Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Crystal Shard (Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale, #1; Legend of Drizzt, #4)” as Want to Read:
The Crystal Shard (Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale, #1; Legend of Drizzt, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Crystal Shard (The Icewind Dale Trilogy #1)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  34,667 Ratings  ·  660 Reviews
Akar Kessel, weak-willed apprentice mage, starts events that find a magical device, the crystal shard. Dwarf Bruenor rescues barbarian Wulfgar from the ruins of Ten-Towns, for 5 years of service - and friendship. With help from renegade dark elf Drizzt, Wulfgar becomes a warrior with brawn and brains. Can the trio stave off the crystal shard forces?
Mass Market Paperback, 344 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Wizards of the Coast (first published January 1st 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Crystal Shard, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Crystal Shard

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kostas Papadatos
Καταπληκτικό βιβλίο το οποίο διαβάζεται μονομιάς, απνευστί, μπλα, μπλα, μπλα και άλλα τέτοια ανέμπνευστα τετριμμένα. Επειδή όμως ο χρόνος είναι σχετικός που είπε και ο.. Πάπας ο Κλήμης(??) εγω τελείωσα την ανάγνωση του σε ένα μήνα.
Ο Άκαρ Κέσελ, κάτοχος του πανάρχαιου Κρυστάλλινου σκήπτρου και πανίσχυρος μάγος συγκεντρώνει πολυάριθμο στρατό ώστε να επιτεθεί στην δεκάπολη. Ο Ντριτζ Ντο Έρντεν με την παρέα του προσπαθεί να πείσει τους ηγέτες των δέκα πόλεων να συνεργαστούν ώστε αποκρούσουν τις τρομ
Kevin Xu
May 12, 2009 Kevin Xu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, favorites
How many books do you know that a side character has more time than the main character then becomes the main character? That was the way for this book, which mean the character of Drizzt rather than for Wulfgar. One of the many reasons that why this book is different from most books in fantasy. This reason is the biggest reason that this is different from most of the book out there.
James Geluso
Aug 06, 2008 James Geluso rated it did not like it
Shelves: dragons
This book sucked. Seriously, this is a classic? The story is good, and I can see why the character is popular among 12-year-old boys. He's a tormented drow! So he's cool-looking, but good! And he has a magic panther! And he can do just about anything, including run for days and command demons and all that.

The story, overall, isn't horrible. It's better than the base narrative of The Hobbit. But the writing, the writing, the overwrought writing, the exposition, the journal entries... argh.

Sep 23, 2009 Fiver rated it it was ok
This beginning to the Icewind Dale trilogy is a guilty pleasure at best. I fully admit that I've read eight books in the entire Drizzt series, and that this kind of novel is just the thing I need to curl up with sometimes. But the sad truth is that it is books like this one that, in my opinion, sometimes give fantasy a bad name. Mr. Salvatore is undoubtedly more talented in writing than the format of these books might suggest (I'm sure he's writing for a fairly young audience), and the success o ...more
I can see where this would have been an extremely popular book in its time. It does, however, very much show its status as first published book by this author and as a high fantasy published in the 1980s. It reminded me strongly of the Shannara series by Terry Brooks, which started off very dependent on The Lord of the Rings for races, imagery, and even some plot points, but which eventually moved off in its own direction. I think nowadays we could refer to works like these as LOTR fan fiction. ...more
Feb 24, 2011 Traci rated it really liked it
An elf, a dwarf, and a halfling walk into a bar...wait you've heard this one before?
Yeah, okay. There's nothing truly original here. Nothing we haven't encountered before. But I like it.

A little different than the usual "quest" style of fantasy this one concentrates on a group of settlers trying to save their home from an invading wizard who has been possessed by an ancient artifact.

If you've read Homeland, Exile, and Sojourn first you will notice a difference in style. The Crystal Shard was wri
Jan 10, 2017 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
Φανατικοί του fantasy, που παίζετε φανατικά RPG Warhammer και strategy Diablo, αυτή η σειρά είναι για εσάς!!!

Μια καινούρια τριλογία ξεκινάει, όπου ο Ντριντζ έχει προσαρμοστεί στον υπέργειο κόσμο και, παρέα με την τρελή συντροφιά του, προσπαθεί να κατακτήσει το σύμπαν!!!

Μάγοι, πύργοι, σχέδια στρατηγικής, θα το διαβάσετε μονορούφι (αν πωρωθείτε, διαφορετικά ίσως καθυστερήσετε λίγο γιατί θα προτιμήστε να σκοτώνετε στο Diablo) και μετά να πάτε να παίξετε Heroquest!!!
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

It doesn't matter. I will always ♥ love ♥ Drizzt & his trusted companion, Guenhwyvar


Drizzt Do'Urden trotted along silently, his soft, low-cut boots barely stirring the dust. He kept the cowl of his brown cloak pulled low over the flowing waves of his stark white hair and moved with such effortless grace that an onlooker might have thought him to be no more than an illusion, an optical trick of the brown sea of tundra.

In the first part of the book we fi
Harold Ogle
After reading a chapter or two, I realized to my surprise that I have never actually read this first Salvatore novel before. It's a strange experience, because I know the story of Drizzt so well from other books and other media, to the point that it feels like I must have read this previously...but I definitely hadn't.

Back when TSR published this novel in 1988, it was trying to distance itself from a lot of the pre-existing gaming properties that it had published when Gary Gygax was running the
Mar 25, 2013 Dawn rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2013
This was not at all what I expected, and for that reason alone I could almost give it four stars. I always thought that I couldn't possibly enjoy this book as an adult. Based on the things I had heard about it (D&D origins and all) I was afraid that I had missed my window where I could enjoy it (somewhere in my late teen years I assumed). Apparently I hadn't missed that window though, this actually turned out to be a fun read. It maybe wasn't the best fantasy I've ever read but it was far fr ...more
Victor Hugo Kebbe
After several years I did return to the roleplaying games, especially, Dungeons & Dragons. One of my favorite campaign settings over there is Forgotten Realms, known because of its diversity and how it portraits the best of High Fantasy tropes (and, of course, its clichés). But of all Forgotten Realms, I've always liked Icewind Dale.

Icewind Dale has this name because of the unrelenting snow storms and the harsh life style at the faerûnian tundra. The Ten-Towns can be seen as the last bastion
David "proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party"
"The Crystal Shard" is R.A. Salvatore's 1st major published novel, and he made sure to include all the classic fantasy elements in this epic tale. Unfortunately, that turns out to be the book's one major flaw, since the overall story just seems so generic. Let's see, we have an evil artifact that possesses the mind of its owner, a dwarf and an elf who banter and keep score while they fight common enemies, and even a hobbit halfling who joins in the quest. Gee, does any of this sound familiar?!? ...more
Feb 12, 2012 Stuart rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 11, 2008 Jesse rated it really liked it
Shelves: forgotten-realms
This book introduces two more important characters into the series. First, a fat lazy halfling named Regis. He becomes the quindisential troublmaking theif. Secondly, a human barbarian named Wulfgar(beowulf?).
Salvatore spends a lot of time working out the polotics of Icewind Dale, and specificly the area of Ten Towns (which has, as you may have guessed, 10 towns located around 3 lakes). Unfortunatly, after this series, the characters don't spend much time in this area...mores the pity.
May 20, 2011 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me at least 100 pages to feel fully engaged with the story but the lengthy intro was truly necessary character and story development. Even with his brief introduction of Drizzt, Bruenor and Regis, Salvatore created tangible characters that colored the war tactics, battles, and subsequent survival (since "victory" is only in the eye of the beholder) with clear depth and breadth. He was true to their character throughout the entire story and it allowed for the events that took place to be ...more
Nov 12, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it
I knew that this was the first Drizzt book that Salvatore ever penned, so the Drizzt that I knew from the "first three" books wasn't going to be the same Drizzt that I followed here, and I'm glad that I knew that going in. Drizzt had a few more, uh, pre-occupations in this story than I preferred, but he was still more-or-less the same drow I had grown so attached to.

The thing I really like about this story are the characters. Drizzt has finally found a place for himself in the world - not a perf
Book number four in the overall Drizzt series of books (though actually the first book published) and it was everything I'd hoped it would be. Salvatore introduces readers to Icewind Dale and the Ten Towns that exist within its borders. Politics and evil conquest are the main focus. New beloved characters like the halfling Regis and the barbarian Wulfgar are introduced to great effect. This is top-notch, pulpy high fantasy delivered at a snappy pace. Wizards and Ice Dragons and Demons oh my! It ...more
Apr 25, 2011 Ken rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, drizzt
This book is still as good as the first time I've read it more than 10 years ago. Having read more stories about Drizzt and going back it seems he is more chaotic in this one. His actions are more reckless and his skills seemed to be worse than he was in the Underdark. It seems strange that Drizzt managed to get knocked over unconscious by a barbarian king when his skills match that of Zaknafein. I also notice that Bruenor loves to mention about some ancient forgotten homeland dear to his race, ...more
Steven Ure
Apr 19, 2014 Steven Ure rated it it was ok
A paint-by-numbers, cliched and sexist fantasy crammed with adverbs.
Feb 11, 2017 F.T. rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Well, 4.5 because I love this stuff. This one didn't have the same impact on me as the first three books did, but there were plenty of interesting things happening: goblins, orcs, frost giants, dragons, demons, war and a smarmy, devious, whiny wizard who wreaks havoc after finding the crystal shard, an ancient magical talisman that gives him considerable powers. Basic stuff, but well done. I did enjoy seeing the wizard bite it, finally.

I slogged down a bit on all the Ten Towns politics, history,
Nov 25, 2015 Anirudh rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I stumbled upon Salvatore when I played Reckoning. From that day I had thought of reading a fantasy series written by him one day. Now that I finally have, the feelings are mixed

1. Plot The plot follows the age old formula of good vs evil as a party forms to fight for what is right. In terms of story the book does not particularly stand out.

2. Magic The Crystal Shard unfortunately resembles Tolkienish fantasy a great deal. With the setting of elves, dwarves, orcs, goblins, there is very little
Jan 20, 2010 Wynndmill rated it it was ok
Alright, hear me out on this one. It's not terribly written. It's competent at least. Well, competent compared to a lot of other novels I've read in the same skein.

There's just not much unique to it. 70% of the novel itself is action scene after action scene. I'm thinking Salvatore figured if the book is full of action scenes, people will think it's fast paced. All I got was a slog through scene after scene of how awesome Drizzt is as he bashes and slices his way through another generic orc, gob
Merric Blackman
Jan 05, 2016 Merric Blackman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter Levi
Mar 05, 2016 Peter Levi rated it did not like it
I can't give the book zero stars, sadly. Re-reading it made the Dark Elf Trilogy seem better (speaking of which, I noted some retconning in prequel--Drizzt is said to have spent 200 years in the Underdark here, but it’s a shorter passage of time there). The entire novel is basically a series of fight sequences, with none of the character development necessary to make them engaging (reminding me of Glen Cook's "The Black Company"). Wulgar is meant to be the hero of the book--it's his hero's journ ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 21, 2012 Rachael rated it liked it
-fun and quick
-great main characters
-conclusion doesn't leave unsatisfying loose ends

-good vs evil is too simplistic for my tastes (and my tastes aren't all that demanding. I'm happy with a fun popcorn book every so often. This was truly a simplistic tale)
-victories were won too easily and too often. After flawless victory #3 I had no doubts or tension through the rest of the story. I knew the good guys would win every battle and the war without a hitch. While this can be fun, when vi
The Black Hat Writer
I felt like this lacked the personal depth that the Dark Elf Trilogy had; and, it was even more derivative. There is a lot of Lord of the Rings and Norse legends herein. It really just felt like a bunch of battles with no story to invest in. While the battles were well described, as was the terrain of Icewind Dale, outside of the presence of the Demon and the slaying of the dragon, there wasn't much here worth hanging on to. As much as I liked the Dark Elf Trilogy, if the next installment isn't ...more
Sep 05, 2011 Lori rated it it was ok
Shelves: to-come-back-to
I'd been looking forward to reading this and decided that this Labor Day weekend, my last hurrah of summer ie fucking off would be just a perfect time. But hmm, I dunno, it failed to engage me. And I'm tired of fantasies that are pretty much reworkings of LOTR. The writing itself is good workmanship, but not more than that. Admittedly I'm in a weird inbetween phase right now - I wanted a full escape before the mad start of my son's school year and all the battles and aggravations that entails )g ...more
I can't really give any rating for this. I would either betray the geeky teenager in me or the adult who - despite of still being a huge geek - knows how bad these books are.

Our group of friends is having a nostalgic little book club where we read the B-rate fantasy books we all grew up with. It has been horrible, embarrassing and absolutely hilarious!

I recommend all teenage geeks to read these. If only so that when you are older, you can reread them with your friends and a bottle of wine and
Alexander Draganov
Very entertaining fantasy novel, which introduces readers to one of the most popular characters in the modern fantasy genre, the dark elf ranger Drizzt do Urden. Full with action, dazzling swordsplay and memorable characters, it's a wonderful adventure, although not as great as "Homeland", the novel about how Drizzt turned into a good guy.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Remember The Realms Podcast 1 2 Jan 31, 2017 08:58PM  
Around the Year i...: The Crystal Shard, by R.A. Salvatore 2 19 Jan 17, 2016 10:42AM  
  • The Wyvern's Spur (Forgotten Realms: Finder's Stone, #2)
  • Elfshadow (Forgotten Realms: The Harpers, #2; Songs & Swords, #1)
  • Insurrection (Forgotten Realms: War of the Spider Queen, #2)
  • Condemnation (Forgotten Realms: War of the Spider Queen, #3)
  • Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad (Forgotten Realms: Avatar, #5)
  • Extinction (Forgotten Realms: War of the Spider Queen, #4)
  • Tantras (Forgotten Relalms: Avatar #2)
  • Resurrection (Forgotten Realms:  War of the Spider Queen, #6)
  • Darkwell (Forgotten Realms: The Moonshae Trilogy, #3)
  • Prince of Lies (Forgotten Realms: Avatar, #4)
  • Annihilation (Forgotten Realms: War of the Spider Queen, #5)
  • Dissolution (Forgotten Realms: War of the Spider Queen, #1)
  • Spellfire (Shandril's Saga #1)
As one of the fantasy genre’s most successful authors, R.A. Salvatore enjoys an ever-expanding and tremendously loyal following. His books regularly appear on The New York Times best-seller lists and have sold more than 10,000,000 copies. Salvatore’s original hardcover, The Two Swords, Book III of The Hunter’s Blade Trilogy (October 2004) debuted at # 1 on The Wall Street Journal best-seller list ...more
More about R.A. Salvatore...

Other Books in the Series

The Icewind Dale Trilogy (3 books)
  • Streams of Silver (Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale, #2; Legend of Drizzt, #5)
  • The Halfling's Gem (Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale, #3; Legend of Drizzt, #6)

Share This Book

“Never confuse honor with stupidity!” 45 likes
“I do not know why I care," Drizzt answered honestly. His eyes turned back to his ancient homeland, where loyalty was merely a device to gain an advantage over a common foe. "Perhaps I care because I strive to be different from my people," he said, as much to himself as to Bruenor. "Perhaps I care because I am different from my people. I may be more akin to race of the surface...that is my hope at least. I care because I have to care about something.” 8 likes
More quotes…