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The Lone Drow: The Hunter's Blades Trilogy Book II
R.A. Salvatore
Wizards of the Coast, 370 pages

Art: Todd Lockwood
The Lone Drow
R.A. Salvatore
R.A. Salvatore, a lifelong resident of Massachusetts, has some two dozen books to his credit. His first book was published in 1988. The Crystal Shard came from TSR, a Forgotten Realms title. Two years later, with his first novel and its sequel sold to Penguin, he quit his day job. When not writing, Salvatore spends time speaking to high schools and library groups, encouraging people, especially kids, to read.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Exile
SF Site Review: Homeland
SF Site Review: The Highwayman
SF Site Review: The Demon Spirit
SF Site Review: The Demon Awakens

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Cindy Lynn Speer

As far as Drizzt knows, everyone he loves -- Catti-Brie, Wulfgar, Bruenor -- are dead. So he stays out in the wilds, attacking and harrying the orcs, who still have plans to lay siege on Mithral Hall, designs that now seem even more possible that their leader, Obould, has gained some sort of uncanny strength and insight thanks to a religious ceremony. Drizzt lets the Hunter take over, and he, friendless save for Guenhwyver, who in her silent yet completely loyal way doesn't seem completely thrilled by this new turn of events, revels in taking out every orc he can.

But his friends are, indeed, alive, though Bruenor is on his death bed. Now Catti-Brie and Wulfgar fight alongside the Dwarves to protect Mithral Hall, Regis attempts to take care of running things while Bruenor is out. It is a grim battle. Obould and his son seem to have unlimited amounts of orcs willing to act as fodder, throwing them against the defenders in a seemingly endless tide. Frost Giants are on the orc's side, casting stones and creating a catapult that will make it nearly impossible for the defenders to do anything but fall back to the hall and risk being locked in below ground. Their only hope is in a strange plan cooked up by a gnome who might or might not be on the side of the defenders of Mithral Hall.

While this book is called The Lone Drow, we spend the book fairly evenly between the two groups. Drizzt eventually encounters some Elves, who, too, are enjoying picking off orcs from the flank, and who want Drizzt to join them, though his terrible guilt at the outcome of his meeting with Ellifain prevents him from welcoming these new would be friends. In some ways, Drizzt returns to the creature he was in Exile, the Hunter, who refuses to need or want anyone's help, whose sole purpose is to draw blades and leave a trail of death behind him -- and that he does. He becomes increasingly more careless, taking extreme risks, almost daring the orcs to come kill him. You can't help but feel terrible for him, even as you wish someone would drag him back to Mithral Hall and say, "Look. See? There they are, you goof. Aren't you sorry you didn't check sooner?" Of course, this feeling, followed by a scene with Catti-Brie, makes you want to say the same thing to them -- go look for him, make sure he's all right.

While there are still journal entries between the sections, there is more of a feeling of distance than in some of the books. I think this is because we're not concerned as much by the individuals, but how they work as a team to achieve the same outcome. The Lone Drow is still a very exciting story, filled with well drawn characters.

The Two Swords, the sequel to this book, will be out in October.

Copyright © 2004 Cindy Lynn Speer

Cindy Lynn Speer loves books so much that she's designed most of her life around them, both as a librarian and a writer. Her books aren't due out anywhere soon, but she's trying. You can find her site at

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