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Literature / The Hunter's Blades Trilogy

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Cover of The Lone Drow
The Hunter's Blades Trilogy is a trilogy written by science fiction and fantasy author R.A. Salvatore. The books are part of the The Legend of Drizzt saga, following the adventures of Drizzt Do'Urden. It is preceeded by the Paths of Darkness series and followed by Transitions.
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The books in the series are:

  • The Thousand Orcs (2002)
  • The Lone Drow (2003)
  • The Two Swords (2004)

The Two Swords was Salvatore's 17th work concerning one of his most famous characters, Drizzt Do'Urden. In this series, Drizzt takes a stand to stop the spread of chaos and war by an overambitious orc king across Drizzt's adopted homeland. The series reached the New York Times bestseller list.

Returning from their latest journey, Drizzt and the Companions of the Hall are sought out by a curious dwarf named Thibbledorf Pwent, who informs them that the last king of Mithral Hall has died. Bruenor, being the next in line, now has to serve as King. And it seems that his reign will begin with a time of crisis: A powerful orc named Obould Many-Arrows has allied himself with a frost giant princess and plans to establish a kingdom of orcs right to the north of the Silver Marches. Obould is an extraordinary fighter and unusually intelligent for his race, and has allied himself with four drow advisors who do their level best to stoke the fires.

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This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Aesop: Evil hostile cultures can integrate with a larger whole if given a chance to do so.
    • Broken Aesop: Even if that requires ignoring the large amount of murder and bloodshed in the past.
      • May be a Family-Unfriendly Aesop as the above is a fairly true one in many parts of the world. Peace often comes at the expense of justice (or perceived justice).
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Played with as R.A. Salvatore indicates part of the reasons the Orcs are this way is because of poverty and the treatment of other races.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Distant Finale of the book has the orcs being attacked by a Captain Ersatz of the KKK.
  • Big Bad: King Obould appears to be this. He turns out to be something a bit more complicated.
  • Covers Always Lie: The first book looks like Drizzt is going to kill a thousand orcs by himself. Ironically, he doesn't face that many in the first book. The second book, however...
    • May also qualify as a Fanservice Cover in the context it's meant to appeal to all those Lord of the Rings film fans out to see some orc killing action.
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  • Distant Finale: More like Distant Finale Prologue. We know, eventually, the orcs become civilized due to the way the books start.
  • Doomed Hometown: Icewind Dale is threatened for the first time since the first books. Subverted in peace is achieved with negotiation.
  • Fantastic Racism: A pretty nuanced example as things go. Orcs are considered to be little more than vermin by the other races of the North. The thing is, this is due to the fact orcs have been killing and raiding since forever. The Orcs are now demanding respect and equal rites but by murdering and conquering.
  • Hope Spot: Drizzt is finally going to face King Obould in single-combat. Given Drizzt has defeated every opponent he's ever faced once he gets his blades in them, it seems like he's about to save the day and end Obould's threat. It...doesn't work out like that.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Drizzt's "death" halfway through the series.
  • Mook Horror Show: Drizzt attempts to undermine King Obould's support by killing groups of orcs trying to join his army.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: These are the same orcs you've seen in Dungeons and Dragons from the beginning but we get it from their perspective. Also, it turns out, like Drizzt, they're not as Always Chaotic Evil as they first appeared.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: After being treated like walking experience points by Drizzt for most of his life, Drizzt is confronted with the fact orcs just want a normal life like anyone else.
  • Worthy Opponent: Drizzt's reaction to Obould begins with hatred and disgust then gradually turns to something aking to respect and even admiration.
  • Visionary Villain: King Obould dreams of orcs leaving their subsistence-level existence of raiding to a permanently-settled one.


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