Friday, August 30, 2013


I tend to read more Science Fiction novels than Fantasy but decided to read R. A. Salvatore’s new book “The Companions” because I had previously really enjoyed reading the Star Wars story that he had penned “Vector Prime” despite the fact that he killed off Chewbacca in it …. boo!  I have to admit I’m a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies, Baulder’s Gate video game and played Dungeon and Dragons in middle school so I was curious if this book could keep my interest.  The “Companions” takes the characters from the Forgotten Realms stories that Salvatore authored in the late 80s/early 90s and reboots this Dungeon and Dragon franchise for a new generation of readers.

As I started flipping through the pages the characters seemed really familiar as if I’d known them from before.  I’d forgotten but reading this story jarred my memory that years ago back when they first were published I’d read the Ice Wind Dale Trilogy my freshman year of high school.  This story is like an old memory combined with a new adventure.  Most of the characters from the books I had read have died off by the timeline set in this new novel.  One remains though, the long living drow elf Drizzt Do’Urder, and he is in need of assistance from his prior cast of companions from Salvatore’s past Forgotten Realm trilogies.  So Do’Urder’s companions are brought back from heaven and reborn into new bodies.  They have to grow up from babies to adults from scratch but have retained all their personalities and memories from their prior life.  Picture having to go through childhood again; having a child’s body and an adults’ mind.  This is the scenario portrayed in this book which spans the twenty years after the companion’s rebirth. The focus of the novel is explaining how these companions were reborn and eventually all meet up again with each other and Drizzt Do’Urder.  The Companions are born in different corners of the world and must find each other and Drizzt before their 21st birthday. The book essentially creates a new generation for the core characters of Salvatore’s past Dungeon & Dragon novels to appeal to a new generation of young readers…though at 40 I still enjoyed it.

What was nice about “The Companions” is that you don’t have to read the Ice Wind Dale Trilogy to understand the characters and the plot of this story but if you had read those previous books you had an added comfort level with these characters…especially since they are being brought back from the dead.  The one thing I didn’t like about the book was that the first few chapters really didn’t flow well and you had to chug through them to get to where the story really engaged you to a point you were invested in finishing it. 

The story doesn’t really finish though as it is Part 1 of a multi-book series called the “Sundering”.  So the characters have been reunited after a series of adventures and now the real adventure begins.  Know that before you read it because you are investing yourself into reading other books if you venture to read “The Companions”.  If you know a teen that enjoys fantasy stories, or an adult who appreciates the Conan or Hobbit adventures, than I’d recommend this book for them.  “The Companions” is a well written novel that would be a great travel companion to take along with you on a vacation or business trip or it would be equally well suited as an entertaining read on a lazy weekend at home.

"The Companions" was published on August 6, 2013 and is 384 pages.  You can purchase it online at or from your local book retailer.

DISCLAIMER:  I was provided a complimentary digital pdf advance copy of this book to review. The thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.

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