by Mike Shea on 19 April 2004
I finished R.A Salvatore's The Highwayman last night. Here's the review I posted to Salvatore's message forum: ** Minor spoilers * The story shifts and turns taking bits and pieces from stories ranging from Gladiator to Spiderman. Some of it wrenches the heart and brings tears to the eye. It doesn't shy away from violence and the society it builds, though small, is brutal. The characters, some of which you grow very close to, are under the constant threat of aristocratic barbarism, where adultery is grounds for execution.
The story is a bit confusing at first. Aside from the first scene, which actually takes place 20 years into the story, you don't read of the actual Highwayman until about page 230. It is a long tale of the building of our hero. Other books might have summed up this tale as flashback or a forward, but the majority of Highwayman is the forging of a hero.Todd Lockwood's cover art is so eye-catching that I ordered a $42 print from Lockwood himself (I had to email him directly to get it). The hardcover book is solid and handsome. Not only is the book a pleasure to read, its a pleasure to carry around and to hold in your lap as the story unfolds.
Its a great book, one worth every penny of my $20 investment. I recommend it to any fantasy fan.
SFWA announced the Nebula Awards for 2003. I ordered The Speed of Dark in paperback and Coraline on unabridged CD.
King and Straub's unabridged Talisman plays off of my iPod these days and The Forever War sits on my nightstand. I wait with held breath for Songs of Suzannah and The Tower to be released.