I finally got some time and mood to read and had time to finish “Transitions” (Orc king, Pirate King and Ghost King) by R.A Salvatore. These books once more takes us to Mithril hall area and back to Drizzt with friends. As most of us who have kept some score on D&D going to 4th edition know that the game was prequel by a disaster that made magic and the gods themselves unavailable to the world. That of course would lead to chaos and in Transitions we see the currants of these events unfold. In the first book we follow the uneasy truce between Obould Manyarrows and Mithril Hall. In his own ranks, trouble brew and we are soon spectators of not only Orc politics (as far as we can describe it as that), Wulfgar’s journey back to being himself, CattieBrie taking a few stumbling interesting steps into becoming a mage and Drizzt, well, being him – he fights most things evil – but he has more concerns. Age is finally getting to him and the annoying self-righteous passages that are the interlude between chapters are less annoying and more troubled and dark. In the middle of all this, Bruenor also charge of to find Gauntlegrym. And we get to see some half-hearted excuse of dungeon stomping. New favourite monsters in the series: shades, Nightwings etc.
After an even more unstable truce, we follow the steps that has split the party when CattieBrie is training to become a wizard, Bruenor handling affairs and Drizzt and Regis travel to find Wulfgar in Icewind Dale. We see more of the trouble and chaos around the world on the trip that is focusing on Regis and Drizzt. They do become waylaid and get stuck in the intrigues of Luskan internal politics, a captains successor and an old friend gets caught up in a strong web that leads to the destruction of the Wizard tower in Luskan – the demise of friends and we see through the “happy” foil that has been D&D that death is inevitably comming for the companions. Fortunately, my favourite gang – The Bregan D’aerthe is back and of course is at the heart of all the mischief serving only themselves on the expanse of all the others.
In the third book we are thrown into the Saleswords path – the great dragon becoming a Dracolich, the shard is back and also Skyrrit. An unholy tiro that threatens Drizzt and friends, the cleric of High Soaring and also Jarlaxe. With some trickery and the missfortune that happens CattieBrie and Regis – Drizzt, Bruenor and Pent makes a gang with Jarlaxe and dwarf companion and travels to Cadderly in High Soaring to get help. We follow a wicked onslaught and the Dracolich and the servants of the shards that break through to the shade world and releases an unending stream of enemies on high soaring. luckily, several wizards, clerics and druids are gathered there and trying to find an answer as to why the gods no longer speaks to them. All hell breaks out and in the end few still stands. Sadly – time has to take its toll and Cattibrie and Regis die in the end. Soaring High is broken and the world looks darker – except for Bregan D’aerthe.
This trilogy is a really nice trilogy coming from R.A Salvatore. I may not count him to the best fantasy authors out there – but when it comes to D&D he is a master and his skills are growing and reading his books is still a pleasure. His way in finding interesting characters are great and when he finally has to kill them, he leaves a void that is felt. Too long has D&D been a sanctuary for happy endings, now we get a heavy toll on heroes that foretells the 4th Edition. I can’t say that 4th edition is really getting me excited and 3.5 rules so far is more luring – but story wise- I hope that I will find that the 4th edition renewal brought some good changes. Afterall – I read D&D because I play and played the game – both dice-wise and CRPG wise. As long as Drizzt is kicking and flailing his scimitars around – I have an excuse to visit Faerun and R.A Salvatore’s books.