So, the plot centres around Drizzt, a drow elf. He takes after his father (unknown that he’s his father for most of the book) in that he actually hates the whole evil society they inhabit.
The entire evil, cruel, war-mongering culture is a matriarchy – with high priestesses serving a supremely evil and capricious spider queen, demon named Lolth. So, it makes you think that it’s a bit sexist but is it? I dunno. Having an entire evil society run by women feels like some sort of commentary. I suppose it does pass the test, as there are lots of women, some main characters, who are in the highest positions of power. However, the whole overriding evilness makes you question the motivations of writing them like that.
Also, they all just seem a bit unstable – they fly off the handle all the friggin’ time. There’s no time for chilling the fuck out, they need to be FREAKING OUT over everything, whipping people and just generally being awful.
ANYWAY. Story wise, it takes awhile to get going. And it’s lots of small things followed by AND THEN TEN YEARS HAPPEN. Also, as mentioned, the whole thing where everyone is a bastard all the time wears a bit. And how the fuck Drizzt doesn’t have whatever sense of ‘right’ beaten out of him is beyond me. That seems like the most unrealistic point of the whole book – but whatevs. It’s like magic, or something.
Also, there’s that same sort of conceit that was with The Crystal Cave and Assassin’s Apprentice where the narrator is all “oh, that time, that terrible time” and so you know they’re going to survive. And since almost everyone else in the book is a horrible, horrible being, it’s not like you care that everyone else is going to get snuffed.
Inexplicably, there’s also a magic panther. Shrug. There’s nothing like a panther in the Underdark, it makes little sense contextually. The whole story was ridiculous though. The thing that actually annoyed me the most was that everyone had weird fantasy names except for one character. His name was Alton. ALTON. Whatever. Anyway 3/5 stars because it was okay.