At the end of The Sword of Bedwyr, Luthien
accidentally started a riot which ended in the evil duke's death,
thus freeing the city of Montfort, now called Caer MacDonald. Now
Luthien and his friends must protect that freedom by defeating the
army evil King Greensparrow sends to recapture Caer MacDonald. And,
in a desperate gamble, they do. From there it seems an easy step to
freeing all the land of Eriador.
Luthien's Gamble is the second installment of the Crimson
Shadow series, and is no better than its predecessor. R.A.
Salvatore's concept is a common one in fantasy fiction: an oppressed
land struggling against an evil ruler. The story has been done
successfully time and time again. Luthien's Gamble is not one
One problem is Salvatore's poor handling of his plot. His approach
is basically to assemble his story around a showcase of play-by-play
sword fights and other embattlements. The book strongly reflects the
formulaic writing style common to the TSR and D & D authors. Even
without the gaming influence, however, Salvatore's writing is still
bad, with repeated cliched images like "shining white stallion" and
"The beautiful half-elf gave a resigned sigh as she brushed the long
wheat-colored tresses from her face."
Salvatore's one small success is the irrepressible
highway-halfling Oliver deBurrows and, to a lesser extent, Oliver's
bantering rapport with Luthien. But this single flamboyantly fun
character -- as much as he might like to -- is not sufficient to
support the book alone.
The Crimson Shadow:
The Sword of
Bedwyr. Warner, 1995
Luthien's Gamble. Warner, 1996
The Dragon King. Warner,