The Hunter's Blades Trilogy
The cover of The Thousand Orcs
|Preceded by||The Sellswords|
The Hunter's Blades Trilogy is a trilogy written by science fiction and fantasy author R.A. Salvatore. It follows the Paths of Darkness series and is composed of three books, The Thousand Orcs, The Lone Drow, and The Two Swords. 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 and is followed by the installments of the Transitions series.
Literary significance and reception
The Thousand Orcs debuted on the New York Times bestseller list at number 11. Reviews were generally positive.Publishers Weekly described it as a "rousing tale of derring-do and harrowing escapes", although in doing so they acknowledged that it was a "light-hearted sword and sorcery novel" which gained some depth through Drizzt's philosophical ponderings about human frailties. Similarly, Paul Brink, writing for the School Library Journal, acknowledged the author's use of Drizzt to "reflect on issues of racial prejudice".
The Lone Drow debuted on the New York Times bestseller list at number 7. Staff Reviewer Tom Gafkjen from d20zines.com awarded the book a "B" grade. He praised the well-written combat sequences (a point that was also acknowledged by Jackie Cassada when she commented on the first novel in the series) but he did not enjoy the repetitious writing about the character Drizzt brooding over the death of a moon elf. He noted the exceptional writing although preferring the first book of the trilogy. A similarly mixed review came from Publishers Weekly - while mostly negative, the reviewers acknowledged that the novel did (occasionally) rise above the cliché, and that "a few characters do achieve some complexity". Cassada, on the other hand, seemed taken by the second novel in the trilogy, praising the "tense battles, vivid landscapes and memorable characters". The Lone Drow debuted at #7 on the New York Times Best Seller list in October 2003. Publishers Weekly felt that The Lone Drow was clichéd, but that some of the characters did achieve "some complexity". They singled out two characters for praise: Innovindel, an elf who talks "pensively" of her long life in contrast to the short lived humans, and Obould the orc king.
The Two Swords reached No. 5 on The Washington Post's bestseller list for the week ending October 24, 2004. It debuted on the New York Times bestseller list at No. 4 and at No. 1 on the Wall Street Journal Bestseller List in early November. Patrick Bergeron II from fantasybookspot.com found The Two Swords predictable and expected key sequences such as the character Drizzt "finding out that his friends had not fallen at Shallows". However he still enjoyed the story and characterization. The Two Swords peaked at #4 on the New York Times Best Seller list in 2004. It reached the top of the Wall Street Journal's hardcover bestseller list after only two weeks, a record for its publisher Wizards of the Coast. It also debuted at #4 on The New York Times's bestseller list and #2 on Publisher's Weekly bestseller list.
James Voelpel from mania.com commented on The Thousand Orcs, calling it:
"'a welcome return to the beginnings of Salvatore's fantasy writing, though it seems to be lacking in some respects. All the characters that fans have been clamoring for are here but the sheer number of secondary stories and characters sometimes drowns them out. Even the would be love affair between Catti-brie and Drizzt seems underdone and somewhat glossed over. Characters such as Bruenor, Wulfgar and Regis are almost afterthoughts with some development to their personalities seemingly tacked on. The plot itself is rock solid and the story points with Obould and Gerti's alliance as well as the rift between the dwarves and humans in Mirabar are really well done. Salvatore is always noted for his ability to write action that you can picture and he doesn't disappoint here. The battles are stupendously done and vividly portray a comic book feel to them. For then fans of Salvatore this is a welcome edition to the Drizzt legacy, albeit lacking a bit, soon enough it will rocket up the bestseller list and have its following clamoring for the follow ups.'"
|Title||Author||ISBN||Publisher||US Release Date|
|The Thousand Orcs||R.A. Salvatore||ISBN 978-0-7869-2980-1||Wizards of the Coast||October 2002|
|The Lone Drow||R.A. Salvatore||ISBN 978-0-7869-3228-3||Wizards of the Coast||October 2003|
|The Two Swords||R.A. Salvatore||ISBN 978-0-7869-3790-5||Wizards of the Coast||October 2004|
|The Hunters Blades Trilogy - Collectors Edition (Hardcover)||R.A. Salvatore||ISBN 978-0-7869-4315-9||Wizards of the Coast||January 2007|
The first printing of The Thousand Orcs was 200,000 copies.
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- Brink, Paul (2003). "The Thousand Orcs (Book)". School Library Journal 49 (2).
- "BEST SELLERS: November 16, 2003". NYTimes.com. 2003-11-16. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
- Cassada, Jackie (2002). "The Thousand Orcs (Book)". Library Journal 127 (19).
- Gafkjen, Tom (2004-11-22). "The Lone Drow Review". d20zine.com. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
- Cannon, Peter; Zaleski, Jeff (2003). "The Lone Drow: The Hunter's Blades Trilogy, Book II (Book)". Publishers Weekly 250 (35).
- Cassada, Jackie (2003). "The Lone Drow (Book)". Library Journal 128 (15).
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- "BEST SELLERS: November 7, 2004". NYTimes.com. 2004-11-07. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
- "The 'Two Swords' Debuts at #1 on the Wall Street Journal's Bestseller List; R.A. Salvatore's Classic Tale of Fantasy Triumphs on Bestseller Lists Nationwide". Business Wire. 2004-11-08. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
- Bergeron II, Patrick (2006-09-19). "The Two Swords". BookSpotCentral. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
- "R.A. Salvatore's The Orc King Makes Top 10 Rankings on Bestseller Lists: Publishers Weekly...". Business Wire. All Business. October 11, 2007. Retrieved 2009-01-09.[dead link]
- Kisor, Henry (September 1, 2002). "By any count, he's still pop fiction's King". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved June 9, 2013. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)