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Title: Venom’s Taste
Series: House of Serpents #1, Forgotten Realms
Author: Lisa Smedman
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Arvin, human rogue working for the Thieves Guild, is caught up in a plot between a cult of Death and Poison, a resistance group that wants to re-assert human supremacy and a Yuan-ti [snake masters of the region] who wants to shake up the current crop of leaders and take their place.
I went in to this hoping for something a bit “more”, as it was dealing with the Yuan-ti, a race of snake’y people. And while I got “different”, it wasn’t really “more”.
Arvin was your typical cardboard cutout of a human character who had “past” issues that helped and hindered him. All the groups were pretty typical of what you’d expect from a Forgotten Realms novel and the plot was unexceptionally FR as well.
I did like having a completely new race to find out about, but they barely made it into the story. We find out the Yuan-ti rule, can be snakelike in various ways, can be “psionic” [ie, direct mind magic without rituals or scrolls, etc. To be honest, I’m not really sure how it is different from regular magic] and ruthlessly rule, just like every other class that rules all across the world.
I did read a tiny bit about Skullport, which I am familiar with through the Erevis Cale books, but that was the only familiar thing. Everything else was completely new. Geography-wise I wonder if the Powers that Be from Wizards of the Coast have mapped out Faerun [the whole world, as I understand it] or if they just let things kind of exist willy nilly.
I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the trilogy, but I won’t be expecting anything great, just the typical FR adventure story.