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Literature / The Cleric Quintet

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A cleric's quest.

The Cleric Quintet is a series of novels by R.A. Salvatore as a spin-off to The Legend of Drizzt in the Forgotten Realms, following the growth of Cadderly Bonaduce from childish young scribe to Chosen of Deneir.

Cadderly is a young cleric of Deneir with a curious inclination for a priest: he's agnostic. Teamed up with a pair of extremely odd dwarves named the Bouldershoulder Brothers as well as a beautiful bare-fisted monk named Danica. The group finds themselves defending Deneir's holy place against a variety of horrible monsters as well as plots against it by evil priesthoods.

Books in the series:

  • Canticle (1991)
  • In Sylvan Shadows (1992)
  • Night Masks (1992)
  • The Fallen Fortress (1993)
  • The Chaos Curse (1994)

The Cleric Quintet contains the following tropes:

  • Badass in Distress: The entire plot of the fifth book, where resident ass-kicker Danica is incapacitated and captured early on.
  • Bash Brothers: The trope might as well be called The Bouldershoulder Brothers.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Happens a few times. Cadderly engages in a battle of wills against Druzil, and later an epic Professor-X style knock-down drag-out with Ghost.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Dorigen gets possibly the most ridiculous inversion of this trope to ever appear in fiction: she's motivated to make a Heel–Face Turn after Cadderly takes her prisoner and then deliberately mangles her hands so she'll have extreme difficulty using magic anymore because for some reason this causes her to love Cadderly.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Ivan and Pikel are the Abbott and Costello of the series. They are also the most dangerous fighters besides Danica. On the villains' side, Druzil is rather hard to take seriously, though he is behind everything bad that happens in the series.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Bogo Rath. Even his name is trying too hard.
  • Came Back Wrong: Ghost is so unpleasant to be around that Druzil doesn't even like dealing with him. Druzil is a demon from the Abyss.
  • Calling Your Attacks: If Cadderly points his fist at you and screams "Fete," prepare to have your face melt off.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Everyone refers to Pikel's massive signature club as "his tree."
  • Cast From Hitpoints: Cadderly's construction of Soaring Spirit drains away the years of his life and ages him.
  • The Chosen One: In the Forgotten Realms, several gods have "Chosen" servants that they imbue with special powers. As the series progresses, Cadderly becomes this for Deneir.
  • Cultural Rebel: Pikel, a dwarf obsessed with becoming a druid. This was culturally unthinkable for a dwarf in-Verse, and impossible under the D&D game rules at the time of publication.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Druzil, Aballister's imp familiar. Danica has shades of this. Dorigen defines it.
  • Dean Bitterman: Dean Thobicus is an extremely non-comedic example. Notably, he abandons his worship of Deneir once it's clear that Cadderly has Deneir's favor, and willingly joins with Rufo to keep the power he's accustomed to.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Barjin acts as this, and his death reveals the greater enemy and ultimate Big Bad.
  • Deus Exit Machina: By the end of the fourth book, Cadderly and his companions have defeated the Big Bad, an extremely powerful wizard, his subordinates and his army. At full strength, he and his friends would have crushed Rufo and his half turned subordinates. So naturally Vander leaves to go home, Druzil corrupts the Library (limiting Cadderly's cleric powers) and Cadderly splits the party to arrive a few days after each other.
  • Dragon Tamer: Cadderly at one point manages to use a spell to brainwash a dragon into his service.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Only Rufo, and it's even debatable if he was ever a Face.
  • Foreshadowing: Cadderly's decision at the end to work himself into an early grave invoking Deneir's power to magically build a cathedral is hinted at all along, though subtly. He shows his idea for a flying buttress to the dwarf brothers in book one, is told he'll die young by Elbereth in book two, is warned that exceeding one's magical limits can exhaust a spell-caster's life force in book three, and is stalked by an undead being that magically ages its victims in book four. Granted, Elbereth was talking about how humans die young by elf standards, and Belisarius was talking about wizard magic, but it's amazing someone as insightful as Cadderly didn't figure out what was coming sooner than he did.
  • From Bad to Worse: In the fourth book, the heroes finally defeat evil sorcerer Aballister and destroy Castle Trinity and the evil forces that have been behind the entire series. Time to head back home to the good 'ole Edificant Library and Oh, Crap! Rufo has consumed the Chaos Curse, become a vampire, killed Dorigen, captured Danica, and turned the entire staff into murderous monsters. Druzil has also defiled the Library so divine magic is almost impossible to cast inside of it, where Rufo has set up his den of vampires.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Ghastly wounds pop up a lot more often after Cadderly learns to heal people. It goes up to eleven when the group gets the Ring of Regeneration.
  • Grand Theft Me: Ghost's favorite trick is to swap bodies with his victims before killing them.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Many. If you're a villain, you die or this happens to you. No exceptions.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Cadderly. Witness his Spindle Disks/yo-yo weapon and blowgun cane.
  • Interrogating the Dead: As Cadderly gains levels, he is able to do this. He starts using it as a threat to make still-living people give up the goods.
  • Large Ham: Barjin in the first book. Rufo becomes one of these with obvious glee after becoming a vampire.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Aballister Bonaduce.
  • Madonna-Whore Complex: The books comes uncomfortably close to this with the contrast between Histra, the shallow, self-absorbed Femme Fatale priestess of Sune (nevermind that Sune is a chaotic good goddess and would frown upon the tactics Histra uses) and Danica, Action Girl monk who has Single-Target Sexuality for Cadderly (and loves him for his heart, not his looks) and is mostly unaware of and doesn't use her charms on men.
    • However, Danica is the one to seduce Cadderly and Dorigen averts this entirely being willing to use sex and beauty as a weapon but is not unsympathetic.
  • Mark of Shame: Kierkan Rufo gets one burned into his forehead by Cadderly after betraying the group and indirectly killing Headmaster Avery.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Headmaster Avery and Headmistress Pertelope
  • Must Be Invited: Thobicus allows Rufo into the Library to override Cadderly's mark right at the time he starts dying (and thus when he is starting to transform into a vampire). This gives him free reign over the library.
  • Never My Fault: Rufo's fatal flaw. Every single time Rufo makes a mistake, he refuses to acknowledge what he did and doubles down, digging himself into a deeper and deeper hole.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Cadderly does a lot of things over the course of the novels that would normally be considered evil acts (threatening to torture people, actually torturing people, permanently crippling people who'd surrendered to him) and is never called on nor suffers any repercussions for any of them.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Played straight to the point of parody with Ivan Bouldershoulder, and completely averted with his brother Pikel.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Dorigen sacrifices herself to try to give Danica time to escape. Danica ends up captured anyway but her actions redeem her in the eyes of Deneir and Cadderly guides her to paradise.
  • Religion of Evil: Aballister and his minions worship Talona, the evil goddess of poison and disease.
  • Screw You, Elves!!: Ivan's entire dialogue whenever ANY elf is around, though it's mostly bluster.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: The druids in the first book suffer this under the effects of the Chaos Curse, getting stuck in the form of their spirit animal. Newander is actually upset that he's still a human.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Inverted. Ghost gets angry whenever anyone calls him "the ghost". Ironically, he ends up turning into an actual ghost when he dies, because his soul was bound the the Ghearufu.
  • Start of Darkness: The first three books are Kierkan Rufo's
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Dorigen develops feelings for Cadderly and makes a Heel–Face Turn after he captures her, breaks her fingers, and deliberately heals them wrong to cripple her hands in order to destroy her ability to use magic. Yeah.
  • The Dragon: Aballister has a new one in practically each book, including Barjin, Dorigen, Bogo, and Ghost. In the third book, Vander acts as Ghost's Dragon and Noble Top Enforcer before his Heel–Face Turn
  • The Silent Bob: Pikel, sort of. He does occasionally talk, but it is always gibberish.
  • The Vamp: Histra who actually becomes a vampire.
  • Villainous Crush: Rufo has one on Danica.
  • Warrior Monk: Danica