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The Crystal Shard by R. A. Salvatore
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easy reading lacking complexity, some good characters... ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 2, 2016 |
I feel as though I have betrayed my kin by giving this horrible review to such a respected author in the field of fantasy fiction. But this book was the literary equivalent of a Saturday morning cartoon. There were big dumb giants who spoke like monsters in Monty Python skits, He-Man-like barbarians, a panther who served the same function as Battlecat, mean gargoylish demons, a stupid and thoroughly one-dimensional evil sorcerer who is exactly like all the other evil incompetent sorcerers in cartoon history, a halfling who looks, acts, and thinks like Bilbo Baggins, and a huge unnecessary mix of unimaginative fantasy cliches that have been around since 1960 or so.

This book is a perfect example of why the Show, Don't Tell rule exists. Every tiny little aspect of every plot development is painstakingly explained by the author, erasing all sense of mystery, intrigue, and interest. Instead of showing how Wulfgar (the strapping young barbarian who looks like He-Man with a better haircut, maybe) became integrated into dwarf society, befriending Bruenor (the dwarf who is an unimaginative replica of Gimli), it is told. In about a paragraph. About 95% of this book is devoted to boring descriptions of cartoon-like battle. The heroes are invincible, with their magical weapons. They exchange light banter while fighting. Death is treated as lightly as though they are playing a video game, except most video games are more engaging. There might have been some potential for character development, with the dark elf Drizzt and his disciple, Wulfgar, but the author killed it. Their friendship is explained, sort of like "And then they became friends." The rest is all (yawn) battle banter.

To fans of R.A. Salvatore: I apologize. I have strange tastes in books and films ... I'm not very entertained by Mr. Bean ... so let's go ahead and write this off as a matter of personal taste.

This review was originally published on my website. ( )
  Abby_Goldsmith | Feb 10, 2016 |
This was my first foray into high fantasy (excluding Tolkein) and I really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to seeing where Drizz't and Bruenor go from here. ( )
  biggs1399 | Jan 19, 2016 |
Loved this back when it first came out, and still do. ( )
  capiam1234 | Jan 23, 2015 |
I read this because I am the game master for this season of D&D Encounters, and I wanted a stronger understanding of the setting. It did a pretty good job of that. The writing was pretty rough, and it was sorely lacking for female characters, but I'm a sucker for adventurous parties of friends, so I got through it pretty well. ( )
  alwright1 | Feb 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
R. A. Salvatoreprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lockwood, ToddCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To my wife, Diane and Bryan, Geno, and Caitlin for their support and patience through this experience. And to my parents, Geno and Irene, for believing in me even when I didn't.
First words
The demon sat back on the seat it had carved in the stem of the giant mushroom.
Quotations
"Prayne de crabug ahm rinedere be-yogt iglo kes gron" or, "May the fleas of a thousand reindeer nest in your genitals"
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Book description
Akar Kessel, a weak-willed apprentice mage sets in motion events leading to the rediscovery of the magical device, the crystal shard. But is it merely an inanimate device . . . or is it capable of directing the defeat of Ten-Towns?

Or have the barbarians already arranged for that themselves? Their brutal attack on the villages of Ten-Towns seals their fate, and that of the young barbarian Wulfgar. Left for dead, Wulfgar is rescued by the dwarf, Bruenor, in exchange for five years of service . . . and friendship. With the help of the dark elf, Drizzt, Bruenor reshapes Wulfgar into a warrior with both brawn and brains.

But is Wulfgar strong enough to reunite the barbarian tribes? Can an unorthodox dwarf and renegade dark elf persuade the people of Ten-Towns to put aside their petty differences in time to stave off the forces of the crystal shard?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0880385359, Mass Market Paperback)

Akar Kessel, a weak-willed apprentice mage sets in motion events leading to the rediscovery of the magical device, the crystal shard. But is it merely an inanimate device . . . or is it capable of directing the defeat of Ten-Towns?

Or have the barbarians already arranged for that themselves? Their brutal attack on the villages of Ten-Towns seals their fate, and that of the youn barbarian Wulfgar. Left for dead, Wulfgar is rescued by the dwarf, Bruenor, in exchange for five years of service . . . and friendship. With the help of the dark elf, Drizzt, Bruenor reshapes Wulfgar into a warrior with both brawn and brains.

But is Wulfgar strong enough to reunite the barbarian tribes? Can an unorthodox dwarf and renegade dark elf persuade the people of Ten-Towns to put aside their petty differences in time to stave off the forces of the crystal shard?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:42 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Bruenor, a dwarf, Drizzt, a dark elf, and Wulfgar, a barbarian warrior, try to unite the people of Ten-Towns to face the dangerous magic of the crystal shard. Akar Kessel, a weak-willed apprentice mage sets in motion events leading to the rediscovery of the magical device, the crystal shard. But is it merely an inanimate device ... or is it capable of directing the defeat of Ten-Towns? Or have the barbarians already arranged for that themselves? Their brutal attack on the villages of Ten-Towns seals their fate, and that of the youn barbarian Wulfgar. Left for dead, Wulfgar is rescued by the dwarf, Bruenor, in exchange for five years of service ... and friendship. With the help of the dark elf, Drizzt, Bruenor reshapes Wulfgar into a warrior with both brawn and brains. But is Wulfgar strong enough to reunite the barbarian tribes? Can an unorthodox dwarf and renegade dark elf persuade the people of Ten-Towns to put aside their petty differences in time to stave off the forces of the crystal shard?… (more)

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