Monday, November 12, 2007

Book Review: Road of the Patriarch by R.A. Salvatore

Every Monday, I'll be doing spoiler-free book reviews.

The previous novel was a campy, dungeon delve that paid homage to Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar series. I was hoping Road of the Patriarch would be the same but Salvatore gives us something else. The book is daring as it tries to juggle two groups of protagonist, one are Salvatore's own characters while the other is tied to Forgotten Realms mythology but overall ends up restrained, perhaps because one can't mess too much with the latter. Salvatore tries to flesh out the assassin Entreri and the drow Jarlaxle but maybe it's due to the fact that I'm getting tired of this kind of fantasy but their characterization ends up feeling flat and cliche. There is of course the obligatory fight scene and Salvatore narrates them well enough, although the book is more political and there's lots more plotting than head-on action. Entreri and Jarlaxle are quite interesting characters in their own right and while they do stay true to character in this book, somehow they're not just as appealing as they used to be. At the end of the day, you have to be hardcore Entreri/Jarlaxle fans to enjoy this. Otherwise, despite their team-up, there are better Salvatore books you can read.

Rating: 2.5/5.

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