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Archive for the ‘Exalted’ Category

Exalted Novels

Posted by spragujs on February 13, 2012

A Day Dark As Night cover art

In Northern Twilight cover artRelic of the Dawn cover art

Most recently I finished a series of novels based on the White Wolf role playing game, Exalted.  Exalted itself is well described on the page linked previously, but in short:  the gods had previously exalted humans to do their work on earth, but over time this power corrupted the Unconquered Sun’s Solar Exalts and so the lowliest Exalted caste, the Dragon-Blooded, took it upon themselves to bring the Solars down.  A thousand years pass and the Dragon-Bloods have gotten distracted from their mission thus allowing the reincarnating Solar Exalts to begin to return to the land.  The initial intent of the RPG seemed to be to have the players form a circle (one of each of the 5 castes) of Solar Exalted with which to take on the major problems of the world.  But the RPG included details on more than just the Solar Exalted so that players could be one of many different types of Exalt.  The style of the game included Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon style martial arts with Exalted who were so much more powerful than the regular humans in the world.

I had hoped this series of novels would be an introduction to the creation of a circle of Solar Exalts with an overarching storyline, but they were more or less a bunch of unconnected stories of a few Solars’ minor exploits.  That’s not to say they weren’t entertaining and didn’t really make me want to play, however!

Pillar of the Sun cover art

The Carnelian Flame cover artA Shadow Over Heaven's Eye cover art

The first novel, A Day Dark as Night by Carl Bowen, was about Night Caste Harmonious Jade.  She travels to Nexus to get revenge on a former mentor who betrayed her, and in the process meets several other Exalted, including Dawn Caste Dace.  They help to put a stop to a Yozi plot to take over the city.  This one was my least favorite of the set.

Relic of the Dawn, by David Niall Wilson, tells of Dace and his mercenary company’s exploits in a allied city against an Abyssal (the Underworld’s counterpoint to Solars) and his undead army.  Dace’s story also includes him working together with a Lunar Exalt and them both trying to find out about their past.  I like Dace as a character, but for whatever reason, this novel was also not one of my favorites of the series.

In Northern Twilight by Jess Hartley is about Twilight Caste Arianna and Eclipse Caste Swan.  Interestingly, this is the first of the novels to describe each character’s Exaltation.  They travel together almost haphazardly until events bring them together to help save a forest lord from the destruction of his forest caused by a battle instigated by their traveling companions.

Panther, a Zenith Caste Solar, is the focus of the fourth novel, Pillar of the Sun by Carl Bowen.  Formerly a pit fighter, Panther, earned his way to freedom until he was Exalted after realizing he didn’t really have anything to live for.  He treks across half the world to find a mission for himself fighting some Wyld mutated barbarians lead by a Lunar.

Swan returns in A Shadow over Heaven’s Eye by Tim Waggoner.  He travels to a city he had helped before as diplomat.  While there he discovers that the daughter of his royal family friend seems to be ready to Exalt herself.  However, she turns out to be a Sidereal Exalt with powers of predicting and affecting the future.  Together they stop another Sidereal’s plans to take over the world.  As cheesy as my summary sounds, and in spite of the fact that I hate the idea of destiny, which is a thread that runs strongly through the story, this novel was one of my favorites.

And last, but not least, was The Carnelian Flame by Aaron Rosenburg.  This novel was my other favorite.  Arianna returns this time to help Grendis Lam, a newly exalted Zenith, destroy the Abyssal he helped to put on the throne of Ortense.  Their mix of brains and brawn form a true picture of how the complementary aptitudes of the various castes are supposed to work together.

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