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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

Siege of Darkness / R.A. Salvatore

Siege of Darkness - R.A. Salvatore

"Let the damned drow come!"

All about me I saw excitement, in the dwarves, in Cattibrie, even in Regis, the halfling known more for preparing for lunch and nap than for war. I felt it, too. That tingling anticipation, that camaraderie that had me and all the others patting each other on the back, offering praises for the simplest of additions to the common defense, and raising sour voices together in cheer whenever good news was announced. What was it? It was more than shared fear, more than giving thanks for what we had while realizing that it might soon be stolen away. i didn't understand it then, in that time of frenzy, in that euphoria of frantic preparations. Now, looking back, it is an easy thing to recognize.

It was hope.

 

I notice that I neglected to review the last volume of Drizzt, but really I think I could write the same review for every single book. The names are either tongue twisters or pretty silly. I mean really, how does one even pronounce Drizzt? The other dark elf names tend to have apostrophes in them and impossible consonant combinations. Doing these as audio books must be difficult. And consider names such as King Schnicktick. How can one take him seriously with a name like this?

All of Drizzt’s adventures are melodramatic--he is pushed to his limits, but suddenly finds new reserves within himself or is saved by a friend, who he vows to cherish even more. It’s a very black and white world of good & evil with very few nuances. I presume that Salvatore is writing for a young audience, as the man-woman relationships are basic at best. This book comes the closest to giving Drizzt a romantic partner, his old friend Cattie-Brie (that’s right, cheese girl, as I think of her). Fresh off of losing her fiance, Wulfgar, Cattie-Brie comes in contact with a sentient sword which flings her into Drizzt’s arms. Of course, Drizzt is a gentleman (gentledrow?) so Cattie-Brie’s virtue is uncompromised. Nevertheless, they set out together at the end of this book, leading me for the first time to be actually intrigued as to where the author intends to take them in the next volume.

Somehow, the last volume (Starless Night) seems to have been quite pointless--Drizzt didn’t accomplish much and the planning of an invasion of Mithril Hall by the denizens of Menzoberranzan continues apace. Readers may be intrigued to see how the dark elves of the Underdark are defeated by the noble alliance of friendly races (and their own frailties). Enough of the known characters remain that there is potential for more dark elf mischief in the future. For the time being, I am glad that Salvatore plans to move the next volume into the daylight of his world.

Book number 326 in my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project.