Maestro is Books Standard R A Salvatore Biased Review Caveat Bob Salvatore is one of my favorite authors and has been for years he s also amongst the writers I ve had the good fortune to m
Maestro is Books Standard R.A. Salvatore Biased Review Caveat: Bob Salvatore is one of my favorite authors and has been for 20+ years; he’s also, amongst the writers I’ve had the good fortune to meet and/or interview, one of the nicest and most generous with his time. So, any book that has his name on the cover gets an extra bump up the review scale compared to if the same book had been written by someone not named Bob Salvatore.Also—MAJOR SPOILERS TO FOLLOW! (You’ve been warned via typographical shouting.)Over the years, Drizzt Do’Urden has been through more trauma than even Vigo the Carpathian (who, as we all know, was shot, hung, stabbed, disemboweled, drawn and quartered…). He’s lost friends and lovers, been tortured and mortally wounded, and even been killed. And, yet, none of that—even dying—was as unsettling as what he experiences in Maestro. When I contemplate what’s to come in book three of this series, I feel a little bit like I’m watching a slow-motion video of a bowling ball speeding straight at some poor, unsuspecting sucker’s giggleberries at 500 mph. I am, by turns, horrified, aghast, anxious, and nauseous—and, yet, I’ll start reading the next book the minute it’s released. Bob, and Drizzt, have earned that loyalty over the years and the course of approximately 30 books, and all I can do now is trust that whatever happens, it won’t be as horrifying as it appears (and that no one’s nuggets are going to be pulverized to smithereens, because ouch).Though it’s never a good idea to extrapolate too much about an author’s personality from his work…I almost wrote “read too much into” an author’s personality, and then I realized that even I couldn’t abide that horrible play on words, so I stopped myself…but, then I just wrote it anyway, so let’s just run with it. We’re all having pun now.Though it’s never a good idea to read too much into an author’s personality from his work, one senses that the evolving complexity of Drizzt’s worldview has been a reflection of Mr. Salvatore’s own. Drizzt has always been a complex character who wrestles with thorny moral and ethical issues, but the past decade or so (in Earth time) has seen him navigating a gray world of moral relativism that he would not have been capable of operating in upon emerging from Menzoberranzan so many years ago. Evolving views on right and wrong make for strange bedfellows, which is why, in Maestro, Drizzt finds himself on the path to his dark and terrible homeland alongside the ever-opportunistic Jarlaxle and former nemesis/assassin/noted halfling torturer Artemis Entreri to rescue Drizzt’s crazy and violent former lover Dahlia (side note: if I were a single man about town dating a lovely woman who was kindly enough to engage with me in acts of a carnal nature, I think I would take to introducing her as my “bedfellow,” because it’s just a really great word, and I know how much a lady of class would like to be introduced as such). Streams-of-Silver-era Drizzt would not have embarked on this mission; fighting alongside killers and thieves, not to mention banging psychopaths, would have violated his moral code. Sure, he occasionally found himself teaming up with Entreri in those early days, but, generally speaking, it was an alliance of momentary convenience for the purpose of combating—and surviving—a greater evil, not a shared sense of mission characterized by, if not friendship, at least a mutual respect for each other. Maestro-era Drizzt, however, readily embarks on this mission, his only hesitation related to leaving Cattie-Brie’s side as she works to rebuild the Hostower of the Arcane in Luskan to reinvigorate the fading magic that holds the dangerous fire elemental captive within the bowels of Gauntlgrym. It’s precisely this willingness to walk into dark places alongside companions of questionable character that paves the way for the horrific toll Drizzt must pay to emerge alive—along with his companions—not only from Menzoberranzan, but from an epic (albeit disappointingly brief) duel with Demogorgon. And that’s the part I want to focus on here—not the perplexing prevalence of drow lady-on-drow lady action (a new development in the Salvatorian oeuvre), not Gromph Baenre’s lasciviousness (gross) and psionic rapery, not the plots within machinations within intrigue in the ruling houses of Menzoberranzan (whose leaders make Machiavelli look like Mister Rogers, only maybe with better threads, because, you know, he was Italian), and not the mysteriously rapid development of the infant Yvonne the Eternal (recalling to mind those creepy talking baby E*Trade commercials). No, the focal point of this story, for me, was the insanely unsettling end, in which a mind-addled Drizzt, affected by some combination of the breakdown of the barrier between Faerun and the realm of the demon lords (which I suspect is a highly unpleasant place—Demogorgon just doesn’t strike me as the picket fence, two-car-garage-in-suburbia type, though I could see the Prince of Demons drawing whistles from bored housewives whilst mowing the lawn sans shirt, ‘cause hermaphroditic tanar’ri got it going on both top AND bottom) and the magic of the aforementioned Yvonne, leaves Menzoberranzan convinced that everything that has transpired of late in his life—including the return of his beloved Companions of the Hall from the dead—is nothing more than an illusion, a manipulation of the evil goddess Lolth. Drizzt believes, hopefully incorrectly, that none of it is real, that he’s imprisoned within his own mind, and when he emerges at story’s end, it is with the chilling certainty on Yvonne’s part that Drizzt is so sure of his belief that all around him is false that he will return to his friends not to rejoin them in continuing to build toward the future, but to slay them as the illusory abominations they are. Reality is a perplexing thing; we each cleave to that in our lives which our brains can make sense of, a narrative in which we are the hero and those around us supporting, but very real characters, and even the slightest shift in perspective – a false note rung out by someone we trust, a startling realization of our own insignificance in the grand scheme of life, the insight that if we are hit by a bus tomorrow, the world will go on just as it did before – can send us reeling, if not right back into the fetal position. Imagine, then, being overcome not just with the fear, but the certainty, that everything you know, everything you believe, all your hopes and dreams, are falsehoods created by some unseen force for the sole and cruel purpose of controlling and, ultimately, destroying you. Shoot me, stab me, hang me, disembowel me, draw and quarter me, give me the Vigo treatment—but don’t tell me that my loved ones aren’t real. That the people I rely upon most in life, with whom I’ve shared both darkness and light, are constructs of an unseen manipulator. Because the former tortures will merely agonize me and kill me; the latter would unhinge my mind and destroy all that I am as a person. In choosing between those two fates, I’ll take the physical pain every time (though maybe with a good tincture of laudanum). So it is with a heavy heart and nerves on edge that I wait to learn Drizzt’s fate. I believe, though, that Drizzt will triumph. I believe in him, and believe that as has always been the case, he will walk the darkest road and still find the strength to persevere, to believe. Or, maybe I’m just a figment of Bob Salvatore’s imagination, and he’s been setting me up for the past 20+ years to crush me with the next installment. And now I might need a hug. Or, at least, some chocolate. Chocolate would definitely help. . Something terrible, unspeakable, immense, has come to Menzoberranzan and is leaving death and destruction in its wake The primordial of Gauntlgrym stirs, sending Cattie brie and Gromph to Luskan, and the ruins of the only power that can keep the beast in check The damage of the Darkening, of war, and of a demon ravaged Underdark has sent cracks out across the North SomeSomething terrible, unspeakable, immense, has come to Menzoberranzan and is leaving death and destruction in its wake The primordial of Gauntlgrym stirs, sending Cattie brie and Gromph to Luskan, and the ruins of the only power that can keep the beast in check The damage of the Darkening, of war, and of a demon ravaged Underdark has sent cracks out across the North Some of this damage may never be repaired.And Drizzt is going home But not to Mithral Hall Not to Icewind Dale He s going to Menzoberranzan Bruenor is ready to march with him bringing along an army of dwarves to end the scourge of Menzoberranzan, but Drizzt needs to see what s happening there The dwarf army may not be necessary The City of Spiders might already have fallen to the demons and their wicked prince But even if that s true, what s to say the demons will stop there Maestro picks up where Archmage left off, plunging Drizzt into his most dangerous adventure yet, and with all the action, adventure, beloved characters, dark elves, monsters, and demon princes Drizzt fans adore.. A viral Book Maestro I am a loyal Salvatore fan and I enjoyed this book, however I am also pissed off at this point (more on that later). I will admit the writing is slightly more focused, we get less descriptions on sword play and a tad more insights into magical details and trinkets which i thought was lacking in the previous books. The plot is not what I expected with a title like Maestro, referring to Jarlaxle. I still liked the main story and the side story with the host tower but as a loyal fan, i cant help but feel duped. spoilers beyondThis is the point that makes me royally pissed off. With a title like Maestro you would hope for some history about the mysterious mercenary we have all come to love, or maybe some link to Zaknafein, At least some back story to Bregan D'aerthe. But no, a resounding big fat middle finger from Salvatore. Was he forced on the title, I find that hard to believe. I get it he organizes a few groups to achieve two goals.... but thats what he always does! Remember when he found Cadderly, or all the other times he has intervened to help drizzt? I find no differences here. This book should or could of been called anything other than Maestro and it would of made more sense. Whenever I see this cover it's going to piss me off.recap ( more spoliers)Drizzt and the companions have successfully taken Gauntlgrym from the Xorlarrin drow but there is a problem that Cattie-brie has uncovered. The primordial is not stable and the host tower in Luskan needs to be rebuilt. So Jarlaxle pools everyone together and gets the dwarves, dragons, humans, and drow to help with the host tower. Then he asks Drizzt to help him get Dhalia back from the drows with the help of Artemis, his old buddy. Cattie-brie goes toe to toe with Gromph about who should lead the rebuilding on the tower and in the end wins. She learns that the primordial must be set free to contruct it, gromph agrees after seeing her visions. Meanwhile 'daughter has magically grown up and is super powerful. She find Kimmurials mom and together they do some crazy psionic magic. We finally get the showdown between Tiago and drizzt and drizzt tricks him with his own bow and blows him up, was pretty sweet to get closure on Tiago. Drizzt gets caught but the new Yvonnel likes drizzt and allows him to champion Loth and take on the demogorgon then she will release his friends. Drizzt is used as conduit and takes in a ton of magic and releases it in one blow to the demogorgon monkey dude, who wasn't very nasty if you ask me. Anyways Drizzt awakes and is being tortured and is given a choice to kill 1 friend and release the other two, he refuses. Yvonnel discovers drizzt believes he is doomed and that all his friends are dead including Cattie-brie. I guess when the faezness got ripped it infected drizzt or some shit. Now yvonnel believes drizzt will kill cattie-brie because he believes it is all lie.... or something. the end was kind of unsatisfying to me.