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Icewind Dale. Windswept passes and forbidding glaciers stand at the top of the world. Below them, in the cold valleys, an evil force broods: the magic of Crenshinibon, the crystal shard. Now dwarf, barbarian, and drow elf join to battle this evil. Tempered in the furnace of struggle, they form an unbreakable friendship. A legend is born. For the first time in one volume, h Icewind Dale. Windswept passes and forbidding glaciers stand at the top of the world. Below them, in the cold valleys, an evil force broods: the magic of Crenshinibon, the crystal shard. Now dwarf, barbarian, and drow elf join to battle this evil. Tempered in the furnace of struggle, they form an unbreakable friendship. A legend is born. For the first time in one volume, here is "New York Times" bestselling author R.A. Salvatore's adventure that introduced Drizzt Do'Urden, the heroic dark elf, one of the most beloved characters in fantasy literature.


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Icewind Dale. Windswept passes and forbidding glaciers stand at the top of the world. Below them, in the cold valleys, an evil force broods: the magic of Crenshinibon, the crystal shard. Now dwarf, barbarian, and drow elf join to battle this evil. Tempered in the furnace of struggle, they form an unbreakable friendship. A legend is born. For the first time in one volume, h Icewind Dale. Windswept passes and forbidding glaciers stand at the top of the world. Below them, in the cold valleys, an evil force broods: the magic of Crenshinibon, the crystal shard. Now dwarf, barbarian, and drow elf join to battle this evil. Tempered in the furnace of struggle, they form an unbreakable friendship. A legend is born. For the first time in one volume, here is "New York Times" bestselling author R.A. Salvatore's adventure that introduced Drizzt Do'Urden, the heroic dark elf, one of the most beloved characters in fantasy literature.

30 review for The Icewind Dale Trilogy Collector's Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stefan

    I read a lot of EPIC FANTASY as a child, and currently it helps me get bored and fall asleep at night. This was no exception. These books are fucking garbage. I cannot believe that R.A. Salvatore is a bestselling fantasy writer, and that I actually stomached my way through the entire trilogy (I was drunk most of the time, and I almost puked on the heavy tome during one sordid evening). The stories follow the journeys of Drazzt Drowploixtation, Generic Dwarf Warrior, Man-Man the Barbarian, and Hot A I read a lot of EPIC FANTASY as a child, and currently it helps me get bored and fall asleep at night. This was no exception. These books are fucking garbage. I cannot believe that R.A. Salvatore is a bestselling fantasy writer, and that I actually stomached my way through the entire trilogy (I was drunk most of the time, and I almost puked on the heavy tome during one sordid evening). The stories follow the journeys of Drazzt Drowploixtation, Generic Dwarf Warrior, Man-Man the Barbarian, and Hot Ass-Archer Sniper Bitch as they generally murder everything throughout Icewind Dale and beyond. The prose is simple and languid, owing more to the worst Hemingway imitator you could imagine. Salvatore constantly tells the reader and does not show, leaving you with no question as to what is arising, but also with great questions as to what is even going on in any scene. The book begins where an evil acolyte is double crossed and then finds a magical crystal that immediately is announced as a magical crystal and then something dubiously and quasi-sexual happens. It doesn't get much better than that. EPIC FANTASY, like most genres, is good even with a David vs. Goliath approach, that is a bildungsroman where the protagonist acquires power in a suspenseful setting within an extremely detailed and fantastical world. Nothing like this happens. The characters are already immortally powerful, and they dispatch every challenge with a modicum effort.The heroes are often severely injured and yet are still being able to commit genocide against entire gangs of brigands, races of trolls, and kill at least two dragons, which all happens in the first two books. There is no suspense. The good guys will always win and it is not even close. I understand that these books are essentially "My First Fantasy Novel," aimed at readers ages 12-15, but the writing is so simplistic and awful, the story so utterly boring and inconsequential, that I was basically miserable during the times I powered through the books. At the very least, most of the terrible Dragonlance books I read as a child stand up to my strict scrutiny of fantasy writing. Most Dragonlance books have characters with a wee bit more depth, plot devices which do not unfold simply to give the heroes more cardboard enemies to kill, and generally have more cohesion and clarity. If you'd like to buy the entire Icewind Dale trilogy for five dollars, please let me know!

  2. 5 out of 5

    J.P. Ashman

    I find these hard to rate now, because I read most of them around ten years ago. I absolutely LOVED them back then, but feel like my tastes have now changed... I'm going to rate them based on my thoughts and feeling at the time and, as said, I LOVED them! In fact, they're the books that really got me back into reading fantasy and back into reading in a way I'd never experienced before. For that, it has to be 5* - If only for Drizzt and the gang, all of who I know so well (but it's not just those I find these hard to rate now, because I read most of them around ten years ago. I absolutely LOVED them back then, but feel like my tastes have now changed... I'm going to rate them based on my thoughts and feeling at the time and, as said, I LOVED them! In fact, they're the books that really got me back into reading fantasy and back into reading in a way I'd never experienced before. For that, it has to be 5* - If only for Drizzt and the gang, all of who I know so well (but it's not just those characters, it's the world, the stunning action and that oh so fantasy feel to this series as a whole). Perhaps I'll revisit these in the future. I'll at the least encourage my daughter to read them when she's old enough. JP

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    My very first Forgotten Realms read. I enjoyed it although I felt it could have been better. Again, I think I judge authors too harshly after being spoiled by the Malazan series. Will I ever get over that? Drizzt Do'Urden, what a great character! I can see why he is loved by so many. His wise advice can be used in real life and is a metaphor for not judging people by what lies on the outside, but instead for their actions and what's inside. At times I had to chuckle, because I could almost see the p My very first Forgotten Realms read. I enjoyed it although I felt it could have been better. Again, I think I judge authors too harshly after being spoiled by the Malazan series. Will I ever get over that? Drizzt Do'Urden, what a great character! I can see why he is loved by so many. His wise advice can be used in real life and is a metaphor for not judging people by what lies on the outside, but instead for their actions and what's inside. At times I had to chuckle, because I could almost see the progression of the characters as PC's in a D&D game. Whoops! Rolled a 1 on that attack. Learned a couple of new feats...gained XP...leveled up and now have even more cool abilities! That didn't detract from my enjoyment of the tale at all. Fun reads and definitely entertaining and I'm happy to learn more about Forgotten Realms too as more knowledge would be useful for the current module D&D 3.5 game I'm playing. All in all, a fun rollicking adventure romp with some morality & life lessons for good measure.

  4. 5 out of 5

    ✨Bean's Books✨

    I can't. I'm sorry, I just can't get into books like this. I started reading this book at the suggestion of my husband but I just can't. I like fantasy fiction but I'm a bit picky about this particular genre because I can't get into books like this. The names of people and places are ridiculously hard to pronounce (even just in your head), the scenes & stories are typical cliche's and it is extremely difficult for me to get into the story at all. Its just not for me. However I'm sure someone that I can't. I'm sorry, I just can't get into books like this. I started reading this book at the suggestion of my husband but I just can't. I like fantasy fiction but I'm a bit picky about this particular genre because I can't get into books like this. The names of people and places are ridiculously hard to pronounce (even just in your head), the scenes & stories are typical cliche's and it is extremely difficult for me to get into the story at all. Its just not for me. However I'm sure someone that enjoys high fantasy such as World of Warcraft and Dungeons and Dragons on a frequent basis would really enjoy these books. Would definitely recommend to someone fitting this description.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sjoerd

    It's been almost a year since I started reading The Icewind Dale Trilogy, and it's one of the few books of which I've actually tracked my reading progress with written updates several times. Now that I've finished reading and can look back at the book as a whole, I must say it's been an extraordinary read. Maybe it's because the book was published so long ago that the writing style between then and now has changed sufficiently for a contemporary reader to feel that way, but I think there's more It's been almost a year since I started reading The Icewind Dale Trilogy, and it's one of the few books of which I've actually tracked my reading progress with written updates several times. Now that I've finished reading and can look back at the book as a whole, I must say it's been an extraordinary read. Maybe it's because the book was published so long ago that the writing style between then and now has changed sufficiently for a contemporary reader to feel that way, but I think there's more to it than that. While the book is filled with clichés and lacks some key properties that would make a story "good" to me - such as believable yet unpredictable characters and events - it strongly embodies some themes or feelings that are conveyed throughout the book. One of those is friendship, another one the mindlessness of prejudice; but it also shows what it's like to feel rivalry, determination, greed and sacrifice. The book has a few scenes from the main character's point of view in which he contemplates his life, which I very much enjoyed reading. It's obvious that the writer meant for his ideas, and perhaps idealism, to come across, which perhaps doesn't make it a better book, but I can't help but smile at the effort. As for the clichés: the storyline in the final book of the trilogy was actually quite unique in some ways, although the writing style kept the same pretentious tone and the general turn of events was clear from the start. There has been some noticable character development in almost all of the main characters, which sometimes came as a bit of a surprise: from the outset, it seemed like the book was set up in a Tolkienish fashion where almost every character is inherently either good or evil. While that is to some extent still the case, it is at least leaning towards realism. I can't help but mention I really liked the ending. While it was quite clear from the start that all would be well in the end, it wasn't overdone. What made the ending so good was that Salvatore somehow managed to create a feeling of closure that I haven't gotten from many other books. Perhaps it is just easier with the kind of storytelling he's doing compared to most other literature, but credit where credit's due. Although I didn't expect it, I ended up being quite charmed by this trilogy. What seemed to be standard characters in a familiar setting turned out to be unique in its own way. And perhaps the charm is in the flaws as well. If you can look past those, and somehow manage to get used to the oftentimes trying writing style (I still don't know how I did), I think there is something to like for everyone in the stories of Icewind Dale.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    I made the mistake of reading the Dark Elf trilogy first and really enjoyed it, then I turned to this - the Icewind Dale trilogy - and wondered what the hell happened? That's when I learned that this set was actually written first which might explain why the writing was so bad here. I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it any better if I'd started with this set, but at least I wouldn't have been so disappointed in seeing my beloved Drizzt turned into a cardboard character. The rest of the characters I made the mistake of reading the Dark Elf trilogy first and really enjoyed it, then I turned to this - the Icewind Dale trilogy - and wondered what the hell happened? That's when I learned that this set was actually written first which might explain why the writing was so bad here. I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it any better if I'd started with this set, but at least I wouldn't have been so disappointed in seeing my beloved Drizzt turned into a cardboard character. The rest of the characters fared no better. Wulfgar starts out with promise then becomes an indestructible robot. I cared nothing for Bruenor or Cattie-Brie and don't get me started on the annoying Regis. The books have Salvatore's constant problem of switching point of view at frequent and random points, often paragraph to paragraph. I don't need to be told what everyone thinks at every given moment. On top of flat characters there's the ever-present issue of errors, many of which obviously came about through computer scanning problems where words and letters were incorrectly converted to text. They had to scan the books? Really? Did no one edit them before publishing to save me the trouble of doing it while I read? Examples: "...just waiting for sorneone to trip up..." instead of 'someone' "... the stab wounds lie drove in ..." instead of 'he' Even Bruenor's name was inconsistent, switching to Bruerior and Burenor in the middle of book two. I won't mention all the missing quotation marks. Oh, wait! I just did! Again, a good edit would have helped. It took me nearly two months to work my way through this trilogy and that was because so little held my interest. A good book should draw you back and stay in your mind even when you can't get to it at that moment, but nothing in these novels did that. I hate not to finish books I've started, so I stuck it out, naively hoping Drizzt would improve, but of course he didn't. Unfortunately I've already purchased the next trilogy - the Legacy of the Drow - so I'll have to give it a go some time, but I'm not really expecting anything to improve.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    I started reading Salvatore with this series, however, would recommend that you instead begin with The Dark Elf Trilogy if you want to read them in chronological order. After Drizzt leaves the underworld, he finds himself in Icewinde Dale. Here he meets his best friends and new "family"- Bruenor, Cattie-brie, Wolfgar, and Regis. They battle foes together and end up reclaiming Mithral Hall, the kingdom of Bruenor's ancestors, the Battlehammer Clan. The next series is Legacy of the Drow. I believe th I started reading Salvatore with this series, however, would recommend that you instead begin with The Dark Elf Trilogy if you want to read them in chronological order. After Drizzt leaves the underworld, he finds himself in Icewinde Dale. Here he meets his best friends and new "family"- Bruenor, Cattie-brie, Wolfgar, and Regis. They battle foes together and end up reclaiming Mithral Hall, the kingdom of Bruenor's ancestors, the Battlehammer Clan. The next series is Legacy of the Drow. I believe that R.A. Salvatore is one of my favorite authors. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed the fight scenes until I read other fantasy and felt like the battles were lacking in depth and detail. I've read almost everything Forgotten Realms except the very recent, and would recommend it to any fantasy lover. Also, if you are new to fantasy, this would be a great starting place! These books are very black/white, good/evil. It's a fun read and easy to fall in love with the characters.

  8. 5 out of 5

    chris

    The magic was too weak to support the story Bottom Line: Loaner This is the first of Salvatore's books I've read, and it is apparently his first book, which might explain a lot. It's hard to say sometimes from the first book, whether the author's storytelling will get better (or you might be more interested in it) the more books they write. Some do, some don't, and some are hits and misses the whole way through. I was moving along, okay, not riveted to the book, but moving along with it. And then I The magic was too weak to support the story Bottom Line: Loaner This is the first of Salvatore's books I've read, and it is apparently his first book, which might explain a lot. It's hard to say sometimes from the first book, whether the author's storytelling will get better (or you might be more interested in it) the more books they write. Some do, some don't, and some are hits and misses the whole way through. I was moving along, okay, not riveted to the book, but moving along with it. And then I came to the part with Kessell and the crystal shard, and that just put me at a dead stop, do not pass go point. It was very weak, and the magic (part of the foundation of the story) seemed hokey. It was not believable at all, and if the reader doesn't believe in the story, or world building, or characters, there's a problem. I tried to pick the book up again, and maybe skip past that part, but I just couldn't. I'd recommend for fantasy, Lorna Freeman, Robert Jordan, LOTR of course, Holly Lisle, The Briar King, Cast in Shadow, even Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince. Comment

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kime Chenault

    It's been a couple of years since I've read it, but I still remember how much I loved it. I thought it was probably best three-book-series I have ever read. To tell the truth, I was sad when it was over. The story-lines and plots are great. They're thought out and entertaining to read. It's also not all that easy to guess what's going to happen next as it is in some books. The writing style itself just sucks you in, I didn't want to put the book down once when I read it, but sadly, my teachers di It's been a couple of years since I've read it, but I still remember how much I loved it. I thought it was probably best three-book-series I have ever read. To tell the truth, I was sad when it was over. The story-lines and plots are great. They're thought out and entertaining to read. It's also not all that easy to guess what's going to happen next as it is in some books. The writing style itself just sucks you in, I didn't want to put the book down once when I read it, but sadly, my teachers didn't like that I wasn't doing any work in their classes... The characters are also extremely well thought out. Even without a story line or plot, I think that they'd be enough to keep someone interested in the books.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    Amazing fantasy adventure taking place in the Dungeons and Dragons Forgotten Realms universe. This series starting with this set of three books is in my top five series ever. I have only started reading them recently and have already gone through the first nine books, including the three in this collection. I recommend getting the collector's editions, as they not only put the books together, but also add commentary from the series' main character Drizzt Do'Urden, which add a great deal to the s Amazing fantasy adventure taking place in the Dungeons and Dragons Forgotten Realms universe. This series starting with this set of three books is in my top five series ever. I have only started reading them recently and have already gone through the first nine books, including the three in this collection. I recommend getting the collector's editions, as they not only put the books together, but also add commentary from the series' main character Drizzt Do'Urden, which add a great deal to the story.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    While Salvatore is considered a fantasy "classic" (or at least a staple), after you read a few of his series you begin to see the patterns. His fight scenes are trite; characters are typically one dimensional (two, if you're lucky); and tragedy follows in the wake of every protagonist. Enjoyable and quick reads, these books are nice for a rainy day (and for D&D fans). While Salvatore is considered a fantasy "classic" (or at least a staple), after you read a few of his series you begin to see the patterns. His fight scenes are trite; characters are typically one dimensional (two, if you're lucky); and tragedy follows in the wake of every protagonist. Enjoyable and quick reads, these books are nice for a rainy day (and for D&D fans).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Phil

    I read these books when they originally came out, and were among my favorite fantasy books. I re-read them all a couple of years ago, and well, I guess my tastes have shifted. They're certainly entertaining, but much simpler than Tolkien, Martin, or Cook. I read these books when they originally came out, and were among my favorite fantasy books. I re-read them all a couple of years ago, and well, I guess my tastes have shifted. They're certainly entertaining, but much simpler than Tolkien, Martin, or Cook.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    A friend of mine loaned me this second volume after I got finished reading the first. It's probably a good thing I don't own this in hardback, because I hear throwing something heavy through the wall usually results in damage. So much of this was so, so bad. Just... bad. First of all, was this anniversary edition possibly a direct re-print from the original handwritten manuscript? Did Salvatore's proofreader and editor go on extended vacation? Did one of them die? I was sorely tempted to go throug A friend of mine loaned me this second volume after I got finished reading the first. It's probably a good thing I don't own this in hardback, because I hear throwing something heavy through the wall usually results in damage. So much of this was so, so bad. Just... bad. First of all, was this anniversary edition possibly a direct re-print from the original handwritten manuscript? Did Salvatore's proofreader and editor go on extended vacation? Did one of them die? I was sorely tempted to go through this book with a red pen so I could correct all the things that were wrong. Words were misspelled, incorrect verb tenses used, odd letters and double words were tossed about like an assassin's jeweled freaking dagger. It really slowed my pace as I was struggling to read 1000+ pages of mediocre fantasy. And if there's anything I'd hope to get accomplished more quickly, it's reading crappy mediocre fantasy. Salvatore desperately tries to do what J. R. R. Tolkien did. But he can't. Because he's not even close to being the writer Tolkien was. I saw lots of ideas that he seems to have ripped off of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. And. He loves to try use flowery, poetic, gorgeous descriptions with archaic language. That usually ends when he seems to be searching for a word and maybe the thesaurus in his word processing program wasn't working that day because he ends us using an anachronistic phrase that throws everything off. It ends up sounding... weird. He likes to make people say things like "Bring it on." I'm pretty sure hobbits would make terrible cheerleaders. I found myself thinking of a myriad of better phrases that wouldn't have seemed like a high school writing assignment. Salvatore sucks at naming people and things. There's a dwarf named General Dagnabit. Sounds like a Warner Bros cartoon featuring Foghorn Leghorn and Yosemite Sam. And Drizzt's bad-ass scimitar that glows blue when enemies are near (like several weapons I could mention from a few Tolkien novels...?): what's it's name? TWINKLE. Good thing he never told his enemies what they were about to be slicified by. They would have donned tutus and minced about, pretending to be faeries while laughing in his FACE. Other things: Salvatore's jokes are terrible. His characters laughed, but I sure didn't. Much eye-rolling ensued instead. Can we settle on what gender Guenhwyvar is once and for all? She, he, it? Salvatore uses all three. The name is female. I could even settle for it. But him? C'mon, Salvatore, stop screwing with me and PICK one. I never mourned anyone. And I always remembered the one guy that could help every time there was a dire situation for which there seemed no way out. So sticky situations were predictable and transparent. Awesome. I will say he is really good at one thing: battle. He's descriptive, he's gory, he even has decent pacing. Sometimes the gory gore line is slogged/squelched over and he takes it a little too far, which can be nauseating. But at least he writes a decent fight. Too bad 2/3rds of the book wasn't action. The Epilogue seems to come from Salvatore running out of time before his deadline. A lot of the things that I hoped he'd describe at length so I could, y'know, really dive into something they'd been promising since ALMOST THE BEGINNING of the book got condensed into the last four pages of the epilogue. Thanks, Salvatore. Won't be reading the next volume. But I appreciate all the wasted time that I could have spent re-reading The Silmarillion.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

    This was an enjoyable read, but definitely from the 80s. There are a few spoilers, so be wary. The first book in the trilogy was probably my favorite. I really enjoyed the politics of the towns, and the minor characters interacting to protect them. The major characters develop nicely throughout it as well, specifically Wulfgar. The rest don't develop so much as you just get to know who they are. Everything about the series plays off each other, to set up each book, as well as potential additional b This was an enjoyable read, but definitely from the 80s. There are a few spoilers, so be wary. The first book in the trilogy was probably my favorite. I really enjoyed the politics of the towns, and the minor characters interacting to protect them. The major characters develop nicely throughout it as well, specifically Wulfgar. The rest don't develop so much as you just get to know who they are. Everything about the series plays off each other, to set up each book, as well as potential additional books (which may have been written), and a fantastic landscape for both readers and D&D players alike. Here is where I ran into problems. The first book is epic, with epic villains, and all of ten towns hanging in the balance. Everything after that is kind of ho-hum. The second book is promising, leading you to think of a full scale invasion of a hidden underground dwarven kingdom, but fails to deliver that. Another issue was the regularity in which the author tried to convince you one of the primary characters may be dead, only to have them live on. As I said, Wulfgar grows a lot in the first book, but there is very little development after that. The third book deals with Drizzt's feelings towards how he is discriminated against, which doesn't balance well with his struggle against the villain Entreri. The writing style is not something you could get away with today as a new writer, as it is all 3rd person, omniscient, allowing you to see the motives and feelings of everyone in the room. It's nice because there is no guessing, but leaves little to the imagination as everything is explained. Two other things that just threw me off, but are more comical than anything. The first is how Regis becomes the leader of the thieves guild at the end, and everyone is okay with that. It was his thieving that got them into trouble in the first place, plus, we are led to believe they are all honorable people. Why would they approve of this? Lastly is Cattie-Brie's accent. In the first book she talks like the other settler in ten towns, which I found odd, because she was raised by dwarves. Apparently the author realized this too, because she speaks with the dwarf accent in the other two books. This makes her almost a completely different character. I did really enjoy the read, and would not tell anyone to avoid this trilogy. It was fun.

  15. 4 out of 5

    David Phipps

    This is the first Forgotten Realms trilogy that Salvatore wrote and the one that introduced the drow ranger Drizzt Do'Urden. These are 1980's fantasy books that are heavily influenced by D&D, much like the DragonLance series, as they are set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. There is very little focus on romance and very few female characters. I'm pretty sure I have not read these before despite owning them for who knows how long. It was interesting for the companions to visit various lo This is the first Forgotten Realms trilogy that Salvatore wrote and the one that introduced the drow ranger Drizzt Do'Urden. These are 1980's fantasy books that are heavily influenced by D&D, much like the DragonLance series, as they are set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. There is very little focus on romance and very few female characters. I'm pretty sure I have not read these before despite owning them for who knows how long. It was interesting for the companions to visit various locations such as Baldur's Gate and Waterdeep that I know more from a video game and a board game respectively. I don't know the Forgotten Realms world very well. Overall this was a solid fantasy adventure series that keeps things fairly simple with focus on action/adventure featuring what are basically high-level D&D characters. Drizzt steals the show of course and many subsequent books go into his history and further adventures. Possible spoilers below for the various books that make up this trilogy. The Crystal Shard - Nothing too memorable here in my opinion but it is a decent adventure that introduces the major characters and the region in which they reside. There is a trend of the good guys getting magical items/weapons that basically save the day repeatedly. Drizzt, Wulfgar, and Bruenor all feel somewhat overpowered at times. Streams of Silver - Drizzt, Wulfgar, Bruenor, and Regis all go on a quest to find Mithrall Hall, Bruenor's old home. Unfortunately there were many story elements that reminded me too much of Tolkien's books. A dark elf, a barbarian, a dwarf, and a halfling are on a long quest to find a dwarven stronghold that is now in the hands of an evil dragon. Again, a magical weapon is found at an opportune time. The Halfling's Gem - The companions go to rescue Regis the halfling from Artemis Entreri. This journey involves ship travel which for this group means pirate fighting. Artemis is easily the most interesting villain thus far and acts as a good counterpart to Drizzt. This book does wrap everything up pretty well with a satisfying conclusion.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Echo

    I think of these books as my guilty pleasures. Some girls read romance, I read Salvatore. It's not exactly the deepest, most intellectual fantasy on the market, but it is enjoyable. One thing I hear about Salvatore a lot is that he writes amazing fight scenes. This is true. I'm not big on fight scenes myself (they bore me usually), but he writes them very well and makes it look easy. That is quite an accomplishment. His writing is fine as well. My major complaint with any of his books is that th I think of these books as my guilty pleasures. Some girls read romance, I read Salvatore. It's not exactly the deepest, most intellectual fantasy on the market, but it is enjoyable. One thing I hear about Salvatore a lot is that he writes amazing fight scenes. This is true. I'm not big on fight scenes myself (they bore me usually), but he writes them very well and makes it look easy. That is quite an accomplishment. His writing is fine as well. My major complaint with any of his books is that they're just too predictable. I think it only took me one and a half books to figure out that if the main characters are outnumbered 100 to 5 and they're all talking about their certain deaths, it is perfectly acceptable for me to laugh and say, "Yeah right. I estimate they'll be out of it within two pages without a scratch between the lot of them." Why? Because I'll be right. (So right, in fact, that in the books I've read where he has killed off characters, I've rejoiced. Nothing personal against the characters, mind you, just glad to see they're not invincible. It gets boring after a while.) But then, aside from the amazing fight scenes, there's also Drizzt. Like so many other people, I absolutely fell in love with Drizzt. If it weren't for him, I may have stopped reading the books a long time ago. And as long as there's Drizzt in the books, there's a darn good chance I'll keep reading them.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Damien Rappuhn

    The publisher really must think poorly of its readers to publish a special "Collector's Edition" and yet to slather the pages with typos, misprints, errors, and formatting mistakes. Anyhow, annoying details aside--this is obviously Salvatore's earliest work in the series, and generally, as a writer. It shows. But its simplicity (and almost naivety, in terms of what the reader needs) is quaint, and helps it to be read quickly. You can blast through these pages really fast, if you (like me) are hop The publisher really must think poorly of its readers to publish a special "Collector's Edition" and yet to slather the pages with typos, misprints, errors, and formatting mistakes. Anyhow, annoying details aside--this is obviously Salvatore's earliest work in the series, and generally, as a writer. It shows. But its simplicity (and almost naivety, in terms of what the reader needs) is quaint, and helps it to be read quickly. You can blast through these pages really fast, if you (like me) are hoping to just get what you need to know about Drizzt so you can advance more quickly to the more recent stories. The three novels within this collection themselves are somewhat self-contained stories, so don't expect one big overarching mission (a la Lord of the Rings or other typical trilogies). The stories also evidence a clear connection with the format of D&D adventures--a party of four, running through the wilderness, dealing with things and being hunted by bad guys. It's fun and probably inspiring if you play D&D, which the publisher would probably like for you to do. Anyhow, I would not recommend these three novels (and even less the poorly edited "Collector's Edition"--a mockery of what fans would desire) unless you are wanting to get into the more recent Drizzt stories and want to start at the beginning. We all have to start somewhere--and, in a way, this was Salvatore's start.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mars

    book 1: Much like the games, it's a hack-n-slash with bits of "oh, i would really rather go party it up, but i should rescue the villagers first" morality, but despite a certain amount of cheesiness practically required by all the D&D-based books, this one was surprisingly entertaining. Demons (just one, really), dragons (also just one), orcs and giants (plenty), and more! Inspired me enough that I went and installed Icewind Dale the computer game, so it's reasonable to assume that my NaNo novel book 1: Much like the games, it's a hack-n-slash with bits of "oh, i would really rather go party it up, but i should rescue the villagers first" morality, but despite a certain amount of cheesiness practically required by all the D&D-based books, this one was surprisingly entertaining. Demons (just one, really), dragons (also just one), orcs and giants (plenty), and more! Inspired me enough that I went and installed Icewind Dale the computer game, so it's reasonable to assume that my NaNo novel will continue its 0-pages-so-far state indefinitely. Books 2 and 3: The story continues in much the same vein and style as the first book. It's cheesy, and as time goes on the deus ex machina rears its ugly head with ever-increasing frequency, if with different faces, but... it works! Things which would have annoyed me to no end in a more serious work make a surprising amount of sense in what is, in effect, an extended D&D session. I have been entertained, so I guess that's all that counts.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jack Tyler

    This is the trilogy that started my love affair with the adventures of Drizzt Do'Urden. I was not there from the beginning, but came upon this almost accidentally. It has been about a decade since I found this book, and I truthfully don't remember what led me to it, but Drizzt and his loyal, steadfast friends quickly became my favorite characters in literature. I have "only" rated this at four stars because no one is going to mistake it for Great Literature. What it is is a wonderful escapist re This is the trilogy that started my love affair with the adventures of Drizzt Do'Urden. I was not there from the beginning, but came upon this almost accidentally. It has been about a decade since I found this book, and I truthfully don't remember what led me to it, but Drizzt and his loyal, steadfast friends quickly became my favorite characters in literature. I have "only" rated this at four stars because no one is going to mistake it for Great Literature. What it is is a wonderful escapist read starring a character who is such an outcast from his evil society that he is almost at war with himself, and a wonderful supporting cast who have each others' backs through thick and thin as they have grand fantasy adventures intimately interwoven with morality fables. I cannot recommend this enough. Maybe fantasy isn't your thing, but if you've enjoyed Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or Game of Thrones, you could do worse than to immerse yourself in Salvatore's spectacular world of elves, dwarves, orcs, and humans. This has the Blimprider's Seal of Approval.

  20. 4 out of 5

    JD

    This trilogy introduces the five main characters that the reader will follow throughout most of RA Salvatore’s works. Drizzt Do’Urden – the mostly shunned drow elf ranger that lives on the surface and tries to live down the well deserved evil reputation of his race. His companion, Gwenhyvar, a magnificent giant panther magically brought to him in times of need. The surly, old dwarf Bruenor Battlehammer that loves his friends dearly. Cattie-Brie Battlehammer, the beautiful dwarf raised human girl This trilogy introduces the five main characters that the reader will follow throughout most of RA Salvatore’s works. Drizzt Do’Urden – the mostly shunned drow elf ranger that lives on the surface and tries to live down the well deserved evil reputation of his race. His companion, Gwenhyvar, a magnificent giant panther magically brought to him in times of need. The surly, old dwarf Bruenor Battlehammer that loves his friends dearly. Cattie-Brie Battlehammer, the beautiful dwarf raised human girl that is the adopted daughter of Bruenor. Wulfgar, the mammothly huge barbarian that is taken under Bruenor’s wings and trained by Drizzt. And finally, the lovable rascal halfling, Regis Rumblebelly. The characters are well developed and fun enough with fast paced plot lines to keep the reader engaged but at the same time easy enough to understand that the reader knows they can put the book down for a few days and come back later without losing important details.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    Written first, I consider this to be the first of the trilogies about Drizz't. This trilogy is an easy read. The heroes are heroic, unbeatable and easy to identify with, and the bad guys are pretty obviously bad. The plot never drags, but the writing is somehow flat compared to writing that really grips me. As a compilation of 3 books, the first is 2 stars for me (it was okay), the second improves, and the last is closer to 3 stars. Ultimately though, I like the insight Drizz't's between chapter Written first, I consider this to be the first of the trilogies about Drizz't. This trilogy is an easy read. The heroes are heroic, unbeatable and easy to identify with, and the bad guys are pretty obviously bad. The plot never drags, but the writing is somehow flat compared to writing that really grips me. As a compilation of 3 books, the first is 2 stars for me (it was okay), the second improves, and the last is closer to 3 stars. Ultimately though, I like the insight Drizz't's between chapter dialogues bring, but I find him too perfect and too ever-alone. And having read other Drizz't books, it only grates on me the more I read them. The books do a good job describing the different lands though, something not every writer can do, and gives each region it's own flavor. And though they feel like a D&D campaign written into a narrative, at least it's an interesting campaign.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pierre-Olivier

    Ah, The Icewind Dale trilogy, a D&D classic. Maybe THE D&D classic? I suppose it's between that and The Dragonlance Chronicles. And unlike the Chronicles, this is actually decently well written. No surprise there as Salvatore was an actual writer and not a module designer who suddenly decided to give writing novels a shot. Does Icewind Dale hold up? Well... kind of. Like with the Chronicles I feel like the trilogy's quality improves with each novel. It's not nearly as dramatic as for the Chronicl Ah, The Icewind Dale trilogy, a D&D classic. Maybe THE D&D classic? I suppose it's between that and The Dragonlance Chronicles. And unlike the Chronicles, this is actually decently well written. No surprise there as Salvatore was an actual writer and not a module designer who suddenly decided to give writing novels a shot. Does Icewind Dale hold up? Well... kind of. Like with the Chronicles I feel like the trilogy's quality improves with each novel. It's not nearly as dramatic as for the Chronicles, but it's noticeable. The Crystal Shard feels, much like The Dragons of Autumn Twilight, as if you were reading the outcome of a D&D game. When Drizzt and Wulfgar are fighting the giants you can almost hear the dice rolls. It's palpable. It's cool in a way, especially if you play D&D, but it doesn't lead to great writing. But as the series progresses that sense of reading a D&D adventure lessens, and the books feel more and more novel-ish. Thus even though The Crystal Shard is the most iconic of the three books here, I find it to be the worst of them, with The Halfling's Gem a solid step above. Salvatore is a good writer, no doubt. His action scenes are still some of the best I've read. Unlike The Chronicles, this is a competent trilogy, and impressive considering it was the author's first work. However, I have an issue with representation; I gave the series to one of my players to read but as I was re-reading it myself I noticed an almost complete absence of women in the narrative. It shamed me to a degree, as I thought that my player would for sure see her not being represented at all in these novels; almost if they hadn't been written with her gender in mind. In The Crystal Shard I'm pretty sure that Catti-Brie is the only woman to have a speaking role. As a whole, women are barely mentioned throughout the book; it doesn't feel great, and it doesn't improve much with the subsequent books. In The Halfling's Gem for example there are seemingly no women in the Thieves Guild, no women in the Wererat clan, no women on any of the boats whether merchant or pirate. Now, I understand that this is an 1980's D&D novel. I'm old enough to remember how male-oriented geek culture was in the late 80's and 90's; much of our modern issues (i.e. Gamergate) stem from a clash of old school male-centric geekdom and the strong presence of women and queer folx in the modern geek context. So maybe, probably, the author was writing with a particular audience in mind. I also understand that the Forgotten Realms is a pseudo-fantasy emulation of our own European medieval past, one in which women were often barred from public functions. Women weren't in government, weren't in the military, they weren't in any positions of power. This isn't entirely true for these novels, as the few women that we encounter are pretty powerful; Lady Alustriel Silverhand comes to mind, as well as Catti-Brie and Sydney from Streams of Silver. But these are exceptions. We can also throughout our own history find such exemptions, such as some of the powerful queens of England, etc. A quick dive into classical feminist literature such as Mary Wollstonecraft's, Perkins Gilman, or even Engels' work reminds us that outside of a few exceptions women were barred from most positions of power, and this is seen in these books. And I emulate modern arguments against 'realism' in works of fantasy: it's fantasy, not reality, and there is no need to replicate our own problematic past in these books. On the topic of women, Catti-Brie never feels realistic to me. She feels like a trope whose sole purpose is to guide the men to where they should be emotionally. She's like 18 years old in the trilogy yet is wiser than anybody, including the 59 year old-ish Drizzt Do'Urden. Admittedly Drizzt is really young for an elf, but he's still 59 years old. Catti-Brie especially feels like a plot tool in The Crystal Shard, as if she didn't really have a personality of her own. She's fleshed out in the sequels, but she always feels like her main purpose is to act as an emotional and moral compass for the males. All this criticism aside, Salvatore's heart is in the right place. Drizzt is shown to be a feminist and progressive in his internal monologues; I wouldn't call him a socialist but he's not far from it. Salvatore himself has said in interviews that he finds it hard to write good prose in an inherently racist fantasy context; that was kind of a jab at the Realms from him. I follow him on twitter and I like what he has to say. Thus I give him the benefit of the doubt that the issues with the novels are likely the time period in which he wrote them, his age (he was in his late 20's when he wrote The Icewind Dale trilogy), having to fit the tropes of a world that is not his own, the 1980's D&D audience etc, you name it. But Salvatore is not Orson Scott Card, that's for sure. I overall enjoyed the books, but all of the issues I highlighted above make the novels very hard for me to recommend to others; the novels are stuck in time. Good novels, haven't aged well, and this is why I 'only' am giving it 3 stars. I liked them though; entertaining, and the action scenes are unmatched. Even though this is classified as being the second book of The Legend of Drizzt, I recommend reading The Icewind Dale trilogy first; it always felt jarring to me if read after The Dark Elf Trilogy. After all IWD was written first, and Drizzt wasn't initially the main character; Wulfgar was. So if you read The Dark Elf Trilogy first - which was written after Icewind Dale - and then proceed with the latter, the narrative tonality of the whole thing feels way off. Stick to reading them as they were written. But be aware that these books were written at a time when D&D's audience was dramatically different than it is today.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paper Droids

    Dear Drizzt Do’Urden: you are amazing. I also really don’t like you. Here’s why: you are too perfect. You’re the best warrior alive, you have magic, you always swoop in to save everyone, and your backstory is ridiculously easy to identify and empathize with. No one ever gets the upper hand on you, and you apparently always roll a 20 on your intimidate and bluff checks. To make it short, Drizzt, you’re just not fallible enough for me. I like some uncertainty. I like the possibility that my favouri Dear Drizzt Do’Urden: you are amazing. I also really don’t like you. Here’s why: you are too perfect. You’re the best warrior alive, you have magic, you always swoop in to save everyone, and your backstory is ridiculously easy to identify and empathize with. No one ever gets the upper hand on you, and you apparently always roll a 20 on your intimidate and bluff checks. To make it short, Drizzt, you’re just not fallible enough for me. I like some uncertainty. I like the possibility that my favourite character might just get his ass kicked. I like wondering if everyone is actually going to live through an encounter. Complete Review: http://www.paperdroids.com/2012/11/08...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jason Hubbard

    I had a coworker once tell me that he like books that have "snappy writing," meaning you can real a little yet get a lot of information. Icewind Dale Trilogy is like that, and the result is that this book has very little soul to it. Characters are hardly fleshed out; they are merely caricatures. One character in particular, Wulf, is a mindless Conan-type stand in. He's a good fighter, has the hots for this one woman, and that's it. Drizzt D'Ordurn (it's misspelled and I don't care) is supposedly I had a coworker once tell me that he like books that have "snappy writing," meaning you can real a little yet get a lot of information. Icewind Dale Trilogy is like that, and the result is that this book has very little soul to it. Characters are hardly fleshed out; they are merely caricatures. One character in particular, Wulf, is a mindless Conan-type stand in. He's a good fighter, has the hots for this one woman, and that's it. Drizzt D'Ordurn (it's misspelled and I don't care) is supposedly the star of the book, and while he's a little compelling, he's not enough to keep this story from being extraordinarily dull.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Isaac Jourden

    Overall this is pretty "standard" epic fantasy. Perfectly passable if it's the kind of thing you're looking for. It has a lot of the pitfalls of the genre - long and winding in parts better served by getting on with it already, characters "too big to fail" and the lessened dramatic tension that comes with characters who are blatantly invincible. On top of that is Salvatore's repetitiveness, especially when it comes to fight scenes. The tenth time in as many fight scenes that you read about Drizz Overall this is pretty "standard" epic fantasy. Perfectly passable if it's the kind of thing you're looking for. It has a lot of the pitfalls of the genre - long and winding in parts better served by getting on with it already, characters "too big to fail" and the lessened dramatic tension that comes with characters who are blatantly invincible. On top of that is Salvatore's repetitiveness, especially when it comes to fight scenes. The tenth time in as many fight scenes that you read about Drizzt's "whirring blades" or Wulfgar's "bulging arms," you'll be praying Salvatore used some of the royalty money from this series to buy a thesaurus.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Netanella

    I started this trilogy as soon as I finished "The Dark Elf Trilogy" but quickly bogged down on the Dale. This trilogy includes the novels "The Crystal Shard," "Streams of Silver," and "The Halfling's Gem." They were nowhere near as addicting as the chronologically earlier work, perhaps because Drizzt does not appear to be as fully fleshed out. Be that as it may, I enjoyed these novels and would recommend them to anyone who loves a good story. I started this trilogy as soon as I finished "The Dark Elf Trilogy" but quickly bogged down on the Dale. This trilogy includes the novels "The Crystal Shard," "Streams of Silver," and "The Halfling's Gem." They were nowhere near as addicting as the chronologically earlier work, perhaps because Drizzt does not appear to be as fully fleshed out. Be that as it may, I enjoyed these novels and would recommend them to anyone who loves a good story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    Good fun, but colored by the fact that this is Salvatore's first series. It shows. While you won't find anything amazing here (especially in comparison to his later works), this trilogy stands apart from its contemporary AD&D novels as being still worth the read almost 20 years later. Just don't expect George Martin. Good fun, but colored by the fact that this is Salvatore's first series. It shows. While you won't find anything amazing here (especially in comparison to his later works), this trilogy stands apart from its contemporary AD&D novels as being still worth the read almost 20 years later. Just don't expect George Martin.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    I may have enjoyed this series more if I'd read it when I was younger, or hadn't read so many other authors first. Honestly I'm surprised it's rated as high as it is here. If you've already read series like WoT, Malazan, Night Angel, Song of Ice and Fire, etc., then I'd skip this one as it'll likely disappoint. I may have enjoyed this series more if I'd read it when I was younger, or hadn't read so many other authors first. Honestly I'm surprised it's rated as high as it is here. If you've already read series like WoT, Malazan, Night Angel, Song of Ice and Fire, etc., then I'd skip this one as it'll likely disappoint.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christi

    The first book started off pretty slow and was hard to get into but the more I read the better the writing got and by the third book I had a hard time putting it down. I will definitely read more of this series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tommers

    I finished book 1 and started on 2. Book 1 lacked any strong female character. Kind of slow moving, but picked up the pace about halfway through. I thought the ending was a little campy and thrown together. I have high hopes for the next book though.

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