Dungeons & Dragons is a
franchise that needs little introduction. Initially, it was a fantasy tabletop
role-playing game (RPG) back in the early ‘80s with an extended mythology that
spans across books/novels, video games, a 1980s Saturday morning cartoon, three
crappy (for the most part) live-action movies, and a new one that looks pretty
damn good coming out on March 31st, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves starring Chris Pine and
- Honor Among Thieves: The Road to Neverwinter serves as
a prequel to the afore-mentioned upcoming movie. It’s written by Jaleigh
Johnson and was published on February 28th, 2023 in hardback, on Kindle,
and audiobook on Audible. The audiobook is narrated by Fred Berman. Here is the
book’s official synopsis: “Discover the
thrilling origin stories of the bard Edgin, the barbarian Holga, and their
whole adventuring party in this official prequel to Dungeons & Dragons:
Honor Among Thieves.
Darvis’ life is a mess. All that he has left are his lute, his dashing good
looks, and... not much else. After a chance encounter with badass bruiser
Holga, Edgin is forced to take a hard look at his bad choices. But the road to
redemption is long, and paved with unforeseen expenses. Fortunately, the world
is full of rich fools begging to be parted from their money.
so Edgin and Holga do what any sensible entrepreneurs would do—they form a
by a charming rogue, Forge Fitzwilliam, and Simon, a sorcerer with an intense
inferiority complex, the team sets out to line their pockets with both
well-earned and ill-gotten gold. Together, Edgin’s crew battles monsters across
the realms: gnoll raiders, fey witches, and more fall beneath their sharp
weapons and sharper wit. But when they encounter a new, more sophisticated
villain, keen blades and piercing blue eyes may not be enough.
target? Torlinn Shrake, a wealthy eccentric known for abusing his servants and
hosting lavish parties.
plan? Play dress-up, sneak into the Shrake estate, and fill their pockets with
as much loot as they can carry.
catch? Shrake is hiding a terrible secret: one that could endanger the lives of
everyone Edgin has come to care for—even if the loot is too good to pass up.”
This was my first real foray into
a D&D adventure. I’ve never played the game, only watched a handful of episodes
of the cartoon as a kid, and saw the atrocious 2000 film once back when it was
released. I’ve been meaning to read some of the books, especially the classic
four books in the Dragonlance Chronicles starting with Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman from
1984. I know they have a new series of novels out, Dragons of Deceit, that started last summer, with Book 2 scheduled
for this summer. Anyhow, for my introduction to D&D, The Road to Neverwinter was a perfect starting point.
As I said, since I’m not that familiar
with D&D, I can’t compare it with the 90 plus books already published, but
it strikes me as slightly different than those judging by the book covers
alone. For one, this book is definitely light fare with a cast of characters
that are less seasoned in their respective craft than what I was expecting, but
it made it fun to tag along with them in their sometimes-quirky adventures. The
fact that this is a prequel to a film also made it easier to put a name on a
face—you just have to go on IMDb and look at which actor plays which character
and you’ve got the cast fleshed out in your mind. Watch the movie trailer and
you get even more insight, so it made for a cool experience, like reading an established
franchise with beloved characters like Star Trek or Star Wars for instance.
We follow the group of companions
on a couple of adventures before they embark on their main quest, a daring
heist: Edgin is a thief with his young daughter Kyra, Holga the barbarian is
the muscle of the group, Forge has charm as a con artist, and Simon is an
amateur sorcerer. The story moves at brisk pace, it’s full of humour, and each
of the players are developed enough that we care what happens to them. Fred
Berman does a terrific job narrating the tale and uses different accents for
the various individuals involved. I last heard him as a narrator doing Vince
Neil’s part in the Mötley Crüe audiobook bio The Dirt, so this was a nice change of pace for him. While we’re on
the subject of other audiobooks, there’s one more D&D: Honor Among Thieves movie tie-in book/audiobook titled The Druid's Call written by E.K.
Johnston that was released on the same day which focuses on Doric, a character that
wasn’t featured in this story. That book is aimed more towards a teen/young
adult audience but it’s worth mentioning for D&D fans out there.
- Honor Among Thieves: The Road to Neverwinter is a lot
of fun and does most things right. Will it please hardcore D&D
fans/readers? I’m not well-versed enough in the D&D realm to be able to
give an opinion, but as far as Fantasy/Sword & Sorcery in general is
concerned, it was quite an enjoyable read/listen. As far as movie prequels go,
this hit the spot for me and I’m now eagerly anticipating the movie at the end
of March. It’ll feel like going to visit some old friends. So, if you’re
planning on catching the movie soon, you should get a kick out of this audiobook.
stars out of five
Get your copy on Audible