Another author and series discovered because of marriage and gaming, R.A. Salvatore. When the whole scare over Dungeons and Dragons was happening as I was growing up, I had no interest in fantasy novels or board games. So my parents never worried about it and I never cared about the controversy and books. Marriage introduced me to the gaming world of the Forgotten Realms which led me to hunt down the books because as we all know, books are always better than any adaptation.
The Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore is the brilliant mind behind the Drow, or dark elf, character beloved by so many Drizzt Do’Urden. This was my first R.A. Salvatore novel and my first Drizzt novel, it will not be the last of either. Drizzt is our intrepid hero who emerges from the underground world of the Drow to the world topside. He is shunned by most but also has dear friends in the communities of the Ten-Towns region of Icewind Dale.
There is an evil wizard, a gullible and weak wizard made to seem powerful by an magically enchanted shard, an invading army of goblins and trolls, an invading army of barbarians, an ice dragon, and the ever present racial tensions that exist in the Forgotten Realms universe. Through it all, one low Drow must fight to honor his conscience and save the people of Ten-Towns despite their revulsion and rejection.
As the story concludes, it brilliantly sets-up the next book while not leaving loose ends for the current story. There is the hint of romance to come, the saving of a barbarian life, the preservation of life in the Ten-Towns, and some acceptance of Drizzt as person rather than a stereotype.
An easy five out of five stars for me because it left me satisfied and want more. I have more Forgotten Realms books awaiting me and I couldn’t be more pleased.