Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf by R. A. Salvatore

The ‘culmination’ of the latest trilogy follows the same worn path as we had with the original Obould war, with more characters and our rebooted heroes. Having read all these at various times I have to admit having a hard time remembering which events took place in this trilogy and which in the previous. The antics of the drow become less and less interesting and sadly illogical, taking away from the clever and devious race of the past. The orcs, goblins and giants are fodder and the side of good contains few interesting characters – we have so many of them that each is given only a small part to play.

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The story is simple and completes the war that began in book two. The various subplots that have been going around for a while are either largely ignored or are still left open which is extremely disappointing. It is becoming hard to care about some of them as they seem to drag on forever in a manner that is starting to feel like a daytime soap.

The writing is still the same style as always, in both good and bad. The script flows smoothly but I do get the feeling that perhaps Mr. Salvatore could do with a new editor, one that would be able to tell him when to cut – I am beginning to glaze over the descriptions of battle. At moments the view of the war tactics reads well and you get a feel of the overall situation with troop movements and supply lines. But this is unfortunately brief and feels pointless when in the end good wins by what can only be described as deus ex machina.

Admittedly, this third book is a disappointment, especially after the high hopes I had from what I thought would be a fresh start in book 1. I hate to say this, but it feels that Salvatore is in the air on skis and there is a shark beneath him. Reviewed from an advance reviewer copy.

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