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Book Review: ‘The Road to Neverwinter: A Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Prequel’

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Here’s your chance to get to know some of the characters from the upcoming movie Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. The Road to Neverwinter by Jaleigh Johnson shares the origin story of a group of thieves at the center of the film. First, they meet, then they try to pull off the heist of a lifetime. If they succeed they’ll be set for life. If they don’t, they probably won’t have lives to worry about.

[Note: While I am reviewing this novel independently and honestly, it should be noted that it has been provided to me by Random House Worlds for the purpose of this review. Warning: My review of The Road to Neverwinter contains some spoilers!]

An unlikely not-family comes together in The Road to Neverwinter

In the beginning, there was just Edgin and his infant daughter Kira. Recently widowed, Edgin was not adapting to single-fatherhood very well. On the verge of a mental collapse, Holga walks into his life and never walks back out. A giant of a woman, Holga quietly takes control of the baby situation and helps Edgin get his life together. The two find out that they are well suited to work together as thieves and so they begin a new life together, but not as a family Edgin insists.

Nine years after Edgin and Holga meet, the trio (yes, Kira is a thief now too) has become a well-oiled thieving machine. Then one night they meet Forge. Forge is a very talented con man who tries to take Edgin in a card game. However Edgin catches on to the con and the two begin to compete, trying to see who can out-hustle the other. It ends on friendly terms and a bromance is born. A gnoll raid interrupts the budding bromance, drawing Edgin, Holga, and Forge into an unplanned caper. They find they work well together and decide to keep each other in mind for future jobs.

On one of these future jobs, the group meets a half-elf wizard with a confidence problem, Simon. The group faces some very dangerous obstacles on the job and comes out on top. Simon shares a potential score that could leave them all set for life. After some debate, they decide to go for it, and adventure ensues.

Actually, a whole series of Honor Among Thieves adventures

Most origin stories consist of one big adventure that forges the hero(es) into their best possible version. But because of how this particular group comes together, we get multiple adventures to enjoy while they grow. Each time a member is added to this found family it’s because they’ve gone through a dangerous escapade and come out the other side, stronger and with a new member welded to the group.

The Road to Neverwinter Dungeons & Dragons honor among thieves

The nice thing about this (besides getting multiple exciting trials for our heroes) is that it’s more relatable. Most of us aren’t formed through just one event (I said most, shush!), but through many small events and interactions that ultimately mold us into who we are. I like how the family (NOT a family, according to Edgin) keeps growing and changing, just like a real family. The Road to Neverwinter is a fun and wholesome story, even if it is about a bunch of thieves.

A really fun group dynamic in this novel

There is a pretty large cast of characters in The Road to Neverwinter. We start with just two (well Kira’s a baby so it’s more like one), then add another, then another, then another, and one more for good measure by the time the main heist begins. But all the characters feel pretty well filled in (well, maybe not the very last one, but she’s not super important). And better than that, they all work together well.

There is the very platonic but obviously strong love between Holga and Edgin, the intense protectiveness between Edgin and Kira, and a motherly bond between Kira and Holga. There’s a bromance between Edgin and Forge, and brotherly affections between Kira, Forge, and Simon. Despite Edgin’s insistence that they’re not a family, they very much are one. A slightly dysfunctional one, but aren’t they all? 

This leads to some really fun interactions between the characters. There is a lot of good-natured ribbing and teasing. But it’s never mean. And they support each other completely. Edgin spends most of the book denying how he feels about his partners-in-crime. But the love is obvious through everyone’s actions and can’t be denied.

A great distraction as you wait for the movie

The really interesting thing about The Road to Neverwinter, and its companion book, The Druid’s Call, is that they are meant to be prequels for the upcoming Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves movie.

It’s not unusual for a successful movie to be expanded on in novels. And it’s downright common to have a book inspire a movie. But having a set of prequels come out before the movie has even been released is unusual. It does give fans the chance to become acquainted with the characters before they see the movie. And it will definitely enrich the viewing experience to have expansive backstories of the characters. 

Reading the books first makes the most sense to me. But if you see the movies first and want more adventures with a beloved character, then the books will be there waiting for you. It’s a really cool and novel idea to have these prequel character backstories released before the movies. I could really get into the idea of reading about characters before I see a movie. Especially when the stories are set in fantasy worlds where a little experience with the world and its rules could be helpful.

Fun with or without Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

The best part of The Road to Neverwinter is that it’s a great stand-alone story. If you choose not to read The Druid’s Call or see Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves you can still enjoy The Road to Neverwinter. The characters are fun and richly painted. The adventures are dangerous and exciting. Johnson crafts a thrilling and funny story that anyone can enjoy. I highly recommend reading The Road to Neverwinter soon.

My Rating: 9/10

The Road to Neverwinter: A Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Prequel by Jaleigh Johnson is available now . Are you interested in reading it? Let us know on Twitter or in The Cosmic Circus discord. And if you haven’t already, check out our review of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves!

Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

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Book Review: The Druid’s Call: A Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Prequel

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Luna Gauthier

I've always been a bookworm and fantasy is my favortie genre. I never imagined (okay, I imagined but I didn't think) that I could get those books sent to me for just my opinion. Now I am a very happy bookworm! @Lunagauthier19 on Twitter

Luna Gauthier has 213 posts and counting. See all posts by Luna Gauthier