In the final book of the #4 New York Times best-selling Neverwinter Saga, Drizzt DoUrden navigates a winding path littered with secrets and lies. Tangled up in his companion Dahlias dark secrets, the ties that once held her close to Drizzt threaten to tear as her bonds to his former foe, Artemis Entreri, continue to grow. Meanwhile, in the caverns of Gauntlgrym, the drow Tiago Baenre enlists the help of Bregan Daerthe in his quest to destroy Drizzt. While making promises they may not keep, the agents of the elite drow mercenary group hide plans of their own. Determined to stand for whats right in the Realms once again, Drizzt forges a new road northtoward Icewind Dale. Will his new companions follow? Can he fight the darkness alone? Either way, he knows now where hes headedback to the only place thats ever felt like home.
Praise for the Neverwinter Saga:
Absolutely profound. Paul Goat Allen, BarnesandNoble.com
Masterfully written, thrillingly unpredictable, and everything a Drizzt DoUrden fan could
hope for. Youll be hanging on the words till the very end . . . and then begging for more.
Emotional, respectful of its characters, intelligently written and structured, and finally summons a sense of nostalgic sorrow throughoutFantasy Book Review on Gauntlgrym, Neverwinter Saga Book I
Full of excitement. Salvatore has mastered the art of showing a beautiful fight scene, and he is at the top of his game in this one. We meet many characters with many different fighting styles, and Salvatore does a great job of distinguishing between them. He manages to take these scenes from so much more than just a fight scene, to an integral part of the story.The SFF Hub on Gauntlgrym, Neverwinter Saga Book I
A quick read with some very satisfying fight scenes. Its also deeply layered with emotional atmosphere California Literary Review on Gauntlgrym, Neverwinter Saga Book I
From the Hardcover edition.
The Best Sidekick a Warrior Could Ever Want
R.A. Salvatore muses on the identityand unintentional identity crisisof one of Drizzt DoUrdens most important allies, the fearsome black panther Guenhwyvar.
She started out as a dog, a moorhound, actually, named Canthus. When I wrote a sample chapter to audition for the second book ever published in the Forgotten Realms setting, way back in the summer of 1987, I thought the Realms were the tiny Moonshae Isles and that TSR (the original publisher of the Forgotten Realms setting) was looking for someone to write a direct follow-up to Doug Niless Darkwalker on Moonshae. I didnt want to use Dougs characters in any meaningful waytheyre wonderful characters, but I dont like sharing protagonists!so I grabbed one, a sly fellow named Daryth and his moorhound named Canthus, to introduce the hero of my story, Wulfgar of Icewind Dale.
Quite a bit changed during that audition period, starting with me discovering the size of the Forgotten Realms, and learning, to my great relief, that my editor didnt want me anywhere near Dougs work, since he was writing sequels to his book. So I set my book, The Crystal Shard, far away in Icewind Dale and added a character named Drizzt DoUrden who soon took over the book. One thing I did keep from Dougs example, however: the animal sidekick.
Why? Any pet lover already knows the answer to that question. Drizzt was created as the classic, misunderstood outcast, a bit of a loner, and often driven by circumstance to his own devices. Has anyone gone through junior high school or high school who cant relate to this?
I certainly can. And in those times when I found myself confused and feeling very alone, I had a savior, a dog named Cocoa and then a dog named Yuma. They listened, without judgment, and using them as sounding boards often got me through the tough and lonely days.
So Drizzt needed a friend like that, I figured, and Guenhwyvar was born.
Female or Male?
Let me clear this up, once and for all: Guenhwyvar is a female panther! I know, I know, dont point out the problem with that argument, please. You see, when youre a professional writer, working on deadlines and working with a team of editors/artists/designers and the like, you come to learn certain things about the process. In the case of Guenhwyvar, for some reason I never figured out, I was told that the panther had to be gender neutral. I argued about this policy, but to no avail. Guenhwyvar was a magic item, so I was told, and so Guen was an it, not a she or a he.
The cat remained a she in my mind, certainly, but I painstakingly went through the manuscript of The Crystal Shard and removed all of the gender-specific pronouns. In some places, the use of it sounded quite awkward ; when you name a character, then use it, well, try to do it and youll see what I mean. Nevertheless, I had my orders.
Soon after The Crystal Shard hit the shelves, I discovered, to my chagrin, that the copyeditor had apparently spotted the awkwardness of the gender-neutral pronoun, too, and so he/she (it?) had smoothed out the prose... by replacing it with he and him! But no, Guenhwyvar is a female panther!
I got the name from those magnificent Mary Stewart books about King Arthur, where Guenhwyvar is the spelling of Arthurs Queen, and, according to Stewart, the name meant Shadow. Perfect for Drizzt, I figured, coming from the shadows and needing a shadow. Wherever would Drizzt have been without her? Indeed, where will he be without her going forward? Read The Last Threshold to know more.
R.A. Salvatore, February 2013