The Hunter's Blades Trilogy

You may not know this about me, but I have a tendency to speak before I truly know what I'm talking about. Going all the way back to this big Stryper incident between me and my friend Ross back in high school, I have a history of criticizing something, then having to come back and say "My bad," when I find out I didn't have a clue.

For instance, in my review of Morevi, I rant about characters living in medieval England using the words "pistols" and "bullets" instead of "muskets" and "musket balls." Well, turns out I should have done some research before blabbing away like that, as I later found out (with Tee's help) than muskets and pistols are two different things.

Which brings me to The Hunter's Blades Trilogy. After reading the first twenty pages of The Thousand Orcs I thought, "Is this a joke? Dwarves, Elves, Giants? Orcs, for chrissakes? If Tolkein were alive today, he'd clean up in the lawsuit."

I bitched to Evo. I bitched to Tee. I couldn't believe I was even considering reading these books. If I wanted elves and dwarves, I still had Return of the King to read. But c'mon, I thought, it's R. A. Salvatore, and The Thousand Orcs made the New York Times best-seller list. So I trudged on.

By page fifty, I was still reading. By page one hundred? well, you know, I really should learn to keep my mouth shut.

The Thousand Orcs, The Hunter's Blades Trilogy - Book I

Gandalug Battlehammer, the First King and Ninth King of Mithral Hall, has died. Bruenor Battlehammer and his clan must return to Mithral Hall so he can take his rightful place as King of the Dwarves, whether he wants to or not.

Along with his band of five thousand Dwarf warriors, Bruenor's closest companions accompany him: Regis the Halfling, Wulfgar the Barbarian, Catti-Brie, Bruenor's human adopted-daughter, and Drizzt Do'Urden. Drizzt the deadly. Drizzt the loved. Drizzt the reviled. Drizzt the dark Drow Elf.

As they travel home, the convoy encounters Orc raiders in larger and larger numbers. Obould, the King of the Orcs, as allied himself with Gerti, Queen of the Giants. Soon, open war is declared on the lands of the Dwarves.

Held up in the town of Shallows, the Orcs and Giants battle the horribly outnumbered Dwarves. Drizzt watches from within enemy territory as the city and his beloved king fall in battle. Now he is the only one left between Mithral Hall and the thousand Orcs.

How much does this book rock? About as much as my description of it sucks. Seriously, the book far outshines my synopsis.

Like most good fantasy, this is a dense book, filled with great characters and intricate plotting. Every individual character, like little pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, moves around and joins together with others, creating an intricate final picture. No characters are wasted. If any of them would have been omitted, the book would have had to end differently. Authors should take lessons on weaving a plot together this well.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Lone Drow - The Hunter's Blades Trilogy - Book II

You didn't really think that Bruenor and all the dwarves died did you? Due to some from some unlikely allies, the dwarves escape the Shallows and make their way back to the king's palace. And the battle for Helm's Dee? I mean, Mithral Hall, begins.

This second installment in the trilogy is essentially entails one LONG battle between the Dwarves and Orcs at Mithral Hall, intercut with the story of the now deeply despondent Drizzt, who has become a one Drow army, attacking the Orcs from the rear. His sole goal in life is to destroy Obould, who the dark elf believes has killed all of his friends. Unfortunately the Orc king, through magic, sacrifices, and a new impenetrable armor, has become a god. Go figure.

This is definitely a "middle book," the action has increased, and the stage is definitely set for the final book.

Rating 3.9 out of 5
(I couldn't give it a four, it wasn't quite as good as the first installment, but it was close.)

These are the first books by R. A. Salvatore that I've read. Now I know why he is a best seller. These books are not profound. They are not really awe-inspiring, even given the scope of the story. Aside from some journal entries by Drizzt, there is very little that is "deep" in these books.

But, they are a hell of a lot of fun to read, and surprisingly well written. I'm thinking I may have to check and see if he could indeed have written a good book based on Star Wars: Episode II.

The Hunter's Blades Trilogy, a trilogy by R. A. Salvatore
Published by: Wizards of the Coast
Genre: Fantasy
Author's Webpage:

The Thousand Orcs
Published on: July 2003
Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 0786929804
Buy This Book

The Lone Drow
Published on: October 2003
ISBN: 0786930128
Buy This Book

The Two Swords
Coming: October 2004

About Joe Murphy

Joe Murphy succumbed to leiomyosarcoma on April 1, 2007. The irony of this is not lost on any who knew him and laughed with him. He was the first “official” book reviewer for The Dragon Page Radio Talk Show, and after moving to Arizona, he became a frequent contributor to Cover to Cover, Wingin’ It, Slice of SciFi and co-host of Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas.

He will be missed.

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