Reviews: Forgotten Realms

If I made the other review with Dragonlance books this one is going to be with Forgotten Realms ones. Well, if Dragonlance have Raistlin Majere; Forgotten Realms have Drizzt Do'Urden. He is a dark elf chaotic good ranger/fighter with twenty novels so far. 21 novels!!! Probably one of the most adored fantasy characters.

Look over here. Pretty good yes?

This tale began at 1988 with the first book. To me the tales only began in 2002/3 unfortunally or fortunally. Fortunally because I got the chance to read all in a row. Well, but let us begin with my first book in Dungeons and Dragons (not forgotten realms).

It was a small book called City of Fire by T. H. Lain written in 2001. It was one of several small books printed by the writer. This book is a small adventure pick up from a game play. It was pretty good. After reading that book I bought three more inspired on a game called Baldur's Game. The books were a little different but entertaining enough. Not the worst book/game conversion. The first was Baldur's Gate; Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Anm and Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhall. The first two were pretty goood written by Philip Athans. It's an excelent writer and he does know his world. The last one was written by Drew Karpyshyn and in my opinion it was the poorer.

I returned a years later after reading several Dragonlance books. And what a returned. I start reading chronologyic and not the way they were published. These books were all written by R A Salvatore. I must say Salvatore is a great fantasy writer of dungeons and dragons stories. It doesn't ring as only a D&D game put on a book. The characters are all well documented and they are very interesting. From the main character, through his friends and the Companions of the Hall and what about the evil characters? Even better. Entreri or Jarlaxe are two evil characters so good that they got a trilogy themselves.

Salvatore is not only good at creating characters but also in creating worlds/situations and plots. The evil ciy of the dark elves Menzoberranzan and the Underdark.

The first three books I read were 1. Homeland follows the story of Drizzt from around the time and circumstances of his birth and his upbringing amongst the drow (dark elves). The book takes the reader into Menzoberranzan, the drow home city. From here, the reader follows Drizzt on his quest to follow his principles in a land where such feelings are threatened by all his family including his mother Matron Malice. 2. Exile tells the story of Drizzt outside of the drow cities in the open wilderness of the Underdark. For the ten years following his abandoning his house, he is left with no one but his faithful Guenhwyvar, a magical panther he had acquired in Homeland. Drizzt is also met with great dangers that he meets with the business ends of his scimitars. Struggling with conflicting emotions, which involve his failure in Menzoberranzan and a deep grief for his father and friend Zaknafein, he makes his way to the surface to face newer dangers. 3. Sojourn is the story of Drizzt coming to the surface of the world and facing adversity due to the infamy of his kin. It follows him trying to find his place among the humans that live between the city of Sundabar and Citadel Adbar. He is rejected, and hunted, before meeting and living with an elderly blind man known as Montolio DeBrouchee. Montolio teaches Drizzt what
it means to become a ranger and together they defend Mooshie's home against a raid by local orcs. Drizzt ultimately leaves the Sundabar area and makes his way to Icewind Dale where he befriends Catti-brie and Bruenor Battlehammer and finds a place to call home.

These three books are the best no doubt. Specially the first two books.

The Second trilogy I read was the first written and begins with Crystal Shard - It details the acceptance of Drizzt to then Ten Towns. The parentage of the barbarian Wulfgar by Bruenor, the forging of the mighty Aegis-fang a magical warhammer, and the battle against the Crystal Shard called Crenshinibon a magical sentient being possessed by Akar Kessel the wizard. In this tale we find out Drizzt nemesis a balor called Ertuu. (Who calls himself "the ones who hates Drizzt more). In Streams of Silver - The quest to recover Mithral Hall, the dwarven home of Bruenor. In this book for the first time appears the assassin Artemis Entreri, the arch-rival of Drizzt. Equal in prowess the only thing that distinguishes them is virtue. Entreri becomes obessessed in later books in defeating Drizzt to prove that he is the better fighter. With which loss he things that he has wasted his life. Entreri things that Drizzt's attachments to his friends are an hindrance and not a good thing and with each loss he is proven wrong. So he became obssessed. Another thought of Entreri we get to know is that Entreri believes that he is Drizzt if things had gone a different way. In this novel, which is never slow, the enemies battle a plenty. Drizzt, the drow with human heart and Entreri, the human with a drow heart. There are several large battles of Duegar against Dwarves. In the end Entreri kidnaps Regis, the Halfling. In The Halfling's Gem - Wulfgar and Drizzt goes to Calimport to rescue their friend. Bruenor and Catti-brie (the second adopted daughter of Bruenor) travel later to help their friends. In the city they are transported to another plane but later rescued. This novels intensivies the rivalry between Drizzt and Entreri. Another important characters makes new appearence. Captain Deudermont and Robillard. Both of them appear in later novels as pirate-hunters. In this book we get to see for the first time the romantic feelings of Drizzt for Catti-brie.

Next it came the Legacy of the Drow with four books. The Legacy; The Starless Night; Siege of Darkness; Passage to Dawn. This book continues the story in the Halfling Gem and the planning of marriage of Catti-brie and Wulfgar. Wulfgar goes berserk and attacks Drizzt and the tension builds up. We are introduced to Pewt a battlerager and his comely armour who is the main attack weapon. Meanwhile in Menzoberranzan the sister of Drizzt, Vierna, adopted by Baenre House, tries to capture her relative with the help of a mercenary band led by Jarlaxe (another prominent character). In Mithral Hall the tension between Wulfgar and Catti-Brie escalates as Wulfgar has attitutes that he didn't had before. Then when Drizzt is ambushed in the deep halls his friend try to save him. But Drizzt was in the time capture and everyone (it seems) was searching for him in the Underdark. Both parties collided and Wulfgar to defeat Yolchol crashes the cealing in top of them (both). Drizzt decides to return to Menzoberranzan to keep the drow from going after his friends. He gives Guenhwyvar to Regis and tells him not to tell anyone where he went. When Cattie-brie later questioned Regis, she was skeptical and decided to follow Drizzt.

Drizzt goes first to Blingdenstone and stays for a short while. Then in Menzoberranzan, Drizzt is able to disguise himself for a little while as a guard, but is later found out. He is captured and taken to Matron Baenre's dungeon and tortured by Vendes, the chief torturer. Meanwhile, Cattie-brie uses the magical mask to disguise herself as a drow priestess. She teams up with Artemis Entreri and frees Drizzt. Drizzt kills Vendes, then later fights Dantrag Baenre, who was considered the second-best to Zaknafein, so he wanted to kill Drizzt because he was Zaknafein's son and protege. Drizzt defeated him and obtained the speed bracers that he wore, while Cattie-brie took the sword Khazid'hea. Then the Time of Troubles begins. To summarise is the event in which all magic is temporarily disrupted and most of gods and goddesses are forced to take the forms of their avatars and walk the material plane. This affects the drow and Drizzt and company. The Spider Queen, Lolth, plots to keep Matron Baenre in power and to ultimately take Mithril Hall. In-house fighting results in the 3rd house, House Oblodra, destroyed, with the exception of their kobold/ goblin army and the 4th house, House Faen Tlabbar, left leaderless. Matron Baenre, along with the favor of Lolth, forms a loose house alliance to attack Mithril Hall. Realizing that they can not possibly stop a drow army, the svirfnebli, the deep gnomes, are forced to abandon Blingdenstone. The battle for Mithral Hall takes place on the surface as well as in the Underdark. The drow were defeated with a little help from an unlikely source, the balor, Errtu. Through trickery, all Baenre wizardry and spells are temporarily interrupted and the heroes take advantage of the opening, killing Matron Baenre and defeating the drow offensive. Lolth's plan all along was to bring about chaos and to rid herself of Matron Baenre.

Then the last trilogy/quadolgy is called Path of Darkness. One of the books, The Servant of the Shard belongs as well to another trilogy with Entreri and Jarlaxe. In The Silent Blade, Wulfgar tries to come to terms with his freedom from the Abyss… and fails, fleeing from his friends to the port city of Luskan. There, he finds a job as a bouncer in return for a room and spirits, which he has become dependent on to dull the pain of his recent past. Many miles to the south Artemis Entreri returns to his hometown of Calimport, only to find that a lot of things have changed in his old thieves guild… and many more will change if he and his new drow sponsors have anything to do with it. Drizzt himself travels with the rest of his friends to see Cadderly Bonaduce who has said he will attempt to use his powers as the chosen of Deneir to destroy Crenshinibon. Drizzt and company are duped by Jarlaxle and his lieutenants who impersonate Cadderly and take the crystal shard for themselves. In The Spine of the World, Wulfgar and his new friend, Morik the Rogue are convicted of the attempted murder of Wulfgar's old companion Captain Deudermont, a crime they did not commit. Morik the Rogue is an unscrupulous human who comes along as a traveling and drinking companion to barbarian hero Wulfgar, and is a close, but not necessarily trusted, friend. Wulfgar's mighty warhammer Aegis Fang is stolen and sold to a notorious pirate. They narrowly avoid the horrors of Luskan's prisoner's carnival and set out to become bandits on the roads surrounding the city. They prove to not be very proficient at it, though, and soon become involved in the politics of a backwater town in which the peasant fiancĂ© of the local lord bears an illegitimate child. Wulfgar is blamed, but is helped to escape, and adopts the baby girl as his own. The Sea of Swords I made a review HERE.

Of all books this trilogy is the worst. The Spine of the World was a bane to my existance. I try to read it several times and I could never ended. I just didn't care about Wulfgar and is tale of self-piety. Truly awful. This is the only book I will not be reading in the future. I tend to read every one in the future.

That book was so awful that I lost interest in forgotten realms for three years. It's that bad. Now I returned and I've read several novels with more here to be read.

Inbetween these Salvatore's books I read Ghostwalker by Erik Scott de Bie. Nice book with an a straightforward story. A kill bill of Forgotten Realms. A revenge story with a mystery inbetween. Great characters.

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