Gauntlgrym by R.A. Salvatore

“Even the short-lived humans divide their lives into segments, though they rarely recognize the transient truth as they move through one or another stage of their existence.”

4/5 stars.
Hardcover, 345 pages.
Read from June 4, 2018 to June 8, 2018.

Yup, 20 books into this gigantic series now.  It is actually really nice to have a reliable series of books to fall on that you know will be an easy and comforting read but will also offer a margin of excitement. This book seems to have revived some new life into the series and I haven’t enjoyed a Drizzt book like this in a long time.

Drizzt and Bruenor have been through a lot together as friends. So many doors have closed in their old lives but Bruneor wants one last adventure. The adventure will help Bruenor with the grief he is unable to shake and Drizzt to begin to finally process his and what the future will mean for him. The two set off to find the legendary dwarven hall of Gauntlgrym, which is reminiscent of the time they set off to find Mithral Hall, however, the lack of their regular companions weighs heavy on both of them. In their search for the mysterious hall, they encounter a looming catastrophe that if not dealt with will envelop and destroy the area of Neverwinter completely. During their adventures, they run into Jarlaxle and Athrogate who have found themselves deeply caught up in the disaster looming below Neverwinter. While Drizzt has never considered Jarlaxle a friend he isn’t an enemy either. Drizzt feels a renewed energy in having a connection to his old life around and he begins to have a better understanding of the moral compass that drives Jarlaxle as he begins to question his own.

This storyline of this book is dark and has some unexpected twists and finalizing deaths which, as a fan is hard to come to terms with. Drizzt’s character dynamics take a stark turn in this book and I imagine it will only continue to unfold. I also have my suspicions about a villain character called Barrbarus the Grey as he sounds too reminiscent of a character that had a prominent role in previous Drizzt books. I have not figured out how it would be possible considering how much time has passed but I am eager to read the next book to find out.

A lot of fans did not seem to be happy with this book but I think it is because Salvatore intentionally took Drizzt’s story in a new direction to keep his story fresh. I personally think that this book was a success and I am interested to see how this new storyline progresses. Overall, it has made me excited about devouring the next few books in this series and already have them checked out from the library.

The Ghost King by R.A. Salvatore

One the best Drizzt books I have read in a long while.

4/5 stars.
Hardcover, 352 pages.
Read from April 26, 2017 to May 4, 2017.

One of the things I love the most about the stories of Drizzt is the connection and companionship that all the characters have. Salvatore also does a great job at keeping the characters interesting and connected, no matter where their adventures take them. That, and Drizzt is hella-talented with his scimitars and pretty much has no match. Mix in a zombie-Dragon that references a plot line from some of the very first books in the series and you have a great way to revive a lagging story line.  I have now read 19 books in this series and there are still 11 more to go, and counting, until I reach the end. Considering I never had any intentions of reading them this far, I’d say I have done pretty well.

Cattibrie is thriving in her magic studies since an injury to her hip and leg has left her unable to fight. However there is something horribly wrong in the fray of the magic world and in front of Drizzt’s eyes, Cattibrie sinks into a coma in which she stuck between the real world and that of a magical purgatory. In an effort to save his wife, Drizzt and his companions journey to find their old friend Cadderly, a priest with substantial healing powers. They learn that the magical world has suddenly become unstable and that an old nemesis, once thought destroyed, the Crenshinibon is responsible.  This evil has also reawakened and revived some old enemies who have a score to settle. In order to save Cattibrie as well as the realm of magic, Drizzt and his friends need to destroy the source once and for all.

This book renewed my faith in the Legend of Drizzt series. It brought back some of my favourite characters, Jarlaxle and Cadderly, and made reference to a plot from one of my favourite books in the series, The Crystal Shard. This book was a much-needed boost after the previous book I read (The Pirate King), which seemed forced and dull. By revisiting the roots of the story of Drizzt, Salvatore has put new life into his long series. While nothing will replace the love I have for the original and first three books in the whole series, it is nice to see that Salvatore is still capable of putting out quality plot lines with the same loveable characters.  Oh, and not to mention. ZOMBIE DRAGON. That, in and of itself, is worth reading.

I would most definitely recommend this book to Salvatore and fantasy fans. It is worth working your way up to in the series.

The Pirate King by R.A. Salvatore

How did Drizzt get involved in this mess?

2/5 stars.
Hardcover, 347 pages.
Read from October 26 to November 13, 2016.

Well I am now 18 books into this now 30+ series. It is nice to be able to fall back on this series for a quick, easy and entertaining read that takes me away with its familiar characters. I have always been thankful the series has continued but with this book I was wondering if maybe Salvatore wasn’t sure where to take the story next. I believe Salvatore would have stopped the series long ago had he had his own say but as the story is owned by Forgotten Realms it sadly means that they can get anyone to write and continue the story if Salvatore doesn’t want to (even though he thought up the whole story and characters). I am glad Salvatore has stuck with it as it wouldn’t be the same without him.

Luskan has always been a city with a bad reputation. Pirates, gangs, thieves and more because it is a busy sea port of people coming and going with merchant goods. Currently the Arcane Brotherhood are in charge and have a death grip on the city. Drizzt and Regis are in search of Wulfgar after he had not been heard from since he left to rediscover himself and his homeland. However the become compelled to help Captain Deudermont  who is looking to over throw the nasty Arcane Brotherhood from their corrupt rule on the city. However, the leader of the Arcane Brotherhood is not who he appears to be and devastation could be awaiting the group. And what if Drizzr and Regis delay their search of Wulfgar too long and are too late to help their friend if he needs it?

My biggest problem with this book was that there were too many characters that were introduced too quickly. I found myself completely because I got confused in trying to keep up with everything that they were doing and how it related to the bigger plot.  I also find Captain Deudermont’s character just a bit too righteous for my liking. Having said all this, the big fight that takes place with the Arcane Brotherhood was pretty awesome. Not the devastation, but how it all went done, which I won’t spoil.  I did enjoy aspects of this novel, just not as much as others in this series.

Overall, I hope the next set of books in this series promises a bit more. I have faith that Salvatore will redeem himself.