Rise of the King: Companions Codex 2 by R.A. Salvatore

In this second book of the Companions Codex, we continue the story with the reincarnated Companions of the Hall, with a large war looming with Orcs (again) instigated by the Drow (again).

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Honestly while reading the first part of the book, I was pretty sure I had read this book before, so similar is the plot theme to the Thousand Orcs (right down to the bickering of the goodly folk). While in Realm time a century has passed, in real time it’s only been some years since the previous Orc war and it feels like an old hat.

Personally, I also find it very irritating that given all the effort given in the previous saga into ‘Orcs-are-people-too’, now the whole line of Obould and his dream of a real Orc kingdom is swept aside and the whole race is again evil-because-we’re-evil. Similarly the conversion of Tos’un back into evil feels forced, almost if the author wanted to drop all the developments done in the past to return things to the way they were – the Companions are young and on the road again, and the only person allowed to be good among the evil races is Drizzt.

This aside, the story flows smoothly, if predictably, and the main characters are themselves. Of special note is Regis, who is finally given things to do and Wulfgar, who is still being given the short stick.

All in all, it’s yet another Drizzt book but that is not all a bad thing. I’ve been reading these for 20 years now and definitel ywill be reading the next one when it comes out. I just wish we got another book like the Companions in the Sundering series – more character development, less descriptions of perfect parries.

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