Forgotten Realms: Insurrection (War of the Spider Queen #2)by Thomas M. Reid
"Quenthel Baenre is second only to the matron mother and is Menzoberranzan's most powerful priestess of Lolth. When the Spider Queen goes silent, Quenthel is called upon to lead a team of dark elves on a mission that could save Menzoberranzan or doom it forever. With the cunning wizard Pharaun Mizzrym, weapons master Ryld Argith, mercenary Valas Hune, and the vicious… See more details below
"Quenthel Baenre is second only to the matron mother and is Menzoberranzan's most powerful priestess of Lolth. When the Spider Queen goes silent, Quenthel is called upon to lead a team of dark elves on a mission that could save Menzoberranzan or doom it forever. With the cunning wizard Pharaun Mizzrym, weapons master Ryld Argith, mercenary Valas Hune, and the vicious draegloth Jeggred by her side, the priestess is sent to the trade city of Ched Nasad to determine the scope of Lolth's silence." Is Menzoberranzan alone being punished? Are all the drow? Is it just Lolth, or have all the gods gone quiet?
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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
Insurrection continues the riveting storyline which started in Dissolution. Journeying to another Drow city, the companions face deadly foes and utter chaos, greater even than during the slave uprising in their own home. Some of the drow even reveal almost benevolent behavior when they meet new friends, while all must fight for their lives against seemingly invincible foes. The nonstop action and mystery are worth it, and leave you eagerly anticipating the next book.
Like most unhappy critics, I'll agree that, starting with Byers and continuing w/ Reid, the drow are not portrayed in the dark, chaotic beauty that I first envisioned when reading the words of R.A. Salvatore. But don't get me wrong. I loved the book, and the first one, as well. This book flows flawlessly from the first and keeps the drow in the position placed upon them from before: afraid, lost, confused. We finally get to see the Shimmering City of Webs and even watch some fancy fireworks fly...always a good thing in my opinion! I think the drow seem a little more...human...in their demeanors and act more noble/loyal in their dealings with each other, but that just means that Byers and Reid, and most likely the other authors, have taken something that existed before and made it uniquely theirs. I applaud them for their daring attempt(s)...even if I see the product as a poor representation of a vile, yet beautiful, race. I am so buying the next books!!