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Hamer
10-29-2006, 01:24 PM
Has anyone read this?If so can you pick it up without having read any other Salvatore?

Expletive Deleted
10-29-2006, 08:34 PM
I haven't read it, so this is only a guess . . . probably not. I mean, I'd assume that the original "Crystal Shard" story would be required reading.

Arvandor
10-29-2006, 10:36 PM
You could, but I wouldn't recommend it as your first Salvatore book.

As a Salvatore fan, I have to say this was probably his weakest book, or at least his weakest Drizzt book.

I strongly suggest you pick up The Crystal Shard first (Icewind Dale trilogy). Or Homeland (Dark Elf trilogy).

Inkthinker
10-29-2006, 11:01 PM
The early books were better, I think. I suspect at some point he started using a ghost writer or something... the most recent Drizzt books felt as if he wrote the outline and a few exciting bits, and then farmed out the rest as filler.

Arvandor
10-29-2006, 11:23 PM
the most recent Drizzt books felt as if he wrote the outline and a few exciting bits, and then farmed out the rest as filler.

THAT I disagree with. The Hunters Blades trilogy was his best FR work yet.

El Chupacabra
10-30-2006, 10:25 AM
I've read all of Salvatore's Forgotten Realms related novels and unlike what some have said, I consider Servant of the Shard to be my overall favorite book of his. As a matter of fact, the Sellsword Saga (Servant of the Shard, Promise of the Witch King, and the brand new Road of the Patriarch) happen to be my favorite cluster of his work.

Why? Because I simply like the characters. Drizzt and company, while likeable, have never been my favorite group of guys. Regis I don't like, Cattie-Brie is "ehh", I'm not a huge Dwarf fan, and I don't like Barbarians ... so his band has never appealed to me as much as some of the enemies they have encountered - such as Jarlaxle and Artemis.

To me, Jarlaxle is one of the greatest characters ever created. He is an oddity, not just in Drow standards but in all standards, he is a free thinker, very ambitious, a flirt, an extremely good manipulator, and he has the best assortment of magical items one can find on a character. Artemis is another character I have grown to love - the brooding, emotionless assassin who Jarlaxle struggles mightly to open up. The duo is just fun in my eyes. That's why I like the books.

As for the Servant of the Shard itself, I do not recommend reading it without at least getting some understanding of the things pre-dating this book. You just understand a few things:

Creshininbon (The Crystal Shard) and it's history/power.
Jarlaxle's history of Bregan D'arthe and his encounters with Drizzt Do'Urden.
Artemis Entreri's past encounters with Drizzt and his once-obsession to best him in battle. You must also understand Artemis' "partnership" with Jarlaxle and the Dark Elves - how he has sort of been forced into working with them.

If you can get this information and understand it, you will be able to relate to the book and read the entire Sellsword Saga.

However, I just advise reading the rest of the books and work your way up to this point. The Crystal Shard is great for understanding Creshininbon and Artemis' first encounter with the crew - also some of his past.

The Legacy, Starless Night, Siege of Darkness, and possibly even Passage to Dawn are great reads in understanding Jarlaxle's background as well as furthering his and Artemis' relation with Drizzt, their own background and desires, and their forced partnership (From Artemis' standpoint).

As I write this I'm forgetting which novel Jarlaxle obtains Creshininbon - perhaps The Silent Blade which is another important novel for all of these characters.

Books like Spine of the World (which really only focus on Wulfgar and is my least favorite book in the entire series), Sea of Swords, and the Hunters Blade Trilogy are not essential reads to understanding the Sellsword Saga - but by no means are they not enjoyable and important. All the books are important and it's best to read them from the beginning point to the latter. Of course - once you reach the Servant of the Shard in reading order you can then ignore the books after it and focus soley on the Promise of the Witch King and Road of the Patriarch. After that you can go and finish some of the latter books and then read the Hunter's Blade Trilogy. That might even work best since Salvatore's next line of books entitled "Trancendence" is going to focus on Drizzt & friends again and it takes place where the Hunters Blade Trilogy left off.

Hope that helps.