by Mike Shea on 17 June 2003
I finished reading The Demon Awakens, the first of RA Salvatore's Demonwar series. I've been a R.A Salvatore fan since high school, reading The Icewind Dale Trilogy a few times including quite recently.
After finishing all fourteen of the Drizzt books up through Sea of Swords, I was unwilling to pay $20 for The Thousand Orcs in hardback so I picked up the first of his new series, The Demon Awakens.
Demon Awakens is a lot longer than his D&D based books. I know TSR and Wizards probably had quite a stranglehold on length. None of their books break 350 pages each. I find the quick nature of those books to be a lot of fun, especially for my short attention Tivo-rotted brain. Demon Awakens could probably have been cut down to about 450 pages without losing a lot of magic. it is a good book, and by the last 100 pages I was quite excited, but it took a long long time to get fired up over it. The characters didn't grab me as much as Drizzt, Wulfgyr, Cattie-Brae, and Bruinor did in the Icewind books. There were no villains quite as nasty as Errtu or Artemis Entreri. The length of the chapters, some up to 20 pages, doesn't give me enough breaks to pick it up every night and read. I find I had to stop mid-paragraph quite often, something I don't like doing.
I think my problem is that Demon Awakens is new and I haven't learned to like it quite as much. I've started the Demon Spirit as soon as I finished Awakens, and I like it a lot more. It's nice to have a book where character introduction is all but fully removed. It is nice to just start right into the story. It is nice to have main characters who have already grown up and cut their teeth. Now that I got through the first one, I have high hopes for the rest of the Demon War books.
Demon Spirit starts off right where Demon Awakens ended. There is very little historical rehashing, they almost jump right into the plotline. I've only covered about 50 pages of the 550 total, but so far its a good read.
I still look forward to the paperback version of The Thousand Orcs, due this June. While the Demonwar books are fun, they aren't as fun as Drizzt and his twin scimitars. I found out that the cover art for Thousand Orcs was done by an artist named Brom. I am looking for a print of the Orc artwork for my wall, but so far have been unsuccessful.