The Drizzt Novels: Siege of Darkness by R.A. Salvatore
The Drizzt Novels: Siege of Darkness
Siege of Darkness is the ninth book in The Legend of the Drizzt series by R.A. Salvatore. The book is set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons. Originally published in 1994 by TSR and rereleased by Wizards of the Coast in 2006. When first released Siege of darkness was on the New York Times Bestseller list for weeks. The Introduction is written by Todd Lockwood who is the official Drizzt cover art guru. His introduction is a short essay basically thanking R.A. Salvatore for writing something he could sink his brush into and then gives us a chuckle by spelling out a list of silly names that resemble some of Salvatore’s dwarven names. The cute and funny intro is where the good times end for this book, bring on the darkness.
Fig #1 Old Cover Art
As far as the original cover goes, this is the least ridiculous of the Legacy of the Drow series. That being said it looks like my mom and a dark version of Trey Parker of South Park fame.
Fig #2. The new art work by Todd Lockwood
The new art by Todd Lockwood is more like it. Mr. Lockwood has a knack for bringing to life a specific and relevant scene from the Drizzt novels that gives the book a much better look. One can even order prints from Todd Lockwood’s web site.
Spoiler Alert – Stop reading if you do not want the whole story. Go to the bottom of the page for the rest of the review.
This book centers almost exclusively on Mithril Hall as the companions prepare for war with Menzoberranzan. Drizzt and Catti-brie have returned from their harrowing experience in Drizzt home city. Bruenor and the dwarves begin to prepare the halls for an attack from the Drow who, because of their superior numbers and skilled warriors really don’t think the dwarves will put up much of a fight. On their way to the dwarven stronghold the Drow army, lead by Matron Baenre herself, makes a detour to conquer Blingdenstone the home of the deep gnomes. The gnomes had got wind of the approaching army and wisely, though sadly, had already abandoned the city.
The time of troubles befalls the realms and the gods are cast out of the heavens to walk the land in mortal avatars. Lloth sets Errtu the task of answering her follower’s prayers for spells in an elaborate ploy to sow the seeds of chaos in her beloved city of spiders. The attack on Mithril Hall commences both above and below ground with many armies answering the call of Bruenor. Silverymoon shows up and even Nesme’ sends aid, even though relations are strained between that city and Mithril Hall.
The companions of the hall break off from the main host of the army in an attempt to go after the head of the Drow army and Bruenor Succeeds in killing Matron Baenre himself. The Drow armies are repulsed and sent running back into the dark holes of the Underdark. Mithril hall is secure and Menzoberranzan is in chaos, just the way Lloth likes it.
END OF SPOILER
There are a couple of great new characters in this book that unfortunately don’t last very long. Gandulag Battlehammer is returned to life after centuries of his soul being trapped in Matron Baenre’s necklace. Gandulag was the first king of clan Battlehammer and Bruenor actually gives the throne over to him and returns to Icewind Dale.
Uthegental Armgo, the patron and weapons master of the second house of Menzoberranzan stands six feet tall and weighs nearly 200 hundred pounds and he is easily the largest Drow in the city. He spikes his hair and has facial piercings and is known to wear war paint. His weapon is a huge trident and he is fierce in the extreme in battle. Not to bright but devastating none the less. He doesn’t survive the attack on Mithril hall which I thought was too bad, I would like to have seen more of this Drow maniac.
Siege of Darkness like the previous two books is dark and foreboding and was intended to bring Salvatore’s Characters up to speed with the current events of the realms by aligning it with the Time of troubles. Also Drizzt is freed from the burden of his entire city wanting him dead but his heritage and past will always burden him, especially in the form of Jarlaxle, the leader of the mercenary band Bregan D’aerthe, who we see in many upcoming novels.
R.A. Salvatore once again shows that he is the master of writing plot twist and intrigue over a backdrop of masterful battle and war scenarios. Siege of Darkness is a pinnacle of that effort as he is describing both surface and Underdark battles in the same chapters. Drizzt’s ironclad moral code is inspiring and at this point he is passing into the realms of myth and legend. If you are not reading these books you are missing out on one of the greatest adventures ever told.
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