Hey, guys! I was lucky enough to get to ask R.A. Salvatore some questions about his career and upcoming book, The Last Threshold (the fourth and final book in the Neverwinter Saga). If you’re not familiar with his name, then you’re probably not a big enough nerd. ;) Salvatore wrote novels like The DemonWars Saga and many, many Forgotten Realms books (like this one), which refer to a campaign setting in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy tabletop-role-playing games. He’s also known for creating a megapopular character, the dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden.
Salvatore is a pretty cool dude! For that reason, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to interview him even though I’m not schooled in the lore. So I decided to ask him questions from a newcomer’s standpoint — that way people who aren’t familiar with the series can understand what makes it so huge.
Misprinted Pages: I’m new to this particular series. Can you talk a little about it’s about and describe the book that’s coming out on March 5?
R.A. Salvatore: That’s a little bit like telling you about my adult life, I fear. I’ve been writing this series since 1987 and have come to see it as my personal journey. If I can slice a bit of that off and narrow it to just the books of the Neverwinter Saga …
My Drizzt books are broken up into trilogies, quartets, quintets, etc., but really, it is one long-running tale about a rogue dark elf and the friends and enemies, and something in-between, [that] he makes along his winding road of adventure. [Editor’s note: See question #4 for more on Drizzt.] For this particular four-book set, starting with Gauntlgrym, I was asked if my next Drizzt adventures were going to be set anywhere near to the Sword Coast of the Forgotten Realms and the city of Neverwinter. When I said they were, Wizards of the Coast asked me if I would be interested in accomplishing a few things in the books to set up the region for the upcoming computer game by Cryptic Studios (now part of Perfect World). [ED: Salvatore does some video game work, like providing the story for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.]
We had a meeting, and they explained what they needed, and it sounded like it would be a lot of fun. I readily agreed because, with the Drizzt books, the meta-events are just the icing on the cake. The Drizzt books are about the characters, running about in a wild world. So to do what Wizards of the Coast and Cryptic wanted wasn’t going to change the “cake” itself; I knew the new emotional and spiritual journey through which I needed to send Drizzt and his companions after the brutal trials of the last set, aptly called Transitions.
This book, The Last Threshold, marks the end of that particular emotional and spiritual journey, a crossroads decided, where the choices are resolved and the consequences play out, sometimes brutally.