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 The Orc King: Chapters 29 - 31 & Epilogue
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Alaundo
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Posted - 05 Oct 2007 :  17:16:02  Show Profile  Visit Alaundo's Homepage  Click to see Alaundo's MSN Messenger address Send Alaundo a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Well met

This is a Book Club thread for The Orc King (Book 1 of Transitions), by R.A. Salvatore. Please discuss chapters 29 - 31 and the Epilogue herein.

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Charles Phipps
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Posted - 11 Oct 2007 :  20:28:06  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Orc King review

By. Charles Phipps

Overall, I felt this was a far stronger ending to the Hunter's Blades Trilogy and consider it a quadrilogy now since the story really just "ended" with R.A. Salvatore leaving nothing resolved. What's best about this work is that it seriously undercuts what a lot of people accuse Drizzt of being and that's overpowered. Really, it shows how utterly helpless the Drow Ranger is at affecting the large scale events that are going up around him.

Drizzt is a bit like Qui Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace as he can't fight a war for our heroes. No matter how good a warrior he is, against Obould's legions there's really nothing that he can do and his one man fight against the Orcs in the second novel turned out to be pretty ineffective in stopping Obould's rise to power. He did everything humanly (or elfly) possible to fight the Orc horde but failed.

I liked that.

Ultimately, Drizzt does start to consider the fact that Orcs might benefit from being forced into becoming a nation. It's a radical turnaround for him since the Ranger clearly loaths orcs, it's a bit strange since you've got to wander what seems to **** Drizzt off about them so much. They've been a miniscule part of his life up until this point.

The book also satisfactorilly laid the issue of Cattie Brie, Wulfgar, and Drizzt to rest. Oddly, I thought this was the only book where the conflicts between everyone seemed genuine. Wulfgar doesn't want to be around Cattie and Drizzt while he's also acknowledging just how old he's gotten. I think it was the only book where everyone's age was genuinely examined in a realistic fashion. It's hard to imagine but Cattie Brie is getting on in her years.

I was surprised by R.A. Salvatore's choice to have Wulfgar return Colson to a bunch of people that never knew the kid to begin with but it's the kind of stupid choice the barbarian would make. I wonder how Wulfgar will fit into the Barbarian people he's probably spent 14 years total time with in the forty odd years of his life. They're hardly "his" people since he rarely has ever visit them.

Obould's humanphilia is touched upon even as I'm glad we saw the fact there was some kind of civil war between the orcs over the fact that they had some content to "wait" indefinitely while there were others who wanted to keep on slaughtering everything in sight. It's interesting to note that no one but Obould genuinely seems to be aware that he plans to stay forever. You could do an entire series about how he'd convince the orcs to settle down. Seriously, how's he going to convince them to farm and feed themselves? It's an interesting set of questions I'd like some answers to.

Bruenor has a very realistic reaction and I was surprised to see some of the first genuine character tension in years between parties. The best character seen outside of the Homeland novels was probably when the Dwarf King started screaming and yelling at Alustriel for abandoning them in the war. And you know what? It's a perfectly reasonable reaction to what just happened to Bruenor. They were attacked, they were at war and Alustriel is not going to help.

Innovidel's death was unfortunate but worked well to illustrate a fact that I liked. The orcs are still a bunch of murderers and making peace with them requires all of the causalties of the war to be treated like they never happened. Drizzt is fighting on the side of peace but it's not a pleasant thing to stomach for him because one of the few elves (actually the ONLY elf) to ever treat him like a person is one of the victims.

The book is a trifle heavy handed in trying to portray Orcs as being capable of living in peace with Dwarves. The discovery of a city where Orcs and Dwarves lived together in peace is tremendously unlikely even with divine aid (and I can't imagine Moradin or Gruumsh approving).

Sadly, some of the issues that most interest me weren't really touched upon as much as I'd hoped like Cattie-Brie's sudden new interest in magic. Still, if this were the last book (and there's 2 more coming) I wouldn't be unhappy. It was a very good closure to the story.

8/10

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SirUrza
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Posted - 13 Oct 2007 :  23:48:24  Show Profile  Send SirUrza an AOL message  Send SirUrza an ICQ Message Send SirUrza a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

I was surprised by R.A. Salvatore's choice to have Wulfgar return Colson to a bunch of people that never knew the kid to begin with but it's the kind of stupid choice the barbarian would make.


Not necessarily though. Not that I expect Bob to time jump, but 4E is 10 years into the future and Colson will be old enough to leave her "parents" to go looking for Wulfgar. If Bob decides to move forward with the rest of the Realms, the story of Colson isn't over, there's no way she'll forget him.. especially how he left her.

To me, it's definitely a book 4 as you stated. I always felt the trilogy got cheapened and even damaged by Wizards and how they mismanaged the trilogy and Silver Marches supplement.

What interests me is that Transitions is a trilogy and this book gives a lot of closure. The only question really left out there was what city was the Dwarf/Orc city they found, if it wasn't the one that Bruenor was looking. Not an important question to answer I know, and not something I really want the next to books to be about, but it's there.

So thinking about the last two books in the trilogy. They could be a two part story, or they could be 2 one shot stories to advance the timeline.. though I some how doubt the two books will advance the story the full 10 years into 4th edition Realms.

I feel it's a better book and a better ending then Road of the Patriarch and makes me look forward to next October. :)



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Copper Elven Vampire
Learned Scribe

349 Posts

Posted - 16 Oct 2007 :  08:05:30  Show Profile Send Copper Elven Vampire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
WoTc don't care about putting things together right, or making two separate books fit together. All they care about is money! That is very, very clear with the coming of 4ED after 3ED and 3.5ED have only been around for 6 to 7 years. Just wait, after 5 years they'll come out with all the same darn books for 4.5ED. Maybe by then Drizzt will be wearing a zoot suit, swing dancing in Hong Kong.
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Hawkins
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USA
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Posted - 16 Oct 2007 :  21:34:38  Show Profile  Visit Hawkins's Homepage Send Hawkins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I just finished the Orc King just now on my lunch break, and I must say that I overall liked the book. It does more feel like an end to the Hunter's Blades than a beginning of a new trilogy, but until the second and third volumes are published, we can't really know. I know some people say that RAS is losing his touch, but I don't see it myself.

--Hawkins

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jcw928
Acolyte

5 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2007 :  10:00:01  Show Profile  Visit jcw928's Homepage Send jcw928 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think this may be my second post in years, but I just wanted to mention that I did really enjoy this book. I was glad to see an end to Wulfgar's plot-line. I'm not sure about Cattibrie.

I'm actually glad she and Drizzt are finally married, but the many references to her not being able to bare children closes one segment of the story. Also, she's spent the last dozen or so books training with Drizzt in swordsmanship and now that's all over. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if I didn't know about what WOTC plans to do to faerun in the near future.

I managed to get an ARC copy of the novel and it was hard not to mention anything from the prologue and epilogue over the last couple months(wow, it was really hard to stay quiet). I wasn't surprised to hear that Salvatore was told to write that prologue and epilogue by WOTC (that's what he told people at a book signing anyway). It must be hard to write in a "shared world" setting. Salvatore seems to mention often that he's only contractually obligated to write 3 more novels. I'm probably dating myself a bit, but I can't blame him, I'd be running as fast as possible from the Forgotten Realms about now.

I have serious qualms about an Orc kingdom, etc, etc...it's been discussed to death around here. I'm on the side that doesn't agree with the concept at all....Bruenor should be leading a crusade to push them back into their holes. But, WOTC has their own plans...gods help us. Oh wait...they're gone...nevermind.

Yikes...it appears I got a bit off track....all I really wanted to say was that I enjoyed the book..and it does (as previously mentioned by others) feel like a novel that gives closure to the last trilogy..and wow did that last trilogy (The Thousand Orcs) need closure...so here it is.

I do look forward to the next two Drizzt novels...they'll take place before the "spellplague" (more than likely) and maybe even give closure to the whole series. I think that Mr. Salvatore should exercise some of the considerable influence he has and put an end to the series after this last trilogy. I am a die-hard fan, but...all good things, and all that...whether or not you think Salvatore is a good writer or not, no one can deny that he almost singlehandedly keeps WOTC alive...in the novel department.

So after the next two Drizzt novels, there's another book that's supposed to be in the works. Rumors abound...a Jarlaxle and Zaknefein novel seems to be the most likely suspect. Sounds great to me!

-- Joel
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Alisttair
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Canada
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Posted - 23 Oct 2007 :  11:51:37  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage  Click to see Alisttair's MSN Messenger address Send Alisttair a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Looking forward to seeing Cattie-Brie the wizard :P

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Mirza
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Posted - 26 Oct 2007 :  00:26:06  Show Profile  Visit Mirza's Homepage Send Mirza a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am thrilled to see the establishment of an orc kingdom, even though it may not stand the test of time. Issues of tolerance abound in our day-to-day lives, and I am interested to see how some of the concepts of equality and community that we are seeing in the world may be reflected in the unfolding of Obould's kingdom.

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. If people can learn to hate they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."
-Nelson Mandela

Edited by - Mirza on 26 Oct 2007 00:27:31
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Skeptic
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1273 Posts

Posted - 30 Oct 2007 :  21:17:31  Show Profile Send Skeptic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Copper Elven Vampire

WoTc don't care about putting things together right, or making two separate books fit together. All they care about is money! That is very, very clear with the coming of 4ED after 3ED and 3.5ED have only been around for 6 to 7 years. Just wait, after 5 years they'll come out with all the same darn books for 4.5ED. Maybe by then Drizzt will be wearing a zoot suit, swing dancing in Hong Kong.



Ok and I'm the one censored by the mods
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 30 Oct 2007 :  21:42:47  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You know, I really can't understand why fans take it so personally that they keep releasing books.

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Mirza
Acolyte

8 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2007 :  00:06:14  Show Profile  Visit Mirza's Homepage Send Mirza a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually, Joel, I have taken Mr. Salvatore's descriptions of Cattie-brie as possibly unable to bear children as hints that she and Drizzt might actually have a child or two. The man does have a way of surprising his fans.

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. If people can learn to hate they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."
-Nelson Mandela

Edited by - Mirza on 31 Oct 2007 00:07:52
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
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USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2007 :  18:55:50  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Finished the novel. I already knew what the outcome would be () and I don't have much to say other than that I loved the final scene about Wulfgar. Short, but touching.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3521 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2007 :  21:08:42  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Liked the book overall. Love where Wulfgar's life seems to be heading.
Like the idea of Alustriel tutoring Cattie to be a mage. She definately has the focus and will-power to do it. (Curious to see if her mind is then burned blank or worse by the spellplague!)

I like Bruenor more than ever. Him accepting a treaty with the pig-faced orcs though. As far as I am concerned it did not happen. You cannot take almost 20 years to develop a character, Let alone one stubborn as all the 9-hells, and the have them do a 180 like that. It in inconcievable. It's to darn bad Wotc shove it down Bob's throat and made him write it. I actually feel sorry for Salvatore. I have always been a fan and seems to me wizards is giving him the shaft.

I would say he is a much, much more talented writer than I ever credited him for.(And I always liked his work) He took a bowl of stinkin' rotten lemons forced upon him by Wotc and made a pretty fine batch of lemonade out of them.
I also echo an earlier post doubt of this Dwarf-Orc Co-operative city that has just happened to appear right when it advances Wotc agenda. I would be curious if someone could show where it had ever been part of FR Lore until this book.

The only thing that leaves me smirking though is this little trifle.
How did I not notice before that Cordio's last name was Muffinhead....

That is freaking hilarious. One of the more seroius and pious of the stout folk is a Muffinhead! Even goodly Moradin has to smile at that when granting his prayers!!!

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3521 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2007 :  21:17:06  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also I found it interesting when Alustriel told Cattie that her hip would heal.....

That may impact child bearing. Among other things.

It almost felt as if she allowed Cattie to stay unable to fight to encourage her down the path of magic, I hope we find out in the next book.

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2007 :  02:15:52  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Red Walker

I like Bruenor more than ever. Him accepting a treaty with the pig-faced orcs though. As far as I am concerned it did not happen. You cannot take almost 20 years to develop a character, Let alone one stubborn as all the 9-hells, and the have them do a 180 like that.


That happened a little too quickly and conveniently for me, as well.

quote:
The only thing that leaves me smirking though is this little trifle.
How did I not notice before that Cordio's last name was Muffinhead....

That is freaking hilarious. One of the more seroius and pious of the stout folk is a Muffinhead! Even goodly Moradin has to smile at that when granting his prayers!!!




*smiles* The name Muffinhead has been around for a while (ever since the Hunter's Blades trilogy, I believe), but it's still silly.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3521 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2007 :  13:24:55  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rinonalyrna Fathomlin

quote:
Originally posted by The Red Walker

I like Bruenor more than ever. Him accepting a treaty with the pig-faced orcs though. As far as I am concerned it did not happen. You cannot take almost 20 years to develop a character, Let alone one stubborn as all the 9-hells, and the have them do a 180 like that.


That happened a little too quickly and conveniently for me, as well.

quote:
The only thing that leaves me smirking though is this little trifle.
How did I not notice before that Cordio's last name was Muffinhead....

That is freaking hilarious. One of the more seroius and pious of the stout folk is a Muffinhead! Even goodly Moradin has to smile at that when granting his prayers!!!




*smiles* The name Muffinhead has been around for a while (ever since the Hunter's Blades trilogy, I believe), but it's still silly.



Yeah I think it was in there as well, which is why it is so funny it didn't strike me until now

And about Bruenor's 180 with the Orcs....
It is just so disappointing to read a character for the better part of 2 decades(60+ % of my life) and have them do something that they just would never, ever do. Bruenor would die before he let an orc get as close to Mithril Hall as Obould was for the treaty signing. Remember Obould is responsible for many Dwarven deaths and The true Battlehammers cannot afford to lose one good dwarf without exacting a heavy toll. Him signing means all those lost to Obould were wasted lives. Again something not to be done by Bruenor.

But I still get the feeling that Bob did they best he could with the deck stacked against him by those dastardly Wizards of the coast.

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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TobyKikami
Learned Scribe

USA
113 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2007 :  15:11:09  Show Profile  Visit TobyKikami's Homepage Send TobyKikami a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Come to think of it, yeah, it would seem the stuff of a trilogy in itself just to reach the point of Bruenor and Obould signing a treaty. Before I finished the book I actually thought it would be a running plotline throughout "Transitions." Apparently not.
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Hawkins
Great Reader

USA
2130 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2007 :  16:29:35  Show Profile  Visit Hawkins's Homepage Send Hawkins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do not think so. I thought that RAS did a good job in showing how Bruenor was initially resistant, and still unsettled with it at the end. He did not like it, does not like, and will not like it, but having Obould next door (who had become relatively benign as a neighbor) was a better alternative to having the half-ogre/orc (I can't remember his name) kill Obould and run around killing and burning the entirety of the Silver Marches. And, with the gnome wizrad zapping Obould, it had to be a hasty decision. Where the half-ogre/orc guy would not have been able to raise the army that Obould had, if he had killed Obould he very likely would have been able to keep it together long enough to could have held it together long enough to make life miserable for way too many people. Anyways, the "hurriedness" aspect of it is likely more WotC's fault than RAS's. They most likely told him what he had to have in it (kinda like Ed's short story in Realms of the Elves) so it would promote the "new" Realms, and since he is under contract he had to include those parts, all in one novel. Evidently, after the Transitions trilogy RAS is only under contract for one or two more Realms novels. Maybe he will be able to end the Drizzt series how he would like to.

Errant d20 Designer - My Blog (last updated January 06, 2016)

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back. --Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

"Mmm, not the darkness," Myrin murmured. "Don't cast it there." --Erik Scott de Bie, Shadowbane

* My character sheets (PFRPG, 3.5, and AE versions; not viewable in Internet Explorer)
* Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document (PFRPG OGL Rules)
* The Hypertext d20 SRD (3.5 OGL Rules)
* 3.5 D&D Archives

My game design work:
* Heroes of the Jade Oath (PFRPG, conversion; Rite Publishing)
* Compendium Arcanum Volume 1: Cantrips & Orisons (PFRPG, designer; d20pfsrd.com Publishing)
* Compendium Arcanum Volume 2: 1st-Level Spells (PFRPG, designer; d20pfsrd.com Publishing)
* Martial Arts Guidebook (forthcoming) (PFRPG, designer; Rite Publishing)

Edited by - Hawkins on 05 Nov 2007 16:30:37
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2007 :  18:33:04  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HawkinstheDM
Evidently, after the Transitions trilogy RAS is only under contract for one or two more Realms novels. Maybe he will be able to end the Drizzt series how he would like to.



I hope so. In all honesty I really do think this series is over the hill, even if keeping it alive makes financial sense.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2007 :  19:29:15  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I took it as Bruenor recognizing that he's without allies, past enemy lines, and has no chance of winning without destroying his kingdom.

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Artemas Entreri
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USA
3008 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2015 :  15:45:03  Show Profile  Visit Artemas Entreri's Homepage Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm late to the party, but I just finished this one and thought it was pretty solid. I do think it felt more like a standalone than the beginning of a new trilogy, almost as if Salvatore should have written this as the 4th book of the Hunter's Blades Trilogy. Moving on the the Pirate King!

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