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The Demon Awakens, Part 2: The Demon Wars
R.A. Salvatore
Multi-cast production, adaptation
GraphicAudio, 6 hours

The Demon Awakens, Part 2: The Demon Wars
R.A. Salvatore
R.A. Salvatore, a lifelong resident of Massachusetts, has some two dozen books to his credit. His first book was published in 1988. The Crystal Shard came from TSR, a Forgotten Realms title. Two years later, with his first novel and its sequel sold to Penguin, he quit his day job. When not writing, Salvatore spends time speaking to high schools and library groups, encouraging people, especially kids, to read.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Demon Awakens
SF Site Review: The Lone Drow
SF Site Review: Exile
SF Site Review: Homeland
SF Site Review: The Highwayman
SF Site Review: The Demon Spirit
SF Site Review: The Demon Awakens

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Gil T. Wilson

The beginning of a new era continues in part two of the high fantasy saga, The Demon Wars. The demon Dactyl has awakened and has put together an army to destroy the land of Corona. R.A. Salvatore has created a story that runs through seven books and is the basis of the role-playing game, Demon Wars. Now teamed up with Graphic Audio, these books come to life as an audio adaptation. In order to do justice to the books, GraphicAudio is producing each title of the series in multiple parts. This is the second of three parts which make up the first title, The Demon Awakens.

Once again, GraphicAudio delivers a great production that creates a "Movie in your Mind," The story is superbly told by a well-cast group of 22 narrators. The production includes original incidental music and realistic sound effects, which makes the telling of the story even more interesting.

In part one of this series, the listener was introduced to Elbryan, Jilsesponie (Pony) and Avelyn Desbris. Elbryan and Jilsesponie are the only survivors of the goblin raid on their village of Dundalis, and Avelyn Desbris is a monk that has lost faith, not in God, but in religion.

Elbryan was taken in by elves and trained to become a ranger and protect the region from danger. During this training, Elbryan learns to fight and how to find his spirit guide. After years of conditioning his body and mind, the elves tell him it is time to leave them. Elbryan finds himself back in his hometown of Dundalis, built on the ruins of his childhood village, and is befriended by a bag-pipe playing, wise-cracking Centaur.

Pony has had a hard life thrust upon her, mainly due to her inability to remember who she is or where she came from. She does finally remember her name and eventually becomes a soldier set to guard the region. Her fellow soldiers do not take their responsibilities seriously, but Pony is diligent and becomes the only one aware of an imminent attack by vicious dwarves known as Red Caps (given their nickname due to their ritual of dipping their caps into the blood of their slain enemies).

On another front, Avelyn has lost faith in the Abellican Church after returning from gathering magic stones. Gems and stones hold power in the land of Corona and the Abbey's monks are the only ones able to gather the stones dropped from heaven. But when the monks commit an atrocity after their return to the Abbey, Avelyn takes the gathered stones and leaves the Abellican Church forever -- becoming a fugitive in the process.

Through a vision, Avelyn discovers the Dactyl has awakened and will soon destroy the land of Corona. He then takes it as his mission to warn all the villagers he can by going to village pubs and preaching the end of the world. Unfortunately, his sermons always end in bar brawls, which Avelyn calls "readiness training" because the villagers all learn to fight. Being thrown out of one particular pub results in a series of events that will eventually bring the intrepid trio of Avelyn, Elbryan and Pony together while evil looms on the horizon. As this book winds up in preparation for the final installment of the first title, it offers a production that has it all -- danger, excitement, battles, and fun.

Copyright © 2009 Gil T. Wilson

Gil T. has spent a quarter of a century working in radio and has lots of spare time on his hands and reading or listening to books takes up all that time. Check out his blog to find out what he's up to at any given moment.

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