Review of THE GHOST KING by R. A. Salvatore
Wizards of the Coast, October 2009
Although Jarlaxle has been barred from Spirit Soaring, he knows that only there can he hope to escape the dragonlich that swears to destroy him...escape or allies. But shared foes can create allies only if those allies are first willing to talk, and Jarlaxle needs help to get a chance to talk. Cattie-brie's disaster gives Drizzt and Bruenor a reason to travel to Spirit Soaring, a place where magic and logic are worshiped together, and Jarlaxle gives them the push they need to get started, then joins their procession.
The dragonlich isn't alone. It is capable of calling up both undead zombies from the long-dead (and recently dead) corpses of humans, other sentient species, and even animals and fish, and warriors from the dimension in the process of colliding with the human/elvish plane. And soon Spirit Soaring is under siege with all of the dragonlich's enemies gathered together for his destruction.
Author R. A. Salvatore (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of fantasy by Salvatore) concludes his TRANSITIONS trilogy with more of the thoughtful and complex story-building he's used throughout this series. No longer does simple good battle moronic evil to an obvious and clear victory. Instead, victories are fleeting, loss is inevitable, and evil becomes a lot easier to define than good. Because the sometimes-saccarine Cattie-brie is unconscious/other-dimensional through most of the book, Salvatore can concentrate on Drizzt, Jarlaxle, Athrogate (Jarlaxle's dwarf-sidekick) and Danica, the lady of Spirit Soaring. I appreciated Salvatore's moments of introspection as characters realized that their victories, even if they were victorious, could only come at a price too high to pay.
Although TRANSITIONS is a trilogy, THE GHOST KING successfully stands alone.
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