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4.4 out of 5 stars17
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 13 April 2009
The Pirate King, book two in R.A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms series called "Transitions," suffers greatly from middle-book syndrome, as well as just not being as interesting as the first book, The Orc King. The pacing of the book just seems off, a large part of the book is filled with characters I didn't care much about (and a couple who I had trouble telling apart occasionally), and it just seemed too much like a transitional novel. You might not think that's a bad thing in a series called "Transitions," but this one goes a bit too far in that direction.

The major problem I had with The Pirate King is that too much of the action is removed from the characters who I actually like, Regis and Drizzt. Salvatore cuts back and forth between the two companions and the events in Luskan, and I found myself losing interest in the horrible events going on in that city, especially after the first assault on the Hosttower. The main pirate captain who dreams of becoming the Pirate King, Kensidan, just isn't that interesting a character, despite his Machiavellian machinations to wield political power once Deudermont is removed. The dialogue didn't grab me, the plots and counterplots going back and forth among the captains, Greeth, and Deudermont, all seemed so pedestrian. These events didn't have the oomph of the first book, and the characters weren't interesting enough to cover for that.

Also, Drizzt and Regis seemed too far removed from the action. When they're in Luskan, they get involved, and things become much more immediate. They actually succeeded in making me care about Luskan and what was going on there. My favorite scenes, though, were those when the pair was up north, looking for Wulfgar, trading tales of the past and showing just how much they have changed in the many years since they all became friends.

I did love the action and characterization of the regulars (Drizzt and Regis are the only ones in most of the book). It was nice to see somebody who is almost a match for Drizzt in a fight, as it often doesn't feel like he's in any danger when you're reading about him in a melee. Also, the action doesn't seem quite as forced as it did in The Orc King, though that could just be me getting used to Salvatore's writing style again. Overall, I did enjoy a large part of the book, whenever Drizzt and Regis were "on screen." I also liked how Salvatore has them deal with a couple of moral dilemmas that makes the book seem a bit more "adult" than many Dungeons & Dragons novels.

Overall, I was disappointed in The Pirate King, but I would still recommend it for those who are interested in this type of fantasy novel. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as a novel alone, but the series itself seems to be on strong footing and this is just a minor crack to step over in your enjoyment of the whole. Take it for what it's worth.

David Roy
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on 1 December 2008
This is the way the Realms, indeed fantasy should be. Salavtore has matured with his readers: The lines are shades of grey, not the white of a paladin against the black of the skull adorned necromancer. Teenagers may be less than pleased, but those of us who have followed Drizzt's twenty year sojourn will find something that is lacking in so much of the Realms - A soul. Drizzt's choices are not clear cut and so he has the opportunity to truly be a hero, much as he would hate the epithet, as he is forced to make difficult decisions, rather than simply taking physical risks, that for one of his bravery do not count as risks at all.

He is the warrior philosopher that we would all be, if we were made of the same stuff. He is someone to emulate even if our battles are waged with words and actions rather than magical scimitars. That Salvatore created such a character is remarkable, that he maintains and develops one is nothing short of extraordinary.

I'll leave with a quote:

"I don't have to prove my worth and value to any but those I love, Drizzt said to him dropping an arm across the Halfling's shoulders. And that I do by being who I am, with confidence that those I love appreciate the good and accept the bad. Does anything else really matter? Do the looks of the guards I don't know and who don't know me truly affect the pleasures, the triumphs and the failings of my life?" p.93

That's writing.

Fare Well
pm
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on 1 October 2012
I was not sure I was going to like this book. I want to say that I would give this book 4 1/2 stars but I felt it deserved a round up rather then a round down. The thing I really like about these books is that the characters keep maturing and growing, and changing through their life experiences. It this book we get to see another side of Drizzt we is still introspective but he is a bit more open and jovial with his friends.

I have always thought of Salvatore as a literal hitman. He is not afraid to kill off characters that he has built up, that kind of give his books a bit of a fear factor as I did not know which characters would be safe. Drizzt is taken to the limit of his moral and physical self. He has to decides to walk away from one fight to take part in another one. With all the manipulations in the background even Drizzt is over matched. There is a bit of a passing of the touch of moment in this book. I have to say it was done subtly I did not really see it coming.

Being part of the Transitions Trilogy everyone will really need to read all the other Drizzt books to understand how much he characters have grown. Even characters that I I'd not particularly like (Wulfgar) I found new levels of respect for. A great book not a definitive ending like The Orc King: Forgotten Realms - Transitions Trilogy, Book 1 but a great story and it feels like it should bridge the gap between books one and three. Because of the fact that most part for this book is against wizards there are not as many individual fight scenes in the book till the last chapter. I do hope there will be a rematch or a reckoning in the next book.
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on 6 October 2014
As the title suggests, this book is slow to get going and you do sometimes wonder where it is leading you, but hang in there as towards the end, the story flares to life and our favourite character's, old and new alike, leave us open mouthed with an unusual ending as to what we expected, or were getting used to.
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on 7 October 2013
This is part of a series and it is as great as the rest of his work. The Kindle version has a few letter glitches, but not enough to hinder the reading.
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on 7 November 2008
this book follows on four years from where the ork king ended, and it is a good read and is essential for anyone to keep up to date with the realms,
but this isn't a story about drizzt so much, catti-brie, bruenor and wolfgar are barely in it at all.
If your a fan of capt deudermont and the sea sprite then you have to read this.
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on 26 January 2014
I love these books. From the first page to the last, I am totally mesmerized.
I wish I had discovered them years ago.
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on 15 September 2015
The more I read of The Companions the mor Salvatore make's the human! Definitely one of the best in the series so far!
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on 31 May 2014
I just love this character he seems so real I have read them all and really recommend them, nestle down and read them
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on 27 March 2015
Well written and absorbing as usual.
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