counter create hit Insurrection - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Insurrection

Availability: Ready to download

The War of the Spider Queen spreads... A hand-picked team of the most capable drow adventurers begin a perilous journey through the treacherous Underdark, all the while surrounded by the chaos of war. Their path will take them through the very heart of darkness, and the Underdark will be shaken to its core. If the powerful dark elves falter, the world below is open for Insu The War of the Spider Queen spreads... A hand-picked team of the most capable drow adventurers begin a perilous journey through the treacherous Underdark, all the while surrounded by the chaos of war. Their path will take them through the very heart of darkness, and the Underdark will be shaken to its core. If the powerful dark elves falter, the world below is open for Insurrection.


Compare

The War of the Spider Queen spreads... A hand-picked team of the most capable drow adventurers begin a perilous journey through the treacherous Underdark, all the while surrounded by the chaos of war. Their path will take them through the very heart of darkness, and the Underdark will be shaken to its core. If the powerful dark elves falter, the world below is open for Insu The War of the Spider Queen spreads... A hand-picked team of the most capable drow adventurers begin a perilous journey through the treacherous Underdark, all the while surrounded by the chaos of war. Their path will take them through the very heart of darkness, and the Underdark will be shaken to its core. If the powerful dark elves falter, the world below is open for Insurrection.

30 review for Insurrection

  1. 4 out of 5

    Markus

    The second War of the Spider Queen instalment is unfortunately disappointing. The Menzoberranzan intrigue schemes are replaced with a long and dreary Quest™. Several of the more fascinating characters and themes are left behind, and a single-minded focus on a shallow, one-sided story is pursued instead. While an exploration of the Underdark is always somewhat interesting, this book left me feeling, once again, that I have yet to come across a consistently good series of books set in the Forgotten The second War of the Spider Queen instalment is unfortunately disappointing. The Menzoberranzan intrigue schemes are replaced with a long and dreary Quest™. Several of the more fascinating characters and themes are left behind, and a single-minded focus on a shallow, one-sided story is pursued instead. While an exploration of the Underdark is always somewhat interesting, this book left me feeling, once again, that I have yet to come across a consistently good series of books set in the Forgotten Realms. Its a splendid fantasy setting deserving of good stories, but perhaps it is simply better to create your own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    Good book. Any book about the drow in Forgotten Realms is a good read. They are worse than the republicans.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Blue

    This book offers barely any plot and zero character development, both ignored in the favor of insufferable amount of quite unnecessary fighting scenes. The book would otherwise have around 100 pages of shallow but pleasant plot. While I am aware of Salvatore's "matriarchal society only in name" writing, this book hammered the hypocrisy of it into the ground and left it there for me to weep over it. Unlike in Legend of Drizzt, women actually do something other than villainy in this book. That, how This book offers barely any plot and zero character development, both ignored in the favor of insufferable amount of quite unnecessary fighting scenes. The book would otherwise have around 100 pages of shallow but pleasant plot. While I am aware of Salvatore's "matriarchal society only in name" writing, this book hammered the hypocrisy of it into the ground and left it there for me to weep over it. Unlike in Legend of Drizzt, women actually do something other than villainy in this book. That, however, is once again overshadowed by the fact that men still apparently do everything in Menzoberranzan and Ched Nasad. From Gromph getting more screentime than Triel, to Pharaun being literally illegally sassy with Quenthel. Pharaun's behavior is supposed to connect the reader with drow race because, as Drizzt, he is a bit unusual and more bold than any other drow "male". His borderline blasphemous demeanor is excused by everyone, including the author himself. The high priestess, in the absence of her own divine powers, constantly thinks to herself how "Pharaun is too valuable to be harmed in any way", which is mostly the author being unable to comprehend how an actual gendered society works. Lisa Smedman did far better job of this in her Lady Penitent trilogy, even in mere 80 pages I read before pausing to read this mess of a six-book-series. Quenthel, the high priestess, continually refrains from any sort of verbal or corporeal punishment that drow "females" are so notorious for. In regards to that, drow men written by men authors never seem to have any psychological damage showing from the fact that the reader is constantly reminded of "female" cruelty toward "males" in that society. Throughout the book, "males" are constantly spared the torture, and are the supposed default for any large group of soldiers (women are never mentioned as parts of troops, except when they're specifically "high priestesses"). Author always finds some reason to save any male character, but on the other hand, women are often described dying in horrible, bloody (and deserved) pain. For example, Quenthel did not feel any qualm ordering many high priestesses to mutilate themselves as punishment in the previous book, despite knowing she will one day need those divine powers to rule over the city in one way or the other. When it comes to very rude and disrespectful Pharaun however, she insists, in her thoughts, she cannot treat him badly in any way because she needs his arcane powers. He would've been able to cast spells even if she taught him a lesson with her whip once or twice, the way it would apparently make sense in the "cruel matriarchal drow society" Salvatore wants to portray. While on the subject of tentative main character, wizard Pharaun, he also, for no proper reason, suddenly attracts two women and is described to be ogling them in the middle of the fight. A jealous unnecessary romantic triangle is also hinted at. One of those two women is an overly sexualized demon succubus (I say overly because the demon she works with, an incubus, is at no point described in a sexual or sensual way), who is apparently suddenly head over heels for Pharaun, even if she is centuries old and has certainly seen better catch than some drow... Furthermore, Pharaun is described to be aroused by the sight of humiliated and subdued battle captive to the point I was sure the book must have been written by a hormone-ridden teenager. In conclusion, I blame the many downsides of this book on both the author, and Salvatore who oversaw the writing of the whole series. Salvatore purposefully insists on this "matriarchal" society having very little to do with women, and it shows in most aspects of his books. Women are a plot device only as villains. But they are villains for as long as that doesn't impede readers' (and authors') boy fantasies. Because obviously we're out of ideas for what men should do, so it's going to be very interesting to put them into what we think is a society oppressive towards men, and then make them the main characters too. This shows the best when one realizes that out of four pillars of power in Menzoberranzan, only one is dominated by women (and so far, I haven't seen the mention of women in other three). Those would be Arach-Tinilith priestesses/nobles/matron mothers, led by women, who are in turn supported by male dominated wizard school Sorcere, and fighting schooland Melee-Magthere, and also employ the help of mercenary group Bregan D'aerthe (so far no mention of women being part of it). In Insurrection, the author is also completely unable to portray any sort of personality for women except for "anger" and "self-importance". Mind you, men get very little too, because it's far more important to write extensive and detailed fighting scenes. My reference point is the Brimstone Angels series written by Erin M. Evans who did not bother with thorough fighting scenes or using the pretentiously complex language, but rather focused on developing the plot, as much as both women and men characters. I will admit I read only 3 Legend of Drizzt books and 2 from the War of the Spider Queen series, and I am open to seeing that hopefully all these things I'm currently complaining on will change in the future. (I am not optimistic, however, seeing that the new Drizzt series that came out in 2015-2016 mostly mentions just Drizzt and Gromph in the summaries...) I'm not a fan of skipping books and reading the summaries on wiki pages, but this book doesn't deserve those couple of hours it would take to read it. I also recommend just skimming the fighting scenes because they honestly do not contribute to anything.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Heather Carter

    What can I say, other than I'm a -bit- of a drow fangirl, and to finally have the opportunity to read a series where a group of dark elves are, y'know... acting like drow, instead of centering on one goodie-two-shoes individual, made me squee with delight. I loved the politicking and conniving done by, and general unpleasantness of, the characters in this whole series, to the point that I was more than willing to forgive a couple of plot holes and narrative errors, not to mention the sudden chang What can I say, other than I'm a -bit- of a drow fangirl, and to finally have the opportunity to read a series where a group of dark elves are, y'know... acting like drow, instead of centering on one goodie-two-shoes individual, made me squee with delight. I loved the politicking and conniving done by, and general unpleasantness of, the characters in this whole series, to the point that I was more than willing to forgive a couple of plot holes and narrative errors, not to mention the sudden changes in select character traits when each new author picked up the series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    This second adventure in the mysterious underdark is a wrecking ball that keeps building momentum until the end. It brings us to the dark elf city of Ched Nasad where betrayal and deceit bubble way past the boiling point. Overall, Reid does a favorable job of picking up where Byers Dissolution left off. After leaving Menzoberranzan, our characters from the first book quickly find themselves in one worse predicament after another, and the author never let's you come up for air. Reid moves at a fra This second adventure in the mysterious underdark is a wrecking ball that keeps building momentum until the end. It brings us to the dark elf city of Ched Nasad where betrayal and deceit bubble way past the boiling point. Overall, Reid does a favorable job of picking up where Byers Dissolution left off. After leaving Menzoberranzan, our characters from the first book quickly find themselves in one worse predicament after another, and the author never let's you come up for air. Reid moves at a frantic pace, which I think is actually very fitting for the content of the novel. He captures Pharaun - the wizard from the first book - very well. I was somewhat worried considering the character was first introduced to us through another author. There are plenty of action scenes where we get to see Jeggred, Ryld, and Valas shine - each adding a different dimension to the fighting. Jeggred being the ferocious half-demon all claws and teeth, Ryld the sturdy, enduring weapons master, and Valas the dexterous kukris-wielding rogue-type character. Quenthel (the snake-whip wielding high priestess) was somewhat of a disappointment, however. She turned out to be a complete badass in Dissolution, but she lacked any luster in this book. She struck me more as a whining schoolgirl than a commanding leader. Actually, many of the women in this book were very juvenile which for me was a gashing flaw in the story and why I only rated it 3 stars. I'm not sure why Reid chose to go this direction but it didn't serve the dark elf persona very well in my mind. There were also some recurring themes of saving one another that I didn't find very drow-like, either. Although Reid would sometimes recover with a sidenote that explained their saving of each other with pragmatism as opposed to actual compassion (which is no trait of a dark elf.) I don't seem to remember dark elves exhibiting "friendship," "trust," or "honor" of any sort in Salvatore's original Dark Elf Trilogy, but it has been close to 15 years since I read it, and maybe my mindset has matured as to exactly what a truly "evil" race should embody. As a reader, I keep picking out flaws and thinking to myself, "a dark elf would never do THAT, or say THAT!" Another complaint as a sidenote is WAY too much convenient magic, but I've come to accept it in favor of the story. All in all Reid did justice to the MAJOR event that Insurrection was centered around. It turned out to be thoroughly entertaining with some really great catastrophic moments, plenty of chaos, a bit of mystery and intrigue, a dash of humor, a diverse cast of characters, and one particularly gruesome death scene!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I listened to the first third of the book and nothing happened. Fights that did take place were largely fought 'off camera', the male drow were smug, and the female drow had lost all their brains and agency. Really, Richard Byers was much better able to distribute strengths and flaws evenly amongst the genders and thus portray drow society much more believably. His writing was also more engaging, because we actually saw the heroes performing heroic deeds. Reid's writing - sadly! - lacks wit and I listened to the first third of the book and nothing happened. Fights that did take place were largely fought 'off camera', the male drow were smug, and the female drow had lost all their brains and agency. Really, Richard Byers was much better able to distribute strengths and flaws evenly amongst the genders and thus portray drow society much more believably. His writing was also more engaging, because we actually saw the heroes performing heroic deeds. Reid's writing - sadly! - lacks wit and purpose.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steven Cole

    What fun! A quintet of characters from the depths of Menzobarranzan heads to Ches Nasad to find out the extent of Lolth's silence. Reid did a great job describing the environment and the journey... The drow were as evil and scheming as ever, and the battles were well done. I'm really enjoying this series! What fun! A quintet of characters from the depths of Menzobarranzan heads to Ches Nasad to find out the extent of Lolth's silence. Reid did a great job describing the environment and the journey... The drow were as evil and scheming as ever, and the battles were well done. I'm really enjoying this series!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    This book grew on me. I still prefer Salavatore's original characters. I love the character Pharaun in here, he keeps the other drows on there toes. This book grew on me. I still prefer Salavatore's original characters. I love the character Pharaun in here, he keeps the other drows on there toes.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shelby

    I very much liked this book. It was a well written addition to this series!

  10. 5 out of 5

    David

    The pacing is faster in this book than the first one, but nevertheless it captures the feel of the characters introduced in the first book. Book 2 tells the tale of the main characters of the first book being picked for a investigative mission to a neighboring city and their adventures there. There's plenty of action and not much dull moments - of course, there is a tendency to go too quickly and as a result Thomas wrote less interactions between the characters than Richard did in the first book The pacing is faster in this book than the first one, but nevertheless it captures the feel of the characters introduced in the first book. Book 2 tells the tale of the main characters of the first book being picked for a investigative mission to a neighboring city and their adventures there. There's plenty of action and not much dull moments - of course, there is a tendency to go too quickly and as a result Thomas wrote less interactions between the characters than Richard did in the first book. Still, where he did do it, it was well done - still managing to capture the essence of what makes a drow society theoretically work.

  11. 4 out of 5

    David Schwarm

    When WotC finally starts making Movies this is going to be one of the total highlights. Great Characters, Amazing battle scenes, subtle intrigue resolved quickly, and moves the larger story along--this is the Empire Strikes Back of the War of the Spider Queen. Our heros are beaten, a city is destroyed, and grudges are resolved in the Drow way as we plunge further into the Underdarks current crisis. I really enjoyed this read a lot--initially the abundance of characters was overwhelming, but in t When WotC finally starts making Movies this is going to be one of the total highlights. Great Characters, Amazing battle scenes, subtle intrigue resolved quickly, and moves the larger story along--this is the Empire Strikes Back of the War of the Spider Queen. Our heros are beaten, a city is destroyed, and grudges are resolved in the Drow way as we plunge further into the Underdarks current crisis. I really enjoyed this read a lot--initially the abundance of characters was overwhelming, but in the end it all worked out really well. A fun, quick read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Valentine

    That was A Lot. And ended on a cliffhanger of sorts. It's a shame we never got to see Ched Nasad at a better time as it seemed like it was probably a really interesting place before everything went sideways. Hallistra and Danifae seem like an interesting pair. Curious to see more of them. That was A Lot. And ended on a cliffhanger of sorts. It's a shame we never got to see Ched Nasad at a better time as it seemed like it was probably a really interesting place before everything went sideways. Hallistra and Danifae seem like an interesting pair. Curious to see more of them.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Frank Poe

    I'm hooked on dark elves. I'm hooked on dark elves.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Estevam (Impish Reviews)

    This one was disappointing compared to the last one, let me elaborate, starting with the positives of this book there is a lot of action so those who likes fights that are for the most part well described will have a good time through the whole book, we still go through an assortment of interesting and varied locations and we get a further look through the power dynamics in the underdark so those who like lore also can get their fix from this book, the pacing of the book is faster in this book m This one was disappointing compared to the last one, let me elaborate, starting with the positives of this book there is a lot of action so those who likes fights that are for the most part well described will have a good time through the whole book, we still go through an assortment of interesting and varied locations and we get a further look through the power dynamics in the underdark so those who like lore also can get their fix from this book, the pacing of the book is faster in this book mostly because of how action packed it really is, and i am sad to say that this is as far as the positives go. NOW, for the negatives, where do i even begin the characters from the last book are just a shadow of the former versions from the first book, Pharaun though still witty and crafty seems to have somehow gotten stupider as in this book he seems to let his hormones influence much of his decisions which not only go against the character shown in the first book as with drow culture as described in the first book; Ryld just doesn't show any individuality in this book as he becomes a sort of ''yes man'' to Pharaun, of course he thinks about the betrayal in the first book but it does not go far from that he is still shown as very good with the sword and because this book has a lot of fights he will swing his sword a lot.Now to Quenthel, on to how they massacred my girl, she is just a bubbling idiot in this book, actually when you think about all the female drow are idiots in this book, she is shown as temperamental and simply ignorant of the big picture the whole book needing to be herded by Pharaun every time, she is not crafty anymore, in the first book the mistress of Arachne Tinilith is shown as having a cruel efficiency as well as having a mind for politics, in this one she does absolutely nothing and there is zero development not only to her character as to all of the other characters, she essentially became Pharaun doormat. The new characters in this book are mainly love interests for Pharaun, which is bullshit because of drow culture, those being Alissza an alu fiend that, for reasons, got the hard on for Pharaun after an afternoon of passion, the other new characters are bland and boring so don't really need to be metioned, in my opinion. Now, on to the plot, its a glorified fetch quest pretty much as it stands the gang was supposed to go to Ched Nasad to discover if the sister city of the underdark was being affected by Lolth disappearance and to no surprise they were, at the beginning Quenthel decided that they would also get some magic supplies from one of the more powerful houses in the city, that being Faeryl's, and then complications happen that are mostly just a excuse for the series of lengthy fights that are in the book, it didn't have much of political intrigue, well it tried, but it was not very interesting and i think thats it for plot. In conclusion, this one was a major downgrade from last one, and the more i thought about it the more i saw flaws if you are able to look away from the shortcomings of this book, you can have fun, i will still continue the series as i still hope the characters from the first book will show their heads again, i have to say Mr. Reid dropped the ball on this one, and for that 2 stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy

    Lolth is vulnerable during this moment of weakness, as she undergoes her rebirth, for a millennium of power. A hand picked team, from the matron mother of Menzoberranzan, must travel through the Underdark to the trade city of Ched Nasad. The matron mother needs to know if Menzoberranzan is the only drow city being affected by Lolth’s silence, but Quenthel Baenre has her own agenda. The team run into Aliisza, an alu-fiend, part drow and part succubus, who is intensely interested in Pharaun. The c Lolth is vulnerable during this moment of weakness, as she undergoes her rebirth, for a millennium of power. A hand picked team, from the matron mother of Menzoberranzan, must travel through the Underdark to the trade city of Ched Nasad. The matron mother needs to know if Menzoberranzan is the only drow city being affected by Lolth’s silence, but Quenthel Baenre has her own agenda. The team run into Aliisza, an alu-fiend, part drow and part succubus, who is intensely interested in Pharaun. The city of Ched Nasad is fascinating, because it is a gigantic spider’s web, with cocoons for buildings, the City of Shimmering Webs. But, the city of Ched Nasad is also destroying itself with feuding matron mothers, army of duergar, and gigantic summoned spiders!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    Lolth is vulnerable during this moment of weakness, as she undergoes her rebirth, for a millennium of power. A hand picked team, from the matron mother of Menzoberranzan, must travel through the Underdark to the trade city of Ched Nasad. The matron mother needs to know if Menzoberranzan is the only drow city being affected by Lolth’s silence, but Quenthel Baenre has her own agenda. The team run into Aliisza, an alu-fiend, part drow and part succubus, who is intensely interested in Pharaun. The c Lolth is vulnerable during this moment of weakness, as she undergoes her rebirth, for a millennium of power. A hand picked team, from the matron mother of Menzoberranzan, must travel through the Underdark to the trade city of Ched Nasad. The matron mother needs to know if Menzoberranzan is the only drow city being affected by Lolth’s silence, but Quenthel Baenre has her own agenda. The team run into Aliisza, an alu-fiend, part drow and part succubus, who is intensely interested in Pharaun. The city of Ched Nasad is fascinating, because it is a gigantic spider’s web, with cocoons for buildings, the City of Shimmering Webs. But, the city of Ched Nasad is also destroying itself with feuding matron mothers, army of duergar, and gigantic summoned spiders!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Book 2 of the War of the Spider Queen. Well written, good plot, good flow. Good contrast of high level philosophy and specific actions by individuals and groups. Learning more about Ched Nasad was cool. There is death here. The book leaves you wanting to read the next in the series. I still love the use of spell components by wizards. I will read the next.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brandt Anderson

    War of the Spider Queen book 2 out of 6 and still no Drizzt references. I am impressed.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steven Haughey

    Fantastic From start to finish, this title was immensely entertaining. Exciting and heart pounding ending . I cannot wait to get started on the next book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kambrie Williams

    I was highly disappointed with this book. I thought the first book by Byers was phenomenal, and I was hopeful this book by Reid's would be just as good, but it let me down. There were so many things that bothered me with this story, one being that it felt like everything built in the first book was torn down. For example, Faeryl claimed innocence is the first book and Gromph believed her loyal to the Beanre's, but that was completely shattered in this book. That wasn't a huge issue from me, but I was highly disappointed with this book. I thought the first book by Byers was phenomenal, and I was hopeful this book by Reid's would be just as good, but it let me down. There were so many things that bothered me with this story, one being that it felt like everything built in the first book was torn down. For example, Faeryl claimed innocence is the first book and Gromph believed her loyal to the Beanre's, but that was completely shattered in this book. That wasn't a huge issue from me, but did bother me. No, the things that bothered me the most were how much beauty and lust were seen throughout the story, especially when it didn't make any sense or was just annoying. For example, Pharaun sees the succubus and thinks "how can such a beautiful creature command all these creatures?" what? What does beauty have to do with leadership? Aren't drow woman considered beautiful oftentimes, and they are always the leaders. Also sentences like, "Dresses holding them like a second skin," "folded her arms under her breasts (Why not just say folded her arms?)," "Admiring her curves even as battle waged." There are more, but I'll leave it at that. I also just thought the drow were not...drow in this book. Let me explain. Drow in Salvatore books, and in Dissolution, and I'm sure many other DnD novels (these are the only ones I've read so far), are subtle, intelligent, smooth, clever, calculating, etc. In this book, they seemed highly immature to me, and kind of stupid. Also, Quenthel would never tolerate Pharauns disrespect, and honestly, Pharaun would never be that disrespectful in the first place. He's smarter than that. Also one thing I loved in Byers book was that Pharaun, despite being good friends with Ryld and their relationship being advantageous to them both, Pharaun left hiim for dead to save his own skin. That's the drow way, and I loved that Byers did that. In this one, though, Pharaun "leaped up to shield her with his own body" and also went into a falling building, something that could have killed him, to save another drow. No. Whatever Pharaun's lusts, he'd never risk his own skin to save someone else, no drow would. Things like that really bothered me about this book. I don't think Reid's is a bad author or anything, I haven't read any of his other stuff, but he clearly didn't know how to write drow characters. I just hope the next author does a better job with them.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ronnie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Wow, was this book ever a mess. I didn't love Dissolution, but everything that Byers had set up in it was completely ignored. I'm going to start off by complaining about the fact that Reid obviously doesn't know what "bemused," a word he used at least four times, means. Or vigil. Or nonplussed (though that one I can almost forgive given the fact that it's misused enough that it had a new dictionary definition). He consistently tells us things are supposed to be clever and witty in the narrative Wow, was this book ever a mess. I didn't love Dissolution, but everything that Byers had set up in it was completely ignored. I'm going to start off by complaining about the fact that Reid obviously doesn't know what "bemused," a word he used at least four times, means. Or vigil. Or nonplussed (though that one I can almost forgive given the fact that it's misused enough that it had a new dictionary definition). He consistently tells us things are supposed to be clever and witty in the narrative and they just.... aren't. I had decided to read this book because the one thing I absolutely loved in Dissolution was Ryld and Pharaun's relationship, and I wanted to see how the changed dynamics played out. Unfortunately for me, it didn't play out at all. Ryld and Pharaun barely interacted or thought about one another, apparently. Ryld had a new bff, Valas, which you would think Pharaun would be a little jealous off but he wasn't. Instead, he was lusting after every single female character, even when, by his own admission, it was a completely inappropriate time to do it. To the point where he shielded one with his own body, and insisted on trying to save them, which is completely absurd given the fact that he had barely just met them and he had left his best friend in the world to die in the last book because it was inconvenient that he was injured. Ryld has barely ten lines in the first third of the book, and hardly any after that. I had thought none of the female characters in the last book had any characterization, but Reid, by virtue of stripping them of all their agency and what little characterization they had, showed me how wrong I was. Sorry Byers, I realize now that at least they had SOMETHING in your book. Faeryl was completely unrecognizable in this book. Quenthel, a character who had single-handedly defeated every demon her brother had sent to kill her in the last book was reduced to being completely useless. The underlying plot of the "lesser races" rising up in rebellion was rehashed again, except then completely forgotten in the second half of the book. Except that they brought back the firepots from the last book - the ones where the smoke filling the cavern was the biggest danger, but was completely ignored in this book. Frankly, I'm just glad I can take the rest of this series off my list.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Jellets

    ”I gathered that trouble could be brewing … major trouble.” There’s no sophomore slump in Insurrection: The War of the Spider Queen Book II which continues the story of the Dungeons & Dragons inspired dark elves. Neatly picking-up where the first book left off, an unsavory fellowship of the more interesting characters from the first novel are on their way into Ched Nasad, the City of Shimmering Webs, on a covert investigation to discover if the dark goddess Lolth’s displeasure extends to the rest ”I gathered that trouble could be brewing … major trouble.” There’s no sophomore slump in Insurrection: The War of the Spider Queen Book II which continues the story of the Dungeons & Dragons inspired dark elves. Neatly picking-up where the first book left off, an unsavory fellowship of the more interesting characters from the first novel are on their way into Ched Nasad, the City of Shimmering Webs, on a covert investigation to discover if the dark goddess Lolth’s displeasure extends to the rest of the Underdark. The pacing is brisk – sometimes breakneck – with plenty of action, betrayal, a few horrors, and an increasingly ‘rated-R’ appetite for sex and sleaze. Aside from being a thoroughly entertaining fantasy romp, Insurrection continues to build upon the amazing character-work begun in the prior novel ... with this book’s author Thomas M. Reid working his own high magic. The main characters continue to be unrepentantly evil – as dark elves should be – and no apologies are made for their unabashedly heinous behavior. And even though you certainly wouldn’t want any of these folks over for a house party, Reid is able to keep convention turned on its head as this motley band of murders remains (at least in one facet or another) strangely likeable. And while skullduggery abounds, Reid also keeps the series well into the high fantasy genre and deftly outside the ‘torture-porn’ dirt. (Coming pretty close to that dirt, though, is the rather grisly death of my favorite character. Don’t say Book II doesn’t have consequences!) In all, this series continues to exceed expectations. Ultimately, I’m not sure when this balancing act ends, but so far, The War of the Spider Queen has managed the hat trick: keeping the bad guys unrepentantly bad, while avoiding repelling the reader.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Abhinav

    You can read the full review over at my blog: https://shadowhawksshade.wordpress.co... Shadowhawk reviews the first three novels of the bestselling War of the Spider Queen series, recently re-released in 3-book omnibus-sized editions for the 10th anniversary of the series. “Depicting the treacherous, back-stabbing, scheming Dark Elf society at it’s best, the three novels can only be described as adventure on steroids.” ~Shadowhawk, The Founding Fields The second novel in the collection is Insurrecti You can read the full review over at my blog: https://shadowhawksshade.wordpress.co... Shadowhawk reviews the first three novels of the bestselling War of the Spider Queen series, recently re-released in 3-book omnibus-sized editions for the 10th anniversary of the series. “Depicting the treacherous, back-stabbing, scheming Dark Elf society at it’s best, the three novels can only be described as adventure on steroids.” ~Shadowhawk, The Founding Fields The second novel in the collection is Insurrection by Thomas A. Reid. We are back with the major characters we saw in the previous novel as they are tasked with heading to another drow city in the Underdark and carry out an investigation of sorts into the disappearance of Lolth herself. As an incident that has led since before the chronological start of the previous novel to Lolth’s priestesses being bereft of innate magic, this is a rather important task and also serves to expand the nature of drow society and the Underdark alike where the reader is concerned. Off the bat, Reid has a similar sentence construction style as Byers and, truth be told, I did sigh at that. I wasn’t even 20 pages in and already the novel had presented me with one reason to “not like it”. That was disappointing. The thing is that this approach makes the narrative far too convoluted for my tastes and everything comes across as too formal or archaic. One word that springs to mind is “Iliad”. I felt as if I was reading that instead of a modern fantasy novel. That was it though. Reid definitely had a good handle on the setting, as well as the characters that Byers had created (?) and explored already. And into that mix were thrown a whole bunch of new characters, characters who fit right in with the both the larger narrative being told and with the group of drow adventurers from Menzoberranzan. Reid has also excelled at making Ched Nassad just as hauntingly beautiful as Menzoberranzan. The two cities really couldn’t be more different: one is a city made out of towering spires of rock and stalactites and other such natural formations, while the other is a maze of rocky spires connected by solidified, and massive spider-webs. Whenever Reid talks about that aspect of Ched Nassad, I can almost imagine armies of giant spiders laying out their webs, going from spire to spire, keep to keep, building the drow city while the future rulers of the city look on. It is one of the best images that the novel conjures up. Pharaun, Ryld, Quenthel, Scout Valas, Ambassador Faeryl Zauvirr and the half-drow/half-daemon Jeggred (son of Matron Mother Triel of House Baenre and Quenthel’s nephew) all return as I’ve said. Of these, I really liked how Reid continued the plot-strands of the first three. More than anyone else, they were the primary protagonists of Dissolution, and seeing them all thrown together for a joint mission was a treat. Pharaun is just as disarmingly charming as always with his quips and smart remarks, Ryld is still as stoic and deadly as before, and Quenthel is just as infuriatingly arrogant as she was back in Menzoberranzan. They all grow as characters, especially Pharaun and Ryld where their friendship is concerned, but it was nice to see Quenthel humbled of sorts. Made for some rather delightful scenes in the novel. Valas doesn’t get much page-time here and is largely kept on as a minor character but his scenes were still good. He reminds me quite a bit of the Dark Eldar Mandrakes from Warhammer 40,000 in the way that he is able to manipulate shadows and even teleport himself around over small distances. I suspect it is that ability which causes Reid to use him so sparingly but all the same, I wish he had gotten more exposure. Faeryl Zauvirr’s character arc surprised me, as did her change of heart. There wasn’t actually much of a setup for it that I recall, which contributed to the surprise, and it was generally remarkable how devious she actually is. True drow that one. Jeggred though, I didn’t like much. He’s the heavy muscle of the group and in somewhat of a cliche fashion, he is all forever chomping at the bits, trying to settle all disputes at the edge of his rending claws. Not a character I can really care about, but he serves his purpose well. The real treat in terms of the characterisation was Halisstra Melarn, who was shown as being very much a proper drow and yet, not quite. This dichotomy doesn’t actually get much page-time but Reid still drops enough bits and pieces to hook the reader and keep him/her interested. It worked for me. It was also nice that Halisstra is setup as a companion for the Menzoberranyr drow, alongwith her battle-captive Danifae Yautyrr. And then there are Aliisza and Kaanyr Vhok, two daemons who command an army of Tanaruuks and half-fiends. Their interplay with each other, and later Alissza’s with Pharaun was a welcome distraction that added some much needed humour to the narrative, as well as a certain amount of spicing up. The thing about Insurrection is that it adds a whole another layer of perspective to the events that played out in Dissolution, and it adds an entire bunch of characters to the narrative in keeping with that very perspective. Everything is done bigger and better than before. Then there’s the fact that through all the new stuff that is added, the Underdark is setup for some major exploration, in terms of how the various races that dwell there interact with each other and what the larger society and culture of the Underdark is. Insurrection is all about cut-throat politicking and power-hungry individuals, a concept that is explored in detail by Reid. I know I talked quite a bit about the characters in Insurrection and not enough about the other stuff, but the thing is that this is a novel driven by its characters from start to finish, and it is fantastic! On one level, the events in Ched Nassad are a mirror of those that happen in Menzoberranzan, except that we begin to understand a little more of what is truly happening with regards to the disappearance of Lolth and why her priestesses are (mostly) powerless and how the entire drow culture is beginning to tear itself apart with that power vacuum. Definitely a great experience for the reader. Rating: 9/10

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jai McGrainer

    I understand the difficulty Thomas Reid must have had, picking up with a cast of characters where Richard Lee Byers left off. It can be difficult enough to coauthor a book, and an entire series with multiple authors must be, to put it lightly, something of a challenge. I merely want to acknowledge that before delving into my critique. That being said, Reid's portrayal of characters throughout the book, those that were introduced in Dissolution as well as newcomers, are wholly flat and uninteresti I understand the difficulty Thomas Reid must have had, picking up with a cast of characters where Richard Lee Byers left off. It can be difficult enough to coauthor a book, and an entire series with multiple authors must be, to put it lightly, something of a challenge. I merely want to acknowledge that before delving into my critique. That being said, Reid's portrayal of characters throughout the book, those that were introduced in Dissolution as well as newcomers, are wholly flat and uninteresting. They feel like caricatures of their development in Dissolution, and I feel as though Reid is almost being too timid with what Byers gave him to work with. Which brings me to Aliisza, whom a lot of people seem to like for whatever reason. There is absolutely nothing special about her. She is a filled in Mad Lib of the archetypal "sexy demon". Her personality is comically shallow at best and abrasively predictable at worst. On the whole, I feel the book is rather poorly written. Reid flirts with the concepts laid down in Dissolution but refuses to grasp hold of them, and it leaves the book--and reader--feeling incredibly wanting. In Dissolution, the sting of betrayal and adrenaline of every harrowing near-miss was palpable, and Reid falls profoundly short of that. Overall, I only finished it to get to book three, for which I hold out tentative hopes.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Annemary Noble

    I somehow knew that a saga written by all different authors won't be produced at a constant quality. I liked this book, but I liked it for the plot not for the actual writing. I'm guessing that Salvatore made up the plot and the individual authors' job was to somehow bring it to life. The previous book did this perfectly: the characters were distinc, had interesting personalities, and the whole thing felt like a proper novel. This book however, although the characters' names were kept, everything I somehow knew that a saga written by all different authors won't be produced at a constant quality. I liked this book, but I liked it for the plot not for the actual writing. I'm guessing that Salvatore made up the plot and the individual authors' job was to somehow bring it to life. The previous book did this perfectly: the characters were distinc, had interesting personalities, and the whole thing felt like a proper novel. This book however, although the characters' names were kept, everything else was kinda trash. Pharaun, instead of being witty and pompous, he was kinda brainless and mean (and participated in too many unnecessary sex scenes). Ryld had like 2 lines in the whole story. And Quenthel, again, was just brainless with one too many nude scenes. The two drow women were just there for love interest - which is pretty ironic since WHEN DAFUQ COULD DROW FALL IN LOVE?? But overall, the plot itself was alright. Maybe it unfolded a wee bit slowly, but it caught up in less than the first 100 pages. In the end I felt like I was really involved, so many action scenes were happening. So, I think I'll continue reading these series but with caution for surprizes.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Bylicki

    It's definitely more action-packed than book I of War of the Spider Queen, but for good reasons. The writing style is slightly different as well. All characters seem a lot more expressive in their lines, as if to emphasize their personalities created in the first book. That being said, we encounter rather unexpected exclamations like "by the Dark Mother" or "Lolth preserve us!" way too often. The drow depicted in book I were a lot more sophisticated and while they did curse, they wouldn't call o It's definitely more action-packed than book I of War of the Spider Queen, but for good reasons. The writing style is slightly different as well. All characters seem a lot more expressive in their lines, as if to emphasize their personalities created in the first book. That being said, we encounter rather unexpected exclamations like "by the Dark Mother" or "Lolth preserve us!" way too often. The drow depicted in book I were a lot more sophisticated and while they did curse, they wouldn't call out the name of their goddess "in vain". Also, what bothered me in book I, but even more so in book II was one of the characters, a half-fiend. His demonic nature was perfectly highlighted by his violent actions, but somehow his lines depicted a completely regular drow, almost stoic in demeanor. I found this contrast very glaring. Overall, a good read. I really enjoyed it, especially that the author almost expertly managed to maintain the sense of continuity with book I, both in regards to the plot and characters.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sethelarian

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I very much enjoyed this book. The begining was a little slow and at first I was a little apprehensive of the succubi character, but Thomas Reid did a great job telling this story. I do not agree with some of the lower ratings I've read, I think given the circumstances, the relationship between Quenthel and Pharaun was fitting. I very much enjoyed this book. The begining was a little slow and at first I was a little apprehensive of the succubi character, but Thomas Reid did a great job telling this story. I do not agree with some of the lower ratings I've read, I think given the circumstances, the relationship between Quenthel and Pharaun was fitting.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kagan Oztarakci

    "I suppose that when you're surrounded by the bigger enemy, he mused, the smaller enemy seems a friend." "-It's not what you think... -Ooh! You males always say that. According to your gender, it never is." "I suppose that when you're surrounded by the bigger enemy, he mused, the smaller enemy seems a friend." "-It's not what you think... -Ooh! You males always say that. According to your gender, it never is."

  29. 5 out of 5

    Zachary Frank Collin winnett

    Such a good story! This is my first fantasy series venture and this book is so good! The story (for me) was easier to follow than the first book. The action sequences and tense moments were perfectly written perfectly! If you like fantasy or D&D this is a great for you for sure.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Iain

    Didn't finish this one. The Drow didn't behave like Drow, the characters so wonderfully crafted by Byers in Dissolution, didn't behave like themselves. The plot dragged and the new characters we uninteresting. Didn't finish this one. The Drow didn't behave like Drow, the characters so wonderfully crafted by Byers in Dissolution, didn't behave like themselves. The plot dragged and the new characters we uninteresting.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.