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The Last Threshold: Neverwinter Saga, Book IV (Forgotten Realms)

Author:
R. A. Salvatore

List Price: $7.99
Price: $6.60

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Release: Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Sales Rank: 38425
Binding: Mass Market Paperback

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the final book of the #4 New York Times best-selling Neverwinter Saga, Drizzt Do’Urden navigates a winding path littered with secrets and lies. Tangled up in his companion Dahlia’s dark secrets, the ties that once held her close to Drizzt threaten to tear as her bonds to his former foe, Artemis Entreri, continue to grow. Meanwhile, in the caverns of Gauntlgrym, the drow Tiago Baenre enlists the help of Bregan D’aerthe in his quest to destroy Drizzt. While making promises they may not keep, the agents of the elite drow mercenary group hide plans of their own. Determined to stand for what’s right in the Realms once again, Drizzt forges a new road north—toward Icewind Dale. Will his new companions follow? Can he fight the darkness alone? Either way, he knows now where he’s headed—back to the only place that’s ever felt like home.  
 
 
Praise for the Neverwinter Saga:

“Absolutely profound.” —Paul Goat Allen, BarnesandNoble.com

“Masterfully written, thrillingly unpredictable, and everything a Drizzt Do’Urden fan could
hope for. You’ll be hanging on the words till the very end . . . and then begging for more.”
— GamesFiends.com
 
“Emotional, respectful of its characters, intelligently written and structured, and finally summons a sense of nostalgic sorrow throughout”–Fantasy Book Review on Gauntlgrym, Neverwinter Saga Book I
 
“Full of excitement. Salvatore has mastered the art of showing a beautiful fight scene, and he is at the top of his game in this one. We meet many characters with many different fighting styles, and Salvatore does a great job of distinguishing between them. He manages to take these scenes from so much more than just a fight scene, to an integral part of the story.”—The SFF Hub on Gauntlgrym, Neverwinter Saga Book I
 
“A quick read with some very satisfying fight scenes. It’s also deeply layered with emotional atmosphere” —California Literary Review on Gauntlgrym, Neverwinter Saga Book I


From the Hardcover edition.

Amazon.com Review

The Best Sidekick a Warrior Could Ever Want

R.A. Salvatore muses on the identity—and unintentional identity crisis—of one of Drizzt Do’Urden’s most important allies, the fearsome black panther Guenhwyvar.

She started out as a dog, a moorhound, actually, named Canthus. When I wrote a sample chapter to audition for the second book ever published in the Forgotten Realms setting, way back in the summer of 1987, I thought the Realms were the tiny Moonshae Isles and that TSR (the original publisher of the Forgotten Realms setting) was looking for someone to write a direct follow-up to Doug Niles’s Darkwalker on Moonshae. I didn’t want to use Doug’s characters in any meaningful way—they’re wonderful characters, but I don’t like sharing protagonists!—so I grabbed one, a sly fellow named Daryth and his moorhound named Canthus, to introduce the hero of my story, Wulfgar of Icewind Dale.

Quite a bit changed during that audition period, starting with me discovering the size of the Forgotten Realms, and learning, to my great relief, that my editor didn’t want me anywhere near Doug’s work, since he was writing sequels to his book. So I set my book, The Crystal Shard, far away in Icewind Dale and added a character named Drizzt Do’Urden who soon took over the book. One thing I did keep from Doug’s example, however: the animal sidekick.

Why? Any pet lover already knows the answer to that question. Drizzt was created as the classic, misunderstood outcast, a bit of a loner, and often driven by circumstance to his own devices. Has anyone gone through junior high school or high school who can’t relate to this?

I certainly can. And in those times when I found myself confused and feeling very alone, I had a savior, a dog named Cocoa and then a dog named Yuma. They listened, without judgment, and using them as sounding boards often got me through the tough and lonely days.

So Drizzt needed a friend like that, I figured, and Guenhwyvar was born.

Female or Male?

Let me clear this up, once and for all: Guenhwyvar is a female panther! I know, I know, don’t point out the problem with that argument, please. You see, when you’re a professional writer, working on deadlines and working with a team of editors/artists/designers and the like, you come to learn certain things about the process. In the case of Guenhwyvar, for some reason I never figured out, I was told that the panther had to be gender neutral. I argued about this policy, but to no avail. Guenhwyvar was a magic item, so I was told, and so Guen was an “it,” not a “she” or a “he.”

The cat remained a “she” in my mind, certainly, but I painstakingly went through the manuscript of The Crystal Shard and removed all of the gender-specific pronouns. In some places, the use of “it” sounded quite awkward ; when you name a character, then use “it,” well, try to do it and you’ll see what I mean. Nevertheless, I had my orders.

Soon after The Crystal Shard hit the shelves, I discovered, to my chagrin, that the copyeditor had apparently spotted the awkwardness of the gender-neutral pronoun, too, and so he/she (it?) had smoothed out the prose... by replacing “it” with “he” and “him”! But no, Guenhwyvar is a female panther!

I got the name from those magnificent Mary Stewart books about King Arthur, where “Guenhwyvar” is the spelling of Arthur’s Queen, and, according to Stewart, the name meant “Shadow.” Perfect for Drizzt, I figured, coming from the shadows and needing a shadow. Wherever would Drizzt have been without her? Indeed, where will he be without her going forward? Read The Last Threshold to know more.

—R.A. Salvatore, February 2013

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