The Highway Man by R.A. Salvatore is a tremendous read and has a wonderful unique spin on the Robin Hood tale. This is a fantasy book and is not set in the Forgotten Realms universe.
The opening scenes of the book hooked me immediately, dwarves attacking, a prince and princess in distress, and a mysterious stranger leaping from the trees to come to the rescue. Classic Robin Hobb scenario and then the mysterious stranger disappears from the story for the majority of the novel.
The story centers around the complex political machinations of feudal lords, a new and rising religion, the old and out of favor religion, and the inherent racism that seems to exist in all fantasy novels. Bransen is the slow to develop hero of the novel who slowly takes over the narrative of the story. Bransen is memorable not just for his challenges but for his overcoming the challenges life presents him.
There are moments of intense personal bravery and introspection and moments of intense hatred for those that are different. In the end, there is a happy ending which seamlessly leads into the next book, which I need to track down and procure.
A solid four out of five stars for a well written story based on a tried and true story with which we are all familiar. There are three more novels in the series and I am intrigued enough to continue reading.