I’ve just finished reading War of the Spider Queen Book 1 – Dissolution. It’s a fair enough romp through Forgotten Realms’ Underdark city of Menzoberranzan. That is to say, it’s a pretty frothy read that doesn’t tax the ol’ braincells too much. It is supposed to be a tale of corruption, evil and betrayal among the Drow, those dark skinned, white haired demon-consorting elves that are the posterguys of modern D&D.
What we end up with is a story about a foppish noble spellcaster, a superhuman fighter who can beat anyone else in the city and a cast of sidelined minor characters. Sure, there’s demons (big monsters who growl and clang chains, it seems) and talk of torture, but it’s all glossed over in much the same way that Mills & Boon describes sex. It could really be set anywhere in the blandness that is the Forgotten Realms, and you’d never know.
Given the D&D is all about imagination and has fans among some of the greatest minds in fantasy literature, how come the novels are just tripe? Once, just once, I’d love to read a good, solid, gritty fantasy novel.
That’s why the next book I’m reading is The Black Company by Glen Cook