Chy's Reviews > Neverwinter

Neverwinter by R.A. Salvatore
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's review
Jan 17, 2012

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Read in January, 2012

I have to give Salvatore his props. I mean, if I had to list my influences, when I came to fight scenes, this is where I go. I could never hope to equal him, here, and I have no real aspirations to be this detailed, but yeah.

The thing is, I’ve never been a fan of the detailed fight scenes, but Salvatore gets me into them.

On top of that, I know he’s working with the 4.0 version of D&D’s Forgotten Realms here, and that’s admirable. I only know what I’ve heard of that version, because everyone I know who’s read it plays Pathfinder. I trust these people, so I play Pathfinder.

But what I find really cool, and have found cool for some time, is that Salvatore does a good job of blending the rules for combat in the roleplaying game with the action in his series. This causes discrepancies throughout the series, as he’s working with changes to the damn roleplaying game, but he still does a wondrous job of weaving the combat rules into what the characters are doing, while still making it fluid and enjoyable. It’s just rule-changes that screw him and make him seem inconsistent from one book to the next sometimes.

I do not, however, love any of the characters any longer. I don’t love Drizzt, which is a damn crying shame. But I am still intrigued. It’s just that I’m too aware of the 4.0 changes. I did really look forward to Drizzt and “Barrabus the Gray” crossing paths, and I wasn’t disappointed there. I do like Dahlia as a companion for Drizzt much more than I liked Cattie-Brie.

Where Cattie-Brie was Miss Perfect---even though she couldn’t actually hold her own in the fights, but had some cool weapons---Dahlia actually has skill and independence. I should be loving that, but instead I’m just appreciating it greatly.

I love that Dahlia has a dark past, but the way it gets played takes away from it. I can see what Salvatore tries to do with it, and I think that’s awesome, but it’s still…unfulfilling---to a character person.

But still, as ever, I have to give the man his dues. He is the King of Fight Scenes. He’s just working in a system where there’s not a lot of room for the things that let me love characters before. I blame Wizards of the Coast, at this point. Because all of the gripes I had about the series before---where it went, at least, because I loved it at first---have diminished or been replaced by better things.

We have Dahlia, instead of the Cattie-Brie that got on my nerves for so many reasons. Her ineptitude in battle that her companions, like, looked over, her over-perfect support role, and the fact that she should have freaking ended up with Wulfgar always got on my nerves. She’s gone.

Drizzt got so freaking emo about ten books ago, and just got worse and worse. He’s out of that now, and I should be enjoying the hell out of it, but it’s weird. And all the weirdness, and the fact that I’m not enjoying it as much as I should, can be chalked up to 4.0---just the second-hand information I’ve heard of it, even.

My conclusion is that Salvatore needs to break free of Wizards of the Coast and where Forgotten Realms has gone, and finish his series in his own way. I know it won’t happen, but I can fantasize, because it’s fantasy.

And I’ll be damned if I stop reading the series now, though in normal cases I might. I mean, in any other series, if I saw a change in all the gripes I had---for the better---and still wasn’t back in love with it, I’d stop reading. But I know what Salvatore’s working with, and I do applaud him for what’s here in relation to what he’s got to work with (4.0), so I do want to keep supporting the effort.

It is still interesting, when you take all that into effect. I just wished I loved somebody.

Jarlaxle, where are you? I just can’t believe you’re dead, man. Look, I know I’ve made fun of Salvatore for not being able to kill characters before, but damn, man. Damn. Please don’t be dead.

Finally, c’mon, now. Like we don’t know who Effron is. That’ll be about as much surprise as who Barrabus was (and that wasn’t even “supposed to be” a surprise, yo.)

And, finally, like I wouldn’t geek out to see a nightmare running alongside a unicorn.

And then I read the epilogue (yes, I wrote all this before I read the epilogue, because I didn’t want to forget) and I fully realize the kinds of things to look forward to in the next book. And yeah…yeah. There is hope I’ll love characters again.

Another thing. For so much of the book, Salvatore tries to do the third person limited omniscient thing, when straight omniscient is his thing, where he shines. Toward the end, he sinks back into that, and that’s where I got back into things---characters.

Weird, how that’s how he grabs me, a character person who’s usually much more into the limited thing. Huh.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Ireth Seregon yea only the fight scenes are redeemable. but you liked this one why? dahlia is in the centre of it unless u like her? I think Benedict jacka, jim butcher and barclay are pretty gd fightscenes authors too

message 2: by Chy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Chy I'm sorry to say I don't comprehend your second question. And it seems to be related to the first question, so I'd feel funny running out and clarifying that one.

I haven't read Jacka, Butcher, or Barclay, but I appreciate the recommendations. I'll have to check them out sometime. Thanks!

And thanks for stopping by, too.

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