Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Storm of the Dead by Lisa Smedman

In April, I wrote a review on Sacrifice of the Widow by Lisa Smedman, I loved it. Storm of the Dead is Book 2 and Lisa Smedmen again delivered a fast pace book on the gods of the Drow.

The book starts with Eilistraee and Lolth playing over a sava board again, only to be interrupted by another drow god, Kiaransalee, the deity of undead and vengeance. Wanting to play in this game of power (and believing Lolth and Eilistraee will never work together), Kiaransalee entered the game, turning it into a three way battle.

Eilistraee however has problems of her own. Since her victory over Vhaeraun, her flock has became a strange mixture of her followers and new converts to her church, the leftover followers of Vhaeraun. Since the Masked Lord's power and portfolio has went to Eilistraee, his nightshadows has joined Eilistraee's church and the inevitable internal power struggles begin between them and Eilistraee's protectors. Eilistraee herself has began being more like Vhaeraun, even her high priestess, Qilue of The Seven Sisters, has been affected.

In the midst of the games by the gods, Hallistra Melarn (The Lady Penitent herself) and her brother Q'arlynd Melarn were once again drawn into the power plays, despite their own wishes. Q'arlynd played a pivotal role in the story, and was the ultimate winner at the end of the book.

Things are happening in the Forgotten Realms, but the one thing the book suffer from is that it is set-up to be a showdown between Eilistraee and Lolth (with Vhaeraun being the wildcard). The moment Kiaransalee showed up, you knew she is dead. Drow goddess of undead she may be, but no one will stop high noon. However, the pace was so fast that you will ignored this obvious plot.

Another solid book by Lisa Smedman and I am looking forward to the last book in the series.

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