After the disappointment I felt reading the second book in the ‘Paths of Darkness’ series, “The Spine of the World,” I was really glad to read ‘Servant of the Shard.’ All the excitement and flair associated with R.A. Salvatore’s mastery of the Forgotten Realms has returned in the third book.
The heroes customarily associated with Salvatore’s books, Drizzt, Wulfgar, Bruenor, Regis and Cattiebrie, are not present. This is the anti-heroes book. The assassin Artemis Entreri. The dark elf Jarlaxle Baeure.
Sinister forces from Menzoberranzan, home of the dark elves, invade the already tumultuous city of Calimport. Kimmuriel Oblodra, a psionicist, and Rai-Guy Bondalek, a high priest of Lolth, begin to overthrow powerful houses for Bregan D’aerthe, a mercenary company trying to expand its influence beyond the underdark to the world on the surface.
Employing a variety of magic weapons, spells and psionic powers, as well as kobols, mindflayers and wererats, the invasion from below begins. There are countless battles, street fights, backstabbing and treachery.
These are dark characters not accustomed to trusting anyone but themselves. They are trying to accomplish goals while fighting for individual power and personal agendas. There is a lot of intrigue.
The influence of the artifact Crenshinibon, a crystal with a mind of its own, one bent on nothing less than total domination, tears apart the fabric of the alliances – and in the end, brings about a unique partnership between several characters that would have never associated with one another.
Being the enemy of all, Entereri and Jarlaxle come to realize that Crenshinibon must be destroyed and the only thing that can destroy it is the breath of a dragon.
‘Servant of the Shard’ is epic storytelling at its best and I highly recommend it for lovers of fantasy adventure tales. I truly look forward to reading the next book in the series, ‘Sea of Swords.’
ALLEN M WERNER is the author of The Crystal Crux epic fantasy series.