by R. A. Salvatore
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
372 pages; ISBN: 1593150164
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
R. A. Salvatore
CDS Books, Feb 2004, $25.95, 372 pp.
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.
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.
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.
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