Servant of the Shard (Forgotten Realms: Paths of Darkness, #3; The Sellswords, #1) - R.A. Salvatore

BEST SALVATORE BOOK YET.

 

Wow was this book good.

 

I'm trying to come up with a corollary for what Salvatore did with this book... I'm failing, but bear with me...

 

 

-What if they re-did He-Man, but neglected to put in any good guys... just Skeletor, Hordak, Beast-Man, Mer-Man, and all those guys fighting over stuff?

 

-Okay? not a he-man fan? how about G.I. Joe? The Baroness, Cobra Commander, Destro, Storm Shadow, with nary a good guy in sight..

 

OK, so those are pretty weak examples, but I'm having a hard time finding a world (franchise?) in which the baddies are interesting and 3-dimensional enough to carry a story on their own without any protagonists. (ok, skeletor's not 3-dimensional, but... you get it)  You could call them antiheroes, but they're clearly villains.

 

Maybe it's like a heist movie, with no actual heist?

 

I don't know, anyway, Salvatore skips the good guys in this book and goes straight for the bad guys, and it WORKS. It's great fun.

 

Alright, so the obvious question that one should be asking throughout the book is, "where are the good guys?"

"did Drizzt just give up after losing the crystal shard in the last book?" These questions are not really answered, but it doesn't matter-- Drizzt had to get out of the way for the AWESOME to happen in this book.

(show spoiler)

 

I love all the little interplay between all the characters. The schemes, the counter-plots, betrayals, friendships, all that. It was fun.

 

 

Yes, the Cadderly gang does show up for the last bit of the book, but even then, they're just minor characters-- cameos, more than anything. I love how all of our bad guy friends absoutely hate Cadderly and Danica.

(show spoiler)

 

...and at the end,

 

 Jarlaxle and Artemis Entreri ride off into the sunset... "this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship..."

(show spoiler)

 

Wikipedia says that this book was originally written to be in series:

 

Silent Blade>Spine of the World>SERVANT OF THE SHARD>Sea of Swords

 

...but later, he created a new 3-book series starting with servant of the shard,...

...so I hope, hope-hope-hope, there is more awesomeness where this comes from. I'm reading Sea of Swords next.