{eBook} Streams of Silver (Icewind Dale #2)Author R.A. Salvatore – Papercuts.co

The Streams of Silverare just one of many treasures to be found in this fantastic adventure For over a century, Bruenor Battlehammer has been haunted by his past In his nightmares, he still feels the horrors from the day he and his dwarven clan were chased out of their home at Mithral Hall But when he and his friends defeated the evil wizard Akar Kessell and saved the people of Icewind Dale, Bruenor realized he now has a fighting unit strong enough to help him reclaim his lost home Joined by drow elf warrior Drizzt Do Urden and barbarian fighter Wulfgar, Bruenor embarks on a dangerous quest to find the lost city of Mithral Hallbut they are surprised when their cowardly friend, Regis the Halfling, insists on coming with them What they don t know is that Regis isn t merely haunted by his own pasthe s being hunted by it Regis stole a magical ruby pendant from thief guild leader Pasha Pook Now Pook wants it back, so he has sent the Realms deadliest assassin to retrieve both the pendant and the halfling himself Master assassin Artemis Entreri has never failed a mission beforeof course, he s also never faced Drizzt Do Urden beforeThe Crystal Shardwas R.A Salvatore s first book, and while I found it very enjoyable, there were elements of it that led me to believe Salvatore hadn t quite perfected his craft The villains were bland, the complete lack of female characters was disappointing, and the overall story felt like it wasn t so much written as it was simply copy pasted from theLord of The Ringsseries I m happy to report that Salvatore s follow up novel,Streams of Silver , is an improvement in just about every way For one thing, there is faroriginality to be found While the main storyline involving our heroes embarking on a quest is hardly anything new spoiler alert for any new readerpick up just about ANY book on the fantasy shelf, and chances are the story revolves around some kind of quest , Salvatore did stretch his creative muscles coming up with new threats for Drizzt and company to face I knew I was in for a wild ride early on when the heroes faced off against a wild pack of barbarians although I do wish Salvatore had given them aintimidating name than The Sky Ponies A pony doesn t exactly sound like a fierce warrior unless you re talking about this oneWhile a band of barbarian fighters may not seem so original, Salvatore really ups the ante when view spoiler one of the Sky Ponies is forcibly mutated into a ghostly and pissed off Pegasus like creature hide spoiler To , , Kalinka Malinka Salvatore To, , Mario Luigi , , , , , , ,, , , , 142 4How many people long for that past, simpler, and better world, I wonder, without ever recognizing the truth that perhaps it was they who were simpler and better, and not the world about them Popcorn fantasy is popcorn fantasy Sometimes it s resoundingly enjoyable, sometimes it s not.In this second book of the Icewind Dale trilogy, Drizzt, Bruenor, Regis and Wulfgar run off on a quest to find Bruenor s ancestral homeland of Mithral Hall They spend some time doing very little in a city, before spending some time doing very little in a forest Meanwhile, Catti Brie is kidnapped by an assassin, and spends some time doing nothing with him.I ve taken a liking to R.A Salvatore, and I absolutely love the world of the Forgotten Realms Streams of Silver is not really problematic in any way, but it unfortunately did not provide me with anything that would keep my interest I found the story to be exceedingly dull, completely unoriginal, and left completely without suspense Not that the previous four books were masterpieces in that regard, but they at least supplied enough excitement to make for enjoyable reads.Sadly, finding nothing of interest inevitably means that I will start nitpicking at all the other aspects, that I have neatly ignored up until now One example being that the writing aside from the utterly spectacular prelude to Homeland is, to put it very politely, mediocre Another being the fact that every single character et tu, Drizzt is a shallow, one dimensional, trope ridden, archetypal cardboard cutout I found this to be the worst of all for Artemis Entreri a character I have heard a lot of good things about I suppose it must have been this hype that caused such immense disappointment I remain hopeful that the immense room for improvement gets taken advantage of.Ah, well All these things I m fine with, as long as the stories are overall enjoyable Streams of Silver was just not. Rating 2.5 starsReading this series isfun that doing housework So that s what I ve been doing reading this book, and not doing housework which actually needs to be done quite badly at the moment Now, I never played Dungeons Dragons, so I don t really understand how these Forgotten Realms books fit into that whole scene, but I did obsessively read and re read Tolkien as a teen and I still re read him on occasion, when I need comfort So it s pretty difficult for me to overlook how much of this whole plot is lifted directly from The Hobbit and LOTR Specifically, Thorin Oakenshield Bruenor Battlehammer and the Mines of Moria Mithril Hall I would have felt better about it had Salvatore tried to change things up a bit, but by and large he used many, many of Tolkien s details It had been done before The Sword of Shannara anyone , but I still find it strange that an editor would let it pass.I get the impression that Salvatore was one of the first writers to cash in on the cultural phenomenon of DD and fantasy literature It seems that publishers in the 1980s figured out that these fantasy quest tales would sell, whether they were well written or not, and flooded the market with a ton of such material Perhaps Salvatore was one of the better ones Is that why he made it on the NPR s list of notable science fiction fantasy I note on Wikipedia that there is a listing of DD writers of the 60ish listed, I recognize only 5 names and only Salvatore for the DD writing His writing is very florid and everything, even eating, is very dramatic If you enjoy these books, read them Far be it from me to discourage your enjoyment But if you, like me, find them a bit lackluster, let me make some recommendations if you really enjoy Bruenor the dwarf or Regis the halfling, read Tolkien if you haven t already If Wulfgar the barbarian is your favourite character, try Robert E Howard s Conan the Barbarian books If you enjoy the magic and the adventure, look for Fritz Leiber s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series All three of these authors can really write the plots flow, there are shades of gray in their heroes and villains, and their vocabulary is excellent, and they write beautifully Since I m certainly at risk here of sounding like a cranky old woman, let me also note that I think these books would be excellent for young readers the violence isn t excessive or described in too much detail, the romance is very chaste, good evil are very obvious, and the vocabulary shouldn t be too taxing But do try to encourage them to read the good stuff like the books listed above once you have them hooked on reading you re never too young to read the good writing.This is book number 235 in my Science Fiction Fantasy reading project. Of the five Drizzt Do Urden books I have read so far I am taking them in order of timeline Streams of Silver The Legend of Drizzt Book V is by far the worst Granted, none of them have been any better than questionable brain candy, but Streams of Silver goes beyond them all for sheer crapness It s not at all difficult to pinpoint Salvatore s biggest problem his elementary views of good and evil I have pointed out in previous reviews of his work that the way he structures good and evil is inherently racist, but I don t think I have yet talked about how his views undermine the goodness of Drizzt We are told over and over that Drizzt is internally good, maybe even the best, regardless of springing from the Realms most evil race We are told and told and told again, as though Salvatore believes that that will be enough to make it so We are also faced with the never ending stream of moral debates Drizzt has with himself, which offer an illusion of character depth, but Salvatore undermines Drizzt s potential depth over and over by allowing Drizzt to commit questionable acts without any reflection upon what he s done particularly when it comes to killing Sure, Drizzt reflects on some of his acts, but if the being he is fighting is a monster thus inherently evil Drizzt rarely gives his actions a second thought Consider the scene in Streams of Silver when the companions wade into a battle between some riders and some creatures along the Surbrin river All the companions hear is the sounds of battle They then see the Riders doing poorly in a battle against creatures that resembled little trees, though undeniably animated, running about wildly, whacking with their clublike arms That s enough for Wulfgar and Drizzt and Breunor The trio wade in and save the poor Riders, decimating the ranks of the little trees without even a second thought And even when the battle is complete no one even hints at remorse instead, they are all indignant that the Riders they saved demand Drizzt, the scary black elf, leave their lands and never return.Poor Drizzt is being judged by his appearance rather than by his actions Oh how terrible for him How terrible the world is How unfair And all of this is implied to be proof that Drizzt is good He saved the riders from death and that kindness meant nothing to those he saved But boy is he ever good Yet isn t that precisely what the companions did with the little trees The trees were not human or humanoid They were monsters, creatures, so they were evil and deserved death Not only is that what Salvatore wants us to believe, but it is what he himself believes in direct opposition to his own writing He preaches and preaches that one cannot judge a being by his skin, and then Drizzt does that very thing without missing a beat Has Drizzt learned nothing His actions within the books suggest he has learned very little, although his philosophical interjections and Salvatore s narrative commentary would lead us to believe something else entirely.Even if the trees were monsters, even if they were completely evil, the action of the moment should have given at least Drizzt pause To begin with, the companions slept within running distance of these monsters all night without being molested Moreover, these little treesweren t unthinking beasts, and they were making this area their home They had even built a ramshackle bridge of logs over the river Which means that the Riders were the aggressors It was the riders who came into the territory of the little trees and attacked them, and it was themobile riders who could have fled the scene had they chose But somehow Drizzt has no pangs of guilt for helping slaughter these little trees Not even a moment to consider what he had done Clearly, Salvatore falls short when it comes to the message he is trying to deliver Very short indeed.If this weren t enough to lower The Legend of Drizzt in one s estimation, then the crappy plot devices and blatant stupidity of supposedly intelligent characters should be Why on earth would Sydney stop Bok from digging through the rubble to reach Drizzt Because of the aforementioned reasons and both are unacceptable First, Sydney stops Bok because Salvatore needs to leave Drizzt to Entreri it is a plot device and a poor one at that With a little imagination and work, Salvatore surely could have found another way to avoid Bok digging through the rocks that didn t include the second answer to my question Sydney becoming an idiot She had shown herself to be the intellectual equal of Entreri throughout the novel, but suddenly her brain ceases to work If Drizzt is actually dead under the pile and Sydney s master, Dendybar, has told her he is looking for the Crystal Shard, the wisest course of action is to let Bok dig up the body so she can claim the Shard and take it home And if he doesn t have the shard she can hunt down Drizzt s companions later Her decision to stop Bok is unsupportable and the fact that he did stop is too Salvatore tells us time and again that the golem is mindless, that it is programmed to do one thing find Drizzt and that it will not always listen to Sydney s commands With Drizzt only feet away through a pile of rocks, Bok would not have stopped digging This is just one example of Salvatore s sloppiness, but it is a hallmark of his writing In fact, in all five of the first books something like this has occurred Finally, as a veteran DD man, I have to say I loathe the Monty Hall feeling of Salvatore s books For those unfamiliar with this usage of Monty Hall, it is the way gamers often describe heroes or campaigns that go beyond the ability to suspend one s disbelief It is a derogatory term gamers will often use against other gamers whose characters haven t earned their experience and are somehow capable of impossible things Impossible things like, say, running for four days and nights while being hunted by trolls in a nasty, endless, bogland and finally killing upwards of a hundred trolls in battle after battle with no serious wounds Quite simply, Breunor, Drizzt and Wulfgar are too tough And that makes the books absolutely laughable on top of their already serious flaws It makes me wonder how anyone likes Salvatore Seriously I don t get it And the fact that there are people out there who actually believe the Drizzt books are better than installments of Dragonlance rocks my opinion of the general intelligence of readers to the core.Drizzt sucks It s not even debatable.But, yes, despite that, I will finish the series if only so I can point to everything that is wrong with the series when its lovers puke their emotional overstatements of its greatness all over my shirt see comments for a discussion of this term. 3.5 3.75 5 3.5 4 5 Yer Eyes Ll Shine When Ye See The Rivers Runnin Silver In Mithril Hall Bruenor The Dwarf, Wulfgar The Barbarian, Regis The Halfling, And Drizzt The Dark Elf Fight Monsters And Magic On Their Way To Mithril Hall, Centuries Old Birthplace Of Bruenor And His Dwarven AncestorsFaced With Racism, Drizzt Contemplates Returning To The Lightless Underworld City And Murderous Lifestyle He Abandoned Wulfgar Begins To Overcome His Tribes S Aversion For Magic And Regis Runs From A Deadly Assassin, Who, Allied With Evil Wizards, Is Bent On The Companions Destruction All Fo Bruenor S Dreams, And The Survival Of His Party, Hinge Upon The Actions Of One Brave Young Woman Streams Of Silver Is RA Salvatore S Second Book In The Icewind Dale Trilogy, Based On The FORGOTTEN REALMS Fantasy Setting See my review for The Crystal Shard, as I have about the exact same things to say here few differences Monsters aredetailed this time I could tell the difference between different types of bad guys Not the case in The Crystal Shard To my point made in my review of The Crystal Shard about women playing a crappy role Here we see Cat develop some as a character She gets involved in the adventure asthan just a love interest although she is still that but she is the only adventurer who constantly feels and struggles with fear Still, a step up from book one I know it is not realistic for a woman to be as much of a fighter as a man, but it was hard for me to ignore that the only female adventurer constantly struggled with oh boy this is scary while all the men were hacking away It annoyed me that Salvatore took the time to call it out We get to seeplaces, and meet some new people along the road The places introduced were all interesting and handled quickly enough to not lose my attention since nothing here has a ton of depth I enjoy that we are also still dealing with some consequences from book one.Overall 3.5 stars.