Andrea's Reviews > Sojourn

Sojourn by R.A. Salvatore
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's review
Apr 08, 2011

it was amazing
Read from June 30 to August 10, 2010

The Legend of Drizzt book 3, Sojourn

-Great illustration and story

-Drizzt can’t levitate anymore
-A cool guy dies

The Bottom Line: A beautiful sky awaits you in this world. Come and explore.

R. A. Salvatore is officially on my list of favorite authors; right next to J. R. R. Tolkien. And the illustrator, Todd Lockwood is still my favorite among his profession. Lockwood’s work never fails to center my eyes onto one of Salvatore’s books! In fact, Todd Lockwood is the reason why I got into these books in the first place. His illustrations are lovely. But if you want to see the illustration for this book that I’m talking about, you’ll have to look on another website. I couldn’t find the right edition.

The picture on the front of this book, Sojourn, is the epitome of the author’s intent; Drizzt’s hope to finally find a place to call home. And for the dark elf, who spent his whole life under the shadowy oppression of his evil people and their god, the burning sun and vast sky seems… promising.

Sojourn is the sequel to Exile. You wouldn’t understand either of the books as well as you would, though, if you don’t read Homeland first and Exile second before opening Sojourn.

My review for Homeland is, You CAN judge an R.A. SALVATORE book by its Cover, and my review for Exile is, More Than a Pretty Picture. But to sum it up: In Homeland we are introduced to Drizzt, his family and the evil traditions of the Drow (dark elf) race. Drizzt is one apart from the malicious group and breaks away; In Exile we see the adventures and torment he faces alone; as his family is still trying to hunt him down. That is when he decides to go where the fingers of his family cannot reach; the surface under the blinding sting of the sun. This is where Sojourn begins.

R.A.S. writes the majority of his story with the third person. And like the first two books, Sojourn is broken into parts. At the beginning of every part, we get an account in the first person, allowing us stronger understanding of the main character. It gives us a refreshing peek into Drizzt's personal thoughts. These firsthand accounts sound as if the character is looking back on his life; that the events we are only just finding out about are centuries behind. And just before we have a chance to read of those events for ourselves, Drizzt tells us his thoughts of how he had acted, how he felt at the time, and his hopes for the future.

“The arrival of the sunrise… The sting could not be denied, but neither could I deny the beauty of the spectacle. The colors grabbed my soul in a way that no patterns of heat emanations in the Underdark ever could.” Part One, Sunrise

The beginning of the book wasn’t filled with as much action as in the beginnings of the first two books. That is because Drizzt is trying to find peace in his solitude. He is trying to avoid being seen; at first. But it isn’t boring.

There is humor. -Like, when the book barely starts and Drizzt comes across an animal he had never seen before, and tries to make friends with it – only to trudge off grumpily to the stream to wash away the stench of skunk.

The suspense at the beginning is subtle, yet effective. The pace gradually grows in such a way that you can hardly notice the change until you pass the two hundredth page. Nevertheless, there are bursts of action early on that make the gentle parts of the story bearable for those of you out there who love bloodshed. (Yes, it’s gory. So kids shouldn’t be given this book as a Christmas gift.) Anyway, there is plenty of action later on.

Drizzt tries to find acceptance from the habitants of the surface world. But his attempts aren’t very successful until he comes across a blind, old, ranger who decides that this drow isn’t like his people, and takes in the renegade. However, Drizzt had a home only for the remainder of the old ranger’s short time among the living. After the death of the old man, the place where they lived felt empty; Drizzt had to leave. He wanders for years. But in the end he finds his ‘place’; at last. But the time and place you will have to find out on your own.

One of the things that I didn’t like was that Drizzt’s ability to levitate (which he had been born with) had deteriorated ever since he went above ground. That sinks! That ability was really cool! Another thing that I didn’t like was that a surface elf had to die to make this book what it is now. This particular elf even saved Drizzt’s life a number of times. It was too bad that Drizzt only recognized one of the times when that guy helped him. Drizzt was even ignorant to the surface elf’s murder; which made me even sadder.

It is a clam read compared to the first two books. But I would not say that this book is disappointing. I think that anyone who does is a person who has read more of R. A. S.’s work than just the first three books; Homeland, Exile and Sojourn.

Maybe the reason why I thought the third book was so cool, when the other reviewers made their distaste for the book obvious, is because these are the first of Salvatore’s books that I’ve come across. It could also be that I am one of those people who feel relieved with a good ending. The two previous books involved Drizzt being constantly on the run. He was getting tired of the running. So was I.

I think that Salvatore knew what he was about when he made the pace of this book slower. He wanted us to feel the exhaustion of the character; the side effects of being constantly on the move with no rest in sight. Then, the master of this world of elves, humans and magic, wanted us to ride that emotional roller-coaster of rekindled hope and hard rejection. Yes, he knew exactly what he was doing.

This book is a good resolution to the dark elf’s constant struggle with a world of prejudices and greed. For the first time since he was ignorant of the evil of his people, he gained the comfort of being in a place, with people who, he could truly live with. Despite what others may think of this book, I believe it came to close perfectly.

-Though it is obvious that there is more to the story. Drizzt says as much in his epilogue. He also mentions a good friend whom we haven’t been introduced to yet. There will be more adventures and hardships. But for now, the sky looks like an optimistic blue.

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