Forgotten Realms is shaking things up again and it’s an intriguing storyline. The Companions by R.A. Salvatore (read his new release interview HERE) began a new six-book set titled The Sundering, which also features the work of Ed Greenwood, Troy Denning, Erin Evans, Richard Lee Byers, and Paul S. Kemp.
Paul was given the responsibility of writing the second book in the event, The Godborn, a stand alone that anyone can dive in and begin reading!
Here is more about The Godborn by Paul S. Kemp:
In the 2nd book of the multi-author Sundering series launched by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, the shadow legacy of Erevis Cale lives on even as his old foe Mephistopheles seeks to stamp it out at any cost. Cale’s son Vasen—unmoored in time by the god Mask—has thus far been shielded from the archdevil’s dark schemes, alone among the servants of the Lord of Light who have raised him since birth.
Living in a remote abbey nestled among the Thunder Peaks of Sembia, Vasen is haunted by dreams of his father, trapped in the frozen hell of Cania. He knows the day will come when he must assume his role in the divine drama unfolding across Faerûn. But Vasen knows not what that role should be . . . or whether he is ready to take it on. He only knows what his father tells him in dreams—that he must not fail.
Enter Drasek Riven, a former compatriot of Erevis Cale, now near divine and haunted by dreams of his own—he too knows the time to act is near. Shar, the great goddess of darkness, looks to cast her shadow on the world forever. Riven has glimpsed the cycle of night she hopes to complete, and he knows she must be stopped.
At the crossroads of divine intrigue and mortal destiny, unlikely heroes unite to thwart the powers of shadow and hell, and the sundering of worlds is set on its course.
I had to ask Paul a few questions about this new Forgotten Realms project.
And here are his answers!
NEW RELEASE INTERVIEW: THE GODBORN BY PAUL S. KEMP
Shawn Speakman: THE GODBORN is released today! Tell Unbound Worlds readers about The Sundering and how it plays the current conflict in the Forgotten Realms?
As an event, the Sundering represents the separation of the currently ‘overlapping’ worlds of Abeir and Toril (the worlds became ‘overlapped’ as a result of the Spellplague and its aftermath) and an end to the Age of Upheaval. Man of Faerun’s powerful know that something is afoot, but they don’t know what that might mean for them. As a result, lots of forces are put in motion during this time: armies, Chosen of the Gods, powerful clerics and archmages, all of them trying to figure out what is going on and how best they can weather it and/or turn it to their advantage, etc.
During all that, the six novels of The Sundering series tell their stories — smaller stories in a way, stories that show the Sundering through the eyes of both ordinary folk and some of Faerun’s iconic heroes. The first indications that something large is happening begin with R.A. Salvatore’s The Companions, then events are moved forward still further with The Godborn, and so on with each successive book in the series.
That said, understand that each novel in The Sundering series is self-contained. And that said, understand too that there are connections between the novels (beyond the fact that each is advancing the Sundering), some Easter eggs, if you will. What they share is a common background, with all of them occurring against the backdrop of the Sundering.
As for The Godborn in particular, it continues a story that began way back in 2000 with the creation of Erevis Cale – thief, spy, assassin, and, eventually priest of the God of Shadows. Man, it’s been a long, fun road. I’ve written seven full length novels, a novella, and several short stories about Cale, his companions, and their enemies, both mortal and divine, and The Godborn brings all of those events to what I hope is a gut-punch of a climax. But – and this here’s the big ‘but’ (cue Sir Mixalot reference – a reader doesn’t need to have read all of the Cale stories before diving into The Godborn. I wrote the book to be accessible to new readers of the Cale stories (as well as rewarding to long time readers) and, based on the early reviews I’ve seen, I think I may have succeeded (or at least I hope so; Dear God, I hope so. ?).
Shawn Speakman: The Sundering is a multi-author endeavor with some of the best writers contributing. R.A. Salvatore started The Sundering with the first book, THE COMPANIONS. Did you read Bob’s book before you began THE GODBORN?
What happened is that I was invited to participate in The Sundering series and, as we developed the story, I saw right away that the story I’d intended to tell with The Godborn would fit into the Sundering storyline perfectly. I then got drunk and penned a rambling, long winded email to the other authors and editors, possibly – possibly is what I’m saying – called them some choice names, and made my pitch for including the story of The Godborn in the Sundering. They readily agreed and I felt bad for using such harsh language. 😉
So I’ve read the synopsis of The Companions and I’ve read parts of it, but I haven’t actually sat down and read the whole thing cover to cover. I intend to remedy that, though, as everything I’ve read says it’s Bob’s best book.
Shawn Speakman: Conversely, has Erin Evans, the author writing the next book THE ADVERSARY, read THE GODBORN?
Actually I wouldn’t do that because (a) Erin is awesome and (b) she’d issue me a smack down.
Shawn Speakman: What is the biggest challenge of working in a shared world? Best aspect?
And speaking of fans – they’re the best aspect of writing in the Realms. They’re passionate, knowledgeable, and (with a vanishingly small number of exceptions) a pleasure to interact with. The whole shebang is just a great gig.
Raise your hand if you thought I’d use ‘shebang’ and ‘gig’ in the same sentence.
Shawn Speakman: Do you ever find yourself rolling dice to figure out a character’s fate? Ha!
Shawn Speakman: What are you currently working on and when can we expect it?
Oh! You mean with the writing?
Well, in the near term I’m working on my next Egil and Nix novel (for those who may not know, the Tales of Egil and Nix are sword and sorcery stories that everyone – and I mean literally everyone (because “literally” means that these days, yes?) – loves. They’re fast paced, with witty dialog and lots of action and, candidly, enormously fun, compelling characters. And I’m also working on my next novel in the Realms, a book that follows on from The Godborn. I can’t say much about that yet, but hope to soon.
The Godborn by Paul S. Kemp is in fine bookstores today!