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Sunday, April 26, 2020

Review: Siege of Darkness by RA Salvatore

Siege of Darkness is a turning point in the Legend if Drizzt. The attack on Mithral Hall from the drow coalition of Menzoberranzan finally comes to fruition. The build up to the siege itself is really laid out well, and the power struggle between some of the leading Houses is done expertly well, especiially with the fact that the Time is Troubles comes out of nowhere. For the ignorant reader, the Time of Troubles takes place in1358 DR when the Tablets of Fate are stolen and the Overgod Ao forces the lesser deities into mortal, Avatar form. This really messes with magic, divine and other kinds.

Large Scale combat is present for a good chunk of the book, this means there are less skirmishes comprising Drizzt than has been present in the previous 8 books. I found this refreshing, but the other side of that same coin means we actually see less of Drizzt during the book as the chapters balance POV between Jarlaxle, Errtu, Matron Baenre, Cattie-brie and so forth. This makes it seem less like a Drizzt book and one more focused on the exploits of the Drow, which is fitting since the series is in-fact the Legacy if the Drow.

The interludes that divide the book into parts have been a staple of the series. We get a first person look inside Drizzt’s head, as it it seems he is recall in a journal or maybe even reciting the events of his life. I have often enjoyed these bits, though it’s love/hate and some I have particularly disliked. The ones in Siege of Darkness range from good to great though. They were refreshing and deep. Often they come off as pseudo-philosophical, but not so for #9 of the Legend of Drizzt.

Personally I really enjoyed Cattie-Brie’s character development the most. Drizzt has very little in ways of personality, spirituality and physically. The ways of the drow are starting to feel familiar and less annoying, and some of the flaws of their society are showcased with drastic effect.

Heavy spoiler, near end of the book spoiler for this next paragraph. Matron Baenre was really a character that felt eternal. Her death was quick but done well. I particularly enjoyed that Bruenor was the one to do it, and that two of her daughters were also killed by Gundulag and Drizzt. We will see but Triel will now probably become the Matron of the first house of Menzoberranzan.

Overall it’s a decent book, I will admit that I may be biased towards Salvatore books. Before ever reading any of his work I heard he was the best and so far I would disagree. We’ll see if I change my mind, I’ve barely put a dent into his Forgotten Realms novels. For the sake of this review though, Siege of Darkness is Good.

Remember the Giveaway for the Avatar Trilogy I’m running, you have until the end of the month to enter!
You can track my current progress here.

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