Glaciers Edge, R.A. Salvatores' latest Drizzt novel, is now available as an exclusive excerpt

Glaciers Edge, R.A. Salvatores' latest Drizzt novel, is now available as an exclusive excerpt ...

Drizzt DoUrden, a popular drow from Dungeons & Dragons, is back in R.A. Salvatores' latest novel, Glaciers Edge. It follows the same story as Starlight Enclave in 2021, but with fan favorites Catti-brie, Jarlaxle, Artemis Entreri, and Zaknafein, they discover a drow society unlike anything previously discovered in the Forgotten Realms.

Online retailers and independent bookstores throughout the country sent the novel on August 9th, with signed copies available at Barnes & Noble.

They entered a vast expanse of taverns and brothels, some free-standing, others carved into stalagmites, and still others nothing more than fabric walls that barely shielded the movements within.

Dininae knew this place since he was called Dinin, at the time the Secondboy of House DoUrden. He had come here often to play, to gamble, and to fight anything that would break his existence as the lowest noble of Matron Malices court. At first, he assumed that the recent events would bring the situation to a halt, and that the battle with the demon hordes would not be successful.

The shelves were wellstocked, and racks of dirty glasses were stacked at the end of every bar.

Which meant that this was not a sign of impending decline. No, this day, this moment, the avenue was strangely empty.

He saw a few patrons and prospective customers, some leaning on the bars as if making a deal, and a couple pitching bones in a small alley between two stalagmites that constituted a single tavern. He looked for insignia and observed that these were not Menzoberranzan's downtrodden.

Despite seeing no house markings, he saw no emblems or crests.

And, by doing so, it became worse.

Are you at the ready? he whispered to his companion.

Evidently. You see it, too?

I have six children.

At least eight people.

Dininae responded, "Ah yes, my favorite number." Or, at least I was told from the moment of my birth.

Voselly told him, "take comfort in knowing that you have pals around." We need only hold our ground for a short period.

Unless they have friends nearby.

Voselly paused and half-turned, staring down at him. Dininae was about to scream something, but suddenly she spun about, bringing her trident across and angled downward with great force, slaining her back a sword stabbing. Voselly rolled her shoulders and launched a devastating right cross that hit her attacker's face.

Before he hit the ground, he was completely unconscious.

Dininae had observed every movement, the sweep, and the wonderful way Voselly had lowered her left shoulder back, basically slapping the right hand against her left shoulder, resulting in a massive punch.

He silently reminded himself never to enrage this woman, but for all the time he had to think about anything other than the fight, which now came at him quickly in the form of a pair of young men, or more pointedly, in a closing barrage of four waving and stabbing swords.

Dininaes swords appeared to just fall into his hands, just as Zaknafein had taught him, drawing and stabbing in a single move. The other one had not anticipated the sudden strike and caught Dininaes left-hand blade just below the tip of his breastplate.

Dininae would have completed him and nearly decapitated him, except that the other attacker was already countering with a backhand sweep with his blocking blade, forcing Dininae to fall back and turn fast to bring his left-hand blade slashing across to intercept.

One enemy stepped into the gaps and pressed forward fiercely, retaliating, forcing Dininae back on his heels, his two swords pounding fiercely to keep the four stabbing blades at bay.

He told himself quietly: "Work for the rhythm."

Litany of Zaknafeins.

Dininae was quite pleased with himself as he held his ground, anticipating each move, parrying, riposting, even, or avoiding with a simple twist. After all of those years as a drider, he was still living up to Voselly's expectations.

When he sensed something coming hard for his head from behind, his shock dispelled him from that rhythm and that confidence.

Reflexively, he just folded his legs under him and fell to his knees, tucking his chin as well as bracing himself.

The missile, which was actually another enemy drow warrior, went over him, falling over the two attackers, who tried to avoid killing their poor flailing companion in the collision.

Dininae sprang up and forward, stabbing the thrown drow first in the kidney, then fleeing over him, taking the lead, retreating the two attackers, and striking his hand in the back with his left hand stabs.

Dininae turned fully on the drow to the right, blades rolling now as if to completely overpower the fellow.

Except, no, because Dininae broke almost immediately, retaliating quickly to the left, where that drow was charging, evidently believing that Dininae was fully involved with the other. The attacker went in with an offensive stance, one blade too far forward.

Dininae scampered past the tip of that sword easily, and he raised his left arm high, raising his sword horizontally to steal the drows raised sword's thrust.

These were not rogues who lived in a house. They wore fine armor.

Dininae wielded Baenre swords, and with the momentum of both fighters bringing them fast together, that fine breastplate barely slowed Dininae's right-hand blade.

The drow slowed down, and started to oscillate strangely.

Dininae stepped back, dropping his left shoulder to send his free sword cutting out hard behind him to keep his opponent from falling, while his right foot climbed up to the impaled drows' chest and pushed off hard, sending Dininae out and into a roll, throwing the mortally-wounded attacker stumbling back and toppling over the first warrior Dininae had dispatched.

Dininae had his sword snapped up just in time to quell a handcrossbow feud.

He began to look around, noticing drow streaming into the street, and at first assuming an army had drafted against him and Voselly.

But no, the majority of them were Blaspheme warriors, the other former driders, he realized. He looked to Voselly.

Do you think they've been following us around? he asked.

She replied that I told you that I had friends.

Sie claimed that they were shadowing us.

The warrior shrugged. Perhaps I wanted to confirm that which was given to me and which I believed to be true.

Is it possible to fight?

Yes, and you may soon trust me to tell me the truth about Dininae. You are no commoner. You are not self-taught in the arts martial. You attended the Academy and were trained by a weapon master.

Another big drow woman walked up, another of the Blaspheme force who had spent millennia in the Abyss with Lolth and her other torturers.

Aleandra, what do you know? Voselly asked.

Your ambushers are fleeing.

Let's not make them feel sorry.

Yes, I have already given the order. But there is another, a priestess of House Hunzrin. She wishes to retrieve these enemies who have died, and to tend them so that they will not die.

Why does she care? Are these people the murderers of House Hunzrin?

No.

Then what?

She did not respond, but my guess is House Melarn, of course.

House Hunzrin is attempting to serve as a mediator in order to avoid a conflict, according to Voselly. She looked around at the five fallen ambushers, one of whom, skewered by Dininae, appeared to be in mortal danger.

Voselly requested that she come and heal that one. And do as she will with him. The others will come back to House Baenre. I would not overstep my authority here. Let the Matron Mother Baenre decide their fate.

Aleandra rushed away and began barking orders, while Voselly led Dininae back to where they were supposed to be.

As they departed, he said, it was my murder. You did not believe the disposition of the fallen warrior should be my choice?

No, she answered calmly. I was once the weapon master of the First House of Menzoberranzan. You are only a commoner, according to you. Is it that you want what you want?

Dininae sat down and let her go a few steps ahead of him, and remained still with hands on her hips until she turned back.

Do you mean to engage in the same games that influenced our shared fates in the past? he asked.

Your statements have consequences. When I can trust you, I will respect you.

You think I am a noble person because I am?

Because you will no longer be lying to me. Be careful not to misunderstand me, warrior. I am as apprehensive as you regarding our disposition in this conflict, and our future, if we even have one. We are Matron Mother Baenres shock soldiers, her fodder. She will throw us against her foes, no doubt, and will shed no tears when we are broken apart.

Dininae replied, admitting his deepest fear. Or Lolth will open her mouth and revert us to a state of abomination.

I have no clue what has crossed my mind. That's why I intend to unite the Blaspheme under my command. Here or back in the Abyss, we stand together or we will suffer torment and actual death only if we are fortunate. But I like people who tell me the truth, Dininae.

She spit his sobriquet like a spat.

He did not want to cross Voselly. He really wanted to cross Matron Mother Baenre. And, most importantly, he did not want to become a pawn in the plot of the Demon Queen of Spiders.

But in the end, he was a DoUrden, Elderboy Dinin DoUrden, and in this most confusing and dangerous period, he simply couldnt discern how this truth would play out.

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