Jarlaxle Baenre is a conniving dark elf with more tricks up his sleeve than a roomful of magicians; Artemis Entreri, an ill-tempered human assassin wielding a vampiric sword, is his unlikely companion. In R. A. Salvatore's Promise of the Witch-King -- a stand-alone novel that is also part of the Sellswords saga -- the two mercenaries travel to the wild lands of Bloodstone in search of tomes of unspeakable power supposedly created by Zhengyi, a legendary witch-king whose knowledge of the arcane was unsurpassed. With the help of a small group of battle-hardened warriors and wizards, the dysfunctional duo find what they seek -- unfortunately, the artifacts are hidden away in massive dark towers and guarded by regenerating armies of golems, goblins, and gargoyles. But as Jarlaxle and Artemis fight their way into the evil construct -- side-by-side with a band of illustrious fighters who include a half-crazy dwarf, a beautiful paladin with royal ties, and a much-fêted knight -- they realize that they have overlooked other deadly foes: namely, betrayal and greed.
Fans of the Forgotten Realms novel line (set in a domain encompassing more than 120 titles, it's arguably the most extensive fantasy saga in the history of the genre) will devour this one, arguably Salvatore's most proficient offering to date. Featuring a misfit cast of characters that are as wildly entertaining as they are extraordinary, breakneck-paced and tightly woven story lines, and adrenaline-fueled sword-wielding action in literally every single paragraph, this novel proves again why Salvatore is the supreme master of adventure fantasy. Paul Goat Allen