This book begins as four former companions, Bruenor Battlehammer, Regis, Wulfgar, and Catti-brie, who have been raised from the dead, meet in Iruladoon and are told that they have a mission to perform. They are reborn, as a gift from the Godess Mielikki, not a gift for them, but as a gift for Drizzt Do’Urden. They have a choice, they can accept life, starting over, as a newborn infant, or they can go back to their graves, and take their place in the afterlife with their ancestors nearby. If they choose life, they must accept one condition, to act on the side of Mielikki in the darkest hour, to come to the aid of Drizzt at the time of The Sundering. They will meet in Icewind Dale in 21 years, at the spring equinox, The Night of Mielikki.
Cattie-brie, the Magic User and Regi, the Halfling commit to being reborn and Bruenor, the Dwarf, reluctantly agrees, but Wulfgar says that he can’t go through that again. He must go to Warriors Rest, where his wife and children await. They separate. Three companions to become newborn infants, to go through the childhoods that await them, to meet in Icewind Dale on the eve of the spring equinox of 1484 DR, The Year of the Awaked Sleepers.
This book, Book 1 of The Sundering, covers their lives from young children, through early adulthood, the adventures they have, the perils they must survive, and the enemies they defeat, on the way to Icewind Dale. Book 2, The Godborn by Paul S. Kemp, will be published in October, 2013, followed by another book, by a different author, in the series every 2 months until the final book is published in June 2014. There will be a total of 6 books by 6 different authors in The Sundering series.
These books have a real Dungeons and Dragons feel to them. If you have read the previous Forgotten Realms, Icewind Dale, or other Drizzt Do’Urden books, you will be right at home. If not, you may struggle through the first third of the book, as you become familiar with the names, places, and events as they unfold in this book. Since this book covers three separate stories of youthful lives and jumps back and forth between all three, while taking place in various years, the timeline gets to be a bit confusing. The characters have most of the memories from their previous lives, but have to keep them hidden, so that they seem like they are children, not an adult in a kids body.
All things considered, this was a good book, but seemed to have a few problems. The characters stories feel rushed and jumpy. Each 21 year life story could have been its own book, and might have been more satisfying if it was better developed. The battles and adventures seemed rushed. I was rather disappointed. I give this book 3 Stars out of 5 and recommend it only to real D&D fans.
I received this Digital Review Copy for free from NetGalley.com.
Release date: August 6, 2013 | Series: The Sundering
“The Companions is the best novel [R.A.] Salvatore has ever written. It’s insanely courageous, profoundly powerful, masterfully constructed, and easily Salvatore’s most ambitious work to date.”—Paul Goat Allen, BarnesandNoble.com
“After a quarter of a century, R.A. Salvatore just keeps getting better and better, and The Companions is another masterful leap forward for one of the greatest fantasy epics of all time.”
—Philip Athans, best-selling author of Annihilation and The Haunting of Dragon’s Cliff
This latest installment in New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore’s beloved fantasy saga, The Companions moves Salvatore’s signature hero Drizzt into a new era of the Forgotten Realms. As Drizzt’s fate hangs in the balance, he reflects on the lives of the trusted allies who stood by his side throughout his early life–the friends now known as the Companions of the Hall. Meanwhile, the first stirrings of the Sundering begin.
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (August 6, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
About the Author
R.A. Salvatore is the New York Times best-selling author of more than forty novels, including the popular Forgotten Realms series The Legend of Drizzt. He’s an avid gamer, father of three, and loyal citizen of Red Sox Nation.
The book description is from Amazon.
The Companions: The Sundering, Book I