The Crystal Shard Review ~ Project Realms Reads

Am I behind on my own reading project? Yes.
Will I be devouring the next book to catch up now that work is slowing down? Hell yes.

My Star Rating System

1 ⭐Absolutely awful
2 ⭐Not great, could be worse
3 ⭐Neutral, not bad but not great either
4 ⭐Good but some issues that keep it from a full score
5 ⭐Amazing, perfect, or some of the best I’ve encountered

Title: The Crystal Shard
Author: R.A. Salvatore
Series: The Icewind Dale Trilogy #1, The Legend of Drizzt #4
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 333

Akar Kessel, a weak-willed apprentice mage sets in motion events leading to the rediscovery of the magical device, the Crystal Shard. But is it merely an inanimate device… or is it capable of directing the defeat of Ten-Towns?


Or have the barbarians already arranged for that themselves? Their brutal attack on the villages of Ten-Towns seals their fate, and that of the young barbarian Wulfgar. Left for dead, Wulfgar is rescued by the dwarf, Bruenor, in exchange for five years of service… and friendship. With the help of the dark elf, Drizzt, Bruenor reshapes Wulfgar into a warrior with both brawn and brains.

But is Wulfgar strong enough to reunite the barbarian tribes? Can an unorthodox dwarf and renegade dark elf persuade the people of Ten-Towns to put aside their petty differences in time to stave off the forces of the crystal shard?


I’m interested to see if a lot of these early trilogy’s all have a pretty major world ending big baddies in each installment. To me they feel like if they were a standalone it would totally work just as well.

Plot ⭐⭐⭐


This book takes place in Icewind Dale mostly though also in the Spine of the World, with backstory references to other locations. Where Darkwalker on Moonshae felt confined to just the specific area it took place in, this one feels like it’s one story in a wider world.

World Building ⭐⭐⭐⭐


The main characters were all fun to read, and Kessel was an easy to hate villain. Wulfgar’s growth was fun to follow and I’m hoping to see it continue in future books.

Characters ⭐⭐⭐⭐


This has a very lighthearted and fun adventure feel to it, even in the more tense moments. Like all the other books by Salvatore I’ve read he writes battle scenes wonderfully.

Writing Style ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Overall I really enjoyed this one, the best way to describe it is just fun. Feels like very classic sword and sorcery. I found I enjoyed it more than Darkwalker on Moonshae. Which seems to be a shared feeling among others in the Goodreads discussion.

Enjoyment ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Overall I really enjoyed this one, the best way to describe it is just fun. Feels like very classic sword and sorcery.

Overall Rating 3.8/5

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