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Starlight and Shadows Trilogy Review (2024)

Elaine Cunningham

The Starlight and Shadows trilogy is written by author Elaine Cunningham and it is a part of the large Forgotten Realms campaign setting. This trilogy, much like many others in the Forgotten Realms Saga, focuses on one or two main characters that are going to be bringing you most of the fun in the three books inside.

Liriel Baenre

In this case, this main character is a drow outcast known as Liriel Baenre, she also has a companion who will be bringing some variety and more thrill into the story, this companion is called Fyodor of Rashemen. Take a look at this Starlight and Shadows review if you wish to learn more about the trilogy and know what to expect.

Starlight and Shadows Trilogy

Daughter of the Drow


Deadly and Beautiful

The first one of the Starlight and Shadows books is going to be introducing you to the main character that we mentioned above and letting you know a few things about her and her life before the real fun begins. Liriel is described as very beautiful but also deadly.

Liriel is a drow princess who has a lot of responsibilities and chores as she is also an evil spider-god priestess and she definitely doesn’t like to do her chores and be locked up in the same old place all her life. In fact, she has been plotting for a while to escape but this dream seems to be fading away bit by bit.


Her home is in the land of Menzoberranzan, the city of the dark elves and her father is a very powerful character, he is known as Gromph Baenre and this makes her the princess of House Baenre. Her mother, Matron mother Triel Baenre is insisting to enroll Liriel in the cleric academy of Arach-Tinilith so that she can become a priestess of Lolth.

This soon becomes reality and Liriel begins her training. She is eager to visit the surface so she decides to start learning how to open portals and skills like that with her tutor Kharza-kzadXorlarrin. She soon becomes able to transport herself to the High Forest where the true thrill of the story is about to arrive.

The Real Adventure Begins

The plot of this exciting Starlight and Shadows book finally begins to unravel more quickly as the main focus of the plot now shifts to an artifact of great power. The Windwalker amulet is what we are talking about and you will find that there are many who seek this powerful object.

The character who we mentioned would be as important as the main character herself, Fyodor, who is seeking this amulet as it has been stolen from Rashemen by a wizard known as Merdrith. The fun thing here is that the amulet is quickly stolen again, this time by a band of drow mercenaries of the Dragon’s Hoard. Fyodor begins a chase and follows them only to end up going through a portal that leads to the Underdark near Menzoberranzan.

Strangest Things

Liriel also knows about this artifact through surface books that she has managed to get from Nisstyre, the leader of the Dragon’s Hoard. The strangest thing happens soon after the amulet is brought to the Underdark, Liriel manages to just stumble upon it as she finds it on a dead drow’s body that was killed by deep bats.

She immediately starts making plans about the amulet and intends to use it to store her magic and eventually travel to the surface. There are some very exciting events in this Starlight and Shadows book that follow this one as this first book is coming to an end and it is up to you to find out what happens next.

Tangled Webs



This is the second book in Starlight & Shadows trilogy and the adventure in this one is just as thrilling as in the first one, if not even more. Now you know a thing or two about the main character of the series, Liriel Baenre and her friend Fyodor.

Before we dive into the story, there are a few important things that you must know about the events that are taking place. Liriel is now exiled from her home back in Menzoberranzan and she now has to make a new life for herself on the surface. Fortunately for her, she is not alone as she has her trusty companion Fyodor by her side at all times.

Wandering the Surface

These two wander the surface now believing that they are safe from the drow in the underground but they are soon going to discover that the surface world is not as safe and bright as she had imagined it.

Above everything else that will be happening on the surface world, Liriel has one mission that takes priority over all the rest and that is to crave a rune of power that is going to help her keep and strengthen her powers on the surface. Somewhere in the middle of that mission is another very important one, to help her partner and friend Fyodor maintain control over his berserker outbreaks.

The Seas of the Sword Coast

The first thing that they must do in order to crave this rune is to travel to a place called Ruathym where they are supposed to locate a magical tree known only by the name Yggsdrasil’s Child, that’s the place where magical runes like this are craved into.

In order to reach this destination, our two favorite characters must travel through the dangerous Seas of the Sword Coast and there definitely will be a lot of exciting events happening on this deadly journey. Along the way, Liriel rescues a pirate captain who goes by the name Hrolf the Unruly who is going to allow Liriel and Fyodor to travel to Ruathym. That’s when the real fun is about to begin.

Strange Encounters

A series of strange and definitely weird events will be happening on this adventure and the first of those is Liriel’s first ever encounter with a surface elf, a sea elf who was known as Xzorsh.

Another one of these strange events is going to be brought to you by an old enemy that Liriel will soon be seeing again. An invasion is coming for the island of Ruathym and Liriel and Fyodor will have no other choice but to try and protect this land and stop a massive and evil invasion.



All Goals Achieved

And finally, the third and last book in the Starlight and Shadows series in our review is Windwalker, the book that is finally going to show you how this thrilling adventure ends and what the outcome of this exciting trip that Liriel and Fyodor have been on will be.

In the third book, you find out that Liriel and Fyodor are finally in a place of relaxation as they have managed to achieve all of the set goals. Liriel has finally fulfilled her quest to crave the rune and restore her magical drow powers and use them wherever she likes.

Changed Man

Fyodor has managed to gain complete control over his berserker outbreaks and he too is now a changed man. All that’s left for these amazing characters to do now is to return to the land of Rashemen and bring back the stolen Windwalker amulet. There is one catch somewhere in all of this and that is that Liriel is a dark elf, and the people of Rashemen aren’t exactly too fond of dark elves.

The Danger Never Ends

The excitement and thrill from the amazing Starlight & Shadows trilogy is finally coming to an end but not before one more thrilling adventure that is definitely going to leave the story in your memories for a long time.

Before they head back to Rashemen, Fyodor actually believes that the Witches of Rashemen would welcome Liriel in their home as she has helped return the powerful amulet but you will find that the outcome of that whole situation will be different, and surprising as well.

Old Enemies

There is much more to the story than their return to Rashemen and whether the Witches will accept Liriel or not. Liriel has many other enemies that are not from Rashemen and they are about to show their faces.

A very strange one of those enemies is the leader, a drow goddess whom Liriel has no idea is still following and serving. Find out what all of that means as you read the book for yourself as all of the important details are in there.

Enjoy the Excitement

Hopefully, you got what you were looking for from our review and now you know what to expect from the exciting adventures inside. The characters of Starlight and Shadows books are super fun to read about and the story is laid out in a very thrilling and interesting manner.

Robert Hazley

Robert is a science fiction and fantasy geek. (He is also the best looking Ereads writer!) Besides reading and writing, he enjoys sports, cosplay, and good food (don't we all?). Currently works as an accountant (would you believe that?)