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bookrev: Siege of Darkness by R. A. Salvatore

5 stars: The Drow attack the Dwarves

Book IX in The Legend of Drizzt

Siege of Darkness, book 9 chronologically in the Drizzt series, finally gives what the last few books have been leading up to: the epic battle as the underground drow attack Mithril Hall, home of King Bruenor Battlehammer and his clan of dwarves. The battle turns epic when the forces of the barbarians, the Riders from Silverymoon and Nesme, and even the svirfnebli join forces with the dwarves against overwhelming odds.

The first part of the book cleans up the mess left in Menzoberranzan, home of the drow, after Drizzt and co.’s escape and destruction of House Baenre’s temple. A side story includes the temporary halt of all magic through some battle of the gods, which lets us see more of Lolth the Spider Queen and the Monster Errtu (whom Drizzt and Wulfgar defeated in an earlier book), and this so-called “Time of Troubles” is a useful device in several plots…they have little to do with the epic battle, but they either continue previous story lines or assumingly lay ground for the next book.

Writing battle scenes is one of Bob Salvatore’s greatest skills, and the battles in the caves and out in the valley are some of the best written in this series.

There is also a plot line involving Berkthgar, the barbarian who takes over as king for the fallen Wulfgar. He initially believe he needs Aegis-fang, the weapon King Bruenor crafted specifically for Wulfgar, and Catti-brie and Drizzt convince him otherwise, that he needs to build his own name in battle and not rely on Wulfgars. In the battle scenes, he certainly does that. He becomes an interesting character, hopefully there will be more from him.

Lots of groundwork laid for the next book, including the mysterious prisoner the Lolth gives to Errtu to help him get back to the Material Plan and go after Drizzt. I assume this will be the focus of the next book.

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