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Another Fine Entry From Salvatore
on 22 September 2005
Drizzt Do'urden and the 'Companions Of The Hall' are fast on their way to establishing themselves as characters of fantasy legend and this book does them no damage on that front.
The story continues with Mithril Hall and the surrounding area coming under the sway of the orcish hordes and their Giant allies. Rather than the mindless rabble that orcs have been depicted as in past Forgotten Realm novels, these invaders are really beleivable as a race that see themselves laying claim to a kingdom of their own, something hitherto denied them by the civilised races. Obould continues to surprise his enemies as they fail to take him as anything more than a war mongering greenskin and it's only towards the end he is seen as the threat he really is.
Once again, Salvatore's action scenes are of page turning quality and it seems he has even taken some of the comments of his fans on board. No more are his characters virtual demi-gods but heroes you can believe are actually capable of dying(Anyone who read of Wulfgar and Drizzt single-handedly killing dragons in earlier novels will agree here).
Personally, I have never been a fan of Drizzt's 'Hunter' alter ego and it is a shame it plays a large part of this story but that is a minor grumble. All the characters evolve in this novel and the new characters introduced are fleshed out that little bit more. Bruenor actually comes across as more of a leader of his people, as opposed to the wayward adventurer and reluctant monarch he's appeared to be in past novels.
The triangular relationship between Drizzt, Catti-Brie and Wulfgar also continues and finally seems to reach some sort of conclusion. One small complaint is that quite an important supporting character dies and it's just brushed aside with little real reaction from the rest of the characters.
A few niggles but, in general, another fine novel from Salvatore and one that is slightly easier to believe than previous efforts. The ending is also particularly good as it leaves you wondering what will become of the Orcish Hordes of the Forgotten Realms