The Road to Neverwinter
By Jaleigh Johnson
- The Road to Neverwinter
Author: Jaleigh Johnson
- Series: Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
Publisher: Del Rey
- ISBN: 9781529911374
- Published: February 2023
- Pages: 288
- Format reviewed: Hardback
- Review date: 05/09/2023
- Language: English
- The Road to Neverwinter
- The Druid's Call
The tie in novel can have a bad press, a book churned out to steal some of the glory from a popular TV show or film, but I have a soft spot for them. When done well they can expand the universe; tie in novels for the likes of Star Trek, Doctor Who, Star Wars (twice) and many others have given fans countless more adventures with the characters they love, free from the limitations of budget. At their absolute best, a book based on an IP can be the perfect companion capturing the tone of the original and filling in the gaps. D&D: Honor Among Thieves: The Road to Neverwinter by Jaleigh Johnson gets it about perfect.
Before Edgin could form his exceptional band of thieves, they first had to meet. Edgin had already met Holga, but without the likes of conman Forge and the insecure sorcerer Simon, he would not have the balanced group to take on the big heists. This is the tale about how these characters met and undertook their first big job; to steal a magic sceptre from a powerful magician, but this is not just any magician, or even the magician they thought it was. The crew are in hot water again.
Honor was a fast and fun film that really appealed to me as a fan of fantasy. It was true to D&D without being restricted. However, what it had in pace, it lacked a little in depth. The quest was a series of set pieces and a little characterisation between these fun parts. Road is the perfect book as it fills part of one of the large gaps in the film, namely Edgin and Holga bringing up Kira and the forming of the band of funny thieves. This book covers their formation and first couple of jobs, including a big one that does not go as planned.
Capturing the tone of the original is paramount to any tie in novel and I have rarely seen it done so well. Johnson must have studied the script and I imagine workshopped with the filmmakers. The relationships and tone of all the characters are right. The significant thing is that we are given more time to enjoy them. The family unit of Edgin, Holga and Kira is given more depth. You get to witness a foreshadowing of the relationship between Forge and Kira, and the start of Simon’s strength. If you felt that there were a few shortcuts with the character development in the film, this book fills the gaps.
Even if you are not a of relationship drama, you will enjoy the interactions here as they are heartfelt and funny. There are many amusing moments to chuckle about. Those that watched and enjoyed the film for the action set pieces are also well catered for. Once again Johnson captures the chaotic and fun nature of the battles from the film. A band of thieves working to get the loot, but also looking after one another.
I would go as far to say that for any fan of the film version of Honor Among Thieves should read this book as it has more of everything they would have loved. More humour, more action, more entertainment. You can even argue that it goes further with a deeper look at the characters. The book informs the film, making your next viewing altered. This is the highest recommendation any tie in novel can have, to not just stand aside from the original IP, but beside it. Both film and book come together as a great duo.
Written on 5th September 2023 by Sam Tyler .