I first read this about 8-10 years ago, and must say that I love it now almost as much as I did upon first reading. I will caution readers that I woul...moreI first read this about 8-10 years ago, and must say that I love it now almost as much as I did upon first reading. I will caution readers that I would actually give 3 different ratings for this novel...As a stand alone fantasy novel I would likely call it a 3.5 star read...as the first book in a series I would call it a 4 star read....If it is read as the fourth book book (Just prior to legacy) then I would, did and still do call it a 5 star read.
Just so everyone is aware this is now considered book 1 of the Legend of Drizzt. In actuality The Crystal Shard is the original book 1. Salvatore wrote The Shard, Streams of Silver and The Halflings Gem as the first 3 books in the Drizzt series. As the book grew in popularity and drizzt's legend grew to epic proportions, many fantasy lovers myself included wondered what was Drizzt's background and how to he get to be in the world that he now inhabited...what was his life like and what shaped him into the character that so many loved. At that point Salvatore wrote Homeland, Exile and Sojourn as prequals to the Crystal Shard. Homeland is now called book 1, although to me it will always be book 4, and that is why I would recommend all newcomers to this series to begin with the Crystal Shard and read books 4-6 before circiling back to read the supposed first 3 books of the series. I don't find this book as entertaining as the first 3 (4-6), but once roped into the storyline, I think this is a fabulous addition.
This for me ranks just alongside of The Original Dragonlance Chronicles as the greatest epic fantasy series ever written. I would also say as a reference point that this is done in more of the AD&D style as well....but since RPG's, and AD&D have been a huge part of my formative years this is right up my alley....and I seldom enjoy fantasy novels that are not in this vein.
Drizzt is a noble character from a very evil and ignoble society....under the mentorship of his father Zak, Drizzt manages to avoid being poisioned of mind and spirit and falling prey to the evil system that spawned him. It is fun exploring the unique Drow society of the Dark Elv's and I have not seen anyone handle this culture as masterfully as salvatore. Since this is a background book it heavier on descriptions, both physical and of the society that Drizzt' was a part of rather than action that frequented the previous novels. Not to say that there is not action, just that this book is more designed to fill in gaps and answer questions than to merely entertain. Although again I was entertained.
If you love fantasy make this a must read (Of course following on the heels of the Shard books)! Drizzt is one of the most compelling figures in any fantasy series.(less)
The Legends of drizzt never cease to amaze and entertain me. Alongside of Homeland and Sojourn, Exile serve as a perfect compliment to the original fi...moreThe Legends of drizzt never cease to amaze and entertain me. Alongside of Homeland and Sojourn, Exile serve as a perfect compliment to the original first 3 books of the Drizzt series (The Crystal Shard, Streams of Silver and The halfling's gem). I am not sure that this would be an entertaining or engrossing read as a standalone novel, but taken as it was intended it shows so much of the development of drizzt, his inner turmoil and his journey of self discovery.
In this addition we pick up with Drizzt who has fled his homeland and is determined to leave his people, their foul way of life and to become a beacon for justice....however along the way he falls into deep lonliness and at times bitter despair. In his quest for survival, combined with his prolonged bouts of no other interaction save for Guenwyver a primal drizzt emerges who is dubbed buy the author "The Hunter". As Drizzt battles to survive his fighting skills increase and his instincts are developed to near animal predator status...In a last ditch effort to keep his hold on reality and sanity, Drizzt comes to the only option available to him...surrender to a group of dark Gnomes who will likely kill him....But he decides it is better than being devoured by the loneliness that envelopes him. Along the way Drizzt discovers acceptance of sort, develops a couple of life long friendships in spite of racial prejudices....He also discovers that his people are still hunting him, and will not ever allow him to be free.
This is such a cool series...if you like/love fantasy YOU absolutely must read this!(less)
After all of these years this is still a 5 star fantasy read, and ranks alongside of the greatest epic fantasy series that have ever been written. Whi...moreAfter all of these years this is still a 5 star fantasy read, and ranks alongside of the greatest epic fantasy series that have ever been written. While still very popular I believe this is much better than the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, and should be checked out by every one...but of course fantasy afficianados need to read this NOW!!!!!
Drizzt is one of the coolest figures in all of fantasy literature and his supporting cast of heroes is also one for the ages. bruenor, Wulfgar, regis, cattie-Brie make one of the coolest fantasy groups that have ever existed. Finally free of his homeland (except to those of us who have read the whole series and no what the future holds), drizzt seeks to find acceptance in a world that witholds it due to racial prejudices. In spite of this Drizzt holds true to himself and his values and slowly begins to find not only acceptance but love and friendship the likes of which many of us can only dream of. This book is loaded with combat, action, adventure, war and more. several great villians Akar kessel, Erttu, barbarian Kings, traitors, and finally Entreri is introduced in the closing pages, seting the stage for his arrival on the scene. One of the coolest villians to come upon the scene in my memory. Can Drizzt rally his friends, gain the trust of the very townspeople his is pledged to protect, and overcome the force of evil that has pervaded their corner of the world???
Man you absolutely must read this book. If you read this review it is either because you know me or have heard of this book...In either case I would urge you to not delay another second, but go out and find this book imediately...and start it the second you put your hand on it.(less)
This series has battled "Dragonlance Chronicles" in my heart for many years as the greatest epic fantasy series. Drizzt is one of the most original an...moreThis series has battled "Dragonlance Chronicles" in my heart for many years as the greatest epic fantasy series. Drizzt is one of the most original and creative and likeable protaginists you will find in fiction let alone fantasy. As a stand alone book this is likely the only one of the first 3 (although as a prequal they will always be books 4-6 for me) that fares well in that category. as a series component be it book 3 or book 6 (again book 6 for me) it is out of this world.
Drizzt makes his heroic escape from his homeland of manzoberranzan (Not sure about spelling and to lazy to check) and arrives at the surface. Will he finally escape Matron malice's long arm (well we know the answer even if he does not), will he escape The Spider queen? Will he ever find acceptance in this world that is vehemenantly predisposed against all of his race? Drizzt runs into problem after problem in spite of his nobleness and purity of heart. It seems that evil, trouble and prejudice follow him at every turn. As it seems that his guilt (we know he is innocent) has been accepted by many people and Drizzt becomes hunted throughout the land he finally escapes his trouble and is accepted as an apprentice of sorts to the blind ranger montollio. Montollio is one of the many cool supporting characters that appear throughout this series. His acceptance of Drizzt and willingness to teach him the common language of surface dwellers and the ins and outs of the landscape is a cool addition to this story and good background for those like me that read books 4-6 first as it was intended. The story line of the friars did not quite click for me, but that would be my largest complain not only about the book but about the series...and since that only occupied about 40 opages or so I can deal with it. His introduction to both cattie-Brie and bruenor is also nice for those who read books 4-6 and wondered how it all began.
Fantasy fans this should be your very next read if you have not stumbbled acroos it yet!!!!(less)
5 stars is the absolute lowest I can go....For me (and countless others) this is one of the greatest epic (an overused word, but appropriate in this c...more5 stars is the absolute lowest I can go....For me (and countless others) this is one of the greatest epic (an overused word, but appropriate in this case) fantasy series ever written. This book should be sought out immediately by all fantasy fiction fans.
The only disappointment I have with this book is the ending. It is almost as horrific as Suzanne Collins "Catching Fire"...It should be against the law to end a book with so much still to be completed. I would start looking for a lawyer tommorow so that I could press civil action charges against Salvatore....but I have The Halflings Gem setting right beside me, and will be to busy reading...so the court cases will have to wait.
Our heroes return and drizzt, Bruenor, Wulfgar, cattie-Brie, regis and guenhwyver are as cool an adventuring party as has ever been created in fantasy lore. There are some cool friends and advesaries along the way...But Artemis Entreri, may be the coolest villian I have ever come across in fiction. There are times I would find myself caring about this horrific assassin, untill I realized time and again that he meant harm to our noble heroes.
Now I am left hanging as the hunt and adventure continues....Will Drizzt & Wulfgar catch up to Regis in time to save him? Will cattie brie reclaim Mitherell hall for bruenor? Is bruenor really dead? Will Drizzt and guen be reunited? Will Drizzt and Entreri get to see who the best really is? Of course Ihave read this before and know the answers..If you do not...Go out and read this series as soon as youi can!(less)
5 stars for me....I love Salvatore's writing and this Drizzt' series is outstanding. Years ago when this first was recommended to me I was a Dragonlan...more5 stars for me....I love Salvatore's writing and this Drizzt' series is outstanding. Years ago when this first was recommended to me I was a Dragonlance snob, and didn't think anything else could capture my attention. This (the Cleric Quintet as well) series quickly parallelled it for me.
Now I notice that there are a large ammount of 1 & 2 star votes on here for this book (and many of salvatore's) while the average is much higher and of course mine is through the roof. I also know that I love fantasy novels, but find most of them incredibly stupid, and uninteresting including many who these reviewers say are much better than Salvatore. I think there needs to be a new category or a sub category of fantasy....
Unless a book contains some of the AD&D model for fantasy, it usually does not resonate with me. I grew up as a gamer (although I have not played in years), and perhaps that is why I love The Forgotten realms, Dragonlance etc. and despise Anne McCafferty, Robert Jordan type fantasy even though everyone tells me I will love it... I don't think that one kind is better than the other...but I do think gamers and non gamers gravitate towards different types of fantasy..
So if you played D&D you absolutely must check this out.....if not read it at your own risk with tempered enthusiasim.(less)
It pains me to give this 4 stars, and I would likely go 4.5 but to my great angst that still does not remain an option. Compare to other fantasy that...moreIt pains me to give this 4 stars, and I would likely go 4.5 but to my great angst that still does not remain an option. Compare to other fantasy that is not Salvatore's, Dragonlance, The Rangers Apprentice and of Course Tolkien it ranks well above IMHO and could legitimately warrant a 5 star rating, but I held back for reasons I will get to.
The first 6 books trace Drizzt and his companions adventures in Icewind Dale, and the prequal covers Drizzt's background from the Underdark to his escape to the surface world, and of course bruenor's reclaiming of Mithrall hall. This picks up where we left off, with the return of drizzt's demented people led by his sister to capture him and offer him as a saxcrifice to Lolth (The Spider Queen/Goddess of his people), as well as the return of my favorite villian Entreri. I was glad to see Jarl Axle claim a prominant spot (as he will also in future additions), in the story...Not sure if he is a villian or supporting character but he is a cool one whatever he is.
As I have said in other fantasy posts due to my D&D background of gaming I love fantasy novels that are done in this vein. Likewise those who do not like D&D or have a gaming background often times do not enjoy these types of books, compared to other fantasy...so it really depends on what you like, as to wether or not this series is up your alley.
As a gamer their are 2 types of Dungeon masters and/or campaigns that can rob them of their fun and continuity (This is not absolute as their are many other factors that contribute to their enjoyability as well)....The first is where all battle is so complex and dangerous that main characters frequently die....the other is where the charcters are so loved/valuable that none ever die...even when they die. My complaint is that salvatore has adopted this 2nd line into his stories...no main charcter ever seems to really die, sure secondary bones do....but as far as the main story line allows, death does not happen. Robbing the charcters of true life mortality takes away a degree of enjoyability and realism (Hows that realism for fantasy). SPOILERS FOLLOW, so if you don't want info do not read further....
Entreri and Drizzt continue their heated rivalry/battles, and Entreri loses and falls off of a cliff.....only to sprout bat wings and not really die....only to be poisoned in the continuing battle, and we find out toweards the end does not actually die...he is left for dead, but since he will reappear in future books again he does not die.
Drizzt/Bruenor both seemingly died in the last book only to our great amazement, return from what everyone thought was their death.
Now the end comes and Wulfgar has met an untimely end....only we will learn that he is not really dead...and must be rescued.
Don't get me wrong, I love these charcters and do not wish them to die, but either don't have them seemingly die only to be miraculously alive...or allow a believable element of mortality and trgedy enter into these tales.
Not a major gripe as I am already excited to read the next book (will begin within the hour), just something that detracts from the story for me personally.(less)