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Charon's Claw (The Legend of Drizzt Book 22) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 592 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 22 of 23 in The Legend of Drizzt
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Charon’s Claw, the legendary sentient sword which serves as the namesake for the third book in the Neverwinter quartet, made its first appearance in Servant of the Shard (The Sellswords, Book I):
The sword had a slender, razor-edged, gleaming red blade, its length inscribed with designs of cloaked figures and tall scythes, accentuated by a black blood trough running along its center. Entreri opened his hand enough for the wizard to see the skull-bobbed pommel, with a hilt that appeared like whitened vertebrae. Running from it toward the crosspiece, the hilt was carved to resemble a backbone and rib-cage, and the crosspiece itself resembled a pelvic skeleton, with legs spread out wide and bent back toward the head, so that the wielder’s hand fit neatly within the “bony” boundaries. All of the pommel, hilt and crosspiece was white, like bleached bones--perfectly white, except for the eye sockets of the skull pommel, which seemed like black pits at one moment and flared with red fires the next.
“I am pleased with the prize I earned,” Entreri admitted. Rai-guy stared hard at the sword, but his gaze inevitably kept drifting towardthe other, less-obvious treasure: the black, red-stitched gauntlet on Entreri’s hand.
“Such weapons can be more of a curse than a blessing, human,” the wizard remarked. “They are possessed of arrogance, and too often does that foolish pride spill over into the mind of the wielder, to disastrous result.”
Artemis Entreri reflects on the power of the blade, in this never-before-published scene below, followed by R.A. Salvatore’s thoughts on the power that weapons of legend hold over readers--and himself.
“Are you the stronger?” Artemis Entreri whispered as he felt Charon’s Claw’s balance and its strength. Could he control the tremendous will of such a blade? He thought of the many women who had wondered the same of him. They thought they could understand him, even “fix” him. They were gone and he remained.
He recalled a wizard he once knew, young and proud, reaching into the Weave of magic recklessly, convinced that he alone could pull from it powers greater than the arch-mages. Entreri winced as he recalled the charred remains of that silly boy, smoke red and purple wafting from his shrunken corpse.
But better that the boy had never tried? To what end? To live a life of the mundane, another prestidigitator in a world of tricksters? Artemis Entreri was many things, but not mundane. He held up the shining blade and studied the threat of the etched figures and their death scythes.
Entreri smiled. Charon’s Claw was his . . . possibility, his dream and his nightmare. But he soon came to know that to make the nightmare end, he must abandon, too, the dream.
Ah, the weapons of legend. They are not merely items in a tale of adventure, oh no. They are characters, with all the promise of past feats or future glory that one might see in the secret lineage of an unwitting protagonist or in the hopes and dreams fostered by the muscles of a budding warrior or the cunning of a young wizard’s apprentice. It’s that simple. Whether an ancient sword, forged in magic lost to the world and thus holding the promise of deeper strengths and secrets, or the creation of a warhammer wrapped into the storyline of the present heroic tale, to the reader, the weapon will have an identity of its own, a possibility full of dread or glory.
An ancient artifact ties the story to the mysterious past; a new-forged one hints that the present will not be forgotten in centuries to come.
Excalibur, Andúril, Stormbringer, the Mace of Cuthbert, the Wand of Orcus . . .
And Aegis-fang. I cannot forget that one! When I was writing The Crystal Shard all those years ago, I hadn’t intended to include a scene of Bruenor forging the warhammer, but the joy of writing is to let the story take you on its own journey. My road led me to Bruenor’s forge, and I watched, fascinated, as he created the warhammer. I hadn’t even thought of it before I started writing, but when I began, I found that I couldn’t stop. I felt the scene, viscerally. The image of Aegis-fang came clear to me. I could feel the heat of the forge and see the intensity in Bruenor’s eyes. When that happens, a writer knows he’s onto something good. Fortunately, most readers agreed.
These are more than weapons and artifacts. They are stories unto themselves. If you’re writing a fantasy novel or designing a video game or DM’ing a Dungeons & Dragons session, give a player a +2 sword and study her expression. Perhaps a nod, as she adjusts her statistics to account for the numerical upgrade. Perhaps a groan of disappointment, because she already has a +2 sword.
Now give someone else a Glamdring and watch his eyes light up. You have just opened the door of possibility.
--R.A. Salvatore, July 2012--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
His first published novel was The Crystal Shard from TSR in 1988, and his novel The Silent Bladewon the Origins Award. He is still best known as the creator of dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden, one of fantasy’s most beloved characters. --This text refers to the mass_market edition.
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 592 pages
- Publisher : Wizards of the Coast (August 7, 2012)
- File size : 1979 KB
- Publication date : August 7, 2012
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B0078XCSRA
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #49,086 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I'm happy that the author added emotional blackmail instead of physical threats. Those are often more devastating to the character. You're pretty much guaranteed that nothing will happen to Drizzt. Not only because at the time of reading this, there are 8 more books with another one to soon come out, but because the last trilogy started out with Drizzt in the future. I believe it was said in a time ahead of this quartet of novels. He was fully intact in the flash forward, so we know nothing physical happens to him. That little bit also kind of ruins the emotional threat to him as well, but I wan't spoil anything here.
Basically, Drizzt is awesome and has defeated anything that has come against him. I don't worry nearly as much about him getting physically hurt as I do seeing him go through emotional trauma.
This book has a lot of twists and turns. It has some stuff that you don't see coming, but needs further explanation, and the epilogue will really get fans excited. Happy reading.
My wife and I like to Joke about how repetitive Salvatore is in terms of the various things that occupy the mental meanderings of many of the characters. But we enjoy them. I love them as they have been a part of my life for, what? Twenty years now? When did Crystal Shard Come out?
In this book Drizzt has two particular issues that while understandable to some degree are repeated so often as to make for a viable drinking game. One could flip to a random page and should one of those two themes be mentioned, one would have to drink. A group of folks would get drunk fast playing such a game I think.
I've read the book three times now and I think next time I read it I will count them up and update this review.
I normally just accept the fact that Drizzt, or whoever it might be at the time, has some particular problem and that is what occupies them. True to life, one would think about such issues often and in the same way. It doesn't always make for good reading however. I think Salvatore has gone overboard in that respect this time around. Nearly every scene with Drizzt has him thinking about one of the two issues, or both....over and over and over. All throughout the book. Salvatore has written almost the same thing every time as well. It's not as if the wording for these internal dialogs even changes significantly.
It's boring and annoying.
So there is that.
On the upside Salvatore has written some of the coolest scenes with Drizzt, and to a lesser degree Entreri, to date. Drizzt has some super cool action moments that have you re reading them just to solidify the picture in your head. Some things are written from other peoples perspectives, like, how Drizzt appears to them as things are happening. He is as awesome as ever.
I recommend the book on the strength of those few sequences alone.
The Entreri/Drizzt dynamic is as engaging as ever and also a real treat. I love it when they are in a scene together and the book fulfills on that front on many levels.....despite some of the repetitiveness. Throw in Dahlia and you have a fearsome triumvirate of precision and death for all who stand in their way. Great action as always and written slightly differently than is the norm for Salvatore.
Decent plot, lots of movement and character progression.
Towards the end a character says a line that (to me) is completely out of character (though that could be argued) and so completely cheesy and ridiculous as to make me laugh out loud at how hokey it was. It was just silly. I feel that I understand Salvatore's reasoning behind it, and again it does make some little bit of sense given the history. But it was just so bad. I have dreaded it while reading the book for the second and third times, knowing it was coming up.
The book is good overall though. If you like the other Forgotten Realms Salvatore books then you will like this one as well.
I was really excited for the 3rd book. There were a lot of ways the story could go after the previous book so I dove right in. It started out by getting back into what made R.A Salvatore famous: the drow. There was plenty of Underdark intrigue to be had, including Gromph Baenre - probably my favorite mage in the Forgotten Realms books - and I was kind of bummed when the story left the drow and turned back to Neverwinter. I'll be honest; I don't care how the town of Neverwinter organizes its militia and guards. If they can't man up enough to drive out the Netherese then I don't really care. The story chugged along rather predictably with Drizzt and crew going after the Herzgo Alegni to get Charon's Claw back but I never really felt connected to the story. The real high points were checking back in on the drow caravan to Gauntlgrym. I wasn't overly wild about the whole SpellSpinner thing but that is likely because I don't follow Dungeons and Dragons anymore and I'm not up to speed on the latest editions. I also prefer my driders and drow outrageously evil and unpredictable and these felt watered down. Sure they were evil, but not chaotic evil the way Lady Lloth prefers.
My biggest complaint about the book is the sheer number of open plot lines that were started and completely ignored. There were so many unanswered plot lines at the end of this book that I planned to write a review about it last year, simply so I could try and wrap my mind around it. It was so out of character for R.A. Salvatore and so strange for his style that I was ready to write it off as an unfortunate deadline issue or really crappy editing. An old rule in gaming is that "you don't describe the window if you want the group to use the door". A couple of the unresolved plot lines were to be expected and I looked forward to their story: the potential Dahlia/Entreri hook up, the creation of Lullaby and Spiderweb (Tiago Beanre's sword and shield), and Errtu the balor. Having a few plot lines to carry into the next book is kind of an expectation but this one had so many that I literally forgot about some of them until typing this up:
* What about the drow now inhabiting Gauntlgrym?
* What about Guenhwyvar?
* How come Artemis didn't die when they destroyed Charon's Claw? There was a crap ton of build-up and absolutely no payoff.
* What about Athrogate and Jarlaxle?
* What about the Aboleth? In case you haven't read it, The Orc King starts decades in the future from the timeline in that book and one of the things mentioned is the rise of the aboleth. I thought for sure this would tie in since there was lots of build up, but again there was zero payoff.
* What about Arunika the succubus? It seemed like she was going to play a larger part but no.
* What about Vampire Pwent?
* What about Valindra Shadowmantle and her zombie/mummy champion? They were essentially ignored in this book.
If we go with the tree analogy, this was a bush not a tree. There was no central plot - just a bunch of side stories that were generally connected through the characters involved. It ended and I felt really frustrated because there were a ton of unanswered questions - far more than normal for a Salvatore story and far more than I appreciated after spending the money to buy the book. It felt unfinished and rushed.
Top reviews from other countries
This book starts off where Neverwinter, Book 2 (Forgotten Realms) leaves off Drizzt and Dahlia Sin'felle going to confront Herzgo Alegni. On the way they fight through ambushes and even gain some unexpected allies. Meanwhile a Drow force has taken over Gauntlgrym. The Primordial within Gauntlgrym could be the only thing that might destroy Charon's Claw, the sword that enslaves Artemis Entreri.
This story is as much about redemption for some as it is of revenge for others. We get glimpses of the old Drizzt in this book. We see his warrior discipline tested to the max battling the influence of Charon's Claw. He is even faced with a huge moral dilemma. Showing his moral campus is still there. After you read the epilogue of this book I would recommend you read Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt - Neverwinter Tales (Dungeons & Dragons (Idw Hardcover)) this takes place right afterwards, I am sure it will lead in to The Last Threshold: Neverwinter Saga, Book IV .
But this one is even better. Especially the last chapters are nail biting "I need to read more". (finished it last night at 2am reading 5 hours straight without wanting to put it down).
This book while bit darker, has some really good laugh moments. Either way, Neverwinter Saga is one of the best series regarding Drizzt. A must read and looking forward for the last book.