I was excited when I was approached by Wizards of the Coast to read and review The Companions by R.A. Salvatore. I haven’t read one of his books since college in the early 90s. I fondly remembered the stories of Drizzt Do’Urden and looked forward to being taken down memory lane by his adventures with his four friends. I wasn’t disappointed.
Salvatore’s gift of characterization has only grown over the decades. Using the unique approach of this particular book to develop characters, he takes the time to slowly build the characters independently. In a genre where too many characters all act and sound alike, Salvatore is able to create characters with distinctive values, motivations, skills, and even language traits. This makes the diverse characters in the numerous settings seem both realistic and interesting.
This particular book has a unique structure that lends greatly to its readability. The main characters are each discussed in their own chapters allowing them to develop independently. Where a less dynamic character might normally blend into the background, this format allows all of the characters equal time to be rounded out in a setting that places them in their best light. This clever technique not only allows readers to have a greater appreciation for each character, but also makes the book a quick and energetic read.
Finally, the action in this book is everything I remember a Salvatore writing being. Not only does the plot move along at a rapid pace, but the spell-casting and fighting sequences are filled with imagery that allows the reader to easily visualize the scene. This tableaux vivant effect draws readers in creating something similar to a movie playing in their heads. This sense of action is balanced nicely against the character’s relationships allowing both positive and negative conflicts to form between characters without weighing down the prose with long, unneeded romantic sequences. Across-the-board, this is a well-written, well thought-out book by R.A. Salvatore.
Dr. Nicholson reviews academic, Christian living, and fiction books for a variety of publishers in an array of formats. He is never paid for any of his reviews. For more reviews or information, visit Dr. Nicholson’s blog at drtnicholson.wordpress.com.
The book for this review was provided free of charge by Wizards of the Coast through NetGalley.com. This book was provided without the expectation or requirement of a positive response. Thank you to both the publisher and NetGalley.com for the opportunity to both read your advanced copy and to provide this unpaid evaluation. All opinions in this review reflect the views of the author and not NetGalley.com or the publisher.