The Companions by R.A. Salvatore

I know people that have not read a D&D novel in thirty years because some of the earliest ones were terrible. The Drizzt books by Salvatore were never in this group. They were always more about the internal struggle than a simple hack and slash dungeon bash story. If you haven’t read any of the previous Drizzt books I can highly recommend going back and giving them a try. You don’t need to have read them to enjoy this book as it does give you a good insight in to the characters (very handy given how long it has been since I read the original books) but you will have more emotional attachment to the characters if you have read them first.

Drizzt is a Drow. A Dark Elf. Except he doesn’t follow the usual path of his kind. He is a chosen of a nature god but the spider queen will not relinquish her hold on one born to worship her. This battle between gods is mirrored in his continual battle to find his place in the world. For a while his friends and companions anchored him and made him happy. After their passing his life was never the same.

The story starts with the good gods allowing the heroic companions of the hall to be re-incarnated. The fascinating wrinkle is that they are completely aware of their past lives from birth and are fully aware of their surroundings. This sounds pretty  cool at first. Then as the story progresses you realize just how frustrating it must be to be trapped in the body of a child if you have been a dwarven king or any of the other companions. There are fights and battles in this book but most of the tension is internal.

The ending of this book was stunning. I actually gasped out loud. I will not say any more than that because I do not want to spoil the surprise.

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