The Companions

The Companions

F April 10, 2016
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The Companions


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“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, 
“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.

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A Rebirth of Your Forgotten Realms favorites?

Bruenor, Cattibrie, Regis, and Wolfgar are back in The Companions by R.A. Salvatore but will we care? I loved reading the Forgotten Realms books by R.A. Salvatore as a young adult and for a long time considered him my favorite author.  So when I heard that he was bring back my favorite characters and putting them into an adventure together I must admit I had high expectations.  Over the years the characters I knew and loved over several series of books got old, questioned their lives and then even died.  Much like in comic books their deaths were only temporary and they were brought back to life if this book via reincarnation by the gods.  Read on but I warn you I have spoilers, my rating, and opinions.

The book starts with Bruenor, Cattibrie, Regis, and Wolfgar needing to decide if they will be reincarnated to help Drizzt or earn their just rewards and basically go off to heaven.  All but Wolfgar decide to be reincarnated.  There is a lot of potential stories that can be written about a person being reincarnated as a newborn but keeping all the memories of who they were in their previous lifetime.  Mr. Salvatore decided to have the characters focus on their mission and therefore I felt they never really got to enjoy being children.  Bruenor was a bitter, young dwarf who focused on combat training and never created any friendships or even much of a relationship with his birth mother.  Cattibrie focused on learning magic from three different groups and Regis learned skills from two halflings.  Only Regis seemed to enjoy his childhood experience and grew as a character by conquering his fears about combat and even finding a love interest.


Overall I feel this book was incomplete.  The only ending you get to read about in this book is that the companions finally meet at the end of the book.  Was this really a surprise to anyone?  Basically you read 441 pages to get to what is basically the beginning of what looks to be a long series.  I was expecting either a more significant challenge for the characters or more meaningful origins for the characters.  In the end much of the childhood for the characters was skipped over such as when Regis teams with the other halflings in the Grinning Ponies.  I finished the book feeling that the pacing of the story was off with some parts too long and others too short and very little having any significant impact on the development of the characters.

I therefore give the book 3 out of 5 stars.  I wonder if I have outgrown The Companions over the last 20 years and it is time for me to pass on their stories to a younger generation.  I just didn't fee this book was up to the standards of the Icewind Dale Trilogy which was a fantastic fantasy series by Mr. Salvatore.

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