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    Review of THE TWO SWORDS by R. A. Salvatore


    Wizards of the Coast, October 2004

    Finally united by their god-king Obould, the Orcs stand at the gates to Mithral Hall--the great Dwarf kingdom and mining center. But when his initial attack falters, Obould pulls back--he'd rather defend the world's first Orc kingdom than waste his resources attacking the well-prepared and heavily trapped Dwarf caves. With his giant, dark-elf, and troll 'allies' repeatedly proving to be undependable, Obould knows that hanging onto what he has already conquered will be challenge enough.

    Renegade dark-elf, Drizzt Do'Urden, falsely believing that his friends and allies have all been killed by Obould, joins with an elf to rescue a pegasus, then makes single-handed war on the orcs. He knows that if he can somehow kill Obould, the orcs will shatter--as they have shattered so many times before. What he doesn't count on, though, is that Obould really does manifest the Orc-god--and killing a god is a tough challenge, even for a dark-elf.

    Author R. A. Salvatore (see more reviews of novels by Salvatore) delivers a mix of heroic action and introspection. Drizzt continues to evolve, slowly learning to leave his drow preconceptions behind him and become a true-elf. Obould is almost a sympathetic hero, holding his people together and helping them build their first kingdom despite attacks by elves, humans, dwarves, and the backstabbing by the ice giants and especially the drow. Salvatore's writing is always professional and smooth--and doesn't falter in THE TWO SWORDS.

    Fans of the movements of dwarf armies, clever dwarf traps, and of Drizzt Do'Urden will definitely not want to miss this one. If you aren't already a Salvatore fan, however, you might want to give THE TWO SWORDS a pass. There isn't enough character development or story arc to appeal to those not already deeply involved.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 12/13/04

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