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Literature / Transitions

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Drizzt and Guen on the cover of The Orc King
Transitions is the sixth entry in the long-running The Legend of Drizzt series written by R.A. Salvatore that centers around the renegade dark elf Drizzt Do'Urden and his adventures on the surface. The series is preceeded by The Hunter's Blades Trilogy and followed by The Neverwinter Saga.

The books in the series are:

  • The Orc King (2007)
  • The Pirate King (2008)
  • The Ghost King (2009)

The Orc King is a Whole Episode Flashback detailing a series of skirmishes during the time of Obould Many-Arrows' bid for power. It describes the conflict that directly led to the creation of the treaty of Garum's Gorge and the beginning of a period of peace in the Silver Marches, as they grudgingly accept the orc kingdom in their midst. It is framed by Drizzt recounting the events to the elf noble Hralien.

The second book, The Pirate King, sees Drizzt and Regis journey to the port city of Luskan, where they learn of a conflict that has broken out between the different ships and the Hosttower of the Arcane. There they meet Drizzt's old friend captain Deudermont, who has been called in from Waterdeep to help the locals sort out the conflict.


The last book, The Ghost King, marks the beginning of the Realms-wide event called the Spellplague. Magic is running wild and mages everywhere fall victim to the misfires of the Weave. Drizzt's wife Catti-brie has an accident during her spell training and is beset by a strange magical illness, that none of the clerics of Mithral Hall can heal. Drizzt enlists Jarlaxle's help in getting the group to Cadderly's Spirit Soaring, in the hopes that the strong cleric and Chosen of Denier will find a solution to Catti's problem.


This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • After Action Patch Up: At the end of The Pirate King, after his bloody fight with Arthogate, Drizzt wakes up from uncinsciousness with his wounds bound and access to magical healing courtesy of Jarlaxle. Unfortunately he was out just long enough to not be able to rescue captain Deudermont.
  • Barred from the Afterlife: A rare voluntary version. the Goddess Mielikki takes Catti-brie's and Regis' souls away and gives them the choice to be reborn in a time of need or go on to the afterlife. Both choose to stay in the pocket dimension Iruladoon to be reborn in 21 years to help Drizzt.
  • Beast of Battle: Arthogate's mount Snort, the fire-breathing, charging Hellboar he got from Jarlaxle. He rides it into battle, when he is facing multiple foes (especially undead ones), but also fights alongside it.
  • Betrayal Insurance: Drizzt has a dwarf cleric cast harmless spells on Tos'un, but he tells him that the cleric enchanted an arrow of Drizzt's to always hit his heart, if it is fired —thus ensuring that Tos'un won't run or betray them for fear of being killed.
  • Captive Push: Drizzt sets out to find and capture Tos'un Armgo in The Orc King, because the wood elves are worried that he is still in cahoots with the orcs. He finds him deep in the woods and has him captive and bound after a short struggle. Tos'un tries to convince him of his innocence and Drizzt takes the risk to bring him back to his friends, pushing the bound captive along the way.
  • Cassandra Truth: Jarlaxle really, really wants to be a friend to the Companions of the Hall and helps them if he can, without expecting payment. Problem is, he is such a Magnificent Bastard, that nobody knows to what degree they can trust him. He has been at this for a while, but as of The Ghost King he starts being more aggressive about his wish to involve himself in their lives.
  • Distressed Dude: Tos'un Armgo, being a male from the violently misandrist drow society, is no stranger to being bound and manhandled. When Drizzt ties him to a tree to interrogate him, he doesn't even flinch when his arms are wrenched back, thinking on how he's already used to worse.
  • Downer Ending: The Ghost King ends with Cadderly becoming the new Ghost King to save his friends, Catti-brie and Regis dead from the effects of the Spellplague, Bruenor depressed over the loss of his adoptive daughter and friend and Drizzt emotionally dead over the death of his wife.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The dwarves Arthogate and Thibbledorf Pwent bond over killing undead minions. Pwent was initially hostile to Arthogate, not knowing what to make of him, but fighting their way through hordes of undead on the way to Spirit Soaring does wonders for a blooming friendship between the two.
  • Flashback: Catti's magical illness causes her to float in the air while being trapped in flashbacks of her life. Drizzt can even discern the scenes from what she's saying wich really doesn't make his emotional stability during the crisis any easier.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Thibbledorf Pwent has a spike on his helmet that is almost as tall as he is himself. He attacks foes by lowering his head like a bull and charges them, in one instance leaving about half of a dead orc stuck on his head after a fight in The Orc King.
  • Last Kiss: Catti-brie begs Mielikki for one final night with her husband, before she takes her away to the afterlife. The scene is doubly tragic in that while she knows that it will be their last kiss, Drizzt doesn't.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Turns out the whole of the conflict in Luskan has been initiated by Bregan D'earthe so that they can take control of the city. They use the people of Ship Kurth as a human front for their operations.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: The titular Ghost King can ressurrect hordes of undead from all over Faerun to make the lives of our heroes harder. And he does so gleefully!
  • Regretful Traitor: Somewhere between books Jarlaxle has betrayed Entreri to the Netherese. His original plan was to betray him, then later rescue him, when he had his resources in place again. Unfortunately, he was outmaneuvered by Quenthel and Kimmuriel, who made him forget about the incident. Apparently he has regained his memories now and is deeply regretful of his actions and seeks to mend things with Entreri.


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