Novel Review: Wizards of the Coast – Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf

Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf
Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf is an epic fantasy novel, published by Wizards of the Coast and written by R. A. Salvatore.
By Cape Rust

Learn more about Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf here
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The sky above the Sliver Marches has been magically darkened with cloud covered for months. The dwarves are besieged in their underground citadels. The people and elves above ground are surrounded by a host of orcs, goblins, Cloud Giants, dragons and drow. There is little hope in sight and as the winter comes to a close, the fear of all out attacks on the major cities of the Marches increases ten-fold. The only hope to resolve this situation is rag-tag group of heroes brought back from death and an alliance with a self-serving drow who is as untrustworthy as his hat is floppy. This ally’s unusual friends might create the tipping that is needed to stop the seemingly unending tide of enemies that threatens to wipe the Silver Marches off of the face of Toril.

​This for me was by far the best book in the Companions Codex. The problems I’ve had with this series are well documented. I was very worried that this series might be what caused me to stop reading Mr. Salvatore’s books. He isn’t out of the woods yet, but this book had me seeing greener pastures. All is not forgotten, but thanks to this installment, much is forgiven.

​Even treading through the familiar territory of a seemingly countless number of orcs and other enemies threatening the fragile alliance known as the Sliver Marches, again, there was still some room for interesting encounters and heroic moments. Once again our halfling friend was brought into the spotlight and he handled it well. Gone this time were the cliché scenes of him pining for his long lost love. There was a minor mention of it, but nothing more. Even if most of these changes were brought about by circumstances rather than an epiphany, they worked. While to some he will always be Rumblebelly, to me he is much more of the “Spider” he once was.

​Even the ever loathsome musings of Drizzt on the meaning of life and good vs. evil were moved to the back of the wagon and instead replaced with him actually doing the ranger and combat things that made him such an awesome character. Sure we want him to have feelings and yes we want him to develop, but we still want him to be a BAMF, and in this book it looks like he put back on his chainmail, small clothes and went to town. It was good to see him stretch his legs and do some really cool and interesting stuff, rather than being the almost emo dark elf he seemed to be slowly morphing into. I was very happy to see him actually get put in a few situations that flat out frightened him, with his long list of abilities and magical arsenal that becomes harder and harder to do and still make things feel “realistic”.

​If you haven’t figured it out, Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf is the break out book, the Return of the Jedi in this series. This is the book where many loose ends are tied up and there is tons of action. It was good to see everyone involved in this precarious situation actually employ tactics to break the sieges around them, rather than sitting there with their thumbs up their fourth point of contact. This is the book where everyone gets stuff done. Not surprisingly, a floppy hatted drow gets more face time this time around and this story just confirms what we all know; drow are dicks! If you have been battling with the Codex, this book should be a reminder of what made R.A. so great. You can’t really ignore the previous books or even forget about them, but this book goes a long way towards making you want to read essentially the same story that he has told again and again, one more time.

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