The Harpers One: The Parched Sea 豎琴手密探系列一:炙海荒漠

The Parched Sea

Troy Denning,集遊戲設計師、奇幻與科幻作家於一身,執筆至今累計發表的著作超過二十餘本,其著作見諸於 Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, Planescape, Star Wars 等知名系列,千禧年後作品泰半與星戰有關,也因此時隔十二年(2014)後獲 WotC 再次邀稿請參與 The Sundering 專案寫作時曾造成不小的轟動,而威世智也確實妥善利用了 Troy Denning (當然還有其他作者)的號召力以挽救當時岌岌可危的 D&D 4.0,這點可在當年的宣傳與 Gen Con 的排場即可看出端倪。

I against my brother, my brother and I against my cousin, and my cousin and I against the stranger.

豎琴手密探,做為一個職業別,以前頂多在絕冬城職業選單裏頭瞄過幾眼,僅此而已,如今倒是個人首次真正接觸這個神祕的職業,其所需背景資訊作者在書中偶有提及但卻不會造成讀者的負擔。再者,因為書中遊牧民族貝汀人(Bedine)其設定大抵源自於貝都因人(Bedouin),因此食衣住行莫不與此相關[1],底下摘錄一些貝汀語(Uloushinn)英語、阿拉伯語詞彙對照表,詳細資訊可至原文查詢。[2]

Aba: Loose-fitting robe; basic garment of the Bedine worn by both sexes.
Akh: Brother.
‘Atshan: Thirsty.
‘Avn: Spring (of water).
Aziir: Scimitar.
Aziirla: Killing, murder (however done).
‘Azim: Great (in power or rank).
Berrani: Stranger.
Bi: prefix, meaning: ‘at’, ‘in,’ or ‘with’.
Da’if: Weak.
Darab: Strike, hit.
Difa: Code of behavior, decree or judgement.
Djebira: A saddlebag.
Dukhkhan: Smoke.
El: Lord (or sir) a title of respect preceding the person name, (although it is actually as something close to “The").
Fahim: Understand.
Ghazal (plural ghozlan): Gazelle.
Gooud (plural goouds): Mature Camle (not to be used to describe any other short of camel: means a full-grown, trained riding variety, the ‘top quality’ animal).
Gu’an: Hungry.
Hiram (plural ihrima): Blanket.
Jambiya: A curved, double-edged dagger, worn in a belt scabbard by both sexes (customarily the only weapon of a woman).
Jellaba: A “night cloak", or heavy camel’s wool robe worn by Bedine over their abas.
Keffiyeh (plural: keffiyehs): a head-cloth (usually white to soak up as little of the sun’s heat as possible; worn by Bedine when outside their tents).
Khowwan (plural khowwans): Tribe; “people of".
Khreima: Home (tent).
Kitab (plural kutub): Book.
Ksur: Fortress.
Qahwa: Coffee.
Tu’ban: Snake.
Turab: Dust.
Ulugarr: Outlander (intruder, elf, or other being from outside the desert).
Ulutarr: Banished or outcast one.
Uskut: Be silent.
Wadi: Dry wash or gulch.
Zahgat: Wife.
Zoba’a: Storm.

至於小說呢?在不洩漏劇情的情況下能給的感想就是:好看!
本書行文流暢不拖泥帶水,善用國度的背景設定卻能帶入屬於作者自己的想法,更甚者,敢勇於挑戰讀者,光這點就頗合個人胃口。總而言之,本作雖然無法跟魔戒、三劍客、戰爭與和平等傳世大作相提並論,但相對而言,劇情鋪排及寫作技巧仍勝過許多國度作者且更具深度。作為該系列的第一集,讀者除了循線閱讀伊蓮‧康寧漢撰寫的第二集 Elfshadow 之外,或是乾脆追本溯源看國度之父 Ed Greenwood 所著 Elminster[3][4] 系列亦可。此外本作主角的故事將接續於系列第十二集 The Veiled Dragon,豎琴手系列詳細列表可參考 The Harpers series.

最後一點,倘若閣下有意閱讀這本小說,可先至 Google 查看貝都因人(Bedouin)的照片,相信更能讓您融入劇情當中。


 

1. Bedouin
2. Uloushinn
3. Harpers
4. Elminster Aumar

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