Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Completed Series: The Icewind Dale Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore

Reading about the Companions of the Hall in the Icewind Dale Trilogy makes it obvious why Drizzt is so loved among so many fans. There are great developments of story and character. Epic fights, and big results. Oh, and dragons.

The Crystal Shard (1988) - Acceptable
Streams of Silver (1989) - Good
The Halfling’s Gem  (1990) - Good

The worse of the books is in-fact the first one. This is not because of plot or setting or characters, but the writing. This is Mr. Salvatore’s first novel and it is very obvious. This hinders the read, especially since the lack of strong voices for each character and the choice of third person omniscient for the POV. Don't get me wrong, it is still good.

There are many classic D&D things that appear, dark armies, an ancient evil (in the form of the Crystal Shard), demons, and two dragons: Icingdeath and Shimmergloom. The first book mainly focuses on Kessell and his evil attempts to conquer Ten-towns and all of Icewind Dale. The Second book is a journey to reclaim Drizzt’s dwarf companion homeland of Mithral Hall. The Halfling’s Gem involves a debt the halfling Regis has with a thieves guild in the far south of Calimport. 

I read the first book in September of 2018 but only got a little into Streams of Silver before life got busy and I picked it back up to finish it and the third book in December of the same year. The first part of Streams of Silver is a little slow but gets very good later on. The Halfling’s Gem I found enjoyable the whole time. I do think that the non-stop, with heavy fighting, is a bit overdone and unsatisfying at the conclusion. Overall though, the series is entertaining and a classic. The camaraderie between Wulfgar, Bruenor, Drizzt, Cattie-Brie, and Regis is admirable, if not a little reminiscent of Conan (and less so Tolkien); being more straight forward than in-depth.

The Icewind Dale Trilogy is Good.
You can track my current progress here.

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