Friday, September 13, 2013

Review: The Companions

The Companions
The Companions by R.A. Salvatore

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this title for review from Netgalley.

This is the first book by R.A. Salvatore that I've ever read, and I can understand this popularity better now. My husband has long been a fan of his, but I've found Salvatore intimidating because there are simply so many titles in his series. Thankfully, The Companions was a good entry point into the series.

As the novel opens, several characters meet again for the first time. They have all apparently died at one time or another, and they are in what seems to be a resting place before their final destination. They are offered a choice: they can go to the reward promised to them by their god, or they can choose to be reborn. Their friend Drizzt needs them, and if they choose rebirth, they will be able to be there for him.

The four friends--the Companions of the Hall--debate whether they want to return to life or seek out that final reward. What will it mean to turn their backs on the reward? What will their new lives be like?

Without getting too spoilery, I can't share much more detail. The novel follows the new lives these characters lead. They are reborn as infants, but with full memory and personality. While they may still see themselves as their past lives, their new lives and relationships will shape this new incarnation of themselves. How much can they hold onto the past? How can they live this new life, knowing that they're simply waiting to resume the old life that had died long ago?

Parts of this book did confuse me. The novel was quite clear about when the events were occurring; Salvatore provided both year names and numbers. However, since I'm unfamiliar with the Forgotten Realms calendar, neither of them mean much to me. I'm certain that I missed allusions to places and events that would have been quite meaningful for a fan of the series.

Salvatore's writing did irritate me a little. He's overly fond of exclamation marks, but I did adapt to that eventually.

Overall, I liked this book and found it to be a surprisingly deep and entertaining story.

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