There are eighteen books in this series, and with that many pages a reader would expect to encounter two aspects: deeper characterizations and repetition. Both are on full display in The Silent Blade, the eleventh in the Drizzt Do’Urden series.
The previous book (Passage to Dawn) ended with Wulfgar being rescued from the demon Urtuu. One of the best features of this new book is Wulgar’s struggles against his feelings of defeat and guilt brought about by his many years of torture at the hands of the demon. In a telling scene he beats his once fiance’ Catti-brie, thinking she is actually a succubus, a tactic that Urtuu tormented him with. Wulfgar leaves the group and falls into alcoholism and brawling, both of which give him some release from his inner conflict.
The other nice piece of characterization is with Artemis Entreri, who is not only struggling with having been defeated twice by Drizzt, but at seeing the underground drow world as a reflection in his own cold and conniving personality. Entreri struggles with what to do next, until the drow Jaraxle recruits him in a scheme to expand Jarlaxle’s business above ground.
The rest of the plot is, unfortunately, repetitious; Drizzt and Entreri fight again, several people die or are near death and miraculously survive or are revived, and the group of companions face several overwhelming odds and triumph.
But this novel bodes well for the future of the series: Wulfgar is a brawling drunk with questionable friends; the Crystal Shard is in play again; Jarlaxle is an ambitious drow, expanding his empire; and Drizzt and Catti-brie have to hook-up sooner or later, don’t they?
Only seven books behind my son now!
(especially Wulfgar and Enteri), yet another Drizzt and Enteri battle.