8176883Third in the Transitions trilogy by R.A. Salvatore, this is one of the hardest books I have read. And I read it by July 6 2010.

This is the hardest book I have ever had to read. Here we say goodbye to the Companions of the Hall, possible for good.

Warning: Do not read if you’re a person who does not like “spoilers”

Everyone comes back for this one. All the Companions, Cadderly and his family, Jarlaxle and Athrogate, the only one missing is Artemis Entreri. They come together to face the danger of the Ghost King.

In the Cleric Quintet, Cadderly outsmarts and kills a red dragon, which leads Jarlaxle back to him in the Sellswords saga, to take the infamous Crystal Shard to Hephaestuas, a red dragon, and trick him into destroying it. A mind flayer joins the party, in an attempt to save the shard.

In the end of the Sellswords, the Crystal Shard is destroyed by the breath of the red wyrm, along with the mind flayer and the sight of Hephaestus. Or so we think, because in the beginning of the Ghost King, we find that the sentience of the Crystal Shard and the mind flayer fused with Hephaestus, turning him into a dracolich, the Ghost King, and giving him the ability to phase between the realm of the living and the dead.

Of course he is defeated, but not without casualty.

Cattie-Brie is touched by the Blue Fire after the death of Mystra, and when Regis tries to heal her with his pendant, she draws him into her dark prison, and takes him with her when Mielikki comes for her soul.

Cadderly sacrifices himself so that his soul is left walking the grounds of Spirit Soaring, defending it against undead for all eternity after the final battle with the Ghost King.

Jarlaxle and Athrogate stay in Mithril Hall, picking up the broken pieces of Drizz’t and Bruenor after the final deaths of Cattie-Brie and Regis.

The only complaint for this book is that Drizz’t seems to be finally broken. Understandable considering what he has lost, but after bouncing back after everything else that has been thrown at him in his relatively short life, it seems almost a shock that he has finally lost his heart.

All in all a beautiful, wonderful, heartbreaking end to a two decade long series. Goodbye dear friends. We will miss you.