I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
It is part of the , , Forgotten Realms, Dungeons & Dragons series and is a on June 23, 2009 and has 314 pages.
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First in the Legend of Drizzt fantasy series, which I think is a sub series within the Forgotten Realm series. This particular story starts in the city of Menzoberranzan in the Underdark with its twenty thousand drow.
This was just nasty. Well-written in the details although it had too many incongruities that no one caught, or that Salvatore simply didn’t care about in this story about a culture that prizes lying, murder, assassination, and betrayal. I really didn’t want to give it a “4”; I’d have preferred a “3” or less, but it would be incredibly unfair simply because I despise the main thrust of the “country”. Or because I really hate it when authors create unpronounceable names that I have to struggle over.
I do have to give Salvatore credit for writing so well and consistently of such awful people with this engrossing culture. The story just goes on and on and on, detailing the awfulness of it. However, it’s also clumsy. If Zak is the best weapons master, then how can the clerics of House DeVir not have heard of him? Why does Zak think his only choice was to kill Drizzt? Why didn’t he just flee with Drizzt?
This is stupid. Why wasn’t Drizzt taught about his society and their attitudes from the start? It just seems so dumb to leave him in ignorance until he goes off to the Academy. No, Salvatore leaves all these loose ends, and it irritates me.
I don’t understand the position of a patron of the house. It sounds like a good thing, but the status of males denies that idea. Nor does Salvatore ever explain it.
I think part of my dislike is the utter waste of it all. These drow spend all their time plotting and knifing each other in the back. Instead, they could put all that brainpower to use building their people up. It’s like crooks and terrorists who spend all this money, time, and effort to destroy when if they put the same into building up…the world could be so much better.
It’s odd that I find their customs and way of raising children disgusting. That I despise the female’s power over the males; it’s very much as women were/are treated by our own society. I think I feel better about myself, knowing that I find inequal treatment of anyone repugnant.
The plot is coming to fruition and House Do’Urden will advance in its ambitions. Small things, however, will have a bearing on total and eventual success.
The birthed one that lives. The cruel and repugnant customs of the drow that will push their best away.
It’s of Drizzt’s upbringing that we read and the slow and steady truth of his culture that he grasps.
House Do’Urden, Tenth House of Menzoberranzan
Drizzt Do’Urden is alive only through ambition, and his achievements as he reaches manhood are astounding. Unfortunately for his House, he is also capable of independent thought. Malice Do’Urden is the Matron Mother of Daermon N’a’shezbaernon; her daughters are Maya, a vicious bitch; Vierna, who has thrust her softer side behind her; and, Briza the worst of the daughters. Dinin is his older brother, a perfect drow: ambitious, violent, self-seeking; Nalfein is the eldest son. Zaknafein is the finest weapons master in the city, busy training their 300 troops. Rizzen is Malice’s current flavor of the month.
Alton DeVir is a son of House DeVir, the Fourth House. Matron Ginafae is his mother, but she has fallen out of favor with Lolth. Matron Baenre is of House Baenre, the First House. One of her sons is the city’s chief wizard, and she doesn’t hesitate to rub it in. Her daughter, Triel, is the Matron Mistress of the Academy. Berg’inyon is a son who is up against Drizzt at the Academy. The fate of House Teken’duis is yet another nail in the coffin for Drizzt, followed by the forced fight with Byuchyuch, then the behavior of Kelnozz of House Kenafin really rams home the truth of his culture. Why it took this many years for Drizzt to understand this, I’ll never understand.
House Hun’ett is the Sixth House
Matron SiNafay is Masoj’s mother. Guenhwyvar is the panther who exists on another plane until called by Masoj, who is serving his older brother, the Faceless One, a mage at the Academy. The Faceless One is desperate for aid, and in return for it, he has contracted to kill Alton DeVir.
Lolth is the Spider Queen who encourages chaos and backstabbing. The Matrons and their talented daughters serve her as high priestesses. The females hold all the power; the males are fodder. I can’t quite figure out what the yochlol is. It appears to be a representative of the queen.
Station is the drow religion paying homage to the Spider Queen, a deity of chaos which rewards a stab in the back while frowning upon an overt attack. A drider is a drow turned into a half-drow, half-spider for angering the queen.
I do like Drizzt’s comment:
Those most powerful in Menzoberranzan spend their days watching over their shoulders, defending against the daggers that would find their backs. Their deaths usually come from the front.
A vein of gemstones is discovered close to drow territory and Belwar and his miners are sent to mine them.
Goblins and orcs are treated as slaves.
Tier Breche is the Academy of the drow with three schools: Arach-Tinilith, the school of Lolth; Melee-Magthere, the school for fighters; and, Sorcere, the school of wizardry. Hatch’net is the master of Lore — think of it as propaganda.
The Cover and Title
No, I don’t care for the cover either — hey, at least I’m consistent! It’s shades of purple and brown as Drizzt and his friendly cat, Guenhwyvar, prowl the corridors around Menzoberranzan.
The title is our introduction to a culture, people, and Homeland Drizzt learns to despise.