The Ancient (Saga of the First King Series #2) [NOOK Book]

Overview


Searching for his long-lost father, Bransen Garibond is tricked into journeying across the Gulf of Corona to the wild lands of Vanguard, where he is pressed into service in a desperate war against the brutal Samhaist, Ancient Badden.

On an Alpinadoran lake, just below Ancient Badden's magical ice castle, several societies, caught in the web of their own conflicts, are ...
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The Ancient (Saga of the First King Series #2)

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Overview


Searching for his long-lost father, Bransen Garibond is tricked into journeying across the Gulf of Corona to the wild lands of Vanguard, where he is pressed into service in a desperate war against the brutal Samhaist, Ancient Badden.

On an Alpinadoran lake, just below Ancient Badden's magical ice castle, several societies, caught in the web of their own conflicts, are oblivious to Ancient Badden's devastating plans to destroy them.

Bransen becomes the link between the wars, and if he fails, all who live on the lake will perish, and all of northern Honce will fall under the shadow of the merciless and vengeful Samhaists.

The Ancient is part of the Saga of the First King, a four-book series that chronicles the early days of Corona, the same world as Salvatore’s bestselling DemonWars saga.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This ensemble-driven follow-up to 2004's The Highwaymanfinds bestseller Salvatore liberally borrowing themes and character types from his earlier novels. As in the Cleric Quintet, a disaffected monk (Cormack) contemplates higher wisdom and draws the love of a restless outsider (the shaman Milkeila), while rough-and-ready dwarf Mcwigik provides brute strength and comic relief in similar measure. As in the Drizzt novels, the nominal hero wanders, deals death and addresses his readers in impassioned italics. Bransen Garibond's dual identity as the swashbuckling Highwayman and stuttering Stork recalls the Crimson Shadow. As in the Icewind Dale books, the setting is a remote wintry landscape, with isolated islands standing in for barbarian villages. The scattered cast takes much too long to converge, and druidic arch-villain Ancient Badden never emerges as an effective antagonist. The result is a Frankenstein's monster-like construct of brisk prose and lively combat scenes: imposing at first glance, but awkwardly assembled and doomed to disappoint. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007Reed Business Information
Library Journal

With the magic soul stone gem bound to his brow or clutched in his hand, Branson Garibond is the legendary blade master and rogue known as The Highwayman; without it, the body-deforming maladies afflicting him since birth seize control, and he becomes the pitiful stuttering creature ridiculed as the Stork. Searching for healing and his long-lost father, Brandon falls into a trap that forces him into a war he does not wish to fight. Set in the same world as his Demon Wars Saga (The Demon Awakens; The Demon Spirit; The Demon Apostle; Ascendance; Transcendance; Immortalis; Mortalis) but depicting an earlier, cruder time in the realm of Corona, this series opener and companion to The Highwayman explores a time when the Abellican Church was just beginning. With each book, Salvatore continues to hone his storytelling talent. Fans of martial fantasy should enjoy his vivid depictions of combat. This strong addition to the author's growing body of work belongs in most libraries and will most likely be in demand.
—Jackie Cassada

Kirkus Reviews
A monk, a dwarf and an outlaw walk into an ice castle to cross swords with a power-hungry religious zealot-and, no, that's not the setup for a joke. After spending the past few years shepherding his iconic creation Drizzt Do'Urden through the shared world of the Forgotten Realms, Salvatore (The Orc King, 2007) kicks off a new series in the land of Corona featuring Bransen Garibond (The Highwayman, 2004, etc.). Having gained control over his crippled body with the help of a magical gemstone, Bransen sets off with his wife and her mother to find the father he never knew. Previous escapades perpetrated against the ruling class while in the guise of the roguish Highwayman come back to haunt him, however, and he is captured and forced to fight on behalf of Dame Gwydre, a ruler desperate to protect her people from the machinations of Ancient Badden, vengeful leader of the druidic Samhaists. In an effort to cleanse the northern territories of nonbelievers, Badden awakens an ancient and powerful evil, one whose defeat requires Bransen to join forces with the aforementioned monk and dwarf. Nominally the outlaw, Bransen indulges in antihero posturing that seems a tad contrived in light of his previous exploits and the nature of the series, but the climactic battle scene offers a rousing conclusion. Fails to hit the highs of previous Corona books, but still a worthy addition to the lore of Salvatore's invented world. $250,000 ad/promo
From the Publisher
Praise for R.A. Salvatore:

“Salvatore excels in worldbuilding and creating complex, introspective characters

who triumph through wit and determination as well as skill in open combat.”—Library Journal

“Bob Salvatore always makes the most fantastic seem real. His heroes become friends we care about, and his foes fascinate.”—Ed Greenwood

“[Salvatore’s] potent mixture of detailed historical context, well-rounded characters (including secondary figures torn by conflicted loyalties to their church and state),

brisk pacing and exciting battle scenes make for a consuming read.”—Publishers Weekly on The Demon Apostle

"Read by Erik Singer, an accomplished actor of Shakespearean merit, and he does a very good job of the narration...Salvatore has lots of hooks which make you carry on from one chapter to the next or from one CD to the next as in this case." - SFCrowsnest.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429925440
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 3/4/2008
  • Series: Saga of the First King Series , #2
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 108,287
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

R.A. Salvatore

R. A. Salvatore is one of fantasy’s most popular authors, with his books frequently appearing on the New York Times bestseller list and more than 10 million copies of his books sold. He is the author of The Bear, The Dame, and The Highwayman as well as Gauntlgrym, The Legend of Drizzt books, including the Dark Elf Trilogy—Homeland, Exile, and Sojourn— and the Demon Wars series, among many others. Salvatore was born in Massachusetts, and earned a B.S. in communications and a B.A. in English from Fitchburg State College. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Diane, and their three children.

Good To Know

Well, I just turned 50, but I'm still a clean-up hitter on the softball field. A couple of years ago, I found myself in horrible shape and feeling lousy all the time, and so, with the help of my wonderful and beautiful wife of 25 years, I started taking my health seriously again. Now I feel better than I did when I was 40. Fit Camp three times a week and yoga and softball and all the rest.

The other thing that I've come to learn about myself is that R. A. Salvatore and Bobby Salvatore are two different people (and I much prefer Bobby, thank you very much). It's not that I lie to readers at book signings, or anything like that, it's just that the things that are important to me are the little things in life: my family, my home. Writing is what I do, but it's not who I am. I remember one time about 20 years ago, I went back to where I had worked to see my brother, who still worked there. Gary was a few years older, and was, of course, my hero. An associate found us in the parking lot and nudged my brother, asking him what it felt like to have a younger brother who was so much more successful than he.

Gary, of course, took it all in stride, turning what might have been an awkward moment into a joke. Gary died a few years later and I'll never forget the lines of mourners -- grown men crying like babies. He was such a big part of the community, as a friend and a coach to so many kids over the years.

That brought me back to the parking lot and the awkward moment, and the truth of it all: I was not and have never been more successful than my brother, and nothing I can do as a writer will get me there. Only the things I do as a human being, a father, a neighbor, a friend, can bring me into his league.
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Read an Excerpt

Prelude

He walked across the windblown ice of the glacier known as Cold’rin, its frozen surface not causing him the slightest discomfort, not even in his feet, though he wore open-toed sandals.

He was Badden, Ancient Badden, leader of the Samhaists, who knew the magic of the world more intimately than any others in the world. Badden was the greatest of them; no creature alive was more connected to those magics than this man. So while he stood upon hundreds of feet of solid ice, he felt, too, the earth below that freeze, where the hot springs ran. Those very springs had led him to this place, and as he neared the edge of the glacier, the wide expanse of Alpinador opening before him, the old Samhaist trembled with excitement.

He knew.

He knew before he glanced down from the edge of the glacier that he had found it: Mithranidoon, the steamy lake of legend, the place where the god Samhain forsook his mortal coil and melted down into the earth, the source of all magic, the guardian of eternity. Samhain’s servant was Death, men like Badden believed, who would bring the souls to the harsh judgment of the god who suffered no fool.

It was a clear morning. When Badden looked down his breath fell away from him, and many heartbeats passed before he could catch it once more. Below him was a fog-shrouded, huge, warm lake, perhaps twenty miles long and half that wide.

Mithranidoon.

The old man smiled at the rarely seen sight. He had found the holiest of Samhaist places and the source of his greatest magic just as his war with the Abellicans in Vanguard to the south had begun to ignite.

“Dame Gwydre,” he mouthed, referring to the leader of the men of Vanguard. “You chose poorly in taking an Abellican as your lover.” He ended with a chuckle, and no aged wheeze could be detected in the voice of the strong man, however many decades had passed since his birth. Most who knew him—or knew of him, for few actually knew Badden in any real way—believed that eight full decades and part of the ninth were behind him.

Ancient Badden slowly turned about to survey the area. He could feel Mithranidoon’s strength keenly now that he had confirmed the location. Mithranidoon had beaten the glacier, and her power permeated the standing ice. He could feel it in his feet.

This place would serve, he thought, continuing his scan. Up here on the glacier he had easy access to the low mountain passes that would get him to the roads leading south into Vanguard. The vantage also afforded him solid defense against any advancing armies, though he recognized that no hostile army would ever get anywhere near to him. Not here, not with Mithranidoon feeding him her power.

“Mithranidoon,” the old man said with great reverence, as if merely glimpsing the place from afar was enough to validate his entire existence, his sixty years as a Samhaist priest. But it wasn’t enough, he realized suddenly, and he looked up to the heavens.

“You, there!” he said loudly, lifting his hand toward a distant, circling crow.

The bird heard him and could not ignore the call. Immediately it turned and swooped, speeding down, upturning its wings at the last moment to light gently on Ancient Badden’s outstretched hand.

“I would see below the mists,” the old Samhaist whispered to the bird. Badden stroked his hand over the crow’s face and closed his own eyes. “To the scar Samhain rent in the earth.”

Suddenly Badden launched the crow with the flick of his hand, his eyes tightly shut for he did not need them anymore. Ancient Badden saw through the eyes of the crow. The bird followed his instructions perfectly, sweeping down from the glacier, soaring vertically the hundreds of feet before it straightened out and rushed across the lake, barely a tall man’s height above the water.

Ancient Badden took it all in: the caves of the trolls, lining the bank; the multitude of islands, dozens and dozens, some no more than a few rocks jutting above the steamy waters, others large and forested. One of those, particularly large and tree-covered, was dotted with huts of the general design common to the barbarians of the region, though not nearly as fortified against the elements as those found on the Alpinadoran tundra. Sure enough he spotted the tribesmen, large and strong, decorated with necklaces of claws and teeth, though, as they resided on a warm lake, they wore far less clothing than the average Alpinadoran barbarian.

Badden fell within himself and experienced the warm air coming off the spring-fed lake, warming the wings of his host.

So the barbarians had dared to inhabit this holy place. He nodded, wondering if he could somehow enlist them in his battles against Gwydre. Some tribes had joined him, if only for brief excursions against the Southerners, but none of those occasions had gone as Badden would have hoped. These Northerners, the Alpinadorans, were a stubborn lot, predictable only in their ferocity and wedded to traditions too fully for Badden to hold much sway over them.

The old Ancient chuckled and reminded himself why it was important for him to keep his eyes turned southward, toward the northern Honce province of Vanguard and to Honce proper herself. These were his people, his flock, the civilized men and women who had followed the Samhaist ways for centuries. They had followed unquestioningly until the upstart Abelle had brought them false promises in the days when Badden was but a child.

The Samhaist let those unpleasant thoughts go and basked again in the beauty of Mithranidoon, but he winced soon after as the crow continued its glide over an almost barren lump of rock. Almost barren, but not uninhabited, he saw as the bird sped past. It pained the old man greatly to see powries, red-capped dwarves, settled upon the lake.

But even that could not prepare him for the next sight, and when the bird passed another of the islands, Badden noted a familiar-looking design well under construction. Even here, they had come! Even in this most holy of Samhaist locations, the Abellican heretics had ventured and now seemed as if they meant to stay.

So shocked was Badden that he lost connection to the bird, and he staggered so badly that he nearly toppled from the edge of the glacier.

“This cannot stand,” he muttered over and over again.

His mind was already whirling, calculating, searching for how he might cleanse Mithranidoon of this awful infection. All thoughts of enlisting the barbarians on the lake dissipated from him. They were all unclean. They all had to die.

“This will not stand,” Ancient Badden declared, and in all his many years as leader of the Samhaists he had never once made such a declaration without seeing it to fruition.


Copyright © 2008 by R. A. Salvatore. All rights reserved.

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Reading Group Guide

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

R. A. Salvatore was born in Massachusetts in 1959. He is the acclaimed author of the DemonWars trilogy: The Demon Awakens, The Demon Spirit, and The Demon Apostle; as well as Mortalis, Bastion of Darkness, Ascendance, and the New York Times bestseller Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Vector Prime. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Diane, and their three children.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A new book in the Saga of the First King, a four-book series set in the early days of Corona, the setting for R. A. Salvatore’s highly successful DemonWars novels. Bransen Garibond is on the hunt for his long-lost father, and his quest will eventually pit him against the dread Ancient Badden, a brutal spellcaster who is readying plans to destroy several societies that are distracted by their conflicts with each other. If Bransen fails, all who live on the lake will perish, and all will fall under the shadow of the merciless Samhaists.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2012

    Spelling mistakes

    Just FYI, the first book is titled The Highwayman

    So far the first book and halfway through The Ancient have been true Salvatore style, definitly hooked.
    However, I am more than slightly annoyed at the spelling mistakes. It is most likely due to some formatting issue when made into eBook format but nonetheless unexecptable.
    If it were one or maybe two words with a transposed letter i might be fine with it. But the fact that multiple words across both books, so far, have been butchere to the extent i cant begin to guess what they are/were supposed to be. The words were giberish and contained special charcters. I have no clue as how to pronounce something with a dollar sign in the middle of a supposed word.

    I really Ffgured there were people paid to scrutinize your works before being published, paper or digital, maybe Im wrong. But for S's and giggles you might want take a look at the works before they go out to the public Mr Salvatore. I havent had any issue with other R.A.S's books before these two,

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    Re: Spelling mistakes. Your post is so full of spelling mist

    Re: Spelling mistakes. Your post is so full of spelling mistakes that it is unacceptable. If you are going to rant about something, then have the decency to not be an even worse offender. The fact that you have not noticed the errors in the other books is likely due to the fact that your own skills are not that high. Publishers seemingly quit hiring proof-readers years ago, yet they don't bother to use spellcheck any more than those who post on the internet. Why bother when the lack of education is so glaring?

    The Saga of the First King is another fun series by R.A, Salvatore. All the action and intrigue you'd expect, with the detailed fights, and the usual twists.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    1st Book??

    So im confused on which book is first. I have this one,"The Ancient", but in what order do the four books go in? Im giving it three stars cause this book doed look interesting :).

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Good Fantasy Read

    The follows the basic good versus evil story plot with a very well told story. The main characters are well developed and very engaging. If you are a fantasy fan or just like a good story, pick up the book.

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  • Posted February 25, 2010

    Really Enjoyable Read

    I was first introduced to this author by a chance meeting with a complete stranger in a Barnes & Noble store. They said that out of the books they have read that Salvatore is very good at creating and developing well thought out, plausible characters,and for anyone who has ever read, well thought out characters are not always easy to find. A few months later I came across "The Ancient" on sale and decided to get it.

    Overall, I would say that the story is very well done. The characters were well thought through and in all cases except maybe one or two their actions fit with their defined personas, which added a wonderfully plausible feel to them.

    Most of the time the writing was easy to follow and understand, but it was definitely not baby-ish or dumbed down, it was a mature writing. Nearly all of the spots where the writing wasn't so great were in the fighting scenes were it seemed to be a lot of confusing detail. I attribute these spots to the fact that it can be extremely hard to write action but otherwise, I would say that the writing was highly engaging and entertaining.

    There were several plots going on as well. There was one of the Highwayman searching for his father and a cure to his illness, one of a holy man struggling with the evilness of his brethren, and one of a noble lady fighting to save her land. While none of these truly concluded in the end, then again this is only the first book in a series, their plots were laid out quite well and smoothly mixed together so it didn't seem like Salvatore was trying to force some sort of epic "Pillars of the Earth" style plot on you.

    Despite some minor disagreements with the author, I very much enjoyed reading this book and look forward to more in the series!

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  • Posted September 20, 2009

    another great saga for salvatore

    if you like super heroes,typicals salvatore's style.you will love this one, too.

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  • Posted March 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Great Salvatore Book

    I was a bit skeptical starting another Salvatore book in a new setting... I've been re-reading all the Drizzt books and wasn't sure if new characters would be my cup of tea at this point but Salvatore is just great at weaving an excellent story in such a short amount of space...

    Looking forward to the sequels!

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  • Posted March 3, 2009

    Fantasy

    For those who like RA Salvatore or fantasy books in general, I highly recommend this book. I have liked all of Salvatore's books can't wait for the next one...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2009

    A little boring

    The story line didn't keep my interest

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  • Posted February 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Ancient is a nice continuation of the story started in The Highwayman.

    Anyone who has ever read anything written by R. A. Salvatore will instantly fall in love with the characters he creates, the themes, plots, and overall presentation of his stories. The man truly is a master storyteller. The Ancient is but one more example of his mastery of storytelling. It pulls you in from the first page and nicely continues the story that he began in The Highwayman. I couldn't wait for the sequel to come out after I had read the Highwayman. You immediately identify with the character Bransen Garibond and follow him through his trials and tribulations as he becomes the infamous Highwayman. One of the things I love most about The Ancient is that we get to see that Bransen isn't quite as altruistic as we would like to think and that he has to do a self-critical analysis. All good characters as well as good people in real life need to re-evaluate who they are and who they've become from time to time. I also really loved how we got to see how much influence Cadayle has on Bransen's decisions, his outlooks, and his life in general. She is a very good, strong female character. She reminds me a little of Cattie-Brie in the Drizzt series. All in all, I believe that Mr. Salavatore has a very amazing gift and am always looking forward to the next book he puts out. I would recommend this book as well as any other book this man has written, although I must be honest and say I haven't read every book he has ever written, though I have read quite a few.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Solidly decent

    It won't keep you begging for more. It, does allow you to get into the stories at times but it can't hold you there.

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  • Posted February 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Ancient?

    Ancient¿<BR/>I am still in disbelief over this book. I have always loved every book I have picked up by this author. However, I was sadly disappointed in The Ancient. It was very slow to get going, and for the brief moments it moved, cohesion of events was lacking. I am not sure if the other books in the series would make it better or lead to further disappointment. The main character ¿the Highwayman¿ was too technical in his fight sequences and lacked a personality. The other characters tried to bring more to the table, but seemed to get lost in other side plots. I really enjoyed the red caps & was vaguely interested in the multiple religions playing along in the book. Sadly I can¿t see reading further into this series. I will gladly stick with Drizzt and his complex multiple faceted adventures.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2008

    Buy the book!

    R. A. Salvatore is a master. The book was great but I hope that the future books spend more time with the highwayman and that without taking away from any of the secondary characters. I'm wanting a larger book next time! All in all it was a great read.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    superb return to Corona

    The Ancient R.A. Salvatore Tor, Mar 2008, $25.95 ISBN: 9780765317896 In Corona the magical gem enchanted with Abellican healing powers enables formerly crippled Bransen Garibond to walk with confidence he also conceals his Jhesta Tu mystical sword made by his late mother Sen Wi that bolsters his self-assurance further. Currently, he, his beautiful wife Cadayle and his mother-in-law Callen DuWornay are on a quest to find his father, the monk Bran Dynard, whom he never met. Callen knows she can never pay the debt she owes Sen who died by removing poison from her so that she could give birth neither female knew that the woman was carrying a child too who was born crippled by the poison she absorbed. However, the road proves dangerous as Dame Gwydre abducts Bran demanding he become THE HIGHWAYMAN of yore to save her people from the purge of the Druid Samhaists and their leader Ancient Badden, who are ethnically cleansing the land of disbelievers. Badden has awakened a powerful malevolence who Bransen must defeat before going after the Druid, but he cannot do it alone. --- THE ANCIENT is an entreating return to the world of Corona as Bransen is forced to return to his youth to fight a growing evil. The story line is fast-paced although Bransen¿s doubts about his skills seem somewhat out of place with his self-confidence as described earlier in the tale and his past. Fans will appreciate his efforts and those of his new teammates to battle the evil Ancient Badden and his chosen evil one with the usual incredible final battle. --- Harriet Klausner

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    Posted December 11, 2009

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    Posted June 2, 2012

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    Posted December 22, 2010

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    Posted June 28, 2011

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    Posted November 10, 2008

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    Posted September 29, 2011

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