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Dissolution (Forgotten Realms: War of the Spider Queen, #1)
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Dissolution (Forgotten Realms)

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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  8,641 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
While their whole world is changing around them, four dark elves struggle against different enemies. Yet their paths will lead them all to the most terrifying discovery in the long history of the drow, and set them on a quest to save not only Menzoberranzan but the entire dark elf race from Dissolution.

The War of the Spider Queen begins here.

The first novel in an epic six-
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 372 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by Wizards of the Coast (first published January 7th 2002)
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Doppelganger
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
After having read and enjoyed much of R.A. Salvatores work based in the underdark, I went into this with knowledge of the setting and a strong opinion of how it should be represented. Overall, I think Byers did a good job and showed Menzoberranzan some justice. Although I generally prefer Salvatore's presentation of the Drow mindset and chaotic way of life, Byers definitely gave it a good run.

First off, I'd like to mention that Byers writing style, while strong and focused, is somewhat cerebral
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Nenangs
I'm glad I'm not a dark elf. :)
Is there any race on earth that resemble dark elf? I wonder...
Heather Carter
Feb 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Tony
May 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Forgotten Realms readers
3.5 stars for Byer's dark mystery that launches the War of the Spider Queen, with a few minor flaws easily overlooked for the captivating tale.

It's taken me 12 years to finally read this book. I had been hesitant for a while to read anything pertaining to Menzoberranzan that wasn't authored by Salvatore. But I figured since it has Salvatore's seal of approval I could give it a shot.

The story starts out with a bang - Gromph Baenre (the archmage of Sorcere, the most powerful male in drow society)
...more
Quintin Zimmermann
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it
As I have previously stated, but worth mentioning again, this is what I define as "cereal fantasy" - mass-produced sugary fantasy, fortified with essential elements and heavily processed within a comprehensive, predefined rule set. Don't get me wrong, I love cereal just as much as when I was a kid. On occasion, I love to indulge my sweet tooth by returing to these wonderfully detailed, shared universes such as Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms. The only thing about eating saccharine cereal as an ...more
A Bookish ✧ Fable
Really wanted to enjoy this series but I sadly can’t get through this writers way of describing the world and characters etc, It’s way to complicated and looses the readers attention easily. :/ I love Salvatore but man.. This author just didn’t do this book justice. DNF’ed 80 pages in.
Nick
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy

Yeah, OK, I'll give this 3.7 Stars!

Byers writes a more sophisticated Forgotten Realms book than I'm used to. His language and tone are a bit more complex, mature and academic than the norm, which may appeal to some fantasy fans critical of the sometimes childish writing of D&D books. This is by no means excellent writing; Byers could be negatively pegged by some as too clinical in style, he has a tendency to include too much detail of mundane scenes and objects, character arcs are generally
...more
Anna
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5
Pretty decent for a D&D book.
Nawfal
A long book with a plotline that is tedious and pointless until way past halfway. Then the intrigue and characters start to matter and be interesting. The drow are fascinating and time spent in the Underdark can be wild, but this is functional writing - it's meant to open a sprawling complex epic that spans several novels...... And functional writing isn't always super fun. My favorite character was the Q priestess.
Harvey Harper
Oct 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
It's about Drow. If you don't know, Drow are evil elves who live in the caverns beneath Faerun. It's a pretty standard fantasy romp, but what really picqued my interest was the way the authors would describe evil. The drow are inherently evil, so the main characters are terrible, terrible people, but their selfishness and sociopathy would manifest in utterly clever ways. Worth reading for that alone.
Andrew
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
The book that got me into Forgotten Realms
Frank Poe
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm hooked on dark elves.
Carmen Harris
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: purchased, fantasy
Personally, I found this book appealing for what Byers seems to be strongest at: character development. I'll admit that his writing style is actually some of my favorite from the Forgotten Realms series given the fact that he does try to challenge his readers with his writing. I don't mind that he chooses to use "larger words" or that his writing seems more highbrow for the typical run-of-the-mill Forgotten Realms series. I say this knowing myself, and knowing that some of Forgotten Realms novel ...more
DONALD RATHJEN
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
New spiders and crow to watch and grow New threats.

This is a great start for a new generation of Drow and spider Queens. I look forward to ring the whole set of stories.
Qeti
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
ერთი რამ, რაც შემიძლია დაზუსტებით ვთქვა ამ სამყაროზე, ის არის, რომ კითხვის პროცესში რამდენიმე ადგილას ლამის ტირილამდე მიმიყვანა მენზობერაზანის, ბნელი ელფების ქალაქის, უბრალოდ აღწერამაც კი. ქალაქის ერთ ნაწილში ობობის ფორმის ტაძარიაო, სადაც ლლოსის ქურუმები ცხოვრობენ, მეორე ნაწილში - ბნელი, გიგნატური ზომის კოშკიო, მაგიკა, ჯადოქრების აკადემია. ქალაქის ცენტში ბენრის ყორღანი, უზარმაზარი, იისფერი, ლურჯი, და მწვანე ნისლით გარშემორტყმული ციხე-სიმაგრე, ადგილობრივი მოდის ვერსალი. ღრმად მიწისქვეშეთში, ანტკუ ...more
Robert Linnemann
Jun 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone into fantasy.
Shelves: fantasy
The interesting aspect of having a series written by multiple writers is that you are introduced to their writing in a sly way. I have not read much fantasy outside of J.R.R.Tolkien and R.A. Salvatore. I could see myself reading another book by Richard Lee Byers.

The drow live in the underdark, are dark elves and worship Lolth (the Spider Queen). They are driven by a nasty matriarchy that exhalts secret killings and status advancement. Families make up the hierarchy of Menzobarranzan (their city)
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Daniel McGill
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
The first book of a great series full of fun to read D&D action wheels within wheels intrigue, and likeablely confident, respectably competent, frighteningly ambitious, detestably evil, tragically flawed Dark Elven anti-heros. Possibly the best look at how the Drow work and work together that has been published. The second half of this series (yes the entire second half as I recall it) contains the best high level D&D spell dual I've ever read.

I mainly chose to write this review now ye
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Brittany
Oct 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Since I loved the original Drizzt books so much, I have been wanting to read more about the Drow for quite a while. I've had this series on my radar for a few years, but finally got my hands on a copy of the first volume. I was not disappointed! The book had lots of fast paced action, half-hearted friendships and alliances, betrayals, runaways and secrets, and uprisings. The first of the War of the Spider Queen books, this installment is most likely a lot of denouement but boy, it's interesting ...more
Michael Sanders
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book has been long suggested to me. I put it off because I was sick of all the FR Drow tales. But this one is a little bit different. Their entire world is shaken and though there are no real heroes there are people who care about their homeland. I can't wait to read the next book.
Þorsteinn Mar
Jul 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Hin ágætasta lesning, Pharaun er mjög skemmtileg persóna en stundum dettur bókin aðeins of mikið í að vera leita eftir tengingum við D&D, eins og svona bóka er háttur.
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

Forgotten Realms is one of those settings that I
...more
Victoria Borrows
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Dissolution is well written but the characters are entirely vile. I like to read stories about characters who I admire or, at least, can like. If you like to read stories about creatures who are entirely evil with no real redeeming qualities; then this is the book for you. I will admit that there were several episodes which made me laugh or had me embroiled in the fight. In the end, it's hard to care about a battle when you are not invested in who wins or losses. When both sides are pure evil, i ...more
Suvi
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Perhaps 3.5 stars would be closer to the truth, but in the context of FR novels, this is great. Finally a book about drow which feels right! I liked the fight scenes, and even the descriptions of magic were quite good. There were many little worldbuilding details which I loved. I was even invested in the characters - Pharaun and Ryld in particular. I hope the series stays at this level, since I'm looking forward to the trip to the Underdark and Ched Nasad.
Vanteacher
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book as research for a drow campaign I'm making for my dnd group. Its brilliant for that very reason and also because of all the obscure words Mr. Byers uses. I like your style sir. Learning ten new words in a week is an all time high for me. Thanks. It's a real page turner.. at least for me it was.
Sarah
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
All these stinking dark elves are as sympathetic as Wuthering Heights characters. Someone needs to look into that correlation. Some people love that there's no defective drow with feelings, but dang, I had to decide who to root for based on hairstyle.

Otherwise a good read. "Celerity" and "carious" were words I had to look up.
Kagan Oztarakci
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
"so yes, why not walk in two opposite directions at once?"
"everyone becomes the thing he hates"
"I suppose it shows you can take the human out of the sunshine, but not the sunshine out of the human."
"Wishful thinking is for cowards."
"...(he was) ambitious and ruthless enough that she could always trust him to do what was to his advantage."
Steven Haughey
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing

This book was recommended to me by a friend, and I have to say it was fantastic. It delves deeper into the lore of the Drow and creates protagonists out of vile evil creatures. Highly recommend.
Michael Paulini
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Well written setup for the rest of the series, even if the characters are still only painted in broad brush strokes and are a bit one-dimensional so far ... but I am expecting some development to happen further down the line.
Dave
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very pleasant read. It seems I have about 7 books left in this series and I hope they all give me the RA Salvatore feel.
Kelsey S. Hock
Didn’t know this was D&D. Well it is. And it’s much too D&D for me.
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war of the spider queen affects the following drizzt books? 4 48 May 05, 2014 06:45PM  
  • Insurrection (Forgotten Realms: War of the Spider Queen, #2)
  • Condemnation (Forgotten Realms: War of the Spider Queen, #3)
  • Extinction (Forgotten Realms: War of the Spider Queen, #4)
  • Resurrection (Forgotten Realms:  War of the Spider Queen, #6)
  • Annihilation (Forgotten Realms: War of the Spider Queen, #5)
  • Windwalker (Starlight & Shadows #3)
  • The Siege (Forgotten Realms: Return of the Archwizards, #2)
  • Prince of Lies (Forgotten Realms: Avatar, #4)
  • Blackstaff (Forgotten Realms: The Wizards, #1)
225 followers
A resident of the Tampa Bay area, Richard spends much of his leisure time fencing, playing poker, shooting pool and is a frequent guest at Florida science-fiction conventions. His current projects include new novels set in the Forgotten Realms universe and the eBook post-apocalyptic superhero series The Impostor.
More about Richard Lee Byers

Other books in the series

Forgotten Realms (1 - 10 of 285 books)
  • Homeland (Forgotten Realms: The Dark Elf Trilogy, #1; Legend of Drizzt, #1)
  • Exile (Forgotten Realms: The Dark Elf Trilogy, #2; Legend of Drizzt, #2)
  • Sojourn (Forgotten Realms: The Dark Elf Trilogy, #3; Legend of Drizzt, #3)
  • The Crystal Shard (Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale, #1; Legend of Drizzt, #4)
  • Streams of Silver (Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale, #2; Legend of Drizzt, #5)
  • The Halfling's Gem (Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale, #3; Legend of Drizzt, #6)
  • The Legacy (Forgotten Realms: Legacy of the Drow, #1; Legend of Drizzt, #7)
  • Starless Night (Forgotten Realms: Legacy of the Drow, #2; Legend of Drizzt, #8)
  • Siege of Darkness (Forgotten Realms: Legacy of the Drow, #3; Legend of Drizzt, #9)
  • Passage to Dawn (Forgotten Realms: Legacy of the Drow, #4; Legend of Drizzt, #10)
“The traitor elves of the World Above professed to hate evil. In reality, Quenthel thought, they feared what they didn’t understand. Thanks to the tutelage of Lolth, the drow did, and having understood it, they embraced it. For evil, like chaos, was one of the fundamental forces of Creation, manifest in both the macrocosm of the wide world and the microcosm of the individual soul. As chaos gave rise to possibility and imagination, so evil engendered strength and will. It made sentient beings aspire to wealth and power. It enabled them to subjugate, kill, rob, and deceive. It allowed them to do whatever was required to better themselves with never a crippling flicker of remorse. Thus, evil was responsible for the existence of civilization and for every great deed any hero had ever performed. Without it, the peoples of the world would live like animals. It was amazing that so many races, blinded by false religions and philosophies, had lost sight of this self-evident truth. In contrast, the dark elves had based a society on it, and that was one of the points of superiority that served to exalt them above all other races.” 1 likes
“The traitor elves of the World Above professed to hate evil. In reality, Quenthel thought, they feared what they didn’t understand. Thanks to the tutelage of Lolth, the drow did, and having understood it, they embraced it. For evil, like chaos, was one of the fundamental forces of Creation, manifest in both the macrocosm of the wide world and the microcosm of the individual soul. As chaos gave rise to possibility and imagination, so evil engendered strength and will. It made sentient beings aspire to wealth and power. It enabled them to subjugate, kill, rob, and deceive. It allowed them to do whatever was required to better themselves with never a crippling flicker of remorse. Thus, evil was responsible for the existence of civilization and for every great deed any hero had ever performed. Without it, the peoples of the world would live like animals. It was amazing that so many races, blinded by false religions and philosophies, had lost sight of this self-evident truth. In contrast, the dark elves had based a society on it, and that was one of the points of superiority that served to exalt them above all other races. Paradoxically, though, a touch of the pure black heart of this darkest of all powers could be deadly, just as the highest expression of comforting warmth was the fire that consumed. Even folk who spent their lives in the adoration of evil generally had no real comprehension of the endless burning sea of it raging below and beyond the material world, and that was just as well. Even a fleeting glimpse could convey secrets too huge and fearsome for the average mind. Its touch could annihilate sanity and even identity. The threat was sufficiently grave that the majority of spellcasters hesitated to regard the force directly. They preferred to treat with evil at one remove, by dealing with the devils and undead that embodied it.” 0 likes
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