Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Book Review: The Companions

The Companions (The Sundering, #1)
The Companions by R.A. Salvatore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got a copy of the book from NetGalley. My thanks to them for providing a chain-reader like me books to read though I do give honest feedback, some of which may not be too flattering for some of the publishers and authors.

The Companions is the first book in a series entitled The Sundering. There are several books within the series, each written by a different author. The story of this book is centered around a group of friends who find themselves near an enchanted pool. Wulfgar, Regis, Bruenor, and Catti-brie have been brought together by the goddess Meilikki so that they can be given the chance to make a very important decision. All four are already dead and Wulfgar is the most confused and angered of all as to why he is not where he is supposed to be after his death.

Catti-brie is the one that informs them of what Meilikki is to ask of them. They have the choice to either be reborn or to go towards their desired "destinations." The goddess wants them to become part of the world again so that they may come to the aid of Drizzt, their old friend, who will need their help 21 years after their re-birth. Of the four, three agree to be reincarnated. Regis, Catti-brie and Bruenor willingly decide to delay their meeting with their maker for a chance to help their friend Drizzt Do'Urden. Wulfgar, however, wants to go to his rightful "home" now that he is dead.

Cattie-brie has been re-born to a Bedine couple and grows up in a loving home until some Netherese decide to make her life extremely difficult. She finds that she has magical powers aided by two birthmarks on her arms.

While Regis is being reborn his mother dies during the process of giving him life and is raised by his father who has never bothered to name him. He begets the nickname "Spider" by the people within the town because he is able to climb buildings effortlessly. He is also a very good oyster fisherman and can stay in the water for a very long time during dives. His skills bring him to the notice of the head on an assassins guild who raises him and teaches him a lot of tricks of the trade.

Bruenor is born to a couple of dwarves. His father is the captain of a royal army but is killed by orcs, leaving his mother to raise him. He becomes a good fighter during his training but becomes very frustrated and angry at what his life has become. He used to be the king of Mithral Hall and feels he has been tricked into choosing to be re-born.

The lives of the three friends are full of challenges, danger, and struggles. They are apart and have no idea where the others may be. Each is living his or her own life and must journey towards meeting Drizzt in Icewind Dale. Each has no clue if the others are still living and how they are faring. Will they be able to recognize each other when the time comes? Will they even survive their journey? Will they find Drizzt in time?

The Companions is a good read. R.A. Salvatore does a good job in writing this fantasy novel. The story is easy enough to follow and the characters are well-formed. I found myself rooting for the three "companions" as they journey towards their goal. I am definitely looking forward to reading the next book within the series.

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