Deals: Some R.A. Salvatore Novel!

Today's daily nook deal (scroll down) is a novel by R.A. Salvatore! is it any good? I don't know! I've honestly never read anything by him! But I'm told I should! So I'm going to! One of these days! Why am I shouting? I DON'T KNOW!

16 comments:

Redwood Rhiadra said...

That looks like it's the umpty-third Drizzt Do'Urden novel - you'll probably be *completely* lost if you haven't read the previous ones.

And even the previous ones won't make sense if you're not a D&D gamer familiar with the Forgotten Realms.

If you *are* a D&D gamer familiar with the Forgotten Realms, then the early Salvatore novels are reasonable light reading. But Drizzt has been becoming more and more Mary-Sue-like as time goes on - I pretty much quit the series about four years ago.

Ana Mardoll said...

Tsk. I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm glad of the warning.

I liked Drizzt in Order of the Stick... :P

Will Wildman said...

I found the Drizzt books early on to be a marked step above the standard sword-and-sorcery fare, because Drizzt is just such a navel-gazer steeped in legitimately meaningful social issues (he has Elf Privilege, but he's also way marginalised for having black skin) that the sheer mass of stuff happening plus his introspection and reflection produced some meaningful passages.

I particularly liked his first-person 'journal entry' stuff about gods and such. Drizzt exists in a world where gods literally walk around sometimes, but firmly holds the position that one is truly in the presence of one's god when suffused in the thing that makes them matter. He doesn't mind that he missed his chance to meet Mielikki the ranger goddess, because he considers himself to have met her once already in a peaceful glade when a unicorn walked by. He's also of the mind that you don't do what a god says because you worship them; you worship them because they agree with your values and will help you to do what you both think is right.

The absurdly long series (trilogy, then prequel trilogy, then sequal quadrilogy, then another quadrilogy that sometimes doesn't involve him, then another trilogy, then another trilogy, and I think then the trilogy we're on now?) has a fair quantity of schlock in it, and I gave up after determining that a better author would have converted that first 'another trilogy' into a single book (Hunter's Blades, if I'm keeping count).

Salvatore himself seems like a fun guy - when the order came down that all Assassin-class characters were to be killed off (for the new D&D edition rules), he spent half an hour arguing to save his own antivillain Artemis Entreri from the chopping block, ultimately resolving the issue by declaring that "He's not an assassin. He's a dual-class fighter-thief who kills people for money."

Apparently I was just bursting for the chance to talk about RA Salvatore today.

hapax said...

I've read a couple of Salvatore novels, but not the Drizzt books, nor any of the Forgotten Realms. They're mega-popular, though, everywhere I worked.

He seems to write competent sword-and-sorcery -- as many have said, D & D campaigns with the serial numbers filed off. I don't remember a thing about them except that they didn't annoy me too much.

Ana Mardoll said...

He's also of the mind that you don't do what a god says because you worship them; you worship them because they agree with your values and will help you to do what you both think is right.

Will, that is beautiful, thank you. I'm stealing that for the next time the Obvious Internet Troll argues that worshiping a god means you're one step away from being a suicide bomber because you obviously do whatever your fantasy friend tells you too without question. :)

depizan said...

I haven't met him, but when I was a bookseller, he came for a signing at the store I worked at (I didn't work that day) and everyone said he was very nice. He's also stopped in or done a signing at the store a friend of mine works at, and she said he was very nice.

Not all authors are nice to booksellers. Some are raging asshats who mistake booksellers for either dirt or personal servants. So when an author is nice to booksellers, I see that as a very good thing.

Ana Mardoll said...

This also reminds me of the Order of the Stick comic (I cannot find the link to this exact one) where Elan says he's a bard and Nale scoffs that HE chose to be a dual class that essentially adds up to BARD.

Rikalous said...

Gentlebeings, behold! http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0050.html

He's a fighter/rogue/sorcerer who specializes in enchantments, because bards are underpowered and Nale does everything the overcomplicated way.

Ana Mardoll said...

Yes! That was the one! Rikalous, you are amazing! Something like ~900 comics at this point, and you find the one I was thinking of. :D

Lauren said...

I read Drizzt books back in the day, but I picked up this book without reading the previous trilogy at least, and there were enough breadcrumbs lying around that I wasn't lost. And I don't think you even need to be familiar with Forgotten Realms to enjoy it. There is a lot going on behind the scenes that connects to the broader setting, but you can enjoy the main story without understanding all the background stuff. If you know enough about D&D to enjoy Order of the Stick, you should be fine here.

More to the point, this particular book is alright, but I thought the next one in the trilogy ("Pirate King"?) was a total waste of time. And nothing happens in that book that affects the continuity of the next one in any significant way, either. Do yourself a favor and skip it.

Jeffrey Getzin said...

I'm a friend of Salvatore's: not a close one, but a friend nonetheless. I can vouch for his character 100%. Terrific guy. Smart as all hell. Also, despite being enormously successful in his field, he remains down-to-earth and approachable. Also, from what I know about him as a person, I *highly* doubt that he Mary Sues. Just not his style.

Ana Mardoll said...

That's good to hear -- I like giving book money to nice authors, even if I may never get around to reading their book. :D

Rakka said...

The early stuff was pretty good for a light reading - no former knowledge of FR, here. I liked the prequel trilogy best, it was the first one I read as they got translated in chronological order. And they're the books that got me started with reading in English and actually learning the language. (Would've been Elfquest but the local libraries didn't have them in English and they were expensive...) The latter stuff got too heavy in purple prose and magic items, but the Dark Elf trilogy is still fine brain candy.

Rikalous said...

Warp Graphics put all of ElfQuest online for free, in case you didn't know.

http://www.elfquest.com/gallery/OnlineComics3.html

Rakka said...

Sure I know. It was online years ago. But they're the ones with horribly garish compuer coloring. Donning/Starblaze colour editions were much better. Not that I own them, sadly.
I grew up in a pretty small town, they only had the first five translated issues, and then I went to high school in Helsinki with bookstores and libraries with wall full of comic books and... got quite a bit more interested and invested in learning English, back then 15 years ago when there was a new Holt every month and three in best. Ah, those were the times.

Darth Ember said...

I'm very much a FR fan, and I like his stuff. It's sword-and-sorcery, but it's fun. Probably best to start with the early ones, though.
From the Drizzt books, my favourite character of his is not Drizzt. It's Jarlaxle, he who pretty much stole any scene he was in and later got his own trilogy.

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