Saturday, November 9, 2013

Charon's Claw

For some reason, the prologue of Charon's Claw, the third book of The Neverwinter Saga, seemed clumsy; like if it had been written by someone with very little experience. I can't really explain it. Could've just been because I had not read a book in awhile. And the feeling did disappear after I got further into the book.

Although, there were also parts that were rather repetitive in nature. Namely when Drizzt is using his bow, Taulmaril. An arrow after another launched with the same result and description. Those faults combined with the two, kind of dull, storylines that hardly merge, make Charon's Claw one of Salvatore's weakest Drizzt books, in my opinion. It's like an interlude that teases you with the good stuff that will happen in the final volume.

The main plot is about the infamous blade as I expected. Drizzt, Dahlia, and Entreri go after the sword and unsurprisingly succeed in their quest. It ends in a rather anticlimactic way, though -- Drizzt merely flings Charon's Claw at the general direction of the primordial introduced in the first book. And... that's it. There is no confirmation if the sword actually gets destroyed. All that is certain is that Entreri did not die. But whether that is because he wasn't as bound to the weapon as he thought, or because it didn't get obliterated, nobody knows.

The second storyline follows a drow expedition from Menzoberranzan to Gauntlgrym to setup an outpost (obviously for the MMORPG). Albeit drow, the characters aren't exactly exciting. To me it seems that Salvatore barely copied them from the War of the Spider Queen series but with less depth. The "protagonist" felt very much like Pharaun. Only with less wit.

There was one interesting character among the expedition, though: Tiago, the next probable weapon master of the drow city's ruling House, Baenre. He's not there to set up any outposts; only to make sure the drow smith he brought along will be able to craft him a new shield and a weapon in the forges of Gauntlgrym. He does, and the weapon just happens to be a scimitar. All I wonder is which one of his blades, Twinkle or Icingdeath, will Drizzt replace when he defeats Tiago. I'm guessing Icingdeath since Drizzt looted a ring of elemental command (fire) (or something along those lines) from one of the drow wizards.

Other plot items left for the fourth book include Entreri's dagger, mentioned in the second book, and after which Drizzt and Entreri leave. Guenhwyvar needs rescuing, too. Also, while I had not really forgotten Errtu, I had not realized that his 100 years of banishment have in fact now passed. He no doubt will be coming after the drow ranger for revenge. And there still was no trace of Jarlaxle. Salvatore is seriously teasing his readers with that.

One completely unexpected and kind of a silly plot twist happened at the end, as well, when Thibbledorf Pwent rose from his grave in Gauntlgrym. As a vampire. We shall see what becomes of that.

Drizzt seems to be fighting a three-headed lich on the cover of the final book, The Last Threshold. I don't recall any such character. I guess I'll have to read it to find out.

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