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The Last Threshold: Neverwinter Saga, Book IV (Forgotten Realms) Mass Market Paperback – September 3, 2013

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The Last Threshold: Neverwinter Saga, Book IV (Forgotten Realms) + Charon's Claw: Neverwinter Saga, Book III + Neverwinter: The Neverwinter Saga, Book II (Legend of Drizzt)
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Product Details

  • Series: Forgotten Realms (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (September 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786963743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786963744
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (395 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

The Best Sidekick a Warrior Could Ever Want

R.A. Salvatore muses on the identity—and unintentional identity crisis—of one of Drizzt Do’Urden’s most important allies, the fearsome black panther Guenhwyvar.

She started out as a dog, a moorhound, actually, named Canthus. When I wrote a sample chapter to audition for the second book ever published in the Forgotten Realms setting, way back in the summer of 1987, I thought the Realms were the tiny Moonshae Isles and that TSR (the original publisher of the Forgotten Realms setting) was looking for someone to write a direct follow-up to Doug Niles’s Darkwalker on Moonshae. I didn’t want to use Doug’s characters in any meaningful way—they’re wonderful characters, but I don’t like sharing protagonists!—so I grabbed one, a sly fellow named Daryth and his moorhound named Canthus, to introduce the hero of my story, Wulfgar of Icewind Dale.

Quite a bit changed during that audition period, starting with me discovering the size of the Forgotten Realms, and learning, to my great relief, that my editor didn’t want me anywhere near Doug’s work, since he was writing sequels to his book. So I set my book, The Crystal Shard, far away in Icewind Dale and added a character named Drizzt Do’Urden who soon took over the book. One thing I did keep from Doug’s example, however: the animal sidekick.

Why? Any pet lover already knows the answer to that question. Drizzt was created as the classic, misunderstood outcast, a bit of a loner, and often driven by circumstance to his own devices. Has anyone gone through junior high school or high school who can’t relate to this?

I certainly can. And in those times when I found myself confused and feeling very alone, I had a savior, a dog named Cocoa and then a dog named Yuma. They listened, without judgment, and using them as sounding boards often got me through the tough and lonely days.

So Drizzt needed a friend like that, I figured, and Guenhwyvar was born.

Female or Male?

Let me clear this up, once and for all: Guenhwyvar is a female panther! I know, I know, don’t point out the problem with that argument, please. You see, when you’re a professional writer, working on deadlines and working with a team of editors/artists/designers and the like, you come to learn certain things about the process. In the case of Guenhwyvar, for some reason I never figured out, I was told that the panther had to be gender neutral. I argued about this policy, but to no avail. Guenhwyvar was a magic item, so I was told, and so Guen was an “it,” not a “she” or a “he.”

The cat remained a “she” in my mind, certainly, but I painstakingly went through the manuscript of The Crystal Shard and removed all of the gender-specific pronouns. In some places, the use of “it” sounded quite awkward ; when you name a character, then use “it,” well, try to do it and you’ll see what I mean. Nevertheless, I had my orders.

Soon after The Crystal Shard hit the shelves, I discovered, to my chagrin, that the copyeditor had apparently spotted the awkwardness of the gender-neutral pronoun, too, and so he/she (it?) had smoothed out the prose... by replacing “it” with “he” and “him”! But no, Guenhwyvar is a female panther!

I got the name from those magnificent Mary Stewart books about King Arthur, where “Guenhwyvar” is the spelling of Arthur’s Queen, and, according to Stewart, the name meant “Shadow.” Perfect for Drizzt, I figured, coming from the shadows and needing a shadow. Wherever would Drizzt have been without her? Indeed, where will he be without her going forward? Read The Last Threshold to know more.

—R.A. Salvatore, February 2013

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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.

More About the Author

R.A. Salvatore has spent so many years winding himself into fantasy worlds that he's still trying to figure out how to unwind. He is the author of more than forty novels and more than a dozen New York Times best sellers, including The Two Swords, which debuted at or near the top of many best seller lists.

Customer Reviews

You will hate this book because it is the end.
Mitch Allen
The last few books seemed disjointed and at time like there was little to no reason for things; like Pwent, what ended up happening there?
I enjoy reading R.A. Salvatore, especially his Drizzt novels.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

132 of 153 people found the following review helpful By Andy Collier on March 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this as soon as I saw it had been released. That said instead of having Amazon alert me like I normally would I spotted it while looking for a book for my wife. I was so thoroughly disappointed by book 3 that I stopped caring about the series. Old habits die hard however and I started reading it on my iPad that night. I didn't remember a lot of the details from the 3rd book but they came back soon enough - Salvatore does a fine job of explaining backstory as he goes. I had the chew through the first half of the book before it really hooked me, but once it did I finished the 2nd half in one day. You can pretty much skip everything before Part III: Into Shadow and thank me for the time you just saved.

Here's a breakdown of what you missed:
* Drizzt: I miss my old friends. I'm going to convert this totally evil party into good guys by doing nice things for people but I'm still going to complain that they aren't as cool as my old friends. I miss my cat. I'm super bad with women. Dahlia is a hot mess.
* Entreri: I'm surly. I kind of like Drizzt but I'm too grouchy to show it. Dahlia is a hot mess.
* Dahlia: I'm a hot mess.
* Effron: I hate my mom and dad! Now I hate my dad but my mom is okay. Now I love my mom. Now I'm a good guy!
* Ambergris: I'm a great character but I'm written like a horny college girl on spring break. Yay beer!
* Afafrenfere: I'm pretty much awesome but I only get in a couple fights and the guy writing this book totally forgot that classic monks are immune to poison.

You're welcome. Use the time I just saved you to plant a tree or adopt a pet or rob a bank or something.
Read more ›
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Joshua T. Knaak on March 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was torn between whether or not to give this book a four or three star rating, but decided it was a three. As a fan of most of Salvatore's Drizzt books from Homeland all the way to this current outing, I thought this book was the weakest. There are certainly are some interesting plot lines in this book such as Jarlaxle, Kimmuriel, and Bregan D'aerthe's motivations, but they are few and far between. I also did enjoy seeing the change in Effron. It will be curious to see how he plays out in future installations. Drizzt and company seem to be pulled all over the place with no apparent rhyme or reason behind it. Drizzt seems bogged down in philosophizing for the entire book. His own nature as a dark elf and how he has overcome that evil nature are core to his experience. While Drizzt looking at his inner moral values and how that affects his views of the world and people around him are hardly rare, that seems to be all he does in this book. For almost the entire book he reflects on the past and how can not move forward with his current love interest Dhalia and his current companions because their moral codes do not match that of his own like his previous companions do. I would say this is fine, but dedicating an entire book these philosophical musings seems a bit much. He even takes the group to the town of Port Llast where they help battle away sea demons for the simple purpose of showing them how good it can feel just to do the right thing. This is never given a chance to be fleshed out though because they are whisked away from it for no apparent meaningful reason so fast. At one point when he enters the shadowfell I thought it was finally going to get back to what Drizzt does best. Being an awesome swordsman and battling against impossible odds yet finding a way to succeed.Read more ›
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Ken Nasi on March 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can remember picking up The Crystal Shard off the Waldenbooks fantasy shelf when I was but a teenager and thinking to myself, "Wow! This cover art is AMAZING!" Then skimming through the book and being instantly hooked. This feeling pretty much has remained with me through the last 20 or so years every time R.A. Salvatore penned a sequel. I am a huge fan, a loyal fan. That's why this is so difficult for me to write, but also why I feel so compelled to write it. The Last Threshold was a confusing morass of hastily thrown together scenes meandering through R.A. Salvatore's indecisive story plot. We start out with Drizzt's intriguing idea to unite this new band of brothers and sisters in adventure, an idea I was really looking forward to. After all, how long have we all watched and waited for Entreri and Drizzt to finally work together in the spirit of brotherhood instead of need? How long have we waited to see if Entreri could turn that corner and begin to heal the psychological wounds inflicted upon him as a child. Salvatore has teased us about this for so long. Would he finally deliver? The book begins with a purpose, but then immediately falls off the rails as Drizzt and Dahlia (has there ever been a more hated character than this one) begin wandering through the woods looking for Arunika. Why are they doing this? What is the purpose? Then they even get side-tracked again looking for a vampire on the loose, who of course turns out to be Pwent. This leads to an awkward meeting which goes nowhere and serves absolutely no purpose. It doesn't further the plot, it doesn't reveal any pertinent information, it just seems to add pages to the story.Read more ›
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