5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional roller coaster
I literally went through the stages of grieving at the end of this novel.
1. He's not dead, there's no way...
2. DAMMIT BOB WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!?!?
3. Maybe he'll come back somehow, he's EPIC for crying out loud...
4. I just can't...
5. Okay, well, it's been a good run, time to find something...
Published 11 days ago by Britt K
131 of 151 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the ending we wanted...SPOILERS, obviously.
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...
Published 16 months ago by Andy Collier
Most Helpful First | Newest First
131 of 151 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the ending we wanted...SPOILERS, obviously.,
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.
The 2nd half of the book cooked right along and that only made the ending more frustrating and more puzzling because by then I was really invested in how it was going to end. I hated, hated, hated how the book ended. The start of the book was okay but kind of boring because there was a lot more of "Drizzt being emotional and trying to redeem people" than there was ass-kicking but the second half started off so well! Jarlaxle raids a Netherese lord's castle to free his buddies in truly fabulous style - it was gripping and exciting and full of the interplay that made R.A Salvatore such a beloved writer. It felt a little "dragged by the nose" when the team finally got back together and headed to Icewind Dale but I was okay with that because I knew a Balor and a drow hunting party were hot on their trail. All the same, I kept checking the progress bar on the Kindle, wondering how on earth he was going to close out such giant plot lines like Errtu the Balor, Tiago Baenre and his team of hunters, the clairvoyance the succubus put on Artemis, if Guen would recover, if Pwent actually destroyed himself, what Kimmuriel learned from the Mind Flayers, and how all that played into Drizzt returning to Icewind Dale.
Because the wounds this book inflicted on my soul are still fresh from how it ended I'm going to bullet out the worst offenses below:
* The first few chapters are spent talking up the vampire/battlerager that was so obviously pointed out at the end of book 3. When they finally find him, they talk for 5 minutes and then Pwent suicides? Wait, what? Why bring him back at all if the plan is to kill him off (again) without any resolution?
* Valindra Shadowmantle, the insane and powerful lich from the other books, is mentioned a couple times and then ignored (same as in book 3). This is a lich for god's sake. Use her to destroy things or raise an undead army to ravage the towns or something. So much time was spent in books one and two to bring her mind back online that it seems like a total waste to just ignore her now. What about the obvious twist where she bends Pwent to her evil will and forces Drizzt to kill him? C'mon man! That's an easy win and it would've been sooooo cool to read about!
* How come Guen didn't die during the year she spent in that cage while Drizzt was held captive by Draygo? She was withering away after just a couple months so another year should've killed her. And astral creature or not, doesn't she need to eat and drink while on the Prime Material Plane?
* They only fought one group while crossing the Shadowfell. Sure, it was a super tough group, but why? How come there was the hints that Effron would use this cool new staff to whoop some ass only to never have it be mentioned again?
* How was Drizzt a captive for an entire year? Are we to believe he spent an entire 12 months sitting in a small room in a tower doing nothing but talking and eating all day? How was he not overweight and out of practice with his swords when he was rescued? And what was Effron doing the whole time?
* How do Tiago and his team all speak Common? Drizzt had to learn it when he left the Underdark so unless it is now a normal class taught in Menzoberanzan they wouldn't know it. And why again are they being friendly to the people of Ten Towns when the normal drow reaction to humans is murder and chaos? Trying to buy goodwill or not, these are nobles of arrogant and wealthy drow houses - they would just as soon destroy the rest of Bryn Shander because human life means nothing to them. Instead we see them chumming around with the locals and drinking beer. Whatever.
* They disappeared for 18 years for no good reason! I was fine with them going missing while Tiago's hunting party was looking for them because I knew they had found the forest and I totally expected an epilogue where the entire party was accepted into the magical woods where Catti-Brie, Bruenor, Regis, and Wulfgar live. Drizzt would reunite with his old friends and fade into legend, Dahlia and Artemis would decide to leave and set out into the world together, and the monk and the cleric would hang out for a while before setting out on their own. I would've been completely okay with the series ending right there giving the message that all the machinations of mankind fall away in the face of true love and fate or whatever. Instead it seems like a very heavy handed way to make everyone forget the enemies they had collected before coming back into the world. What about Guen? 18 years with no summoning? And why 18 years? The magical forest was something like 60 or 70 years old at that point - why would it fade away at all and why would they be asleep the whole time? If it was supposed to be a message from Catti-brie that she was okay with Drizzt moving on, then she should've appeared to him and told him that.
* Did Drizzt die at the end? I'd be okay with that, hoenstly. He went out like a bitch, but he's had an amazing run. If he didn't die, I'd accept the story that he was snatched up by a deity and that he's sent back as a Chosen. Otherwise that ending was just plain stupid. Sure he was taken off guard and sure he didn't think she'd actually try and kill him but this is Dahlia we're talking about.
The book ended abruptly and I cursed so furiously that it startled my dog. I think she may have even pee'd a little. I honestly questioned if my Kindle dropped a few pages. There wasn't even a back cover...it just freaking ended. I was annoyed by Charon's Claw because a ton of plots were opened and not resolved so I had to wait until the next book to finish those stories in my mind. This is the last book in the Neverwinter series so anything left open is technically done and closed or if not closed, to remain unanswered indefinitely. The few plots he did close (Errtu and Tiago for example) were closed in a rushed and sloppy fashion. The drow hunting party runs into Errtu and they kick his ass and then the drow hang out for a while and then they leave? That's it? And no further mention of Neverwinter or any of its characters? And no further mention of Jarlaxle or anyone else - just a quick reference that they got bored of searching after 20 years and called it? And after the fight with Dahlia, Artemis takes the group and heads out - as far as they know Drizzt is dead or missing so they leave Icewind Dale and that's it? They don't bother with Ambergris casting a few spells to find him or heading back to Ten Towns? Where's the loyalty? And how come they don't turn on Dahlia for potentially murdering Drizzt? She loved him and he didn't feel the same way, I get it, but damn woman! Get over it! She reconnected with her son and killed the dude that ruined her life so move past the "I kill all my lovers" shtick and try and be normal for a damn minute.
If I had to offer an opinion, I think R.A. Salvatore had a ton of idea for where he wanted the legend of Drizzt to go and instead of picking the best few story lines and writing a book, he crammed them all haphazardly into the last two books of the series and hoped that we'd just choke it all down. Maybe he's too busy with other projects or maybe he's having trouble closing the book on one of the most influential characters in the entire Forgotten Realms mythos, but Charon's Claw and The Last Threshold were massive disappointments. If he wanted to tell all these stories and set the stage for the next series, he should've released a second book of short stories instead of trying to fit it all into a novel or two. I won't even bother with the tree analogy because book 4 is a yard full of grass compared to a tree. There's no central story, just a bunch of stuff that never gets explored beyond a glance.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Salvatore's best outing,
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. But even this ends up being no more than a philosophical debate for Drizzt. So many of the plot lines that were introduced at the end of the previous book seem closed unceremoniously in this book such as Pwent as a vampire and Erutuu, that begs one to wonder why they were introduced in the first place. Near the end of the book the group is relocated to Icewind Dale to hide from "dangerous enemies." Drizzt has never had problems with "dangerous enemies" before so why he is hiding seems so uncharacteristic of him. The pending battle between Drizzt and Tiago I was looking forward to never even takes place. Then there is a bizarre 18 year sleep that is suppose to keep them hidden from the world and make them fade from history and essentially give all in this group a new fresh start on life. This seems interesting enough, but again it never seemed to go anywhere. Maybe in future installations. While I will not spoil the end of this book it does seem that by the end Drizzt has all but given up. Were it not for the fact that there is another installation due out this August called "The Companions" I would say this was the end for Drizzt. This upcoming book is supposed to be about Drizzt leaving his past behind and going into a new era in light of "the sundering" which is supposed to be some kind a cataclysmic event that changes Faerun. This may indeed be the "great change" that is so often referenced in this book. Hopefully that outing will get Drizzt back in track with what we have all come to know and love about him.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suicidely Disappointed,
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. In fact, the only thing it seems to accomplish is aggravating the reader by calling to mind girlfriends past who where just incredibly annoying as embodied by Dahlia. This was not entertaining Mr. Salvatore, it was aggravating.
Port Llast was great. The new companions work together, defeat many monsters, accomplish great deeds, and become beloved by the entire city. Farmer Stuyles and his merry band of thieves are incorporated and the city grows. This all makes sense, it all flows nicely, the characters grow, its what we've been waiting for. Bravo Mr. Salvatore. But once again, the book goes off the tracks. Suddenly the drow re-enter the picture. I LOVE THE DROW!!! Unfortunately they are used as a plot device to hurl the book into complete boredom. Now Drizzt and the new companions are on a boat, for a really long time!!! In the meantime, Jarlaxle and Athrogate are back. Thank Meilikki! But once again the question is raised, "Is Drizzt something more than just a Drow? Is he the favored of Meilikki or Lloth?" I find that I really don't care. Why is this so important? The answer has never had any relevance in all of Salvatore's books, so screw it.
Enter Effron. Can this character be just a little more whiny? Just a little? As bad as he is, and as bad as his mother is, at least the two experience some kind of growth on the ship, so that's progress right? I thought so, until the final pages of the book.
Next, the companions enter the Shadowfell to rescue Guenhwyvar. And get their asses beat!! Has any band of adventurers so powerful ever experienced a defeat so decisive? Yeah, it was a little hard to believe. Now Drizzt is held captive, for a year!!?? This is the character who defeated the Crystal Shard with a pouch full of flour!!!! And I'm to believe he can't escape? He escaped Menzobarranzan!!!
This leads us to the most exciting part of the novel. Jarlaxle and Braegan D'aerth. Does Jarlaxle know how to fight a battle? Finally Drizzt, Entreri, and Jarlaxle are reunited, but for only a few seconds!!! Talk about anti-climactic and unsatisfying.
So now this very powerful band of adventurers has to go on the run. Is this a first level Dungeons and Dragons campaign? We've got four powerful fighters, a cleric and a wizard here. They don't need to run from anybody!! (By the way, as an aside, can Entreri find just one magical sword please that won't enslave him?) But run they do, and where do they run? Icewind Dale.
Next we find the characters looking for the magical forest, Iruladoon, where Cattie-brie and Regis are hanging out. Weird in and of itself, but then they actually find it!!! Fall asleep in it!!! And sleep for 18 years!!! Without ever seeing Cattie-brie and/or Regis!!! Again, disappointing and anti-climactic. At least if Drizzt would have been able to speak with Cattie-brie and gotten some closure, it would have made sense!!
In the meantime, Erttu decides to attack Bryn Shander looking for Drizzt. BIZARRE!! And who comes to the aid of Bryn Shander? Why Tiago Baenre and his war party of course. At first, I was thinking, well, at least we've got Ertuu and Tiago and Drizzt in the same general location at the same time. But Drizzt was too busy pulling a Rip Van Winkle while all the action was going on. This fight scene was so obviously an afterthought just to add some action to the end that it was ridiculous! Salvatore spent the last two novels building up suspense for a showdown with Tiago and even another round with Ertuu, and just abandoned it. That to me, is unethical and destroys the trust between author and reader.
Finally, Drizzt and the companions wake up and decide to leave Icewind Dale, feeling safe and secure in their long absence. Drizzt decides not to leave. Dahlia reacts irrationally, forgetting about all the progress she's made with her son Effron, about her budding relationship with Entreri, and her friendship with Drizzt. She attacks him. Is this the Jerry Springer show or a Drizzt Do'Urden novel? Drizzt has defeated drow weapons masters, demons, dragons, monsters, giants, but apparently one crazy chick is too much for him to handle. In the most ridiculous scene in the history of fantasy, Drizzt is slain. Yes. Slain. In a quick battle by a messed up chick with a pair of sticks. His spirit is ushered off to the heavens by Guenhwyvar. The end. No epilogue, no explanation. Talk about disappointing. Salvatore spent over 20 years building up my trust in him, in his characters, in his writing, only to abandon that trust in the final minutes.
What really bugs me is that this book seems to not uphold the principles of Salvatore and his characters, but seems to only further the future goals of Wizards of the Coast and their "D&D Next" rules release. I don't think that the novels should have to compromise on the story just to coincide with the new version of Dungeons and Dragons. I also hope that this is not the last we'll see of Drizzt and these characters. I can see that Drizzt will be the central character in the upcoming "The Sundering" series, but in what incarnation that will be is difficult to predict.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Ending EVER!,
Spoiler Alert (And honestly, these last few books have been one long disaster, and no, I don't care about the politics of WotC):
One of the greatest and most enduring fantasy characters since The Hobbit, Drizzt is now...Dead? Beaten to death by his bipolar girlfriend? WTF?
I'm not going to go into the tedious, ham handed, heavily phoned in writing, the lackluster plot lines, the Deus ex Machina around every frikkin corner. (And Athrogate is one of the WORST characters ever.)
When did Drizzt go from the badass of Icewind Dale, scourge of the ENTIRE city of Menzoberranzan, slayer of Dragons, Giants, and various critters, thorn in the side of a Goddess, exiler of Demons, become a whiny, navel gazing, domestically abused Jon Mayer?
Here's how it SHOULD have ended....Drizzt and his friends going up against Errutu on the top of the Kelvins Cairn, with Drizzt defeating the Demon once and for all, but being mortally wounded and dying surrounded by friends, then lifted into the arms of Mielikki.
Honest to 20 sided dice, this book was a huge frikking trainwreck. If this is the best we can expect from Salvatore from now on, then please, don't bother. Theres other artists who are willing to sweat blood and tears to create good stories and characters, not just grind out tripe for a check. I thought the Clerics Quintet was terrible, but compared to this....
R.A. Salvatore has forgotten the fans who brought him his fame and success. He owes us all an apology.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No hero should go out this way SPOILERS,
Well, at 89% on my Kindle, I was beginning to wonder if we had a fifth book coming. There certainly were enough unresolved plot lines. I got the feeling that there possibly was a fifth book, but Neverwinter Nights MMORPG was coming out and we needed to get this wrapped up before the launch.
- So, the Shadow Lords wanted to know if Drizzt was a chosen one. Ummm, why?
- Something was happening between the Shadowfell and Toril. Ummm, what?
- Drow own Gauntlegrym. Anyone want it back?
- The cage around the primordial is weakening. Anyone worried about that?
- Drizzt heard about the enchanted forest coming back, and found it, and slept 18 years there? WTH is Cattie Brie? Couldn't she at least mess up Dahlia's hair or draw a moustache on Artemis?
- The folks of Ten Towns hate Drizzt now, and he's dead so there's nothing he can do about it. Really?
All this time in Faerun, and nothing to show for it! Even after all the good he's done in Ten Towns and now he's hated, blamed for bring a Balor and then running off, and no chance to redeem his reputation, just dead. His party is like, "Well, okay. Dahlia killed Drizzt. Now what we gonna do? I guess we just run back down to the Sword Coast and see what's up...".
I guess that is the textbook definition of a chaotic personality type...
All in all, this really looks like there was a fifth book and for some reason it was canceled. RA saw no future in Drizzt and killed him off, either in a snit about something with the publisher, or to make way for the NWN online game. Either way, lost opportunities, both for more story for this franchise player, or synergy with new game modules. I was reading this series through so I could understand the mythology of the game better. Now I'm not even sure I want to play it!
The only way I can reconcile this is to just tell myself that death by violence or by accident always leaves unresolved issues for those we leave behind. I guess that was the way it had to go for Drizzt. He wasn't Frodo after all...
Is there redemption in The Companions?
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak,
3 books building to several climatic battles that never materialize. Long drawn out travel/downtime for no purpose. A horrible ending that makes hate the psycho slut even more after seeing her start to grow out of that state of being. I don't read Salvatore's Drizzt books for great story telling, I read it because I love the character and have kept up with every book over the years. This book makes me want to stop, I know there is another book coming out with a couple of familiar characters on the cover but that seems like a waste at this point.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What the Hey?,
I have read the Drizzt saga from the beginning. Really, what happened? The story seemed more about Drizzt bemoaning his dead friends and trying to makeover his present companions into the old ones. The newer characters do not get a lot of fleshing out. Why does Drizzt fixate on Cattie-brie like she is the only hope? He is supposedly going to live a thousand years and he acts like he has run out of time to look around. Why did Pwent show up and immediately decide to commit suicide? Did Drizzt really spend a year imprisoned? Why does he not inquire about Guen? About Ephron? We don't switch to Ephron during this imprisonment. The rescue by Jax is great, one of the few parts that are. What did they find out from the Mindflayers?
The eighteen years asleep seemed stupid. Ephron really didn't do a good job of being a bad guy. Dahlia has gotten reconciled with her son but decides to try and force Drizzt to kill her just because he is lukewarm toward her? And Drizzt suddenly loses all his grace and skill at combat? And will Guan's token stay unused at the top of that peak? How did Entreri become a good guy?
AND I HATED the ENDING!!! The thought of no Drizzt is appalling, but if he had to die, let him die saving some innocent. The books content should not be pressured by the game, I thought the games should take after the book.
So I am just confused and concerned. It will take a lot to fix this.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Snore,
Most anticlimactic book I have ever read. What a snore! (Spoiler alert)
When faced with the promise of a multitude of mortal enemies, our hero falls asleep for 18 years until they go away.......
After 100 years plotting revenge, Errtu the balor doesn't even get a full chapter? And the next book is ten bucks though kindle........ pass
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars RA Salvatore mails another one in. Spoilers,
I was, like most of you, a huge fan of Drizzt when I was in middle school. To be fair kids are stupid and will like most anything though. This style of writing just doesn't hold up anymore. This book would probably appeal to men age 13-21. It is basically a confusing account of combat with terrible character development added here and there. For example, the first part of the book Drizzt and Dhalia go looking for pwent the vampire/battlerager. Why? Who cares its a cool idea right? Besides, you didn't think of it.
Then stuff happens in the middle, not important to the story really because then enters Jarlaxle and his "I WIN" button and fixes everything lickety split. Then they literally fast forward a few years to elude the evil drow and then 5th edition or DND next happens and something weird happens to Drizzt. It doesn't really matter right? Bob will peice it together all in time for the sundering.
I actually liked the ending because it was the first time ever something different happened.
To be fair to Salvatore I thought the first book in the series was likable yet somewhat corny. The rest... not so much. After reading Charon's Claw I swore I wouldn't get this book but for some stupid reason I had to finish the series. This book is terrible, if you want to read some decent Forgotten Realms check out Erin Evans. Way better...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Drizzt - Betrayed by the one you'd least expect! :-(,
When I was 15 years old, The Crystal Shard became the first book I had ever read by choice. I read it for myself because I loved it; it spawned a love of reading and fantasy fiction that will follow me to my last days.
Now after 21 years following the exploits of Drizzt Do'Urden I was horrified to find him ultimately betrayed by the very hands that lovingly crafted his story over all those years for our enjoyment.
Leap frogging his story through time in these last few books, dissolving the very foundations, characters, and principals that made him so beloved and ultimately ending the series with a fantasy fiction rendition of a bad made for TV movie.
The whole Neverwinter series put together feels like the author is in a headlong rush to toss his years of work with Drizzt off a cliff "from on high"! Disregarding the cheesy time skips and half hearted explanations he gives along the way and all the untold stories buried beneath his mad rush. He blew past two far more fitting endings with either Errtu or Barne back to back at the very end of the novel in favor of an abysmal finish!
My advice, skip the book, or the Neverwinter Saga entirely if you can, it adds nothing of substance to the Drizzt saga and takes away so much.
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The Last Threshold: Neverwinter Saga, Book IV (Forgotten Realms) by R. A. Salvatore (Mass Market Paperback - September 3, 2013)