Daughter of the Drow (Starlight & Shadows #1)
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Daughter of the Drow (Starlight & Shadows #1)

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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  1,832 ratings  ·  46 reviews
A new version of one of Elaine Cunningham's most popular titles.

This rerelease of a top-selling title from one of the most popular authors writing in the Forgotten Realms setting debuts a new look for the Starlight & Shadows series, complete with all-new cover art. The recover of this title and its sequel, Tangled Webs, will precede an all-new concluding title to the s...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 1st 2003 by Wizards of the Coast (first published 1995)
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Homeland by R.A. SalvatoreThe Icewind Dale Trilogy Collector's Edition by R.A. SalvatoreThe Dark Elf Trilogy Collector's Edition by R.A. SalvatoreElfshadow by Elaine CunninghamThe Halfling's Gem by R.A. Salvatore
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,765)
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Zayne
This book wasn't the best, but it was good enough for me to be entertained with. What really turned me off, and is the biggest reason why I gave it a 3-star rating is because of the writing style. It definitely wasn't the best, and really after reading Steven Erikson's novels, it was bland. Everything was constantly being explained giving the reader no chance to think for themselves. It was like Cunningham was taking me by the arm and dragging me throughout the novels, showing me where to go and...more
Jacek
Nov 18, 2009 Jacek rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Dungeons & Dragons
Nie ma co się z tym ukrywać. Jestem zarówno miłośnikiem fantastycznego systemu RPG, jakim jest Dungeons & Dragons oraz uwielbiam literaturę fantasy. Córka Mrocznego Elfa to jedna z licznych książek, których fabuła umiejscowiona jest w świecie Forgotten Realms (jednym ze światów wspomnianego przeze mnie systemu RPG), a skierowana jest tak dla ludzi, którzy czytują fantastykę, jak i do osób, które chcą zapoznać się nieco z klimatem tego świata.

Książka wypełnia swoje zadanie połowicznie. Jako...more
Kyleigh
I enjoyed this book for what it's worth. Liriel is a great character, and it was really nice to read a fantasy book with a strong female protagonist. This book really bothered me though. I don't like the idea of there being many drow who are not evil, or that there a many drow that live on the surface. Nisstyre's Vaehrun community didn't bother me as much as the Elistraee group. The whole point of the drow is that they are evil and conniving. It undermines that if there's a whole group of them o...more
Crystal
Sep 03, 2007 Crystal rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of fantastical adventures and creatures
Shelves: fantasy
I only read this book because my brother, who is a massive sci-fi/fantasy fan, said I should. The book is great. I devoured it within 24 hrs. I wasn't sure if I would like it, because some of it, okay, most of it, is so dark. It is, after all, set in the Underworld, with dark elves and their culture. It was completely fascinating. Liriel, the main character, was likeable but flawed (like any good main character), and all the other major characters were interesting and well-developed as well. I f...more
Darren Jacobs
I've read some other of her books and i really enjoyed them.
I also enjoyed this, but I found there to be some major flaws.
I'm not sure whether it's because WOTC made her edit the book down or not, but the pacing is really off.
New ideas are brought into the narrative that go nowhere or are red herrings, and this would work if it was a murder/mystery, but it's not, and it makes it feel sloppy and unbalanced.
I happen to like her lyrical style, but it does err towards being too passive...sometimes w...more
Michael Fagen
Cunningham to me, at the time I read this book, was a new authoress. As such I was willing to give her a chance. She was writing in the all too familiar Forgotten Realms setting, or under it rather in the not often visited but often city of Menzoberranzan, This being the first book of hers I encountered, and not knowing what I was in for I was more than pleasantly surprised. Her plot was solid, and set up characters that you will come not only to really love, but to care about. You follow these...more
Teresa
Having enjoyed the Drizzt Do’Urden series by R.A Salvatore I decided to give Daughter of the Drow a chance. I was quite impressed with Elaine Cunningham’s ability to draw me into the complexity of the lifestyles of the dark elves and their homeland of Menzoberranzan. Liriel Baenre provides the reader with a far different complexity of intrigue within the political structure and everyday lives that we were not given with Drizzt. The characters were well written and complex and Ms. Cunningham was...more
Victor
Many people think that the drow are a species of corrupt, bloodthirsty surface hater elves. This is mostly true and the style of R.A. Salvatore legend of Drizzt has been critical in shaping that vision. People think of drow as war focused, machiavellian idealistic, yet Cunningham brings about another facet of dorw life than it is seldom explored, because it does not have a place in Drizzt stories.

I have read other materials from Elaine Cunningham, and was not dissapointed by her narration and s...more
Travis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jesse
This was the first book I read by Elaine Cunningham, and now I'm a big fan. I definitly have my favorites, mediocres, and loosers of the Forgotten Realms authors, and she is in the top three of my favorites.

She has several series that are much older than this one, and I look forward to reading those soon!

This story introduces a new character into the noblest of Drow families, Baenre!
Lireil is the daughter of Gromph, the eldest son in House Baenre and the High Mage of Menzoberanzan. Gromph has h...more
Michelle Keep
I read this book after War of the Spider Queen and The Lady Penitent series at the encouragement of my partner. I felt very distanced from the Drow in most of the War of the Spider Queen books and felt that, in part, it was because of the lack of female perspective on the matriarchy.

In short, I greatly enjoyed this book. That isn't to say that I didn't feel there was flaws, but that I felt the good far outweighed the bad. It brought up interesting, new conundrums that weren't touched on heavily...more
Steve
I started rereading through Daughter of the Drow at a somewhat slow pace, but that pace increased exponentially when I woke up sick. Having already been about 1/3 of the way finished with the novel to begin with, I wound up finishing all of it laying in bed reading. One thing, though, before I get on with the review: What is the first chapter about? My book literally is missing the first chapter, starting with Chapter Two, “Matron Baenre is dead, long live Matron Triel”. I must really have bum l...more
Mairéad (stuck at the Edge of Nothingness)
Hmmm.... 3.5 stars.

I had imagined this one differently. Yet its nothing like the other ones I've read -- basically being R.A. Salvatore in this central universe of the Dungeons&Dragons.

Still its a story nevertheless. It's characters are definitely interesting enough. However I was kind of missing the feeling that Salvatore gave.

But Cunningham's style almost gave me the remembrance of a high school drama, set in the world of D&D. It was kind of jarring in that sense. Yet it was interesti...more
Richard Poffenberger
Id like to start by saying that I love this trilogy, it is such an engaging story from start to finish. The characters are vary original and the progression seems to go at a vary well written pace. The detail that she tells with the scenery, characters and general goings on is again vary well written out. I also found that the character of Leriel is extremely well made; with no dependence on anyone else, she has carved out her own destiny from the depths of her own mind and will. From a feminist...more
Bridgette Redman
The drow make wonderful villains. They have ever since they first were introduced into fantasy literature. Elaine Cunningham crafts a wonderful tale by taking the quintessential villain and leading her to discover that there may be options outside of her evil paradigm.

What are the drow? For those who don’t dally in fantasy literature—particularly the TSR Dungeons and Dragons genre, drow are the evil cousins of the elves. Whenever they are introduced into a world’s ecology they are given their ow...more
Daniel
What a great book! Now, I always read the reviews, negative and positive, most of the negatives were comparing the book and the Drow to Salvatore's works. However I'd first point out that 1) Drow have been around long before the stories about Drizz't; and, 2) this just added nicely to the overall understanding of the Drow. Overall, this was a well-crafted novel, that is good on its own merits. That could be appreciated if fan of fantasy or not. I feel, the themes conveyed in the book have a reso...more
David Rieckmann
I am a hardcore R.A. Salvatore fan and was initially reluctant when I saw another author building on the underdark and the drow. The reluctant was quickly pushed aside as I began reading the book and quickly became immersed into the story of Liriel.

Elaine Cunningham does a superb job and building a character living in Menzoberranzan and making the character her own while not changing the overall story and feel of the dark elf city.

The story flows nicely and you can feel what Liriel is going thro...more
Josie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paula Widows
I picked this book up at the library when I was in high school. It was the first forgotten realms book that I ever read. It introduced me to dozens of books from several great authors. I loved it. All these years later I still love to read all of the forgotten realms novels. Thank you for opening my eyes to this wonderful world!
David
The story is focused on Liriel Baenre, a female drow who, like Salvatore's Drizzt, does not wish to conform to what the drow society demands. But unlike Drizzt, who chooses to outright reject his dark heritage and live a path he believes is true, Liriel seeks to embrace her dark elven heritage but not its restrictions. Liriel is superbly portrayed as a very calculative, practical, devious, yet impulsive, character; a very complex character made very believable. Like the main character, dark elve...more
Netanella
Oct 25, 2008 Netanella rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy Lovers
I picked this book up at a used bookstore while I was finishing the Drizzt book "Seige of Darkness." I was a little cautious that it would be a rip off of Salvatore's works, and I actually returned the book to the dusty shelf once or twice. But, I kept picking the book up and looking at it, and decided then and there to buy it. I'm glad that I was not disappointed in the work.

Cunningham's style is much different than Salvatore's - she does not feel the need to move from one action-packed scene t...more
Jeremy Laird
Really enjoyed the story of Liriel after reading many of the Drizzt saga. She definitely doesn't start out as lawfully good as Drizzt does so it is a fresh take, but it's nice to see multiple Drow from Menzo who are decent. These are the only books of Elaine Cunningham's that I have read but I enjoyed them.
Tiana
When I picked up this book, I already knew that I would enjoy it for the simple fact that it was by the amazing author Elaine Cunningham. I've enjoyed her writing from day one. She has a very magical way to her words that breaths life into the pages. Happening upon this series in a box of books of my brothers in my storage unit seemed like fate, so I sat aside all the other books I wanted to read and placed this at the top of my to-read list. I was very pleased at what I found. The book is very...more
Thiago
I have mixed feelings about this one... While reading I found I had many problems with this book, from the treatment dispensed to certain characters, and drows overall, to the absurdity and inconsistency of some of the action.

Anyway, even with all its flaws the book had its moments of brilliance, I managed to move me at some points and come on, it is about drows, and drows are like pirates, in the sense that they make everything better. Also the story is nice overall.

I wouldn’t recommend this...more
Michal
Jan 12, 2013 Michal marked it as to-read
Shelves: all

### Product Description


As beautiful as she is deadly, Liriel Baenre flits through the shadows of Menzoberranzan, city of the dark elves. Amid the treachery and murder that are the drow’s daily fare, she feels something calling to her . . . something beyond this dusky world far removed from the sun. Yet as she ventures toward the surface and the lands of light, enemies pursue her unceasingly.

And one of those enemies may offer the only hope of salvation.



“I have been a fan of Elaine Cunningham

...more
Riki
I'm about 25% into this book, but I just can't seem to get into it. The writing just doesn't fit what I enjoy, it's a very passive style in my opinion. We're told what's happening about 75% of the time, and the characters actually do things in the other 25%. Dialog is kept to a minimum, and there's way too much description of the environment. Pacing also felt off, as I'd be spending about 5 minutes reading an environment description, and then maybe a sentence describes the character actually doi...more
Sarah
The underlying sadistic nature of dark fairies is always intriguing.

The book almost gives you a reverse mirrored image of what most people associate to stories with fairies. It is darker, nefarious, cruel, lascivious, and strict in its harshness. What I enjoyed with this book was how the main characters all became better people by learning to understand more in depth the differences between species, abilities, and rank in society/religion/power.

I love how the central setting for the novel is a...more
Ruth Phillips
wow! I started this book and had to keep reading to see what happened to the characters. The book gives a detailed look at the Drow and the character of Liriel Baenre is complicated and I love her. She travels her own path and it is amazing. I can't wait to read the second book!
Jessica Bradfield
Entertaining and easy to read. I look forward to starting the next. It's pretty typical fantasy, but that's the stuff I like.
Hitbybus
What I like most about this series is the setting. The Forgotten Realms has so much great stuff to pull a story together from. This book in particular takes an interesting look at what life would be like in a matriarchal, evil, drow city, in the underdark. That part is all great. And really this book should get a 3.5, but I didn't feel I should bump it up to a 4. I found the writing style leaving something to be desired, the action and characters too incredible, and the females too annoying. A f...more
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Elaine Cunningham is an American fantasy and science fiction author, especially known for her almost poetic literary style and her contributions to the Dungeons & Dragons role playing game campaign setting of Forgotten Realms, including the realms of Evermeet, Halruaa,...more
More about Elaine Cunningham...
Dark Journey (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, #10) Elfshadow (Forgotten Realms: The Harpers, #2; Songs & Swords, #1) Tangled Webs (Starlight & Shadows #2) Windwalker (Starlight & Shadows #3) Elfsong (Forgotten Realms: The Harpers, #8; Songs & Swords, #2)

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