Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Road of the Patriarch by R. A. Salvatore

Road of the Patriarch is the final episode of The Sellswords Trilogy by R. A. Salvatore. Continuing the story of the infamous assassin Artemis Entreri and the cunning drow mercenary, Jarlaxle Baenre in Vassa and Damara, we are treated to their search for adventure, glory, and treasure.

As you would expect from two main characters who are antagonists to the famous Drizzt Do'Urden, this is a villians' book. BTW, the legendary drow ranger did NOT show up which in my view is a good thing; instead we are treated to the mind of cold, calculating Artemis and ambitious Jarlaxle.

Having defeated the tower of Zhengyi, the Witch King, the two (exactly Jarlaxle) decided to claim the surrounding area as a new nation. Naturally, this does not wash with King Gareth Dragonsbane who also claim Vassa as part of his kingdom of Damara. After capturing Artemis for treasonous acts to the crown, Jarlaxle and his mercenary band, Bregan D'aerthe, put together a plan to free Artemis and safe passage out of the kingdom. In between, Artemis gave his views on Gareth's kingship, and classifies why strength of arms is the most important thing to being king even if he is a 'goodly' paladin king like Gareth Dragonsbane.

As with most works of Salvatore, this book is a mix bag. The action scenes are great as usually. Jarlaxle, Artemis and their dwarf associate Athrogate were involved in some great fights (Look out for one between Artemis and a ranger friend of Dragonsbane). However part of the action seems forced. To think that a paladin king like Gareth will just sit there and take in the views of an assassin is truly reaching for it.

However, the meat of the story is the background of Artemis and Jarlaxle. We finally see how and why Artemis became the fighting machine that he is, and the backstory of Jarlaxle in his youth. For that alone, I would pick up this book. Even if you are not a fan of Salvatore, there is enough great action in this book to please you. Recommended! Now if only I know why is the book called Road of the Patriarch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice to see another RAS fan in SG!

I just finished reading the trade paperback of RotP and commented about it in my blog (albeit in a subtle way).

Some suggestions on the rationale behind the title:

Jarlaxle is the leader and father of Bregan D'aerthe. In the drow city of Menzoberranzan, where every house is ruled by a matriarch, the title fits as he journeys the Bloodlands and beyond.

Another possibility is that Entreri took over the pasha status of his ex-employer, whom he killed. As a pasha, the title could refer to him and his journey of self-discovery.

Or both.