Fun book. Not perfect. Read this series years and years ago. I was looking for a simple fun series I could read mostly before bed and on he weekends....moreFun book. Not perfect. Read this series years and years ago. I was looking for a simple fun series I could read mostly before bed and on he weekends. This fits the bill.
If you're going to pick up the Drizzt Do'Urden books I'd recommend starting here rather than the Dark Elf trilogy. These come later chronologically, but they were written first. I think the story flows better when you start here.
Quick reads. Pretty much straight down the middle "sword and wizard" fantasy stuff here. What raises these above the crowd is the character Drizzt Do'Urden. He's got a little more depth than you're typical fantasy character, but I don't know if I'd go so far as to call him well rounded. But you'll like him.
He's batman (not the recent physcologicly tortued one, the *WHAM* *POW* one).
He's spiderman. Only he doesn't like spiders much.
He's John Reeese (from Person of Interest. You should watch that show. ya - I'm talking to you. Watch it. Stick it out through the first few episodes, it pays off).
He's going to make things work. He's got a plan, and when he doesn't have a plan he makes it up as he goes and it's going to turn out okay.
He's got a good heart and always tries to do the right thing. But sometimes when the bad guys hurt someone good he goes into a rage and kicks butt on a large scale.
Don't expect a character that would fit into The Game of Thrones. Expect a character that you could easily throw into a comic book.
Okay... quickly blowing through the unavoidable need to justify my thoughts.
These are fun books. Not great books, but in the context of your "straight...moreOkay... quickly blowing through the unavoidable need to justify my thoughts.
These are fun books. Not great books, but in the context of your "straight down the middle fantasy" they are good books. I read them first in highschool many years ago. I wanted something right to read while I'm working weird hours, and going to sleep by 5 in the afternoon. Something where if I forget most of what I read the day before, it wouldn't matter. So I'm burning through this series again.
Here are some thoughts.
When I read these books the first time I was playing D&D pretty regularly. I'm not now (unfortunately, if anyone is looking to put a group together and you want a middle aged white guy with self esteem issues who works stupid hours and has a habit of cancelling social engagements because his reclusive life in IT has caused his burgeoning social phobias to blossom into full blown phobias - give me a call).
What I'm noticing is that these books are written like someone took a D&D character and wrote a story about them. That's almost kinda fun if you play, or played D&D.
(Possible spoilers, but if you've made it it to book three I really really hope not)
Like Drizzt's globe of darkness or levitation as innate drown abilities. Or when something takes a +1 or better weapon to hit.
But there are times when it makes the books feel a bit clumsy. And I imagine even more so for someone who hasn't played D&D. For example, is Sojourn Drizzt begins his career as a ranger. D&D players will go "ohh, he get's an affinity with animals, a racial enemy, and tracking abilities". And in the books, all those things happen. But they kinda just happen. The animal handling/empathy for example. Works prefectly fine in the context of a D&D campaign. But in the context of a novel, a dark elf who has always lived underground, in a city most of his life, then in the wilds killing most of the creatures he came across, suddenly being able to calm wild beasts seems a bit out of the blue.
Not a huge deal, but it's there.
Here's another reason to start with the other trilogy (The Icewind Dale trilogy, that comes after these chronologically, but were written before the Dark Elf trilogy.) Continuity isn't perfect. Nothing plot breaking. But when you go from the Dark Elf trilogy into the Icewind Dale trilogy you notice them. On the other hand, they are small enough that if you read the Icewind Dale trilogy first, which takes a littel bit of time telling you aobut Drizzt's past, by the time you circle back to the Dark elf trilogy you'll have forgotten the details that don't match up.
Okay. Like the others. This was a fun book. It has some issues, but I don't think it's aspiring to be anything more than a fun book.(less)
Just a few quick words. I'm rereading the series. I wanted something really light. Something I could in bed in the minutes before I fall asleep. Somet...moreJust a few quick words. I'm rereading the series. I wanted something really light. Something I could in bed in the minutes before I fall asleep. Something where it wouldn't matter if I forgot most of what I'd read the night before.
This fits the bill.
I don't know why I have to feel like I need to justify my feelings about these books. I'm not saying they are great books. I think they are pretty solid three star books.
I would say this again, start with the trilogy that was written first, but that comes after these chronologically. I gave a bit on the why with my review in the last book (Homeland) and I'll give a bit more in the next on (Sojourn).
There are plot holes, the written is extremely cliche in spots, there are quite a few typos in the book. But I'm willing to bet that the majority of people who make it to the end of this book start to get attached to the cuddly wuddly lovable dark elf that is Drizzt Do'Urden.
Homeland by R.A. Salvatore. The Legend of Drizzt #1
I read these books back in highschool. Lots of years ago. More than I like to admit to myself. For a...moreHomeland by R.A. Salvatore. The Legend of Drizzt #1
I read these books back in highschool. Lots of years ago. More than I like to admit to myself. For about the next month I want to read something that I don’t have to think about. These, along with the Dragonlance books, were my first introduction to fantasy novels. There’s a lot of nostalgic baggage that goes along with these books.
I would never recommend these books to someone who has sort of “matured’ in their fantasy reading. But for someone who just wants a good sword and magic vacation book, these are perfect.
When I read this series the first time I started with the Icewind Dale trilogy. These three dark elf books are prequels. But in most reading lists you see see them listed first. And it’s true, chronologically they come earlier.
But I would strongly disagree.
Reading these books first, it gives the impression that Salvatore is trying to create a gritty, dark and edgy storyline. But that’s just not what these books are.
Drizzt is a short skinny nimble Connan the Barbarian. Since the announcement for the next Drizzt book in 2014 just came out, I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by telling you that he always figures out a way to win out over the forces of evil. You know he’s going to win. You know he’s going to do the right thing. And you know he’s going to kick some ass along the way. He’ll protect his friends, and fight fiercely to protect the innocent.
This isn’t A Game Of Thrones where you get all anxious about your favorite character getting suddenly and violently offed in the next chapter. You’re safe to kick back and enjoy and know that the good guys are going to win.
But there’s the problem with reading the “Underdark” books first. They are meant to fill out the back story. To give Drizzt a bit of a troubled past. But if you start here, it’s his present, not his past. Sure, you get the story told in chronological order, but I would argue that it’s not as good as the Drizzt story where his Underdark days are more of a flashback.
For your enjoyment, start with the Icewind Dale trilogy.
These are just fun books, so I don’t know if it’s worth the deeper discussion. But, I wonder if the order you read them in doesn't just change your enjoyment, but if there’s a less harmless change to the over all theme too. I read a harsh, but good, review of these book. A reader who was disturbed with the relentless and unredemptive darkness and violence in this book. The reviewer wasn't wrong. And without the context of the moral beacon and defender of justice that Drizzt become, I’d have to agree with that assessment.
Start with Drizzt as a character always struggling with the “right thing”, and then step back into the dark past, and it makes his moral compass more remarkable.
Aaaaanyway…. Fun books. But start with the Icewind Dale trilogy. Take them on vacation. Or read them when you have to work stupid hours at work for a couple months and just want something to read while you’re going to sleep, or don’t want to think too much. Good action sequences. Swords, wizards, monsters, action galore. Nothing too deep. (less)