Orivon Firefist was captured as a six-year-old child by the Nilfghar–the dark elves–who attacked his village by night on one of their surface raids.
Fifteen years later, he is a moon-pale, scarred, muscular giant of a man, who has spent his days at forgework for a dark elf family. He is also forced to use his great strength to shift furniture in the grand rooms of their castle. He has been trained (and flogged and ordered about) by the beautiful Taerune, a lash-wielding matron who is icily cruel, but proud of the slaves that she has trained.
Through all of this, Orivon’s spirit has never been broken. He longs to return to the surface world, even if that means destroying the entire dark elf empire along the way!
Alright, I have been waiting to post this for over six months so here it is! Dark Warrior Rising was my first Ed Greenwood novel. For those of you that may not know he is the creator of the Forgotten Realms game world, though this book does not take place in it. I can’t say that I hated the book, but it wasn’t my favorite either. I know there is another book to this series and I liked this one enough to want to read the second eventually. Since this book can stand alone I will wait awhile to read the next one.
I really liked the story and thought it was interesting. However, it started and then ended to quickly. At first, I had a really hard time reading the book. There was so much information about these dark elves such as their history, relationships, social standings, magic, and culture, that I just felt overwhelmed. Greenwood failed miserably to explain all this and only in a few chapters. Everything was really complicated and with such strange names for people and places it was really difficult to make any connections. There was also a lot of time passing at first and no real indication as to how much time. From what I got out of it there are many different cities and within each city there are many different Houses. In this book we focus on Talaonnorn and Tarune is from house Evendoom. At least I figured all that out! I think…
I was impressed that the story was actually interesting because for almost the entire novel Orivon spends his time trying to escape, while there is a war going on in the city. The book is one big battle after another with Orivon in the middle of it. I found it very interesting because there were a lot of things going on. Orivon is trying to get back up to the surface, Taerune is being hunted by her brothers, the priestesses are up to something (that part was where a lot of the confusion was), and dark elves from other cities and houses are up to their own schemes. Really kept me interested despite the drawbacks.
Throughout the book Greenwood would introduce us to a character, you get to know them a little and they have the potential to be interesting characters, but he ends up killing them. It was really frustrating. There were also way too many characters. I had a hard time figuring out who was who and which of them would end up being important by the end of the book. Also, there were many character jumps within each chapter and sometimes I just couldn’t figure out who they were and what they were up to. Better organization and less characters would have made this a much better book.
Taerune and Orivon are the main characters and I really enjoyed reading their sections of the book. I wish more time would have been spent with them. They have a very interesting relationship and I would love to know more about them.
Overall, I did enjoy the book after I got 60 or so pages into it. If you like Greenwood or Salvatore then you will probably like this novel. If you want something different to read, or even like dark elves then you can give this one a try. Not my favorite, but still a pretty good read.
My rating: 3.5/5 stars!
*photo provided by goodreads.com