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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly entertaining read, 22 Aug. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Servant of the Shard (Forgotten Realms) (Mass Market Paperback)
"Servant of the Shard" is the story of the adventures of two villains, one assassin and one thief as they struggle to control the magical sentient Crystal Shard. Penned by R.A. Salvatore, the writer of these series of books and Star Wars "Attack of the Clones", the "Servant of the Shard" picks up from the end of the book "The Spine of the World".
In the book, the desert town of Calimport has been secretly invaded by an group of evil dark elves. The elves led by the thief Jarlaxle together with the Crystal Shard wants to dominate the surface thieve guilds. Much to many of the Jarlaxle's subordinate dislike, a plan is hatched that leads to murderous intentions. Entreri, an assassin and employee of the dark elves is caught up with the elves web of deceit and must fight for his very survival. The end of the book not only produces a surprising plot change, but a surprising character development as well.
The book focuses on the two key characters: Jarlaxle, the dark elf thief, leader of the band of dark elf troops, and possessor of the Crystal Shard; and Artemis Entreri, the master assassin, whose sword is unmatched by any human or dark elf. Entreri in the story serves Jarlaxle, because it suits him and because Jarlaxle has helped him complete a life quest. Neither trust each other, but they are forced to sideline these in order to overcome the greater threat.
All through the story the Crystal Shard is plays a part. The Crystal Shard is an ancient powerful relic that has a sentient life form. Much like Tolkien's "The Ring" the Crystal Shard has a mind and goals of it's own. It can influence a being by promising its wielder its wildest dream (kinda like a salesperson). Although the shard does take part in the story, its role is subservient to its effects on the characters that are affected by its hold.
The "Servant of the Shard" is an entertaining read for all. The focus of the story on characters other than Salvatore's Drizzt brings a refreshing change. Entreri character is enjoyable throughout the story while Jarlaxle is mostly like a zombie for the first half of the story. But after that, it is clear while Jarlaxle is one of the most colourful characters of the book, even more I daresay, than Drizzt Do'Urden. I would recommend to all of the Drizzt's fans as it shows an angle of Salvatore's writing that has long been missing.
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