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Daughter of the Drow is the first book in the Starlight & Shadows trilogy by Elaine Cunningham.


Beautiful as she is deadly, Liriel Baenre flits through the shadows of Menzoberranzan, city of the dark elves. Amid treachery and murder that are the drow's daily fare, she feels something calling to her... something beyond this dusky world far removed from the sun. Yet as she ventures toward the surface and the lands of light, enemies pursue her unceasingly. And one enemy may offer her the only hope of salvation.


Liriel Baenre is the prized daughter of Gromph Baenre and therefore a princess of House Baenre in Menzoberranzan. Although Gromph has been able to train her in wizardry and keep her away from the wiles of the priestesses, Matron Mother Triel Baenre insists that she enter the clerical academy of Arach-Tinilith to become a priestess of Lolth. There her practical jokes gain her the enmity of Shakti Hunzrin. Her desire to visit the surface prompts her to study portal magic with her tutor, Kharza-kzad Xorlarrin, and she is able to transport her self to the High Forest, where she meets several followers of Eilistraee.

Meanwhile, Fyodor seeks the Windwalker amulet on a quest he received due to his inability to control his berserker rages. The amulet, which had formerly been held in a tower in Rashemen, has been stolen by a wizard (later revealed to be Merdrith) and then stolen again by a band of drow mercenaries of the Dragon's Hoard. Fyodor follows them through a portal to the Underdark near Menzoberranzan.

Liriel learns of the Windwalker through surface books obtained by Nisstyre, leader of the Dragon's Hoard, and during one of her jaunts out of the city she finds the amulet on the body of a dead drow killed by deep bats. She plans to use the Windwalker to store her drow magic and allow her to travel to the surface. However, the priestesses of Menzoberranzan catch wind of her plan and plot her demise. Shakti allies with Nisstyre in this attempt. Liriel escapes to the surface, joining with Fyodor as she flees her pursuers. They travel to Skullport, entering Waterdeep with the help of Danilo Thann.

Once at the Promenade of the Dark Maiden near Skullport, Liriel and Fyodor join forces with the chosen of Eilistraee and with the deep dragon Zz'Pzora to assault and defeat the Dragon's Hoard headquarters. However, although they have temporarily waylaid their pursuers, Liriel and Fyodor still have far to travel to master the magic of the Windwalker to aid both of them in their goals.


Edition Pages ISBN-10 ISBN-13 Publisher Published Citation
Hardcover 314 0786901659 978-0786901654 TSR, Inc. 1995-09
Mass Market Paperback 352 078690514X 978-0786905140 TSR, Inc. 1996-09-09
Mass Market Paperback 352 0786929294 978-0786929290 Wizards of the Coast 2003-02-01


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  1. 1.0 1.1 Elaine Cunningham. What Happened Before Daughter of the Drow?. Retrieved on 2010-1-14.
  2. Elaine Cunningham (July 2003). Daughter of the Drow (Mass Market Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 7. ISBN 978-0786929290.