Genre - Fantasy
Year Published - 2013
(Published by Wizards of the Coast)
Length - 5,342 [digital] pages *Read on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Kindle App.
Written by R. A. Salvatore
Rating: 5 Skulls
'The Companions' moves Salvatore's signature hero, Drizzt, into a new era of the Forgotten Realms.
As Drizzt's fate hangs in the balance, he reflects on the lives of the trusted allies who stood by his side throughout his early life - the friends now known as the Companions of the Hall.
Meanwhile, the first stirrings of the Sundering begin. . .
First, and foremost, I have to say that this book is a must-read for any fan of Salvatore's Drizzt Do'Urden series.
I have been reading Salvatore's "Drizzt" books for 25 years now (hard to believe!) and they are just as entertaining now, as they were back then - this particular book especially so!
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with who/what I am talking about, Drizzt Do'Urden is a Dark (Drow) Elf from Menzoberranzan, in the land of the Forgotten Realms.
[Start with the 'Icewind Dale' trilogy, then continue with the 'Dark Elf' trilogy, then the 'Legacy of the Drow' and 'Paths of Darkness' series, and then move into the 'Hunter's Blade' trilogy... this will catch you up.]
'The Companions' is Book One of the 'Sundering' series - six books written by six different authors, creating a major story event within the Forgotten Realms!
I will admit that I was completely confused at the beginning of this book. (the book is now available, however I read an Advanced Review Copy and am unsure if any of it changed - if not, stick through the prologue - you will understand, soon enough, what is transpiring)
This book reunites the "Companions of the Hall" - Bruenor Battlehammer, past King of Mithral Hall and Champion of Icewind Dale (and my favorite dwarf character!) - Wulfgar the Barbarian - the Halfling, Regis - and fair Catti-brie...
The catch - these characters are in a kind of Purgatory where they are being given a choice - to be "reborn" or to go ahead and enter each of their respective "Homelands".
Why, you ask, are they being offered the choice of being reborn? Well, it seems that their dear friend, Drizzt, is going to find himself in quite a predicament, in 21 years time, and they are being offered the opportunity to be reborn (as someone new) and meet again, 21 years later, to help their friend in his time of need.
I am not going to say who chooses what, but I will say that those who choose rebirth keep their past knowledge - all of their prior memories intact - making this a far better decision than just writing an "origin story", and Salvatore keeps your interest high by writing back-and-forth chapters, alternating between each of the characters.
I am looking forward to the next chapter in the Drizzt Saga!