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  • The Halfling's Gem

  • Legend of Drizzt: Icewind Dale Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: R. A. Salvatore
  • Narrated by: Victor Bevine
  • Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163

Assassin Artemis Entreri whisks his kidnapped victim, Regis the halfling, south to Calimport and into Pasha Pook's vengeful hands. If Pook can control the magical panther Guenhwyvar, Regis will die in a real game of cat and mouse. Using an enchanted mask, dark elf Drizzt Do'Urden hides his heritage and races with the barbarian Wulfgar to save their light-fingered friend. An unexpected ally arrives just as Entreri springs a trap. But can Regis survive unscathed?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • story

  • By Amazon Customer on 15-11-18

So how many not-actually-dead characters now?

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-10-18

The first two books of this trilogy were unsubtly hinting that the plot of this one would happen.
It isn't like there was any sort of over-arcing plot to the three books that would normally be implied by the term "trilogy". This book is more like tying up a loose end that was deliberately left loose to be tied up here... and giving a bit more screen-time to Drizzt's evil-opposite nemesis for no better reason than just to give Drizzt more things to angst over than just the colour of his skin.

It is a generic chase-plot. More disposable characters come and go. RAS once again writes a ridiculously boring sequence of events so immediately explained that predictability doesn't even have to factor into it. I'm not even entirely sure what happened at the end because it was just so asinine by that point that I couldn't bring myself to care. A wedding or a big gay orgy or something. I don't know. If as much time was given to finishing up the plot adequately as to writing out crappy combat scenes, maybe this wouldn't be such a disaster.


At some level I do wonder if R.A.Salvatore ever learnt "show, don't tell" ... but I'm just not willing to give these awful books any more chances. I'm not willing to wade through any more terrible stories badly narrated in the hopes that they might get better. There are actual, genuinely good fantasy books out there I could be listening to instead of this atrocious tripe.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Streams of Silver

  • Legend of Drizzt: Icewind Dale Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: R. A. Salvatore
  • Narrated by: Victor Bevine
  • Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 169
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171

The epic tale of everyone's favorite dark elf, Drizzt Do'Urden, reaches new heights!

Drizzt Do'Urden struggles with his own inner voices, voices that call him back to the pitiless depths of the Underdark. But louder still are the voices of his newfound friends, and the dream that drives Bruenor Battlehammer on to reclaim Mithral Hall. Time and again they're told to turn back, that some dreams can never be fulfilled, but on they fight - together.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great adventure

  • By SeanJoe mooney on 17-02-16

Like a bad rip-off of The Hobbit...

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-10-18

I'll try to be a little fair here... D&D in general is heavily influenced by Tolkien.
THAT SAID... when the plot consists of a quest to recover an ancestral dwarven city full of treasure and guarded by a dragon, and the journey involves a dangerous climb through the mountains, a respite in a goofy village and then a really dark, dangerous and murky place... not to mention that there is an actual hobbit ("halfling") with a dangerous artifact along for the journey... then you know you've got a little bit out of "influenced" territory and well into "I can't write my own plots" territory.

Couple that with RAS's usual all-explaining, zero-tension writing style and dull, monotonous combat... and what you end up with is a really bad knock-off of The Hobbit.

I guess I shouldn't be too hard on him for the terribly boring combat descriptions. It reads like typical D&D combat, but with the endings to every encounter just that little bit contrived to ensure extra predictability. There is no flow to it. It is clunky, sequential and oh so very tedious. I actually fell asleep on the train listening to the description of a fight scene and when I woke up about 15 minutes later it was still going on and I hadn't missed anything important.

I'd rather be playing D&D myself... These are hours of my life I will never get back.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Crystal Shard

  • Legend of Drizzt: Icewind Dale Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: R. A. Salvatore
  • Narrated by: Victor Bevine
  • Length: 12 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 249
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 235
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 236

Drizzt Do’Urden has settled in the windswept towns of Icewind Dale. There, he encounters a young barbarian named Wulfgar, captured in a raid and made the ward of a grizzled dwarf name Bruenor. With Drizzt’s help, Wulfgar will grow from a feral child to a man with the heart of a dwarf, the instincts of a savage, and the soul of a hero. But it will take even more than that to defeat the demonic power of Crenshininbon, the fabled Crystal Shard.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Re Discovering My Youth

  • By P. Teece on 15-06-16

He never should have written this up...

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-10-18

I don't know why R.A.Salvatore decided to publish this... I'd guess it was some poorly DM'd D&D campaign amongst his gay orgy of a social circle (the "friends" love each other a little too much), except somehow all the characters seem like the same guy but with some convenient stereotypes grafted on top. It may surprise some people out there to learn that spending a few years together doesn't grant anyone psychic powers when it comes to their friends, let alone their enemies... to say nothing of granting psychic powers to the reader so we get convenient explanations of every decision, every observation and every situation the moment it arises. I don't believe RAS could ever pull a genuine plot-twist because the idea of him ever avoiding spoiling his own plot on a second-by-second basis is just unrealistic.

A certain irony struck me though through this book in particular: Despite the fact that Drizzt keeps conveniently stumbling across exactly the weapons he needs to defeat foes that should be miles beyond his ability to do anything about (set Deus-Ex-Machina to full-auto much), you'd figure that the established ability to make a magical dark patch in the air might see some use against an artifact powered by light. Guess RAS forgot about that.

Anyway... the book is crap. The trilogy is crap. The series is crap. The author is probably still crap. Don't bother reading this dross.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Sojourn

  • Legend of Drizzt: Dark Elf Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: R. A. Salvatore
  • Narrated by: Victor Bevine
  • Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 392
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 366
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 365

R. A. Salvatore's New York Times best-selling novel! Drizzt DoUrden has forsaken his subterranean home for the harsh unknown of the surface. The young warrior begins a sojourn through a world utterly unlike his own - and finds that acceptance among the surface-dwellers will only come at a great price....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Epic.

  • By JR Angell on 17-05-18

I wouldn't give R.A.S roleplaying XP for this...

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-10-18

And the Character Backstory Trilogy reaches its conclusion, where "conclusion" means a sequence of loosely connected events cobbled together as excuses for setting up everything Drizzt can do in the Icewind Dale trilogy.
Once again, R.A.Salvatore manages to utterly fail at tension. There can be no surprises when everything is explained to the reader (or listener) instantly.

All events in this book just serve to add the Ranger template to Drizzt and move his location to Icewind Dale. The events between are mostly just filler, and consist of tedious combat sequences and the idiotic Drow determining which races it is alright to kill without it being morally wrong... or for that matter whether the disposable characters along the way should be treated as new bestest best friends or targets for righteous evisceration.

It also doesn't help that Victor Bevine tries to be melodramatic about it, but just makes characters in supposedly serious situations sound goofy, and seems to struggle with certain D&D terminology. Also he doesn't understand that "live" doesn't always rhyme with "dive", but then all audiobook narrators seem to have at least one word they're incapable of pronouncing correctly.

  • Exile

  • Legend of Drizzt: Dark Elf Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: R. A. Salvatore
  • Narrated by: Victor Bevine
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 373
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 349
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 345

Hostile in ways that a surface-dweller could never know, the tunnel-mazes of the Underdark challenge all who tread there. Among these souls are Drizzt Do'Urden and his magical cat, Guenhwyvar. Exiled from his drow homeland, Drizzt must fight for a new home in the boundless labyrinth. Meanwhile, he must watch for signs of pursuit - for the dark elves are not a forgiving race.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Yes, its that good

  • By Richard Stringer on 03-05-13

A bunch of unimportant stuff happens, next book...

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-10-18

Ugh... R.A.Salvatore's complete failure at anything resembling tension continues, and even amongst a particularly weak series of books this is a special kind of bad. I wish I could rate it lower than one star...

You want to know what happens? Nothing happens. Drizzt wanders about the underdark, engaging in unimportant ho-yay shenanigans with his new BFF with synthetic hands and a single catch-phrase repeated so many times there is probably already a drinking game for it. Unimportant enemies are beaten. Another unimportant "friend" comes and goes. BFF is left behind. This entire book is just completely irrelevant filler between Drizzt leaving his city and reaching the surface. You could skip the entire book and not even notice.

Then again, it isn't like the other books are exactly dramatic improvements. But at least they contain plot-arc, rather than coming across like some monster-of-the-week episode of a 1980s cartoon.

  • Homeland

  • Legend of Drizzt: Dark Elf Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: R. A. Salvatore
  • Narrated by: Victor Bevine
  • Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 593
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 552
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 555

This stunning new release of the classic R.A. Salvatore novel recounts the origins of Salvatore's signature dark elf character, Drizzt Do'Urden. This title kicks off The Legend of Drizzt series, which will showcase the classic dark elf novels in these new audiobook editions.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent story, okay narrator

  • By Mark on 10-12-16

Worse than teenage fan-fiction...

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-10-18

This book series is kinda well-known for those of us who have played D&D to any great extent. I've known OF it for years. I kinda figured I'd have to give it a try sooner or later to see what all the fuss was about...

Except within the space of the first chapter I was already starting to wonder if it was seriously all going to be as bad as it already sounded...
BUT I figured I had to give it a chance. You know how it goes. Judging a book by its cover is a well-known metaphor, and it does extend to judging a book by its first chapter to some extent... or the first book in a trilogy... or even the first two trilogies in a (somehow) long-running series... At least by this point you can't claim I haven't given it a chance. I gave this series six chances. But it is complete and utter trash.

The main problem is that R.A.Salvatore doesn't seem to have any grasp of dramatic tension. None at all. That old adage "show, don't tell"... is completely lost on him. It is kinda similar to "don't explain the joke". This trilogy is like that from start to finish. The next trilogy chronologically, which was written before this one, is naturally the same way. A sequence of events written out like a shopping list. Flat characters interacting through the medium of gimmicks, catchphrases, childish emotional outbursts and a near-psychic interawareness coming from an author who doesn't understand that normal people don't operate in a hive-mind.
Oh, and it also assumes you're already familiar with D&D terms. Luckily I was, otherwise the first few sentences of this book would have just sounded like unintelligible nonsense.

This book in particular is a prequel, but generally prequels shouldn't be laid out like a plot-recap of excuse-events padded with shallow filler and disposable extras. At least it does a fine job of highlighting what a weak character Drizzt is, and in this book he mostly fluctuates between arbitrary angst and spontaneous moral outrage. Apparently he has hereditary conscience or something, as well as special eyes, special talents, special status, special fortune, etc.

The only thing that could possibly be said for this book is... the one that follows is even worse.