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Apparently the first book in particular is largely based on a RPG campaign the authors played which probably explains some of the structure.I started reading Dragons of Autumn Twilight but the events just seemed too coincidental, like they accidentally happened just to get the story moving.
Caramon.I can't even remember the name of his warrior twin off-hand.
True - but the forms we get in fantasy fiction are lifted from Tolkien's interpretation, especially through the lens of D&D.Not all Goblins and Elves are Tolkien
I was actually thinking of making a post on this subject and still might. Watching the Game of Thrones tv show has really increased my desire to re-read the books, which I found both fascinating and frustrating the first time through. The show has made me realize that part of my frustration is exactly what people love about them... the world building.IMO that's one of its major appeals - on top of being cleanly written with a focus on "pace and clarity" rather than lectures on world-building, which they could easily have done.
I'm pretty sure one of the events you're referring to the aftermath of the confrontation with the black dragon. It was pretty over the top, but I viewed it as less a deus ex machina (author backed into corner and not sure how to get out) and more as a necessary demonstration of the return of the gods. I mean, it literally is calling on a deity for reprieve, so I think it is less the sort of deus ex machina used by an author that doesn't know how to resolve conflict and more intended to be an explicit invocation of the gods to show they still have power in this world. It wasn't so much an effort to salvage a character as it was a needed "sign" for the other companion members that they were fighting for something real.- deus ex machina plays too much of a role in this. At times you can practically hear the dungeon master clacking dice to get the characters out from a fix that will otherwise overwhelm them. Additionally, no one is really in any mortal danger at any time - a combination of magic and Godly Healing! ensure that no one can ever be particularly harmed. At least two of the main characters appeared to die, only to be healed by divine intervention. Because of this, I cannot believe any character is in peril (and I suspect this will undermine later character fates that I remember).