on January 20, 2007
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.
on June 5, 2004
Definitely GREAT Fantasy epics and my personal favorites, The Dark Elf Trilogy-Homeland, Exile, and Sojourn, as well as The Icewind Dale Trilogy- The Crystal Shard, Streams of Silver, and The Halfling's Gem bring to life the story of the good hearted dark elf ranger Drizzt Do'Urden and his adventures in the magical World of Faerun. Legacy, Starless Night, Siege of Darkness and Passage to Dawn are the continuation of these adventures in a way that you keep coming back for more and more and more... The books are all so incredibly well written that the reader feels that they have been transported to another universe and are actually present among the characters, seeing what they see, feeling what they feel, sensing what they sense. RA Salvatore has truly outdone himself and has presented us with a masterpiece of literature the likes of which we have seen only in JRR Tolkien's work and in authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends trilogies. Duty, honor, bravery, magic, and swordfights are all about. A great trilogy indeed and a "must read" along with RA Salvatore's The Icewind Dale Trilogy! One should seriously start thinking about maybe turning them into movies...
on May 1, 2004
There's nothing really spectacular about his book. The main problem is that it takes too long to rev up. When you write a book that's only 300 pages, you have to fill it with action from the start to finish to make it good. Salvatore spent a good deal of pages as exposition. I don't mind the amount of exposition, as long as there's enough action for the rest of the story. Obviously, in a book this short, that can't happen. (I have noticed that down the line the books are getting progressively longer, and this pleases me.) This book should be called Attack of Darkness, instead of Siege, because that's what is. It was very entertaining when it happened, but the rest of the book was a little bland. The first portion is filled up with this event called the Time of Troubles, something that really seemed to have no relation to the rest of the story. It came and it went, and everything was the same again. I later found out that this incident was BORROWED FROM ANOTHER AUTHOR. Also, there's still a little too much silliness in this book. When I first came across such things in the Icewind Dale Trilogy, I dismissed them as by-products of Slavatore's inexperience as a writer. I can no longer say such, since these book follow on the heels of the Dark Elf Trilogy. There was no silliness in those books. They were dead serious. But here I've noticed different occasions where characters act a little childish at times. Never Drizzt. Most of the characters in this book still don't stand up to Drizzt's characterization. The Harpells stand as prime examples. And their magic is too silly, also. I just can never seriously consider a man being able to switch his brains with his ass. I just can't do it.
So, despite the good story, this book was mediocre. As was the next.
on July 3, 2002
Another gem in Salvatore's collection. This time the stakes are higher as Bruenor and his friends face complete annihilation. Drizzt returns to the surface from his trek to Menzoberranzan successful only so far as slowing down the big bad drow war machine. However, the biggest stumbling block that must be overcome is fate. Fate, which rears its ugly head as the Time of Troubles, adds a twist to the story that makes this novel truly enjoyable. You will love the scheming that this stirs up in the drow with their magic heavy culture as well as the bizarre happenings on the surface.
The ensuing battle when the drow do arrive is just spectacular. Fighting on all fronts with the defenders on the edge of destruction right up until the end. However, I too share the opinion of many of the other reviewers...this is one battle the heroes should have lost. I think the power of the attacking army was under played. While goblins, orcs, and minotaurs maybe fodder for drow, these creatures alone have massed attacks against the dwarves and won. But, add in the extra firepower created by the drow and you have an unbeatable force. The heroes should not have stood a chance. And what's more, I think the book would have turned out better if the heroes had lost giving it that tragic edge. Drizzt, Cattie-brie, and Bruenor could have still knocked out Matron Baenre and stopped the drow from occupying the dwarven homeland. But to let the dwarves and their allies run off an army of drow completely victorious is a step beyond even "fantasy reality". Regardless of the outcome of the battle...the melee was still very compelling and exciting with tons of detail and not ridiculous like the climatic battle in "Descent into the Depths of the Earth". I am anxious to see what new troubles and intrigues will develop from the ashes of this latest conflict.
on October 24, 2001
As a former Dungeons & Dragons player and lover of Tolkien's books, I have never outgrown my fondness for fantasy stories. A couple years ago, I was browsing a bookstore for a promising-looking adventure novel and grabbed _Siege of Darkness_ based on the back cover synopsis and the first page or so of the novel. This was the first Drizzt novel and the first R. A. Salvatore novel I had ever read, and perhaps I can best recommend the book by saying that I have since read over 20 of Mr. Salvatore's novels and have enjoyed every one immensely.
If you have not read the previous books about Drizzt, you may want to start with _The Crystal Shard_ (the first book Salvatore wrote about Drizzt) or _Homeland_ (which entails Drizzt's origins). As I said, however, this was the first Drizzt novel I read, and my ignorance of the earlier books in the series did not detract from my enjoyment. [It did, however, spur me on to devour the previous books in the series in the following months!]
What makes Salvatore's books so great, in my opinion, is that he actually develops his characters. Drizzt is one of the most interesting protagonists I have ever come across. His inner turmoil and his status as a perpetual outsider make him much more interesting than just another kick-butt warrior. Drizzt's journal entries, which open the major sections of the novels, are especially interesting psychological portraits.
But don't worry, fans of a good battle: R.A. Salvatore is also fantastic at describing all kinds of combat, from tense duels to sprawling battles between large armies. I know it's a cliche, but his descriptions of combat really allow you to visualize the slashes and feints in your mind's eye. And, as the title implies, _Siege of Darkness_ contains some of his best battle descriptions.
If you're a fan of fantasy novels and are looking for a new writer and a new hero in whose worlds to immerse yourself, do yourself a favor and try R.A. Salvatore and Drizzt Do'Urden on for size.
on July 10, 2001
Siege of Darkness is an excellent conclusion to the events that started in the two novels that preceeded it. Once again, Salvatore's most famous protagonist, Drizzt Do'urden must battle the evil drow of his homeland. This time, he and his companions, Cattie-Brie, Bruenor Battlehammer, Regis and others must defend Mithril Hall from an invasion by the drow and their allies.
This novel brings together aspects and characters from the eight previous novels in the series rather nicely. Matron Baerne and the House of Baerne from the Drow city of Menzoberanzzan, the Burrow Warden Belwar Dissengulp of the Deep Gnomes, Lady Allustriel, and the Harkles amongst other all appear in the novel and blend fantasticaly.
Another of the novel's strengths is the battle scenes. Salvatore has a knack for writing battles that are successful in outlining both the fight's scope and the details of particular combatants. The climatic war between the Drow with their minotaur, goblin, and illithid allies and the Dwarves with the Silver Knigts, Barbarians, and Deep Gnomes is fantastic. The descriptions are vivid and the scenes flow smoothly.
For a change, the heros don't have to deal with Artemis Entreri. Thats not a knack on the spectacular assassin, but it is nice to see that the one character isn't at the heart of all the battles that Drizzt is destined to face.
The characters don't "grow" or change as much in this novel as they did in the past. The majority of the emotions and internal monologue deal with recovering from the major loss of the last two novels, which I won't reveal so as not to spoil it for those that haven't read the Legacy or Starless Night.
The novel is a real adventure, and reminiscent of the first novel in the Drizzt Do'Urden series, The Crystal Shard. Salvatore fans will not be disappointed.
on May 18, 2001
Siege of darkness is one of the best of the best, which puts it even with many of Salvatore's other books. This book proves that it is possible to accurately portray a huge battle and still place individual characters into group-style fighting. Salvatore very nicely portrays a melee of huge proportions and places important characters in the thick of it, right along with everyone else. Although Salvatore wrote this book with very good battle scenes, and still could put in the personal struggles of all our forgotten realms characters, I was slightly dissapointed with the way Guen's disaster was portrayed. Although he did well in showing the friend's dismay, he glossed over a lot of the tragedy with, although important, distracting events such as Catti-brie's struggle with Cutter. However, his writing style made up for the small lack. One of the best things about this book was the thorough way in which Salvatore expanded on the dark elves and the affairs of dark Menzobarranzan, making this story about more than just a war with the surface. Once again Salvatore spins a web of intrigue and action, drawing us all a little deeper into the world of the Forgotten Realms.
on July 23, 1999
I didn't give this book a lower rating only because it was one of the forgotten realms books. in this sotry, a war between the drow elves and the dwarves builds up, and then finally breaks in the end. i first read the Icewind Dale Trilogy, and was instantly hooked on all the character, especially Drizzt Do'Urden (he was just cool. all rangers are.....) I was a bit dissapointed by this book. It seemed a little boring throughout the whole thing. I got sick of all the drow elf parts as they were in their underground city sitting there and talking and occasionally killing one another. I didn't like the end, either, because it didn't seem to fufill all of the tensness. It sort of just fizzled out (even though the war did last for like 50 pages). i also didn't like the wizards, while they did prvide comic releif, they were more childish than i had expected for this book (the whole Puddlejumper and the werewolf thing).
all in all, this book was ok, but i do not think i would ever read it again. if you liked the icewind Dale Trilogy (Crystal Shard, Stream of Silver, and the Halflings gem) you may like this book, or you may not, depending on what you like to read.
on July 20, 1999
The only problem with this book is that Salvatore is starting to just make stuff up as he goes along. The most bizarre stuff happens, as a result of something that just hits us from a clear blue sky. He has kind of thrown out character development. Drizzt has become a jerk. His problem is he is so confident in his fighting ability that he fights for no better reason than to fight; not for honor or some other just cause as he usually does. He just goes out and kicks butt. Same thing in Starless Night. Any clear mind eventually comes to the conclusion that you do not go to Menzoberranzan in that situation. I guess I just liked Drizzt better when the odds were stacked against him. Of course, I can't blame Salvatore for this. Everything must happen within the framework of a normal D&D adventure, which foresakes the character development of really good literature. I'm sure Salvatore could be as successful as another good old writer whose last name begins with an S, ends with an E, and has a whole bunch of letters in between (yes I do know how to spell Shakespeare; I am not avoiding that) if he just took his time like J.R.R., Piers Anthony, and Douglas Adams and created his own world, his own rules, and set everything up in advance rather than making it up as he went along to help the heroes. Only hero in this series is Jarlaxle. He foresakes the drow and the Spider Queen just as Drizzt does, but with much more subtlety and cunning, much less arrogance. Notice how he bows to everybody? His body count is considerably less than Drizzt's, and he's spent his whole life in Menzoberranzan. His gang is just for protection; they hardly ever kill anybody either. He has perfect control over an evil and violent race of beings without taking anyone's life as Drizzt does. And, in his own strange sense, he's happy too.
on December 30, 1998
Once again Salvatore shows us how he can masterfully write battle scenes both big and small.I am a big fan of battle scenes. Also it shows the emotions of the characters and expands on certain characters like the Harpells and Alustriel and also truly shows the honorable code of the Dwarves and their allies. It even expands on existing characters and it does display how the Dwarves and humans had a advantage over the invading Drow and Goblinoid army. I'll explain. First of all the Goblinoids are pushovers. And if they're slaves they have no chance of promotion so they are probably dispirited too. Not to mention they're not to bright. And the Dwarves are natural goblin bashers and probably veteran veteran fighters and have good reasons and inspiration to fight. While the Drow are just selfish, they won't help their friends and when sunlight arrived the surface battle was lost and the Drow are more afraid of dying too not to mention overconfident. The drow in other books were the elite noble Drow, the best that Menzoberranzan had to offer. Not all Drow can Fight like that. If you wish for debate E-Mail me.