When I first say this book and who it was written by, Richard Byers - author of the Year of the Rogue Dragon series- I was looking forward to it as I like his writing style. The Preiest books, 4 in all, are a series of stand alone novels about various deities int he Forgotten Realms. With the title of this book Queen of the Depths I knew right away it would be about Umberlee and would focus a lot on the underwater life of the realms.
I will talk about the story, plot, first.
After reading the prologue I was worried about this book. Right away we are reading about mad dragons underwater attacking a underwater city. I inwardly groaned, as this is the stuff Mr. Byers covers in the Rogue Dragoe series. These are supposed to be stand alone novels - maybe a small time in to another Realms event would have been better - but not the Realms Shaking Event currently taking place. So, I quietly hoped this was an abonimation and the Dragones would be gone, and maybe the plot would focus on the destruction caused and such. No such luck, it centers around the Cult of the Dragon having a secret base and finding it. As with all my reviews I won't give spoilers here, but I just felt people need to know this is almost a continuation of the Rogue Dragon series, just with different characters.
The characters were ok at best. Initially, they seemed to be rather deep characters, yet the further I read into the book they never really seemed to develop... they just were. From the time I started the book until I ended it I felt, character wise, that I read a short story because the characters didn't grow or anything. They were simple 2-D cut-outs of characters you could find in a source book. I didn't like them at all. My last complaint about the characters is ***be warned some may consider this a small spoiler***
One of the two main characters, Tu'ala'keth is the preistess of Umberlee and all through the book she is cold, unforgiving and accepting of death. The author tries to make her out as a hardass that just does Umberlee's work. Sure, fine, works for me. Yet the last scene of the book what does the author have her do? She HUGS the human that she has basically dragged through all this. She HUGS him... why? Why was this scene there, based on her character this should never have happened. There was a scene ealier in the book where she says she doesn't like to be touched by humans... so she ends up hugging one. Makes no sense to me.
All the above is not to say this book doesn't have some value. It's not a bad book, it just has so many flaws that to someone who reads a lot of Fotrgotten Realms books I expected something totlally different than what I got.
I try to end my reviews by either recommending the book or not recommending it. For this one I would not actively recommend it to most people, as I think there are better books to read out there. Yet, I will say this, if you are a fan of the Year of the Rogue Dragon series - you should probably read this book. If you are a fan of dragon books you should like this just fine. Don't expect great characters or a great plot, but it's an ok read at best.