4 stars out of 5
The Cleric Quintet by R. A. Salvatore consists of five books in the series. Caderly’s journey begins with Canticle and finds life is not as innocent as him. In Sylvan Shadows, Caderly seeks to understand his enemies and is directly targeted in Night Masks as his meddling is noticed. Caderly fights back in The Fallen Fortress but discovers a final enemy in The Chaos Curse that changes him forever.
Individually, these books do constitute as stories by themselves, but you really need to read all of them to see Caderly’s entire character arc. I only rate these books with four stars because only some of the stories are all that interesting. Much of the plot is typical and expected of this kind of adventure story with elves and dwarves. But Cadderly makes up for the mundane fantasy plotline with an evolving maturity. He gains power as he goes and is constantly questioning his place in the world. His discovery and character arc are the best part of this story.
Salvatore does know how to make a great main character. Even if he does write too many personal monologues. If Salvatore had spent a bit more time delving into the other characters’ minds, who are uniquely interesting themselves, perhaps I would have given the books one more star.
The In-Between Parts
I like the middle book best and Salvatore’s in between scenes are more interesting to me than the main conflicts. I like exploring the world’s magic and cultures and Caderly’s interactions with everyone as the journey progresses feels more real than the over the top battles. Over the top because they are over-explained. Yes, the middle is my favorite as the beginning is slow and immature. But then the end is too harsh on Dancia in my opinion. And I almost like her more than Cadderly.
So please do read these books. They aren’t perfect but they are definitely great adventure stories, especially if you like D&D style books. It is great to find a main character who follows the path of a cleric rather than the wizard or fighter for once.
The Cleric Quintet Books
Aballister has spent years creating the chaos curse and is finally released on the unsuspecting Edificant Library where Caderly resides.
2. In Sylvan Shadows
Seeking to understand the purpose behind the chaos curse attack, Caderly travels to Sylvanas and finds the elves in a seemingly hopeless war.
3. Night Masks
Caderly is striving to understand his fledgling magics and becomes a target of a group of highly-skilled assassins known to Dancia.
4. The Fallen Fortress
Caderly takes the fight to Castle Trinity and seeks to end those causing him so much trouble but finds his enemy is not who he thought.
5. The Chaos Curse
Believing their troubles are over Caderly and his companions return home to find the Edificant Library now ruled by unnatural enemies.