The Last Threshold Review

Last Threshold Cover

Anyone who’s ever been a fan of Drizzt should probably read this book. You might feel like you’re getting robbed if you don’t read the rest of the Neverwinter Saga, but if you’re short on time, this book is the one you want to read.

That sentiment was very surprising to me, because I initially had a lot of issues with this book.  But after I finished, a lot of those issues disappeared and were replaced with a new understanding of the book and what it was trying to do. The events in The Last Threshold and even earlier parts of the Neverwinter Saga took on a whole new meaning when I looked at them in this light.

The problem?  The end of this book is a major spoiler that shouldn’t be revealed to anyone still reading the Saga.

So here’s what I’m going to do.  In the first part of this review, I will have a spoiler-free discussion of the book as best as I can.  Then there will be a page break and a bunch of warnings, and I will discuss the spoilers and what they mean for the books. I should also let you know that we received a free complimentary copy to review this book in advance.

OK? Here we go.

gauntlgrym cover

The Big Review

Most of The Last Threshold is rambling.  The characters don’t have an epic, fate of the world emergency on their hands and on the whole are kind of lost.  Drizzt, Dahlia and Entreri have picked up a monk, Afafrenfere, and an endearing dwarf cleric, Ambergris.  Part of the reason I find Ambergris endearing is that she’s the only person in the party that bothers to be nice to Drizzt.  Most of his companions either regard him with skepticism or contempt.  This is often contrasted with the warm relationships he had with his old companions and it makes me sad that Drizzt has been reduced to traveling with such a bunch of killjoys.  The funny thing is that I rather like most of the characters on their own, I just don’t like how they interact with Drizzt.

Despite the events at the end of Charon’s Claw, Drizzt and Dahlia are still together, but because of them—and other things that are eating Drizzt—their relationship is not going well.  Their chemistry is toxic and neither one of them seems willing or able to understand and connect with the other. I can’t wait for them to break up already so they can stop being jerks to each other.

Despite all of this, Drizzt either convinces or bribes his companions to help him repair the damage to Port Llast—a charity case if there ever was one. Drizzt uses this opportunity to find purpose and try to change his companions for the better.  While this is going on, the warlock, Effron, is still at large and working for his master Draygo Quick.  The Shadovar appear to be plotting something nefarious with Drizzt’s poor panther and there are a bunch of young and powerful drow on the hunt for Drizzt as well.

Jarlaxle is at his Jarlaxlest and while I am not entirely caught up on his various exploits, he really outdoes himself in this book when he takes on the Shadovar. I can’t imagine him winning in a more thorough or fantastic way than he does here.

I am notoriously bad at picking up on subtext, so as often happens, the momentous change that arrives in this story came as a surprise for me.

And the ending is a pretty big deal, so I suggest you go find it and read it as soon as it comes out.  Then come back here and we’ll have a long conversation about what it means. If you’d like to pickup the book you can purchase it from Amazon here, purchasing from this link will also help keep our site up and running.

Warning, the following text contains major spoilers. 

The kind of spoilers you hate yourself for reading. 

I’m not exaggerating.  If you’re reading any part of the Neverwinter saga, stop reading this now, go read The Last Threshold and then come back.

 

No SpoilersClick Here for Spoilers
 Ok.  Y’all have been warned. I know the final 5 cylons. They were all dead and they spend season 6 in purgatory. Terry is really Bruce’s son.  It was all a dream!

I expect everyone closely following the story since Gauntlgrym and/or anyone opposed to spoilers is now gone and if not, you have only yourself to blame. Click the above tab to see the spoilers.

Throughout the Neverwinter Saga, Drizzt’s monologues are often about his increased feelings of isolation and a sense that the world has become a different place, a place where he doesn’t—can’t—belong.  When left to his own devices, he always thinks back to the good times he spent with the friends that became his family; of Wulfgar, Breunor, Regis and Cattie-brie.  This constant nostalgia and reflection at the expense of the present is frustrating until you realize why it’s happening:

It is happening because this is Drizzts last adventure. Because he dies.

Is this the Death of Drizzt? 

There will be other Drizzt books about Drizzt’s friends and companions, but Drizzt will not be in them, because Drizzt no longer is.

Charons Claw CoverIs this a fake out?  I don’t think so.  Drizzt doesn’t die as the result of a stunt or a sacrifice. The whole book is a eulogy to his life and adventures. His actions in the second half of the book seem mostly about getting closure.  He distances himself from his companions and spends more and more time alone with his thoughts and memories  Meanwhile, his last acts are those of goodness—helping right the wrongs he’s seen in the world, showing his rough companions that there is another way to walk, and, of course, going home one final time.

Nothing lasts forever, and there comes a point for a character where he’s no longer capable of moving on from the tragedies that he’s faced.  You can see it at the end of David Tennant’s portrayal of the Doctor, and at the end of the Tir Alainn Trilogy by Anne Bishop. Sometimes a character is just done, and it’s time to say good-bye.

Such is the case with Drizzt.

Who killed Drizzt Do’urdin? Obviously someone had to strike the final blow (and I’m not telling you who), but I can’t help feeling that there was more at work in his demise.  Drizzt doesn’t feel at home in this time and place that is so changed from what he once knew.  And these changes were brought about primarily by 4th Edition.  Did 4th Edition kill Drizzt?  Not on purpose, I’m sure.  But I can’t shake the feeling it played a part.

Drizzt is more than just a character, he’s an icon.  A symbol. A constant.  Many people know him, not just from his novels, but from his presence in the Forgotten Realms play setting.  He has survived a quarter century, which is a long time to keep having new adventures, even for an elf.

I find myself thinking often of R.A Salvatore’s warning that no one is safe—even Drizzt. It’s not that I didn’t believe it, but knowing that Drizzt could one day die is not the same as realizing his death is imminent.  Though of course, it makes sense:  Aren’t Wulfgar, Cattie-Brie, Regis and Breunor already gone?  Doesn’t Drizzt want nothing more than to be with them?

I trust we’ll see more of his former companions, as they deal with his legacy and the start of their new lives.  Will there ever be another character, deserving or not, who uncovers Drizzt’s signature items: The figurine of Guynehar, Tamauril, and of course, Twinkle and Icing Death? Or will these things, like Drizzt himself, now pass into Forgotten Realms legend?   Will a new warrior rise to take Drizzt’s place?  It’s too early to say.  What we do know, is that Drizzt’s chapter if this story is now closed and it is time for a new one to open. As stated before you can pick the book up from Amazon here. The possibilities for this new chapter in the tale of Forgotten Realms is full of wide and wondrous possibilities, but it will always feel the absence of a certain drow.

Posted on by Ophelia Posted in Book Reviews

About Ophelia

Ophelia has been gaming since 2003 and writing for even longer. She has played a variety of systems but started with D&D 3.0. Her first experience as a tabletop gamer was in high school when, lacking money for dice, she and the other players had to roll by picking numbered strips of paper out of a cup. She works as a photo retoucher and hopes to one day publish a novel.

43 Responses to The Last Threshold Review

  1. Doug

    There may be one more book left with Drizzt.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Companions-Sundering-Book/dp/0786963719/ref=sr_1_sc_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1362611735&sr=8-3-spell&keywords=R.A.+salvatoer

    Description: This latest installment in New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore’s beloved fantasy saga, The Companions moves Salvatore’s signature hero Drizzt into a new era of the Forgotten Realms. As Drizzt’s fate hangs in the balance, he reflects on the lives of the trusted allies who stood by his side throughout his early life–the friends now known as the Companions of the Hall. Meanwhile, the first stirrings of the Sundering begin.

    • Ophelia

      Yeah. I’ve been wondering about that. Because when I read the end it seemed pretty clear to me. Do you think he’s making a goodbye appearance in the Sundering or is RA bringing him back for good?

  2. Doug

    Very hard to say. If I had to predict, then I believe that the next book will be the transition process of Drizzt’s death, and within all this we will get some exciting stories of the Heros of the Hall. In the end I see one of two things happening: 1) Drizzt dies and that’s the end of his tales. or 2) The Drizzt we know dies and he will be forever changed.

    The title, “The Sundering” is very interesting though, and I hope it is bigger than just Drizzt. Because in the end, I was hoping for the day when Drizzt’s path would eventually bring him face to face with Szass Tam.

    If Drizzt dies now, then so much has been left undone. If he survives, then there is still a place for him in the post Spellplague world. It would be very interesting to see a new transition with Drizzt as he adapts and adjusts to the world (from paladin-like qualities to good mercenary – kinda like a John Wayne character who has his own set of morals but doesn’t involve himself in others’ problems…problems just come to him). And Drizzt has many potential dangers riding in his wake).

    • Perseus

      I think what’s really awesome about the sundering is the fact that it’s going to be a series composed of multiple authors.

      Book 2 is up on Amazon too: http://www.amazon.com/The-Godborn-Sundering-Book-II/dp/0786963735/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1362696397&sr=8-4&keywords=the+sundering

    • Sean

      If Salvatore sticks to his timeline then Drizzt will definitely have a place in the post-Spellplague world. Going back to the prologue of ‘The Orc King: Transitions’ he is alive and by himself after the Spellplague and back in the Silver Marches. Bruenor is gone as well as everyone else and he references a whole group of events that happened after the Spellplague.

      Another issue that has me believe that their is still quite a bit of Drizzt’s tale to tell is that the question of which goddess favors him is never really answered so that still has to play out.

      • Matt G

        Actually, the prologue of “The Orc King” took place in 1472 DR (the novel itself started in 1372 DR, and the prologue was 100 years after that, thus 1472 DR), while the end to “The Last Threshold” took place in 1485 DR (or around there), meaning that the prologue took place during the 18 year sleep in Iruladoon, and can be assumed to have been ret-conned (not surprising, since the Sundering event had not been planned at the time “The Orc King” was written). The main point of this post is that the events of “The Last Threshold”, or at least the end of it, take place after the prologue to “The Orc King”, regardless of if it is still cannon or not.

        • Sean

          Well that is a bummer to the afternoon.

  3. Doug

    I was half hoping that it would all come collding like some Avengers movie…and why not? Successful…acceptable…and more…why not?

  4. Derek

    I’ve been reading Drizzt novels for the last 20 years (since I was 11). I don’t think he “dies” as we typically use the word. I think he is ascending to something greater.

  5. Patric

    Salvatore said in a few interviews that the first novel of the sundering takes place before the events of The Last Threshhold. It seems things did actually end for Drizzt.

  6. ainmhidh

    I just could not believe how worthless drizzt’s death seemed he did not die taking with him any of his great enemies he didn’t die saving his friends family or even a group of innocents he dies because his cheating girlfriend is crazy and cannot stand the fact that drizzt still loves his dead wife that showed him the way to free himself from his drow heritage it just doesn’t seem a fitting end to the great warrior to be killed in a meaningless fit of jealousy in a fight that took barely a few minutes and ends with a cheap shot

  7. Dustin

    It definitely ends with a mystery like most of the books! What is interesting is none of the companions could find him and he himself didn’t know how he got up the mountain AND Guen was there without him summoning her (though she is mysterious in her own way). I would be truly shocked if he were dead. Another odd character – the barbarian that was carrying Aegis-Fang (relative, son, grandson?) — the sleep they all had for eighteen years, Errtu was weak ending, odd indeed? I agree it was not a fitting end and the fact the end came from Dahlia is more of a horrible way for him to go. I’m excited to see where Sundering starts/ends. Lots of unfinished things in my opinion (Jaraxle and Artemis, Drizzt being watched by Drago and which god/goddess favors him maybe some Destiny/Prophecy?, etc) Lots of unanswered stories!

    • KG

      The Barbarian that carries Aegis-Fang is Wulfgars son or his son. There is a side book that tells a little tale of Wulfgars last day, he died just like Bruenor taking out a bunch of enemies. I think Drizzt dindn’t die but will come back being the chosen of one of the gods that is my hope. I think he ” died ” in too cheezy of a way.

  8. alex

    Effron is set up to be the new hero.

  9. David Phillips

    I was only this upset once before, after finishing the Ghost King. Although now, I see at least the demise of Cadderly served a purpose. I truly hope this isn’t the true end of Drizzt, there are so many new things left unresolved, too many I hope, that maybe Drizzt’s “ascension” is just one more protection by the Goddess, that there is something more. Draygo’s poem gives me hope too, I know I sound like I’m crying here, so perhaps I am, this is like our ancient friend Elminster dying, just cannot happen! There’s too much to be done! One last thought, then I will stop rambling, but hopefully book 1 of the Sundering being a “prequel” sets us up for an eventual return… dp

  10. Maximilliam von Strauss

    Is it possible Tiago could have developed a taste for heroism… seems like such a build up. He has fantastic weapons and appears to have a new city at his disposal and he never sees Drizzt again?
    I think we will see more of him.. maybe Jarlaxle can talk some sense into him next time!

  11. vortakai

    Spoilers but did anyone else read the spider queen saga, the up coming books are written by all the writers of that 6 book saga and I loved everyone of them. while I do agree this book is a transition into a new age I don’t think hes dead in the way you are all saying. His body is gone and this isn’t star wars so something is up. If you have read the spider queen saga then you know gods can die and a new body/character is needed to rebirth said god. Now why is Guen, why does he see and hear Cat, before the big “sleep” why did drizzt hear Mielikkis call and take them for that 18 year nap. My guess and how the book ended plus all the god talk something is shifting again after the plague and Mielikki by my guess is on her death bed. Now call me crazy but there are no many things left unanswered and Dirzzts ascendance seems a bit off if hes just dead and for all we know not the new embodiment of Mielikki. I could see Drizzt playing the role of a new god R.A is running a bit dry on Drizzt material why not have you iconic character become a god figure thus allowing him to fill roles on both up coming books and the neverwinter game. There are to many things pointing me in that directer what is Guen? The embodiment of the panther god? Who is part of Meilikki, thus not needing to be summon by Drizzt in her realm. In forgotten realms these gods are real on their plain so hes not all that out of the question that she would transport Drizzt there on his death bed for something more than just death, the pure embodiment of her ideals.

    • Sean

      I did read Spider Queen books and I’d agree with most of what you’ve said about them but there was one book, can’t remember if it was the third of fourth, that was SO poorly written that it almost made me stop reading the series altogether (I think it was Richard Baker). Glad I persevered through it, though, as it ended REALLY well. Excited to see how they’re going to take this new group and mold them to each author’s style, and really hoping that Valas Hune makes a return.

  12. vortakai

    wow really should of reread that before posting

  13. emsevas

    maybe guen was there because somehow she pulled him into the astral plane? this cant be the end of drizzt. these are really the only books i read besides robert jordan and the last book is out for WoT too. sad day if drizzt is really dead…i feel like ive lost a friend.

    • Matt G

      If you like RJ and RAS, then you would probably like Steven Erikson’s “Malazan Book of the Fallen” series; ten books, each ~1000 pages long, and masterfully written.
      While I will be sad if this is, in fact, the end of Drizzt, part of me will be happy, because the longer characters go, the less new material there is, and the staler the series gets. For me, the last amazing Drizzt book was the Orc King, because it still had the Companions of the Hall. For that reason, i am thinking that, regardless of his ultimate fate, this summers “The Companions” will be my last Drizzt book, or at least the last one I buy in hardcover. They are still good books, and “The Last Threshold” was the best of this series, easily, but without the camaraderie, it really lost something. Personally, I want another Jarlaxle book/series!

  14. Rick Sutkus

    Nah, one of the worst books Salvatore has written. The stories were disjointed, a lot of fluff, and most of the plotlines could have been eliminated and not affect the bad ending! Weak encounter with Ertuu, really? Setup to be an epic grudge match; lame conclusion! Built up on Pwent, 2 sentences later, it fizzles… If this is the quality of any new Drizzt books, I hope he stays “dead”. A time wrap? As Jarlaxle would say “Truly?”

    • Dustin

      Yep! That is what i thought about the stories to in the last book. Just seemed like when a TV Series all of a sudden gets cut and they have to cram everything into one episode to “answer” all of the questions that people have had for years. Oh well. I like the ideas so far. It would be a horrible ending for Drizzt imho. But agreed that they were running out of material. Hopefully The Companions will tell a better ending…or at least have some new things happen.

  15. Juergen Stegmair

    I am not sure Drizzt is gone completely! Otherwise, why the build-up of him being a chosen one of either Mielikki or Llolt – and him having a far greater significance than anybody knows? Why is Mielikke ‘torturing’ him with letting him be in the enchanted forest for over 18 years, and then ‘awaken’ him to give him a sense of closure?
    However – one thing is sure: if Drizzt can’t overcome his melancholy and come to grips with this long life-time span, he should be taken to the block. It would be sad statement, so, as so many other figures (fellow Drow, Elves etc) have long life-time spans like that, and are able to live with it.

    Will Artemis Entreri be his heir?

  16. Jason

    If he is dead, then senseless violence in the form of a broken female is truly to be how his great existence is extinguished? Truly?

    Wow…what a waste!

    • Ophelia

      It seemed like having him killed by a foe whom he refused to attack was a way for him to die without ever being truly bested. I thought his killer had grown past that particular quirk but they kept referencing it and in the end she went for it anyway.

  17. Chris M

    Ok wasn’t real happy with the ending, gotta say not what I expected from MR S but with so many things wide open it leaves plenty of room for him to possibly come back. As I saw in some comments, I would love to see Valas back in the some of the upcoming books. Also Jarlaxle make some major moves. Also would like to see the wizard in the spider queen series come back, the succubus after all got his finger. So many possibilities can be given including all the companions coming back .. who knows.

  18. Patrick

    So then what was the big deal about Drizzt keeping the elder Xorlarrin mage’s ring of elemental power if not to eventually provide protection from the balor’s immolation effect?

    Why does Drizzt NOT summon Guen after finding out that they’ve van Winkled away over a dozen years after being separated for so long prior to that point?

    The guy fights demons, devils, dragons, hordes of undead and mortal armies and breaks his shin in a fall … weak.

    I was pleasantly surprised when Amber turned tail and ran. It was refreshing to see what seemed like a non-neat ending and then BOOM Jarlaxle. I am a huge fan of Jarlaxle, Kimmuriel and Athrogate, but that whole rescue involving Gromph as well was a bit over the top and too easy.

    After the countless Drizzt books, I was looking forward to see how Mr S would end things, and I have to say at this point I’m quite disappointed.

  19. dallen

    There is one piece I can’t sort out. In the transitions isn’t there a short section in the first book of that series cover a small portion of the future that has Drizzt and Gwen in the woods fighting orc killers and then a recounting of old companions now lost. Is Drizzt falling into another sleep or hibernation? Or is this character come to a dramatic end?

  20. Disappointed

    Unfortunately, I think Drizzt did die. One of the the greatest fantasy hero’s of all time, killed be a cheating and jealous girl friend. I know he had to go at some point, but like this? Really?

  21. tomontherun

    he is not dead. he is in a state of transformation and will come back. i have to believe that

  22. NotDeadYet

    Come On. He’s not dead. And I submit the following in support of this arguement:

    a) RA just got doen building up Drizzt as a ‘chosen one’ and alluding to some big thing where the chosen ones of the gods were going to be key.
    b) The book ended in the ‘year of the awakend sleepers’. That sounds more like a beginning than an ending.
    c) None of Drizzt’s friends saw him die, except possibly Gwen who can’t talk.

    d) There are too many lose ends, like the ‘what happens to Wwen?’ issue hanging given that the statue was never passed on, and RA hates loose ends like that. Having the statue ‘fall into the wrong hands’ seems unlikely given that Drizzt just got doen rescuing Gwen. And never closing out the story of this new drow nemesis who was hunting Drizt?

    d) RA is known for not liking his characters to die. Most of his hey characters always seem to just ‘get taken away’ just before they die. Even Pwent comes back as a vampire and he’s really just a secondary character.

    Basically this is a setup for Catti-brie, Wulfgar, Regis, and Drizzt to ALL come back in a future book.

  23. Pioneer58

    I doubt he’s dead, like others have said way to many loose ends. And why write a whole book questioning if he’s chosen by a god just to kill him off? It doesn’t make sense. It’s possible he’s just been pulled to the realm of (can’t remember) like in te war of the spider queen. They traveled to Plane of Lloth. So we will see.

    Also, if you think about since the start of the Boone ill the end Salvatore made about 20 years pass by. Seems like a long time just for the sale of doing it. I’ve got a feeling it’s to line up with other forgotten realms books.

  24. Matt Fontaine

    He’s not dead. The book after the Companions has a description which has Drizzt in it. I didnt feel that The Last Threshold said he was dead for sure. He’s never dead unless there is a body. Go to Amazon or something and search for R A Salvatore books, it will give you an idea of what happens after The Companions..

    Which by the way I am reading right now and not to give anything away but it is AWESOME!!

  25. Matt Fontaine

    Oh also, if you do go search for the book that takes place after Companions, be warned, it has spoilers in it!!

  26. Matt. C

    Just got into the middle of The Last Threshold but I couldn’t help but look at the ending. But then I did some looking up of Salvatore’s next books. “The Companions” features Drizzt in some way. But after some more digging I found another book set to come out after that with Drizzt’s face plastered on the cover! I forget the name but if I find out I’ll definitely post it here.

  27. Kenneth Lamella

    Is Drizzt really dead?

  28. Kenneth Lamella

    It depends on how you pose the question. The old Drizzt is gone to be sure. He has moved on from the past. His entire past to be precise. Remember Regis when he was in Iruladoon? He was confused, yet he was at peace. Wulfgar was not in the Halls of Tempus and Bruenor was not in the Halls of Moradin. So where did they go? Why was Catti-brie singing the entire time? The book ends with it saying it was the Year of the Awakened Sleepers. That should tell you everything. :)

  29. Kenneth Lamella

    I am more worried about Guen lol! Drizzt’s last words were,”Do not forget me.” ?????? Was she left behind? Did she only visit from the Astral Plane? There is more to the ending than meets the eye. We will just have to wait and see I suppose.

    • Ophelia

      I was worried about that too. I think Guen is my favorite character. lol

  30. Kenneth Lamella

    Maybe Dahlia’s attacking Drizzt will finally set her free so she can move on with her life?

  31. Jason D

    You know, I’ve read every single book related to Drizzit. I cant believe that he would let this great warrior die like this! There is so much left undone! He never gets to battle Tiago Baerne, Which is the fight I truly wanted to see. But he dies at the hand of a cheating lady elf? Really made Drizzit look like such a punk! Okay, he stills love Cattie brie after 100 years, But Dahlia was fine & even offered him a no strings attached relationship. He turns down one of the finest elfs ever & he doesn’t have any commitment to her? & he doesn’t even go off on her or anything? Sometimes I cant understand Drizzit. Is he a man or a mouse? As powerful as he is, he lets this girl beat him? No way, Drizzit should’ve whipped her butt, Told Entreri off or something. He sat back & did nothing while his girl was sexing Entreri everyday for weeks! C’mon man? If Drizzit dies like this, then reading all his other books seem like a total waste of time. & Why bring Cattie Brie back? OKay, I mean have her come back & tell Drizzit to move on with his life & give her blessing so that he can move on, but leave it at that. Out of all the other characters that died Bruenor hurt the worst. But not Drizzit?! You cant have a Drow that could live for potentially 1000 years or more die this soon. I’m telling you that I’m done reading it if Drizzit dies! I love Drizzit. Even being with Dahlia would have taught him how to deal with things in this new world, but now thats gone. I liked them together. He never had a son or daughter that he could teach how to be a warrior. I would’ve read that to see how they fair compared to Drizzit. Even if Drizzit died after that it would hurt, but not as much as this stupid ending! I cant believe this! Dont let the baddest dude I have read about since Conan die like a complete punk!I was thoroughly disgusted with this ending & could’ve cared less if Cattie brie came back to talk to him, but Bruenor Battlehammer I would’ve yelled out loud! Anyway, dont kill my Homie man.

    • Ophelia

      I think it would have been interesting to see Drizzt become a parent as a way of coping with this new world he found himself in. How would Drizzt’s child interpret his values system, given the type of place the world had become? Plus you would avoid that whole “giving up because no one cares about me and I have nothing to live for” bit that Drizzt fell into during his capture. It’s really disheartening to see your hero and view point character just give up fighting like that.
      Plus, if Drizzt had to die to an enemy he refused to fight, it would be more heroic for him to sacrifice himself to save a town or his friends or something, so that his death had meaning.

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