Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Completed Series: The Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore

The Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore is highly acclaimed and I was not oblivious to this when I started reading Homeland in April 2018. I finished the entire trilogy in about two weeks. Sometime prior I had actually gotten about 40 pages into Gauntlgrym, number 23 of extensive Legend of Drizzt (a book I had bought because of its Neverwinter label), before giving up. Throughout the trilogy you learn about Drizzt’s origins from his birth from his arrival to Icewind Dale. One of the strongest appeals is Drow society; which is toxic, brutal and unforgiven.

Drow are worshipers of the the Queen of the Demonweb Pits, Lolth (Lloth) and are generally inherently evil. Enter Drizzt Do'Urden who is anything but. Though I found drow society interesting it was a bit tiring after awhile. Drizzt doesn’t become that likable until he becomes easier to connect what emotionally which happens more in the second book. While the third book is interesting it’s really just running from his past over and over and is largely boring though the events do build Drizzt as a character. I couldn’t help but feel his character was overrated (as well as the writing of Salvatore), though the fight scenes are indeed done really well; good fights do not make a book or a whole series. Overall I found the support characters interesting but shallow. Guenhwyvar is an astral panther and can only be so deep, while Zaknafein was an interesting ally (and foe) to Drizzt’s moral dilemma. Though poor Clacker and svirfneblin Belwar Dissengulp make fun and unique adventuring party companions.

The trilogies three books are:
Homeland (1990) - Acceptable
Exile (1990) - Acceptable
Sojourn (1991) - Acceptable

Interesting to note the Dark Elf Trilogy was written as a prequel after Drizzt’s rise to fame with The Icewind Dale Trilogy. Because of this some would suggest starting with The Crystal Shard rather than Homeland. I am glad I started with Homeland because I’m not sure how I would have felt going back after reading The Crystal Shard, a novel that is very obviously Salvatore’s first with it’s rough writing. It is really up to the individual reader what they would find better to their own needs, tastes, and desires.

Overall, the consistent development of Drizzt is satisfying, but not that much. The Dark Elf Trilogy is Acceptable.
You can track my current progress here.

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