Jennifer's Reviews > The Orc King

The Orc King by R.A. Salvatore
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May 14, 2010

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This book is a perfectly fine example of mind candy. The story continues the whole saga created earlier by Salvatore. Unfortunately, like most Dungeons and Dragons type books you will be out in the cold if you haven't read the others. Because it's one of THOSE series. And it doesn't really go anywhere even though it threatens to. Sigh.

I am not sure whether these books should be read by someone who has played Dungeons and Dragons. The first issue is that it is really, really, faithful to the game. Each round of melee is described, with each player/monster taking their turn. Even every item of equipment used can be found on the second edition players handbook. When the author talks about characters walking in low, soft books (4 gp if I remember correctly) or using their fifty-foot rope, it's going to ellicit giggles. Someone who is well-versed with the rules of the game will also tsk when the clerics heal in the middle of a melee round.

And it is impossible to see the characters as people that can exist. You see them as teens holding character sheets. Whenever Drizzt pulls out Twinkle the scimitar, the urge is to scoff: "Twinkle? Sheesh, your DM has got to hate you." Because Drizzt is never going to be a real adult with the weight of the kingdom on him. He is a 15-year-old who really wants to be epic and does not yet realize that Twinkle is a stupid name for a weapon.

On the other hand, there are instances when the characters use psionic attacks. If you have never played Dungeons and Dragons or if you were one of the players that skipped that appendix, you will have a rough time figuring that scene out.

So in all it is an entertaining book. But the fact that it is based on a game keeps me from being able to evaluate properly.
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