Yes, I love short fiction and, by extension, I love short novels. But when you really fall in love with a book or series, nothing satisfies like a volume that weighs as much as a phone book.
Which is why I was delighted when two fat fantasy compendiums landed on my doorstep this week: R.A. Salvatore’s War of the Spider Queen, Volume I and Volume II.
These aren’t written by R.A. Salvatore. You can tell because his name is in the title. R.A. Salvatore created the popular character Drizzt Do’Urden and has written nearly two dozen novels featuring the drow ranger, several of them best-sellers. War of the Spider Queen returns to Drizzt Do’Urden’s homeland, the Underdark, to spin a tale of a ragged band of four dark elves on a desperate quest to find Lloth, drow goddess and the demon Queen of Spiders, and save their subterranean city of Menzoberranzan and the entire dark elf race.
The two-volume War of the Spider Queen collects all six novels: Dissolution by Richard Lee Byers, Insurrection by Thomas M. Reid, Condemnation by Richard Baker, Extinction by Lisa Smedman, Annihilation by Philip Athans, and Resurrection by Paul S. Kemp. All were published between 2002 and 2005, with R.A. Salvatore overseeing the development of the entire series.
These are handsome and satisfactorily hefty volumes. I took them out and photographed them on the bricks of my front patio, so you can get a sense of their size. (Click on the image above to get a bigger version).
Volume I contains the first three novels; it is 1,074 pages for $15.95 in trade paperback. Volume II gathers the last three; it is 1,076 pages for $15.95. Both have cover art by Brom. They are published by Wizards of the Coast and are now available.