The land of Eriador has won its freedom from Avon, but
Greensparrow of Avon will not honor the treaty. So King Brind'Amour
and Luthien Bedwyr decide to take the war all the way to Avon's
capital. With the dwarven kingdom and Huegoth raiders for allies,
things look promising for Luthien and his friends. Evil King
Greensparrow, however, has a few surprises of his own.
The Dragon King concludes R.A. Salvatore's "Crimson Shadow"
trilogy, which began with The Sword of Bedwyr and Luthien's
Gamble. The Dragon King is the best of the three, which
does not say much for this mediocre series.
The book suffers from Salvatore's typically poor writing,
especially where character description is involved: "His eyes,
striking cinnamon-colored orbs...showed that change as well. They
still held their youthful luster, but now that gleam was tempered by
the intensity of wisdom." Salvatore does show small improvement over
the earlier books. He develops his plot more fully here, and his tone
is more certain; he puts less emphasis on the sword fights, allowing
for greater development of other interesting action. This improvement
is relative, however, and Salvatore's potential seems small. "The
Crimson Shadow" trilogy, The Dragon King included, is still
the kind of "bestselling" hackwork that gives fantasy a bad name.
One curious observation: the series is named for Luthien's alter
ego, the Crimson Shadow, supposedly crucial in the rebellion against
Greensparrow. In reality, the Crimson Shadow plays hardly any role in
The Dragon King and only the smallest part in the first two
The Crimson Shadow:
The Sword of
Bedwyr. Warner, 1995
Luthien's Gamble. Warner,
The Dragon King. Warner, 1996
This review copyright 1997 by Wendy Morris
Information last updated March 22, 1998