The Highwayman [NOOK Book]


New York Times–bestselling author R. A. Salvatore takes his readers back to his signature world of Corona, introducing a fascinating new hero.
It is God’s year 54, many years before the Demon Wars, in the land of Corona. The roads are unsafe to travel; goblins and bloodthirsty Powries search out human prey. Two religions struggle fiercely for control. Bran Dynard, a monk of the fledgling religion of Abelle, returns from his mission in a...
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The Highwayman

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New York Times–bestselling author R. A. Salvatore takes his readers back to his signature world of Corona, introducing a fascinating new hero.
It is God’s year 54, many years before the Demon Wars, in the land of Corona. The roads are unsafe to travel; goblins and bloodthirsty Powries search out human prey. Two religions struggle fiercely for control. Bran Dynard, a monk of the fledgling religion of Abelle, returns from his mission in a far-off land with a book of mystical knowledge and a beautiful and mysterious new wife. But he soon realizes that the world he left behind has changed, and his dream of spreading the wisdom he learned to his fellow monks is crushed. Forced to hide his wife and his precious book, Bran must decide whom he can trust and where he should now place his faith.
Twenty years later, the situation has grown darker and more desperate. Only the Highwayman travels freely, his sword casting aside both Powries and soldiers. The people need a savior, but is the Highwayman on a mission of mercy…or vengeance?

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

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
R. A. Salvatore, renowned for his classic Forgotten Realms novels as well as his bestselling DemonWars saga, returns to his signature world of Corona with a brilliant new fantasy series that incorporates a hero to rival Drizzt Do'Urden, the scimitar-wielding dark elf featured in dozens of Salvatore's Forgotten Realms tales.

The Highwayman takes place centuries before the Demon Wars ravaged the realm. The land of Corona is still wild frontier: roaming bands of bloodthirsty red cap dwarves plague the roadways, egotistical princes fight amongst each other for political supremacy, and two very different religions -- the brutal polytheistic Samhaism and the magical, gem-empowered Church of the Blessed Abelle -- struggle for dominance amongst the masses.

When Bran Dynard, a brother of the Blessed Abelle, returns home after ten years discipleship in a faraway desert realm, he is a changed man. Not only has he married a beautiful, dark-skinned native of Behr, he has been enlightened by Behr's faith, the Jhesta Tu -- a Taoist-like religion of introspection that involves centering one's life energy. But when Bran and his pregnant wife reach the Chapel of Pryd and meet with its leaders, he isn't seen as an enlightened champion returning home but as a heretic. His dark-skinned wife is considered a beast and their marriage an abomination.

Bran and his wife are demonized, and both eventually lose their lives; but their child -- a fragile, handicapped boy named Bransen -- is somehow saved. When Bransen matures, he is uncoordinated, stutters, and is unmercifully mocked by the townspeople. But when he gets his hands on the magical gems of the Abelle church, something amazing happens.

The Highwayman is archetypal Salvatore: crackling with masterful characterization, action-packed plotlines, riveting battle sequences, and surprises around every turn. Look out, Drizzt, here comes the Highwayman! Paul Goat Allen

Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Salvatore (The Lone Drow, etc.) returns to the world of Corona with this serviceable, swift-moving tale of sword and sorcery filled with workmanlike scenes of persecution, last-minute rescues and obligatory romances. Long before the Demon Wars, in "God's year 54," Bransen Garibond, an orphaned cripple living with the very monks who were instrumental in the deaths of his clerical father and foreign-born mother, discovers secrets of his past through a mystical book and the healing stones of "the Church of the Blessed Abelle." Soon he becomes a warrior and travels the roads of Corona with a mystical sword seeking retribution. Despite the predictable, episodic plot and a conventional "feel-good" ending, the author does a good job of depicting Corona geography and the amoral ruling class that lords it over a grim society where children may be kidnapped for their genitals and where death is the result of honesty. Fans of Salvatore's unadorned approach and broad caricatures of archetypal figures should be pleased with this carnival of treachery and medieval feudalism. A new Drizzt Do'Urden story, "The Dowry," is an added bonus. (On sale Mar. 16) Forecast: A 125,000 printing and $100,000 ad/promo budget should ensure another bestseller for Salvatore. The striking jacket art, which shows the aftermath of a failed attack on a stagecoach, perfectly captures the novel's spirit of adventure. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429970846
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 10/2/2007
  • Series: Saga of the First King Series , #1
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 106,662
  • File size: 727 KB

Meet the Author

R.A. Salvatore

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.

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

An Explorations Interview with R. A. Salvatore

Paul Goat Allen: The character of Bransen Garibond in my mind is a huge departure from arguably your most popular character, the dark elf Drizzt Do'Urden. Having an incredibly fragile main character with such a range of extremes -- I was reminded of Michael Moorcock's albino sorcerer Elric -- must be exciting from a writer's perspective; so many potentially interesting story lines. What was your motivation behind creating a character like Bransen?

R. A. Salvatore: Elric and Bransen? I'm surprised to hear you say that, but now that you do, I can see some similarities. With Bransen, I wanted to present a different type of protagonist, or perhaps it would be better to call it a different perspective on a familiar protagonist. My motivations for the character came from various sources. First, from actual people I know who are physically challenged. What must it be like to have a body that will not answer to the call of your mind? Beyond that however, Bransen is really a representation of how we all feel from time to time, particularly as teenagers and young adults. He is isolated and often alone, misunderstood and unappreciated. I think I just described high school. Of course with Bransen, I play that out to the extreme, but that's the point, isn't it? Drizzt Do'Urden is very much the same on that level -- a classic romantic hero. A friend of mine read The Highwayman and knew at once the identity of one of the inspirations for Bransen. He said to me that he had never before paused and considered what the world might look like from (our mutual acquaintance's) point of view. I don't want to get preachy in the book, but that made me feel pretty good about it.

PGA: What are the advantages of beginning a series that is a prequel of sorts to your DemonWars saga?

RAS: I don't really consider The Highwayman a prequel. It takes place centuries before the DemonWars Saga, and while a careful reader will be able to draw logical conclusions about where the world is in this book and how it comes to be the world we see in the seven-book DemonWars saga, there is really no necessary connection. That was the plan all along with DemonWars, you see. I wrote the seven books from The Demon Awakens through Immortalis to tell a larger story and to define the world. With that world defined, I hoped to go in and tell more personal tales, like my Drizzt books (as I still believe that's where my strength as a writer lies). The Highwayman is the first of these. I'm also planning to let other authors into the world to create tales of their own. As I type this, James Lowder, a wonderful author and editor, is hard at work on a DemonWars novel.

PGA: I thought the cover art by Todd Lockwood was spectacular and caught the essence of the book perfectly. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but how great is it to have a guy like Lockwood doing your book covers?

RAS: Bingo! Right there is the genius behind CDS (Client Distribution Services) and their new approach toward books. I got to pick the artist -- I went with Todd because he's the guy creating the new Drizzt look, and his brilliant conceptual art is striking a very positive note with my readers. Not only did I get to choose the artist, but I was the one in primary contact with him throughout the process. That might not sound like much to people outside the business, but for authors who have seen both amazing and not-so-amazing portrayals of what might or might not be in their books, it is a dream come true.

PGA: While The Highwayman was an exceptionally entertaining read, it really set the stage for adventure on a much grander scale. Can you give your fans a little hint as to what to expect in the next book?

RAS: Here we have the toughest question of all, because I honestly don't know. I love the way the characters developed in this book and certainly have some interest in following the adventures of those who survived. Of course, that's also true of the characters who survived the DemonWars Saga. I wrote this book as a stand-alone, and that's what it is, first and foremost. Whether I go back will depend more than a little on my time constraints and on reader interest. I'm very confident that those Drizzt readers who pick up The Highwayman will be glad they did, but that is no guarantee of how many will pick up the book!

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 46 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2008

    My first Salvatore book

    With daring battle scenes, and the ever-appeal to the emotions, Salvatore has spun a tale of immense splendour. I finished reading this book simply a few days ago, and I thought 'Wow. This is beyond the most amazing fantasy book I've read in a while.' Of course, after reading The Highwayman, I delved deep into Homeland - the first Drizzt novel. And, I must say, upon finishing Homeland, I agree with many reviewers. The Highwayman is amazing, though not as good or action-packed as the Drizzt novels. If you're looking for a hack-and-slash book with a good plotline, I'd reccommend 'Homeland' However, if you're looking for an honest-to-Go appeal to your emotions, I reccommend The Highwayman.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2005

    Backstory with Bite!

    This is a prequel of sorts to the highly touted Demon War series of books by R.A. Salvatore. There are significant differences in The Highwayman that set it apart from the other Corona novels however. First, there are no first person narratives, letters, or reflections, which are quite common in the Demon War books, not to mention the Forgotten Realms titles also. Second, this book has a tangible tension that runs throughout it because of a clever literary device, which deviates from the simple chronological storytelling of the other Corona titles. And third, The Highwayman is more deeply human than any Salvatore book yet published (which can be seen in the careful depiction of the character mockingly called 'The Stork'). For Salvatore readers this is a it and love it! But for those of you high-brow fantasy lovers that thumb your noses at the success of Salvatore (not unlike the unkind treatment of Stephen King by literature nuts), here you will find rich characterization, a careful critique of the misuse of power, and an almost 'western' like quality to this beautiful piece of fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2014

    Fantastic Book!

    Fell in love with all the characters. Read the entire series. You won't be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2013

    My #1 book. Reread multiple times.

    Amazing storyline, with true in depth character development. Inpirational and emotional. A must read for any fantasy fan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2006

    the Great 'Highwayman'

    Appearing out of the shadows to save those in trouble or to take from those who have plenty to give to the poor, the Highwayman is someone with the strength and will to do what most of us would not. From bad beginings to sad young life the Highwayman found something that helped him enjoy life and through him i was able to fight off the bad guys and help the needy. This book was great and it kept me reading always waiting to see what the great Highwayman would do next. With the different turns that this book took in getting to the main character i had to wonder if there would be another when i got half way in to find that Bran, the new main character, was physically inable to be the Highwayman. However R.A. Salvatore found a way making this book all the more interesting by telling of Bran's feelings and additudes about the different things that he is doing. Especially the religous aspects of Bran's journey made it interesting to see his feelings and attitudes. The battle of two faiths in a mideval world added to the stroy with the different ideas and the sharing of the beliefs. That shows that while the leaders of the different religions were trying to spread their belief to other people they had to also worry about the kings and the effects of the other religion on the people with every showing of power. All of this added to my enjoyment of this book, it kept me on my toes. This story of strength and courage is something that i think anyone would like and with its action, romance, and suspense it would entertain anyone. If you can read then this is a good book for you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2005

    Bored to Death

    This is my first R.A. Salvatore book that I didn't like. A Huge fan of his Dark Elf/Forgotten Realms series...this book was a complete disappointment. The Characters and story line were uninterresting and I put it down after forcing my way through 200 pgs. The most interesting aspects were the philosophical discussions about religion and zealotry. More depth here would have been many authors dismiss or glaze over religious topics in their writings.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2004

    What a great book!

    This book was kind of slow to start with, but when i finally got to the middle of part one i just couldn't put it down. I read part two and three in one day each. R.A. Salvatore is one of the greatest authors that has ever lived in my opinion. I can't wait to read the rest of his work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2004

    A great read that you should not miss!

    If you have any reservations about this book, put them aside. This book is a fabulous read and one that will remain in the hearts of many long after they have finished the story. The Highwayman is full of action, adventure, great characters, and a great plot...just what we have come to expect from R.A. Salvatore and he doesn't disappoint here, either. Rush out and get this book, whether you are new to the world of Corona or are returning to the world you love for a new story. Either way, I am sure you will be glad you did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2004

    Another masterpiece

    Once again, Bob brings to life Corona. It is a living, breathing place. A masterfully told tale of heroes, villains, and his trademark battles. Buy it, get it from the library, beat up a friend for it :) (j/k) Do whatever it takes to get this one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2004

    fine sword and sorcery

    Decades before the Demon wars, Horne was not a united kingdom but a region of clans each ruled by a laird who owned the peasants who worked for him. The clans forced the peasants to build roads that would connect the land so trade would be easier. There was much danger at this time because of the goblins, who killed humans for spite and the power, and dwarves who wore red berets drenched in human blood after they killed the humans mankind. <P>Bran Dynard, a monk of the new religion that is sweeping the land, returns from Jacentha where he studied with the mystics who deepened his understanding of the relations between the secular and the church. He returns home with his Behrnese bride but the church treats him as an outcast and he must send wife into hiding where she dies giving birth to a physically disabled son. The church reluctantly takes him in with the sword his mother crafted but they treat him like garbage until he is old enough to learn the teachings of his mother and the healing stone. <P>R. A. Salvatore, a brilliant fantasist, reaches back in time to when the socio-political and religious structure of Honce-The Bear was forming. Readers see how peasants starved while the nobility lived in splendor. This sword and sorcery novel is a must read for those who like plenty of action, romance and intrigues in their fantasy novels. The protagonist overcomes much hardship to become the man that can bring justice to a beleaguered land. The flaw in this book is that one knows that this is not the end for THE HIGHWAYMAN and readers are stuck waiting for a book that might never be published. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2004

    Another great read from RA Salvatore

    RA Salvatore delivers an exciting, fast-paced tale based in the world he created. The book is what readers should expect from a fantasy adventure book; great story, great characters and a great read. The reader does not need to have read (although it's highly recommended) the Demon Wars novels Salvatore has written to follow The Highwayman. If you are looknig for action-adventure, look no further!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2004


    wow i am so upset that this book is over i absolutley LOVED it.........all i can say is i hope RA comes out with a sequel

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2004

    oh w0w

    All i can say is w0w I had my doubts when my parents brought this book home for me, based on the fact that it was by my fav. author they bought it for me...and i am sooo glad they did. I simply could not put this book down, great from start to finish...GO BUY IT! Ye wolnt regret it.

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    Posted December 2, 2010

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    Posted February 23, 2011

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    Posted October 23, 2009

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    Posted November 10, 2008

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