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ewoks44

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bernard Wright

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tim

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mashkai

  27. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

  29. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kat

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