Venom’s Taste (House of Serpents #1) (Forgotten Realms)

29cc1b8322bc03560012a7bc26f8f3c2 This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at by express permission of this reviewer.

Title: Venom’s Taste

Series: House of Serpents #1, Forgotten Realms

Author: Lisa Smedman

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy



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.


My Thoughts:

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.

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