Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review: _Highwayman_ by R.A. Salvatore

Like action? Want to read a good story? Readers will find this in the stand alone Fantasy novel The Highwayman by R.A. Salvatore. A veteran author of the genre, Mr. Salvatore provides an entertaining book for readers. The book has an action plot, sympathetic characters and interesting setting.

The setting of the book is the world of Corona, the place for previous books of the author. In the land of Honce, there are several lairds ruling their respective holdings. Goblins and Powries, dwarves that kill people and dip their berets in the blood, prowl the land. Two religions vie for dominance in getting the peasants to believe in each of them. It is a place due for change. Far to the south is another country that has a different culture. Mr. Salvatore’s interesting setting helps create an interesting world for the characters to play out their stories.

Next, sympathetic characters draw the reader into the story. The main character is Bransen, a young boy born with severe handicaps. He is bullied and ostracized by the other villagers. Only Cadayle, a young woman he grew up with in the village, helps him and is friends with him. With his love for his foster father and Cadayle’s support, Bransen discovers ways of overcoming his handicaps to find justice for himself. Cadayle must overcome her troubles to find happiness too. Garibond is a loyal man that loves Bransen and protects him from the religious zealots. These characters are realistic due to the author’s talent for description that allows readers to identify with them.

Finally, Mr. Salvatore’s action plot brings it all together for an exciting read. The book starts with the tragic story of Bransen’s parents. Bran Dynard returns with his wife Sen Wei to his homeland, bringing new teachings to enlighten his religious colleagues of the church of Blessed Abelle. Bransen is born to be raised by Garibond. He finds himself caught between the struggles of two religions while a war rages through the land. Laird Prydae has trouble with a bandit called the Highwayman who is like Robin Hood, helping the people to survive the vicissitudes of war. All of the plot elements blend together to create a story with a lot of action. Mr. Salvatore is a master at describing battle scenes and sword fights.

The Highwayman by R.A. Salvatore is an exciting stand alone Fantasy novel. An interesting setting, sympathetic characters and action plot blend together to create a very entertaining book to read. There is also a bonus Drizzt story for fans of that character. It is a good book by a talented author of Fantasy books with plenty of action.

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