Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Stowaway - R. A. and Geno Salvatore

back when i was living in london my roommate g. was all into the "forgotten realms" books, especially the ones starring everyone's favourite dark elf, drizzt. if you don't know the "forgotten realms" think "dungeons and dragons" or "dragonlance" and you've got a pretty good idea. of course he managed to get me into them as well, and we had some good arguments about how you actually pronounce drizzt; would it be like drizz-it or drissed? i was also able to get him to visit the public library in town to fulfill his "forgotten realms" addiction. good times.

ok, now fast forward. the year is 2008 and salvatore, the creator of drizzt has released a "forgotten realms" book for younger readers co-written with his son geno. drizzt is on the cover and i'm sure he was one of the book's main selling points. however, he's really only a bit player in this particular series. here the main character is a young boy named maimun who possesses a stone that presumably has some sort of magical powers that only he can control. unfortunately maimun doesn't have a clue what the stone does so he just carries it around with him everywhere. although maimun doesn't have a clue about the stone it appears that a demon named asbeel does and he really wants the stone, enough to devote many years to tracking maimun and murdering everyone who offers him refuge. ok, so this is your typical high fantasy set it a pre-industrialized world populated by every sort of fantasy creature you can imagine.

but does it succeed? is it a good book? well, it certainly wasn't as engrossing as salvatore's drizzt books, and perhaps trying to sell it as another volume in the saga of drizzt does it a diservice. i didn't love it. however, i'm sure there are lots of people out there who will. and it would be a great suggestion for kids who are into high fantasy and read the junior "dragonlance" books or series like "ranger's apprentice".

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