Author: R.A. Salvatore
Product Type: Novel
Release Date: 1988
Format: Paperback book (333 pages).
Cover Artist: Larry Elmore
TSR Code: 8411
ISBN Number: 0-88038-535-9
The text below is taken from a description by TSR on the reverse of the actual product:

'The crystal shard was not content with an existence in a desolate mountain range...It wanted more. It wanted power.
Akar Kessell has set in motion events that will lead to the rediscovery of the crystal shard, a magical device that may be powerful enough to bring about the destruction of the Ten-Towns.
Meanwhile, the barbarians are also planning to attack Ten-Towns, and their brutal assault on the villages seals their fate and that of Wulfgar.  Wulfgar, a young barbarian, proves himself to be a mighty warrior among his race - one with the power to reshape this harsh region of the Forgotten Realms.  But, even with the help of the dark elf Drizzt and Bruenor the dwarf, is he strong enough to reunite the barbarian tribes? And will the people of Ten-Towns put aside their petty differences in time to stave off the mysterious forces of the crystal shard?'

By: Brett Franklin
Date: 12-July-1999
This is an excellent novel and might even tie as my favourite FR novel. I have reread it many times and it is still just as good!! R.A. Salvatore is an excellent writer (by far the best FR author) and i cant help but love his style. The plot is great and you have to wonder how long Salvatore thought it out of whether it just comes naturally.

The book has everything: wizards, wars with humanoid armies , a fight with a dragon, a demon from the abyss and much, much more.

Icewind Dale is well described and you can imagine what its like being there.

However , The Crystal Shard's major success would have to be the characters who came out of it. Drizzt Do'Urdon , the scimitar-wielding renegade Drow ranger. About 95% of the people i know who read FR books say Drizzt is their favourite character and rightly so. There is no other character like him. His ideas and beliefs are well related by Salvatore aswell as his style and grace. Companioned by Guenhwyvar, its no wonder that this character has lead to starring in 10 other novels.

Then there is Wulfgar , my favourite FR character. Who can forget when Wulfgar crushes the Barbarian king's head with his hands. Wulfgar with Aegis-fang slung over his shoulder is an impressive picture indeed.

Bruenor Battlehammer is also a great character and although Regis is almost the token halfling character, his pendant sets him apart.

I wasnt however impressed by Catti-brie, coincidently Wulfgar's age and race, it wasnt hard to see why she was written in - too predictable.

An original enemy aswell in the form of Crebshibbon and a nice touch with Errtu coming in too.

Cover - this cover too is one of the best FR ones. All three characters, Drizzt, Wulfgar and Bruenor, are drawn ideally, exactly to description (although Bruenor might be a little tall if he stood up straight). An excellent touch, too, showing one of the towns in the far-off background. Congatulations to Larry Elmore!

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