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The Demon Awakens, Part 3: The Demon Wars
R.A. Salvatore
Multi-cast production, adaptation
GraphicAudio, 6 hours

The Demon Awakens, Part 3: 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, Part 2
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 comes to a close in part three of the first book of the high fantasy saga, The Demon Wars. The demon, Dactyl, has awakened and puts together an army to destroy the land of Corona. When the army begins invading the towns and villages of Corona, the people's first reaction is to ignore the oncoming disaster. However, the humans slowly overcome their denial and, under the tutelage of Elbryan, Pony, Avelyn and Bradwarden, begin to fight back. 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 GraphicAudio, 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.

Once the villagers and townsfolk experience for themselves the devastation brought on by armies of goblins, powries and giants, they realize the warnings about evil returning to their land are true. Elbryan, the Ranger; Pony, the warrior; Avelyn, the Wizard; and Bradwarden, the centaur, train some of the remaining humans about how to fight back against these awful foes. Once the humans are able to fend for themselves, the trainers prepare to begin their own quest and leave for the Demon Dactyl's lair in Mount Aida to defeat Bestesbulzibar, the Dactyl himself.

This audiobook is filled with numerous battle scenes and skirmishes and, once again, GraphicAudio has produced the "Movie in your Mind" with such talent and ambiance that the actual battles become more than real in this listening experience. Not to give anything away, but when the heroes arrive at Mount Aida, the volcano in the mountain and all the creatures defending the Demon Dactyl's throne come alive. The listener can easily become lost in this epic battle. GraphicAudio not only provides great voice talent, but the sound effects and ambient music are a bit of wizardry in themselves.

The centaur, Bradwarden, is definitely my favorite character. Not only is he strong, smart and musically inclined with the bagpipes, but he also has a wit that helps develop camaraderie within the small band of heroes and he brings humor to the story. But Bradwarden is not all fun and games -- did I mention that he sometimes eats his victims?

R.A. Salvatore has taken the traditional epic fantasy genre and added some nice bonuses. For example, the wizards in this realm are monks and this provides a different slant to the art of wizardry within this kingdom. The monks use a variety of gems, crystals and stones to perform their magic, with each stone having its own type of power. The author is very creative with his development of this stone magic, making the power assigned to each stone seem almost obvious, yet ingenious, at the same time. This audiobook should be in the collection of any self-respecting fantasy fan, especially those who love great adventure.

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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