I have to say that Neverwinter was a better book than Gauntlgrym, and, in fact, the last several Drizzt books. For awhile there, it seemed like Salvatore was tired of writing about the dark elf, and just kept at if for the sake of his fans. In the Transitions trilogy, he went on a killing spree, and it seemed like he was struggling to incorporate the Spellplague into the Drizzt legacy and was like 'hmm, how to do this? I know!' *zaps Catti-bree*. And let's not forget the prologue in The Orc King in which Drizzt scolded the elf for attacking the orcs, and he was talking to Hralien (who has not been in any of the following books). As someone who has read plenty of Forgotten Realms books outside of the Drizzt series, I understand some of the references, and I knew about Szass Tam from The Haunted Lands, but it seems as though the Drizzt books have been...separate from all the other FR books, and I know there are people who have only read the dark elf legacy novels.

This also applies to the short stories featuring Drizzt, such as Comrades at Arms (I think that's what its called), in which Ellifain's spirit is freed, and To'sun has his enlightening moment. Um...not everyone has read that story! I'm sure plenty who didn't know about it were disappointed that all Drizzt said in <i?The Orc King</i> was "she is free". And then we have the gods, who Salvatore doesn't mention much, except for a few. Maybe it's just because I like hearing about the gods and am a Corellon fan (who has only been mentioned in the afore mentioned short story), but he really doesn't address them, and The Orc King is the first and only time he has thus far mentioned Eilistraee. Again, this might leave some who have only read the Drizzt books going "wha...?" I love Drizzt, don't get me wrong. He is what started me on my Forgotten Realms craze. But I encourage people who haven't to step outside the Drizzt novels and explore of FR series. There are some good ones!

Just a couple more complaints and then I'll get to the positive, promise. This is only a minor detail, I guess, and probably not important in the larger scheme of things, but it is another inconsistancy. I like that "to be an elf", is to treasure each moment and enjoy the time we have with friends and not dread the future. But in Neverwinter, Drizzt mentions in one of his "entries" that elves rarely partner for life, when, according to some other stories I've read, this is not entirely true. Some elves likely do change partners after a hundred years or so, but love is important to the elves, and I don't think they just go "oh, it's been over a hundred years, think I'll find someone else. I'll always remember you though". Uh huh. According to Races of the Wild, which is a D&D book, that elves often have dalliances before they marry, because a partner is quite a commitment for a people who live so long. In the The Last Mythal trilogy, which I recommend to any elf lover, it states that when engaged, elves have a twenty year betrothel period to make sure their partner is "the one". This does not mean that after a hundred or two hundred years they go "hmm, think I should marry someone else!". I think further research is needed on this topic. Tis different obviously when elves partner with humans, because we have a tendancy to keel over after so many years.

All right, last bit of negativity. It concerns the beloved Jarlaxle. He did not die in Gauntlgrym, and in fact was planning to return to Luskan with Arthogate, but the stubborn dwarf is like, "no, leave me". I am complaining here not only because I love Jarlaxle, but also because of events that were set in motion in the book and not addressed at all in Neverwinter.  If I remember correctly, Kimmuriel has gained too much control over Bregon D'earthe because Jarlaxle has been absent, and some, such as Valas Hune--who I also love! I thought he deserved more spotlight in War of the Spider Queen, but yeah--hinted that he looked forward to the day Jarlaxle returned. Basically, things were set in motion, or hinted at in any case, but like the prologue of The Orc King, they have not been addressed.

Perhaps it is too early to complain, because Jarlaxle has a tendancy to reappear, and maybe he will in the next book, or Salvatore will go on to write a separate series, like he did with Jarlaxle and Entreri. And speaking of Entreri (spoiler coming!), he's back! Drizzt's opposite has returned. When I read Gauntlgrym, Barrabus the Gray indeed reminded me of Entreri--or Arteries and Entrails, as my friend Treasa and I affectionately call him--but I forgot about it until this latest book. And ta da! I used to hate Entreri, but after reading the Sellswords trilogy, I came to like him, and now he has returned. I'm sure Drizzt and Entreri slash fans will love some of the scenes in Neverwinter. And, much to my relief, the angry Drizzt is gone, replaced with the dark elf we know and love. There are some differences, for instance the "wee, I'm invincible, let's fight!" attitude, but then again, he IS drow after all, and there is a part of him that truly likes fighting. He also seems a bit more...lustful than he used to. He truly loved Catti-brie, but he isn't sure of Dahlia (I'm not too sure what to think of her either, to be honest), and I think the earlier Drizzt would not sleep with someone he is uncertain of his feelings for. Again, though, I guess it is a drow trait, and a minor detail. At least he isn't so angry anymore! He's my lovely Drizzt once more.

On a final note, Valindra makes me laugh. She's a bitch and schemer to be sure, but she's also amusing, thanks to her insanity. I just chuckle every time she blurts out "Ark-lem Greeth!" So all in all, a good read, and a much needed installement in the legacy of our dearest dark elf.
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:iconthe-chronicler-croi:
The-Chronicler-Croi Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2012  Professional Artist
I haven't read the transitions trilogy yet I purchised the hunters blades trilogy and have read all the books up until that one in the legend of Drizzt's series but I got really discouraged after reading a spoiler and finding out Cattiebrie gets killed off in such a way I guess I'm a hopeless romantic but I don't like jumping forward but maybe I'll purchase the newer Salvator Drizzt bbooks and have a renewed love for my favorite charachter of all time. I know you shouldn't read ahead I ruined it for myself but it just seemed after Ellifans (not sure if I spelled it right) death the books just weren't the same but if the old Drizzt is back. Or at least closer to back in the newer novel I'm interested again I have an addiction to the books and will probly read more now of the forgotten realms a novel once I get reading only lasts me a day and a half. To three at the most depending on how into it I get. Yay Drizzt is back (well sort of) :)
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:icondarthronius:
DarthRonius Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
"In the Transitions trilogy, he went on a killing spree, and it seemed like he was struggling to incorporate the Spellplague into the Drizzt legacy..."
You seem to forget that as long as Wizards of the Coast own the setting and pay his paycheck they also tell him certain devices that he has to incorporate in his story. He said as much at Gencon earlier this year. I heard this, I was there.

"All right, last bit of negativity. It concerns the beloved Jarlaxle. He did not die in Gauntlgrym...'
You're 'metareading' so to speak. We as the readers having luxury of third person omnicient sense, know he didn't die, but Drizzt doesn't. As the last known link to Zak it's understandable that its something Drizzt would keep thinking about.

Btw speaking of spoilers... You read the comics spanning the time between Gauntlgrym and Neverwinter? Guess who else didn't die?
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:iconkaosu0kami:
Kaosu0kami Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011  Student Writer
I'll make a comment in the whole Jarlaxle thought, he's probably either working on taking back BD, or he's tired of it. As for Arthrogate, we'll never be rid of that dwarf. And I've read a few other FR books, and I'm with you on him finally joining the rest of the realms. Lastly, in Transitions, he went on a killing spree because Drizzt is transitioning from one "life" to another. He must shed all of the old (companions of the hall) to bring in the new (Dahlia).
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:iconlathellen:
Lathellen Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011
Not sure if I like his "new life"
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:iconkaosu0kami:
Kaosu0kami Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2011  Student Writer
I like dahlia. She brings out a different side of my favorite drow. Something aside from what he was for so many books. More akin to the hunter and how he was in the underdark. I like that Drizzt better.
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:iconhighsummoneryuna-x:
HighSummonerYuna-X Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2011  Hobbyist
I got SO sad when Bruenor died.... and Cattie- Brie and Regis, they were all absolutely amazing and realistic characters, and it was really sad to see them go...
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:iconlathellen:
Lathellen Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011
I know! Salvatore suddenly kills off all the Companions of the Hall
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:iconhighsummoneryuna-x:
HighSummonerYuna-X Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Hobbyist
and Drizzt is left all alone, it's really sad!
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:iconlathellen:
Lathellen Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011
seriously
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:iconfey-light:
Fey-Light Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I doubt he even wanted to bring the Spellplague into the series...I mean, after all this time, the characters that we have come to know and love and he kills them off? I bet wizards of the coast made him write that...XD He was probably pissed.
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:iconlathellen:
Lathellen Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011
He kills them with barely a thought, too, it seems
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:iconfey-light:
Fey-Light Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
-sigh- Poor Drizzt. >>
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:iconlathellen:
Lathellen Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011
I know :(
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:icondonaruie:
Donaruie Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2011
The book was ok...though none of the new books have been any where as good as the older ones. Like you mentioned it seems like Salvatore doesn't really want to write about Drizzt anymore and the books spend more time developing villains then focusing on the main character.

I don't much care for the new Drizzt. I liked his stubburn morals and conflicting passions. Last few books he seems more like a naive child, with no idea how the world works, that has to be led around by the hand by someone else, in this case Dahlia, and is only good at fighting. I also don't care for the fact that Dahlia is getting more romance screen time then Catti did. I always loved the pairing, then it happened, then she was missing an entire book then she died... :(

and every time he pulls out that Unicorn it makes me cringe.

But I keep reading the books hoping they'll eventually come around and be what I remember them being...*sigh*
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:iconlathellen:
Lathellen Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011
Oh, no, none of the new books are as good as the old, but I thought Neverwinter was certainly better than Gauntlgrym. And yes, Catti and Drizzt finely get together, then she is killed off. Wtf? @@

I actually like the unicorn, though the whole bells thing is kind of cheesy
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:iconderek-kaguya:
Derek-Kaguya Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2011
I loved it all. But damn, how obvious is it that Effron is Dhalia and Herzgo's son? The tiefling may as well be wearing a sign on his chest saying who his parents are. XD

I love the Artemis is back, not Barrabus, but the real man himself. And the sooner her gets that dagger back from that cowardly rogue, the better. I don't really give a shit about Dhalia, but hey- Drizzt does need someone around, despite the fact that he loves that feel of power when he is alone.
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:iconlathellen:
Lathellen Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011
Oh, wow, I actually didn't make that connection at all! It passed right over my head.

I'm not sure what to think of Dahlia. Sometimes I like her, and other times...not so much. I don't know if she's right for Drizzt
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:iconderek-kaguya:
Derek-Kaguya Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011
Yeah in the book it mentions how fucked up Effron's body is, he has one red eye and one blue eye (Dahlia has a blue eye), he hates Dahlia and when he speaks of her, it is with disgust and anger. Also I think Herzgo Alengi doesn't want to be around Effron because his son shames him. Instead of using the way of the sword, his son is a spell slinger.
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:iconlathellen:
Lathellen Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011
Thanks for the tip. I knew Effron hated Dahlia, and of course that his body was a mess, but I never made the connection because I thought the child had died. But it makes sense
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:iconderek-kaguya:
Derek-Kaguya Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2011
It does, now it doesn't say that directly in the book, but hey, Salvatore dropped the bomb on Artemis' secret identity with pretty much everything. Why not Effron?/(Zoidberg?)
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:icondavidfoxfire:
davidfoxfire Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011
Valindra just steals the show in the book. Reading it now :)

I want my Drizzt/Dahlia shipping images and pics now! Make her an honest woman, you shifty drow!
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:iconlathellen:
Lathellen Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011
She's funny though, at least at times
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:iconkeelerleah:
keelerleah Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks very much for writing this review. I did buy Neverwinter when it came out but I've been so busy that I haven't even had a chance to open the book. ^^;

From reading your review, I'm happy that Drizzt isn't quite so angry now, but I still dearly miss all the old characters especially Catti). I myself was never much of a Entreri fan so I'm rather indifferent to his appearance... and I personally can't stand Dahlia so I know, if I wasn't so obsessed as I was before, I'd be devastated at Drizzt being with her. That was one reason I fell for Drizzt in the beginning, was his strong sense of ethics and his resistance to hold back in terms of lust. ^^; Ah, well.... that's just me.

Thanks for writing up this review and I promise that someday I'll finally get to reading Neverwinter.
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:iconlathellen:
Lathellen Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011
You're welcome. I needed to rant about some things lol. And yeah, it isn't the same without the Companions of the Hall. Sometimes I like Dahlia, and other times I wish she wasn't, well, Dahlia lol. It mentions in Neverwinter that he's all "idealistic" again, but his relationship with Dahlia is just...odd. From reading Gauntlgrym, I knew something was bound to happen between the two of them though.

Let me know what you think when you do :)
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