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Forgotten Realms: Servant of the Shard (Sellswords #1)

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Overview

Servant of the Shard is the latest offering from New York Times bestselling author R. A. Salvatore, best known for his immensely popular Forgotten Realms novels.

Join a cunning drow mercenary to the Crystal Shard, the evil sentient artifact of Icewind Dale, and all the land should tremble. Artemis Entreri, best assassin in all the Realms, watches with trepidation, knowing his position among the hated drow ...

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Forgotten Realms: Servant of the Shard (Sellswords #1)

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Overview

Servant of the Shard is the latest offering from New York Times bestselling author R. A. Salvatore, best known for his immensely popular Forgotten Realms novels.

Join a cunning drow mercenary to the Crystal Shard, the evil sentient artifact of Icewind Dale, and all the land should tremble. Artemis Entreri, best assassin in all the Realms, watches with trepidation, knowing his position among the hated drow rests on the fate of the one dark elf he has come to trust.

His fortunes rest upon a knife edge.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Bookseller's Report
The Crystal Shard not only appeared in R.A. Salvatore's very first book; it gave the novel its title. Now the evil artifact once again worms its way into our consciousness with this tale of worse and worser. Plotting to be all-powerful, dark elf Jarlaxle gains control over the Crystal Shard. Or so he thinks until the demonic force overcomes him. His deadly compatriot Artemis Entreri attempts to rescue Jarlaxle, but ails. Only the virtuous Cadderly can snap this mighty evil. (P.S. Our appetite was already whetted: The just-released paperback edition of Salvatore's Spine of the World carried a preview chapter of Servant of the Shard.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786939503
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
  • Publication date: 6/13/2005
  • Series: Forgotten Realms Sellswords Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 155,773
  • Product dimensions: 4.52 (w) x 6.83 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

R.A. Salvatore
R.A. Salvatore
R. A. Salvatore was born in Massachusetts in 1959. His first published novel was The Crystal Shard. He has since published more than a dozen novels, including the New York Times bestsellers The Halfling's Gem, Sojourn, The Legacy, and Starless Night. He makes his home 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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Interviews & Essays

Pouring the Pain: A Conversation with R. A. Salvatore
The hardest-working author in fantasy, R. A. Salvatore, spins his magic once again, delivering another adventure in his extraordinarily popular Forgotten Realms series, Servant of the Shard. Even though fan favorite Drizzt doesn't show his face in this installment, it still delivers an unforgettably wild, page-turning experience. Scroll down to read our exclusive interview with legendary fantasist R. A. Salvatore. Author and Barnes & Noble.com reviewer Tom Piccirilli asked him about his uncanny ability to keep his complex, simultaneously running series straight, the joys and pains that Star Wars has spelled for his career, and the difficult personal circumstances that made Mortalis one of Salvatore's most deeply felt and affecting works ever. Enjoy!

Barnes & Noble.com: You seem to have "settled into" the DemonWars world of Corona. Do you feel most comfortable here, creating and exploring this particular universe of yours?

R. A. Salvatore: DemonWars, Corona, feels like home to me now. It's the fantasy world I've always wanted to write, growing as I go into this remarkable place that holds excitement and surprises for me at every turn. I don't think I'll ever do another Tolkien-esque fantasy world -- I don't think there's any reason for me to do so. I've got everything I ever wanted to put in a fantasy world right there in DemonWars.

B&N.com: Mortalis has a great deal of poignancy and sorrow in it, probably more so than any of your other emotion-charged novels.

RS: I wrote Mortalis during the worst time of my life. I was watching my best friend, my brother, dying of pancreatic cancer. It was a long process, a terrible process, and yet one in which we two came to new understandings between us and with this existence. As a writer, I've learned, sometimes painfully, that with everything I write, I give a little bit of myself away. With Mortalis, there are times when I honestly wonder if I gave too much. However, despite saying that, I know that there's no other way I could have done the book. I remember watching one of those wonderful VH1 Behind the Music shows featuring Fleetwood Mac, when Stevie Nicks was describing the production of the Rumours album (when the band members were going through difficult times) as "pouring the pain onto the vinyl." I feel exactly the same way about Mortalis. I poured the pain, the anger, and, ultimately, the hope, right onto the page. If I write for another 50 years, there will never be another Mortalis.

B&N.com: You're such an incredibly prolific writer, with several different series going all the time. Considering that character development seems paramount to you, how do manage to keep so many casts separate and three-dimensional?

RS: I have no idea! These guys have all just become so real to me that I can hear their voices as they talk, and I know instinctively when someone is out of sync, so to speak. I usually only have two series going at once (and then get a Star Wars book, or something like that, thrown in the mix!). Right now, it's DemonWars and Dark Elf -- I'm doing one of each every year. This isn't really a hard combination to me. As I said, DemonWars is like my home, a huge and wonderful place that I'm exploring more and more with each new novel. Dark Elf, on the other hand, feels like family. So I get to live at home (Corona) and visit my family (Drizzt and his friends) once a year. Not a bad arrangement, really.

B&N.com: Your novels often have different "tones." Some are old-school barbarian adventure, and others are much more introspective. Do you start off knowing what sort of tone you'll set for each book?

RS: It's been a learning process, honestly. I used to just sit down and let the story take me where I wanted to go. I still do, to some extent. But now that I've settled into a comfortable writing routine with the two worlds, DemonWars and Forgotten Realms, I can separate the two kinds of books I like to write, rollicking and introspective, more definitely along worldly lines. I think that many of my Drizzt readers have a different expectation when they pick up a Drizzt book. They want something out of it, a certain feel, a certain tone, that might be very different from, say, a Mortalis. That line, however, is not a definite barrier. When the Dark Elf story calls for something a little different, as in The Spine of the World, I'm going to follow that call, and reader expectations be damned. I have to be true to this little voice inside my head, after all.

B&N.com: How has your tenure writing the Star Wars novel Vector Prime and your upcoming novelization of Star Wars: Episode II been for you?

RS: Star Wars has been good and bad. What an honor to be selected for the Episode II novelization! What a thrill to get to meet George Lucas, if that does happen! And honestly, working with the New Jedi Order editors has been fantastic. I have tremendous respect for the folks editing the books out at Lucasfilm. What a pleasant surprise they have been to me. And of course, in doing New Jedi Order, and with Episode II, I get to work with Shelly Shapiro of DelRey, and she's as good as it gets.

On the downside, I knew that entering as mature a series as Star Wars would not be without pratfalls, and when they told me what I had to accomplish in Vector Prime -- the death of a major character from the movies -- I nearly sent them back their money. The people of the Star Wars audience, in many instances, have already set in their minds what should or should not happen in their galaxy far, far away, and any author who deviates from that scenario is likely to take a bit of a beating. I get the same thing with my Dark Elf books, since that series is so far along, with readers having certain events they desperately want to happen, then getting mad at me if things go a different way. "Drizzt should be with Catti-brie!" and likewise, "Don't you dare put Catti-brie with Drizzt!" and "Wulfgar must be brought back!" and "Leave him dead and gone!"

It gets frustrating at times, but I try to have fun with it.

B&N.com: In your new Forgotten Realms novel, Servant of the Shard, the Dark Elf finds himself the slave of an even greater evil and must seek help from the virtuous Cadderly. How much of a conscious effort do you make to put a completely new spin on your novels and give the reader something totally unexpected?

RS: Oh, I always try to surprise readers, and Servant of the Shard is no exception. Far from it! And I'm always looking for new roads down which my characters can travel. That's the key to character growth, after all, and character growth is the key to any successful series. A caution here: One should always be careful when assuming anything from cover copy, because that's usually written before a book goes to print. You never know what might happen, or what major characters will die...

B&N.com: What new books can we expect to see hit the shelves over the next year?

RS: Well, let's see...Mortalis is out and so is Bastion of Darkness, the conclusion of the series that began with my first book, Echoes of the Fourth Magic, and one of my favorites, The Witch's Daughter. Now we've got Servant of the Shard, telling the story of Entreri and Jarlaxle. Next June begins the second DemonWar Trilogy (The Demon Awakens, The Demon Spirit, and The Demon Apostle comprised the first, with Mortalis being the bridge to the two trilogies) with the release of Ascendance. Then comes Sea of Swords, when at long last we get back to the adventures of Drizzt and the core group, the Companions of the Hall. That should be out around October of next year, I believe -- I'm about halfway done writing it. After that, in May of 2002 (I think), comes the Episode II novelization, and then it's back to DemonWars.

I've been busy. Blame it on private school.

B&N.com: Thank you, R. A. Salvatore.

RS: Thank you.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 105 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(78)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 105 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    My favorite characters in my favorite R.A. book so far

    Artemis Entreri and Jarlaxle became beloved villains to me quickly during the legend of Drizzt series. As I continued through it, I began to anticipate reading this book, and got very excited. For a book to still be amazing with that much hype, which I put on it, is rare. This story was all that I had hoped for and more. If you like either of the main characters, or even just enjoy R.A.'s writing, this book will be great for your collection. I can easily and honestly put this as a top ten book that I highly recommend no matter your feeling on Artemis and Jarlaxle.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Artemis, Jarlaxle, Crenshinibon, rogue rogues...

    Artemis, Jarlaxle, Crenshinibon, rogue rogues and a city of cutthroats. This is what you get here. Mystery, treachery greed and chaos lead the way. No one seems to be the "good guy" in this series. Yes, that is Cadderly on the cover, he plays a major part in a portion of the book. Every one is an ally and an enemy equally. My favorite Salvatore book, save for possibly The Silent Blade. Recommend all Salvatore Drizzt or Jarlaxle books.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2007

    Good but not his best

    I have read just about every ra salvatore book there is, he has come to be my all time favorite. the book was slow and draggy for his style, but compaired to others it was action packed, I would recomend it to all but, there are other r.a. salvatore books that were alot better

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Are they going to put books 2 and 3 out for the nook

    Great book waiting for promise of the witch king now

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Servant of the Shard, Paths of Darkness, Book 3

    Artemis Entreri and Jarlaxle are at odds. Jarlaxle is in possession of Crenshinibon and quickly begins to make some very serious mistakes. Jarlaxle is partnered with the drow Kimmuriel and Rai-guy. There is a four way battle at all times. Once Entreri is able to take possesion of Charon's Claw, things take on a completely different turn. Is Entreri able to destroy the Crystal Shard. Will Jarlaxle betray Artemis Entreri in order to take Crenshinibon back? Will Kimmuriel and Rai-guy finally take control on the surface in Calimport, and over throw the Matron Mothers, to rule Menzoberranzan? Will the Crystal Shard be destroyed for good?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2013

    Second Main

    'Green' Country

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2013

    Worth one without the other 2

    Failure that this company cannot release the 2 other blocks

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

    Ijj

    Hffferijbhgfkcnbmou

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2011

    Amaizng

    Wat is the next book in this sieries? Did it come out yet? Answer quickly plz.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2011

    Y

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

    Fantastic !

    Kept me hanging on. Read the book in 3 days.
    Couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next.

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  • Posted November 28, 2008

    a descent start

    but the fact that Artemis Enteri and the bald Jarlaxle find a fight every chapter is a bit far fetched.....even for fantasy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2006

    Starts slow but ends great

    This book starts out a little slow but then it really picks up. I enjoyed reading it. R.A. writes awesome action sequences. Start reading this book and work through the to the newest release, Road of the Patriarch.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2006

    good book ug

    this is an awesome book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2006

    Good stuff

    Artemis and Jarlaxle together means trouble. With other supporting characters, who have their own agendas. Who is loyal to who amongst these power hungry individuals? What is gonna happen next? Ingredients that make a good story are here. Many characters(of various races, deciet, chase scenes, surprising newcomers, chaos, betrayal, even politics. There is even a group of powerful and deadly halflings. New artifact weapons and good ol' Crenshinibon. A must for any fantasy fan!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2006

    Same as Before

    This book is merely a reprint of Part 3 of the Paths of Darkness series. It was excellent then, so I see no reason to buy it again. I don't blame Salvatore for reprinting it, but he should have come up with a better way then saying its part of a new series when its the same book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2005

    The begining of the DYNAMIC DUO OF DOOM!!!

    Artemis and Jarlaxle, duo masterminds from two different worlds. Similar to the spectrum difference of War and Peace-Love and Hate-North and South-East and West-Day and Night, get it? If not read the book. Even if Drzzt isn't in this one it still fills that all important gap to when he is in the next one. Keep it coming with the Dynamic Duo of Doom. Yeah, a cheesy name for them but some how it seems to fit their persona's. R.A. with these two your job just got more interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2005

    No Drizzt? No Problem!

    When I was in the middle of reading 'The Kingless Land' by Ed Greenwood, I had to get another book. I don't want to bad mouth his book. I'm sure he's a good author. I liked how R.A. made a book mainly about Artemis and Jarlaxle. I liked the whole concept about having those two characters being companions together. Artemis Entreri is probably THE most interesting fantasy character I've ever read about. He's unpredictable. You never know what he's going to do. R.A. makes the fight scene at the end of the book really well described. This is a good book made by R.A. and it takes a break of Drizzt, Regis, Wulfgar, Bruenor, and Catti-brie. Good fantasy novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2005

    This is probably my favorite book of his

    Okay, so the Drizzt books were good, great, probably epic, but this book takes it another step. There are no good guys. None. We are led to sympathyze with Artemis, but he is just as evil as everyone else. Maybe. Through Salvatores excellent characterization we discover (at least partially) the true nature and motivation behind Jarlaxle as well, and he shares the traits of Entreri. Anywho, both of the characters kick butt, everyone's butt, and are generally awesome. Just buy it. It is good, better if you like stealth and magic. It's like his other books but with a slightly darker edge.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    more a 4 1/2 stars fantasy

    In Calimport, Artemis Entreri heads the powerful House Basadoni, but is concerned that his secret sponsor Jarlaxle the drow is increasingly descending under the control of Crenshinibon, the Crystal Shard. If Jarlaxle falls, he will be replaced by one of his second in command either Kimmuriel or Rai-guy both of whom hate Entreri and will remove him from leadership. --- Though visibly worried that others notice that the ice cold killer seems almost frightened, Entreri refuses to sit idly by and watch his plans vanish and perhaps even his life. He concludes that he must insure that his surreptitious mentor remains in charge of the drow. To do that, he must evade the number two drows and Jarlaxle while finding a way to neutralize the Crenshinibon¿s control over his superior. However, to attempt this means risking the chance he too could become a SERVANT OF THE SHARD, a fate worse than death, but perhaps better then listening to Cadderly and Danica preach. --- The key players in the power struggle make for a strong Forgotten Realms fantasy as each competes for power. Thus Enreri, a few of his closest associates and the three head Drows come across as fully developed characters that turn SERVANT OF THE SHARD into a winning tale. Interestingly the fast-paced novel slows down a bit when the morally correct Cadderly and his wife spout their pious ramblings that enable them to claim God¿s will while torturing their enemy. Readers will appreciate this fine reprint of Book 1 of the Sellswords series in which the ¿bad¿ dudes win out as complete characters over the shallow ¿good¿ guys similar to the first Star Wars movie with Darth or Solo vs. Luke). --- Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 105 Customer Reviews

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