I thoroughly loved this book from cover to cover. Perhaps, if you read this book as a one-off, it would be given a four out of five stars. But if you’ve read even a handful of prior Drizzt books, this one gets full marks.
The idea was very clever. Bring back the companions of old, the favorites who had long since (over a century) passed on, and do it by having a goddess reward her champion (Drizzt) by returning his old friends to him. And do so by having them keep their memories, consciousness and experience – even at birth. Very cool descriptions of each of the three characters – Catti-Brie, Regis and Bruenor as infants, and then flash-forward to toddlers, and then as kids, teens and then when grow to adulthood. Each has adventures, of course, to keep the story rolling. But it’s very cool to see them train to become even more powerful than they were in their first life. Because right from birth they knew what they would be doing when they turned 21. Regis, who in his first life was kind of a useless halfling, in his second life because a fully trained swordsman and alchemist who also acquired several very cool enchanted weapons and tools.
I regret not knowing about this book when I read its two sequels. At the time, I didn’t know I was three books behind – I thought it was only two. Anyway, I look forward to these ‘old’ companions joining Drizzt’s ‘new’ companions. With the fast selection of characters to now draw from, R.A. Salvatore has breathed new life into the series.