This is a good book so i'll start by getting the negative point over first. While I am interested in the forgotten realms novels, i found it so hard to keep up with the story initially. I'm sure people who don't really know much about the dark elves will have the same problem. while I know they often write the story in scenes. I felt bowled over by the numerous characters before they were properly established. A character summary might have been a good idea to start with. E.g . in the first few chapters we are introduced to so many characters, some of whom are not important at all ( well they are just side characters) and while the realism helps, its just confusing. I found myself thinking, who was that again, the wizzard, or an initiate or a warrior. E.g. the conflict in the Mizzrym house and the baenre house. there was Quenthel, Triel, Gromph, Pharaun, the sisters, and various house guards. I just kept thinking, who is who?
Despite that, if one perseveres it is a good book, once you understand what the drow society is like, the basics that the Arach til.. something is the central temple group of priestesses, the melee magthere is the warriors group and the sorcere group consists of wizards.
I think you need to understand the foundations of drow society and the book is not self explanatory in that way.
On the plus side I found the book very entertaining, once you got in to it. The adventure is very diverse. Lots of different things happen and its somewhat refreshing to read a book where there are no good guys. There are the conformists and the revolutionaries. I think we can get attached to the story but at the end of the day not feel sorry for them when bad things happen as they're all evil and treacherous opportunists.
A good read overall.