Wow! What a ride.
Lisa Smedman takes this series and injected a jolt of intensity that it really needed. She has a way of writing that feels very immediate and exciting. The subject (our group of drow splits up, follows paths all over the place, and gets even deeper into trouble) is nothing really special, but Smedman presents it in a way that really made me feel for the characters and kept the pages turning.
I especially loved the way she worked the minutiae of Dungeons and Dragons lore into the story. I've been a D&D fan for a long time now, and we never worry about most of that little stuff in the games we play, but Smedman worked things like spell component collection, the use of those components in spell casting, and in just the descriptions of the various items the characters use into the story. But in a way that flowed naturally, rather than becoming a grocery list of completeness.
I was very very impressed with this book. And I'll be looking out for more Smedman in the future. I think she's an author to watch!
I love this whole War of the Spider Queen Series. If you liked the Drizzit books, you'll love these.
This book is the next great step in this series of fertile imagination of R.A. Salvatore.
Great series, very dark and worth reading.