The saga of dark elf Drizzt Do'Urden has become a fixture in the fantasy genre, with a string of New York Times best-selling novels going back to 1988. Maestro is the follow-up to Archmage, and continues the story of Drizzt's perilous homecoming.
Drizzt is going home. But not to Mithral Hall. Not to Icewind Dale. He's going to Menzoberranzan. Something terrible-immense-unspeakable, has come to the City of Spiders, leaving death and destruction in its wake.
Additionally, the damage of the Darkening, of war, and of a demon-ravaged Underdark sends cracks out across the North, causing irreparable damage.
At the same time, the primordial of Gauntlgrym stirs, sending Cattie-brie and Gromph to the ruins of the Host Tower of the Arcane in Luskan, seeking the only power that can keep the beast in check.
Jarlaxle holds the strings for them all, orchestrating a masterpiece of manipulation that brings old enemies together, and tears old friends apart.
But even the wily and resourceful Jarlaxle may not realize just how narrow a path he walks. The City of Spiders might already have fallen to the demons and their wicked prince, and what's to say the demons will stop there?
Maestro is the sequel to Archmage, and the exciting 2nd book in the Homecoming trilogy.
As one of the fantasy genre’s most successful authors, R.A. Salvatore enjoys an ever-expanding and tremendously loyal following. His books regularly appear on The New York Times best-seller lists and have sold more than 10,000,000 copies. Salvatore’s original hardcover, The Two Swords, Book III of The Hunter’s Blade Trilogy (October 2004) debuted at # 1 on The Wall Street Journal best-seller list and at # 4 on The New York Times best-seller list. His books have been translated into numerous foreign languages including German, Italian, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Turkish, Croatian, Bulgarian, Yiddish, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, Czech, and French.
Salvatore’s first published novel, The Crystal Shard from TSR in 1988, became the first volume of the acclaimed Icewind Dale Trilogy and introduced an enormously popular character, the dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden. Since that time, Salvatore has published numerous novels for each of his signature multi-volume series including The Dark Elf Trilogy, Paths of Darkness, The Hunter’s Blades Trilogy, and The Cleric Quintet.
His love affair with fantasy, and with literature in general, began during his sophomore year of college when he was given a copy of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings as a Christmas gift. He promptly changed his major from computerscience to journalism. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications from Fitchburg State College in 1981, then returned for the degree he always cherished, the Bachelor of Arts in English. He began writing seriously in 1982, penning the manuscript that would become Echoes of the Fourth Magic. Salvatore held many jobs during those first years as a writer, finally settling in (much to our delight) to write full time in 1990.
The R.A. Salvatore Collection has been established at his alma mater, Fitchburg State College in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, containing the writer’s letters, manuscripts, and other professional papers. He is in good company, as The Salvatore Collection is situated alongside The Robert Cormier Library, which celebrates the writing career of the co-alum and esteemed author of young adult books.
Salvatore is an active member of his community and is on the board of trustees at the local library in Leominster, Massachusetts. He has participated in several American Library Association regional conferences, giving talks on themes including “Adventure fantasy” and “Why young adults read fantasy.” Salvatore himself enjoys a broad range of literary writers including James Joyce, Mark Twain, Geoffrey Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dante, and Sartre. He counts among his favorite genre literary influences Ian Fleming, Arthur Conan Doyle, Fritz Leiber, and of course, J.R.R. Tolkien.
Born in 1959, Salvatore is a native of Massachusetts and resides there with his wife Diane, and their three children, Bryan, Geno, and Caitlin. The family pets include three Japanese Chins, Oliver, Artemis and Ivan, and four cats including Guenhwyvar.
When he isn't writing, Salvatore chases after his three Japanese Chins, takes long walks, hits the gym, and coaches/plays on a fun-league softball team that includes most of his family. His gaming group still meets on Sundays to play.
Standard R.A. Salvatore Biased Review Caveat: Bob Salvatore is one of my favorite authors and has been for 20+ years; he’s also, amongst the writers I’ve had the good fortune to meet and/or interview, one of the nicest and most generous with his time. So, any book that has his name on the cover gets an extra bump up the review scale compared to if the same book had been written by someone not named Bob Salvatore.
Also—MAJOR SPOILERS TO FOLLOW! (You’ve been warned via typographical shouting.)
Over the years, Drizzt Do’Urden has been through more trauma than even Vigo the Carpathian (who, as we all know, was shot, hung, stabbed, disemboweled, drawn and quartered…). He’s lost friends and lovers, been tortured and mortally wounded, and even been killed. And, yet, none of that—even dying—was as unsettling as what he experiences in Maestro.
When I contemplate what’s to come in book three of this series, I feel a little bit like I’m watching a slow-motion video of a bowling ball speeding straight at some poor, unsuspecting sucker’s giggleberries at 500 mph. I am, by turns, horrified, aghast, anxious, and nauseous—and, yet, I’ll start reading the next book the minute it’s released. Bob, and Drizzt, have earned that loyalty over the years and the course of approximately 30 books, and all I can do now is trust that whatever happens, it won’t be as horrifying as it appears (and that no one’s nuggets are going to be pulverized to smithereens, because ouch).
Though it’s never a good idea to extrapolate too much about an author’s personality from his work…I almost wrote “read too much into” an author’s personality, and then I realized that even I couldn’t abide that horrible play on words, so I stopped myself…but, then I just wrote it anyway, so let’s just run with it. We’re all having pun now.
Though it’s never a good idea to read too much into an author’s personality from his work, one senses that the evolving complexity of Drizzt’s worldview has been a reflection of Mr. Salvatore’s own. Drizzt has always been a complex character who wrestles with thorny moral and ethical issues, but the past decade or so (in Earth time) has seen him navigating a gray world of moral relativism that he would not have been capable of operating in upon emerging from Menzoberranzan so many years ago.
Evolving views on right and wrong make for strange bedfellows, which is why, in Maestro, Drizzt finds himself on the path to his dark and terrible homeland alongside the ever-opportunistic Jarlaxle and former nemesis/assassin/noted halfling torturer Artemis Entreri to rescue Drizzt’s crazy and violent former lover Dahlia (side note: if I were a single man about town dating a lovely woman who was kindly enough to engage with me in acts of a carnal nature, I think I would take to introducing her as my “bedfellow,” because it’s just a really great word, and I know how much a lady of class would like to be introduced as such). Streams-of-Silver-era Drizzt would not have embarked on this mission; fighting alongside killers and thieves, not to mention banging psychopaths, would have violated his moral code. Sure, he occasionally found himself teaming up with Entreri in those early days, but, generally speaking, it was an alliance of momentary convenience for the purpose of combating—and surviving—a greater evil, not a shared sense of mission characterized by, if not friendship, at least a mutual respect for each other.
Maestro-era Drizzt, however, readily embarks on this mission, his only hesitation related to leaving Cattie-Brie’s side as she works to rebuild the Hostower of the Arcane in Luskan to reinvigorate the fading magic that holds the dangerous fire elemental captive within the bowels of Gauntlgrym. It’s precisely this willingness to walk into dark places alongside companions of questionable character that paves the way for the horrific toll Drizzt must pay to emerge alive—along with his companions—not only from Menzoberranzan, but from an epic (albeit disappointingly brief) duel with Demogorgon.
And that’s the part I want to focus on here—not the perplexing prevalence of drow lady-on-drow lady action (a new development in the Salvatorian oeuvre), not Gromph Baenre’s lasciviousness (gross) and psionic rapery, not the plots within machinations within intrigue in the ruling houses of Menzoberranzan (whose leaders make Machiavelli look like Mister Rogers, only maybe with better threads, because, you know, he was Italian), and not the mysteriously rapid development of the infant Yvonne the Eternal (recalling to mind those creepy talking baby E*Trade commercials). No, the focal point of this story, for me, was the insanely unsettling end, in which a mind-addled Drizzt, affected by some combination of the breakdown of the barrier between Faerun and the realm of the demon lords (which I suspect is a highly unpleasant place—Demogorgon just doesn’t strike me as the picket fence, two-car-garage-in-suburbia type, though I could see the Prince of Demons drawing whistles from bored housewives whilst mowing the lawn sans shirt, ‘cause hermaphroditic tanar’ri got it going on both top AND bottom) and the magic of the aforementioned Yvonne, leaves Menzoberranzan convinced that everything that has transpired of late in his life—including the return of his beloved Companions of the Hall from the dead—is nothing more than an illusion, a manipulation of the evil goddess Lolth. Drizzt believes, hopefully incorrectly, that none of it is real, that he’s imprisoned within his own mind, and when he emerges at story’s end, it is with the chilling certainty on Yvonne’s part that Drizzt is so sure of his belief that all around him is false that he will return to his friends not to rejoin them in continuing to build toward the future, but to slay them as the illusory abominations they are.
Reality is a perplexing thing; we each cleave to that in our lives which our brains can make sense of, a narrative in which we are the hero and those around us supporting, but very real characters, and even the slightest shift in perspective – a false note rung out by someone we trust, a startling realization of our own insignificance in the grand scheme of life, the insight that if we are hit by a bus tomorrow, the world will go on just as it did before – can send us reeling, if not right back into the fetal position. Imagine, then, being overcome not just with the fear, but the certainty, that everything you know, everything you believe, all your hopes and dreams, are falsehoods created by some unseen force for the sole and cruel purpose of controlling and, ultimately, destroying you.
Shoot me, stab me, hang me, disembowel me, draw and quarter me, give me the Vigo treatment—but don’t tell me that my loved ones aren’t real. That the people I rely upon most in life, with whom I’ve shared both darkness and light, are constructs of an unseen manipulator. Because the former tortures will merely agonize me and kill me; the latter would unhinge my mind and destroy all that I am as a person. In choosing between those two fates, I’ll take the physical pain every time (though maybe with a good tincture of laudanum).
So it is with a heavy heart and nerves on edge that I wait to learn Drizzt’s fate. I believe, though, that Drizzt will triumph. I believe in him, and believe that as has always been the case, he will walk the darkest road and still find the strength to persevere, to believe. Or, maybe I’m just a figment of Bob Salvatore’s imagination, and he’s been setting me up for the past 20+ years to crush me with the next installment.
And now I might need a hug. Or, at least, some chocolate. Chocolate would definitely help.
I am a loyal Salvatore fan and I enjoyed this book, however I am also pissed off at this point (more on that later). I will admit the writing is slightly more focused, we get less descriptions on sword play and a tad more insights into magical details and trinkets which i thought was lacking in the previous books. The plot is not what I expected with a title like Maestro, referring to Jarlaxle. I still liked the main story and the side story with the host tower but as a loyal fan, i cant help but feel duped.
spoilers beyond This is the point that makes me royally pissed off. With a title like Maestro you would hope for some history about the mysterious mercenary we have all come to love, or maybe some link to Zaknafein, At least some back story to Bregan D'aerthe. But no, a resounding big fat middle finger from Salvatore. Was he forced on the title, I find that hard to believe. I get it he organizes a few groups to achieve two goals.... but thats what he always does! Remember when he found Cadderly, or all the other times he has intervened to help drizzt? I find no differences here. This book should or could of been called anything other than Maestro and it would of made more sense. Whenever I see this cover it's going to piss me off.
recap ( more spoliers) Drizzt and the companions have successfully taken Gauntlgrym from the Xorlarrin drow but there is a problem that Cattie-brie has uncovered. The primordial is not stable and the host tower in Luskan needs to be rebuilt. So Jarlaxle pools everyone together and gets the dwarves, dragons, humans, and drow to help with the host tower. Then he asks Drizzt to help him get Dhalia back from the drows with the help of Artemis, his old buddy. Cattie-brie goes toe to toe with Gromph about who should lead the rebuilding on the tower and in the end wins. She learns that the primordial must be set free to contruct it, gromph agrees after seeing her visions. Meanwhile 'daughter has magically grown up and is super powerful. She find Kimmurials mom and together they do some crazy psionic magic. We finally get the showdown between Tiago and drizzt and drizzt tricks him with his own bow and blows him up, was pretty sweet to get closure on Tiago. Drizzt gets caught but the new Yvonnel likes drizzt and allows him to champion Loth and take on the demogorgon then she will release his friends. Drizzt is used as conduit and takes in a ton of magic and releases it in one blow to the demogorgon monkey dude, who wasn't very nasty if you ask me. Anyways Drizzt awakes and is being tortured and is given a choice to kill 1 friend and release the other two, he refuses. Yvonnel discovers drizzt believes he is doomed and that all his friends are dead including Cattie-brie. I guess when the faezness got ripped it infected drizzt or some shit. Now yvonnel believes drizzt will kill cattie-brie because he believes it is all lie.... or something. the end was kind of unsatisfying to me.
A really good book. I am biased as I am a huge Drizzt Do'Urden fan. This book tied up a lot of loose ends and some end games coming to fruition from previous book and series. So it was a very enjoyable read for me. However there were problems in the book and writing style. The first a lot of stroy arcs were repetitive from former stories. The second thing is at the critical moment of a fight were someone is about to win or lose he cuts to another characters story, making me wanting to rush through this part to get back to the resolution of the battle.
The story. Since reclaiming the dwarves ancestral home of Gauntlgrym King Bruenor is given the news that the Primordial (an ancient demonic being of elemental fire) trapped to power the dwarven city's forges, could escaped in a Dwarf's generation. This is because the power source of the of the water elementals holding it there are is no more (destroyed a couple of series ago). Now Catti-Brie is leading an expedition of the most powerful wizards, mages from around the world and of every race in the realm. Almost everyone has their own agenda none more that the former Archmage Gromph. Who has more that buildings on his mind.
Meanwhile Drizzt is undertaking a dangerous mission himself. Under the given information from Jarlaxle. What could make Drizzt return to the last place he ever wants to go again. Also the power structure of Menzoberranzan has changed and if possible become even more dangerous and deceitful (if possible) than before. Also something is wrong with Drizzt the last 2/3 of the book something is wrong with Drizzt's perception.
This is good book if for me as a fan of the series. To full appricate this book I would recommend reading from atleast the start of the Neverwinter series. However many of the ramifications of this book go back to the original Dark Elf trilogy. The book has a slow star, the speeds up as the book goes on. Great fights and battles, including a rivalry from the start of the Neverwinter series.
ARC from Netgalley for an honest review. Possible Spoilers. Read at your own risk.
Maestro, Book 2 of the Homecoming Trilogy and overall Book 29 of the Legend of Drizzt Saga, continues the current D&D arc "Rage of Demons" and throws some major dilemmas our hero's way. Much like the previous title "Archmage" and its causing us to ask whether the title referred to Gromph or Catti-Brie, "Maestro" also presents us with a few options for its namesake. Is the "Maestro" Jarlaxle, who graces the cover and whose machinations always come into play recently? Or is it Yvonnel, who seems to have orchestrated events since her rebirth to flow in her favor and in line with the will of Lolth? Perhaps the "Maestro" is Drizzt himself, whose descent into madness here shows him a path of chaos that he started when he decided to rebel against his drow heritage.
One of the major themes in this novel is "legacy". When we look back at our lives and think about the legacy we'd leave behind if we were to pass on now, we focus on the positive: the friendships we've had, the people we've helped, the children we've raised and good things that make people smile when they remember us. But do we ever stop to consider that the "bad" is part of our legacy too? The people we hurt, the lies we told, those we couldn't help, the things we destroyed, and any of the "evil" we did... these make up who we were too. Without revealing too much of the plot, there is an attack on Drizzt (who has finally come "home" to Menzoberranzan at that point) in the latter half of the novel where he is confronted by the "evil" in his legacy: the father he murdered, the sister he left behind, the fate of the elven girl Ellifain, etc... and his mind begins to unravel. Is he, in principle, the Chosen of Lolth instead of Mielikki, being able to look back and see all the "chaos" he caused?
Her husband's fate on his Underdark journey being unknown to her, Catti-Brie embarks on a mission of her own. The primordial near Gauntlgyrm cannot be held by the remaining water elementals and he will soon escape his prison, destroying the recently reclaimed dwarven homeland. Her solution is simple in idea but very complicated in execution: the Hosttower of the Arcane must be rebuilt in Luskan. Only its ancient magics can contain the power of the fire primordial forever. It will take every magic using friend and acquaintance she has ever known, and she takes Guenhwyvar with her on this mission to assist in collecting them.
While the flow of this book feels very much like the middle of a trilogy (in that all of the events aren't resolved), the action sequences are some of the best Salvatore has written. Underdark tunnel fighting, drow house wars, a myriad of psychic attacks, and whatever happens wherever Demogorgon shows up, all maintain a balance to the emotional turmoil of our "Companions of the Hall".
Legend of Drizzt Book 30, "Homecoming Vol. 3: Hero" is on the horizon for this October. Salvatore himself has made it known that he is heading back to his created world of Corona for a while after "Hero". Are we seeing the end of an age upon us? 30 books is a long journey for any set of literary characters. I guess we'll see... I know I will follow my "friends" on any journey they pursue, whether into the haunted passages of Illusk, the wilds of the Underdark, or the perils of the surface world, I take up my weapon (which looks remarkably like a hardback book LOL) and I stand with them, ready to face whatever. Salvatore has shared another masterpiece with us.
The second book in the Homecoming trilogy proves a much better continuation than Archmage was in the continuing war of the drow, as Salvatore shows that he still can bring some entertaining stories in this long series.
Of course, Maestro has also its flaws, most importantly with Gromph’s parts which I didn’t like as he doesn’t feel anymore like the character that I, so long ago, loved; but, nevertheless, Salvatore has managed to make a good enough story to keep those flaws aside as Drizzt and Jarlaxle go through their adventures in the Underdark, and the addition of Entreri and the, mysterious, plots and schemes of Yvonnel makes it all the better.
Definitely an improvement from the last few books and I’m hopping for an even better finale in this saga.
This newest Drizzt book held my attention, but for the latter half of the book, I found myself thinking, “what the…?” I like deep, philosophical discussions, but this was just strange. Throughout the last few books, we have been led to believe that Drizzt is, if not a Chosen of, then at least favored by Mielikki, and perhaps even Lolth, though he would clearly never acknowledge the latter. But now I am truly curious where this is going, and in some aspects, find myself disappointed. Because of this curiosity, however, I find myself anticipating the next one, wondering where this is all leading.
Jarlaxle is as amazing as ever, and Valas Hune, whom I loved from WotSQ, was mentioned, but never actually made an appearance. He is referenced a lot, but rarely actually appears. Drizzt has been a beacon for males—and perhaps a few females—who felt trapped in a world dominated by Lolthites, and they are now all rooting for him. That is great, let Drizzt be their champion (if he will), but what about Eilistraee and Vhaeraun? If it were another author, perhaps one of those two gods (or both, since by accounts they are allies in 5e) would reach out to Drizzt, but this is Salvatore, who doesn’t really care about any of that. But Eilistraee, and even Vhaeraun, have been trying to show a better way for centuries (though their followers have to be careful in a Lolth-dominated society), and suddenly it is Drizzt who gives them hope? I mean, Drizzt is awesome, don’t get me wrong, and I think it’s great he’s started something, but…
There were some other scenes that bothered me. I saw little point to the sexual tension between Catti-brie and Gromph, and the conversation between her and Penelope actually made me angry. Gromph and Catti are both above such pettiness. Perhaps it was used as a mechanism for Cat to prove her merit and put Gromph in his place, but I think it was poorly chosen and offset the story. And I won’t go into the last battle with Drizzt and the prince of demons. Oh, and of course Drizzt suddenly questioning EVERYTHING due to some apparent madness caused by the thinning of the Faezress. I mean, really? One minute he’s fine and the next “it’s all an illusion, my life is a lie.” Seriously?
In spite of these flaws, it was a good read, and I look forward to the next one. I feel that the Drizzt books are out of touch with the rest of the Realms sometimes, but I love Drizzt as a character.
I don't know what to say really... Let me start with the good points, that's a shorter list. 1. We still have Drizzt. 2. We still have Drizzt after all. 3. No orcs. 4. Gromph. 5. No 10 page-long combat scenes.
But that's the end of it. We have Jarlaxle, but he is far from his best shape these days. And what else do we have? The same ol' story over and over again. How long has it been? For... like 10-12 volumes? Drizzt thinks Catti-brie is dead, but she is still alive, then he thinks she is dead, but she is alive, then he thinks she is dead, but she turns out to still alive, then Drizzt REALLY thinks she is dead and she is dead (at last), BUT she is ressurrected and then Drizzt thinks she is still dead... OMG, somebody kill the poor woman, and let him look forward. I am so fed up with this and with all the other dead-resurrected characters. Is there a single character (or drow noble house) in this novel series who hasn't been dead/thought to be dead at least once?
The nadir is Catti-brie's (who else) brooding about the infidelity she committed when due to Gromph's mental inspiration she had unclean thoughts about the drow wizard. And then... And then, she forgives Gromph, for inpiring these unclean thoughts. And then... Gromph Baenre, the centuries (millenium?) old Archmage of Menzoberranzan bows to the MIGHTY Catti-brie. (Did he ever witness anything that could have convinced him that this girl was his equal?)
And Drizzt... I don't understand Drizzt anymore. At least the poor guy could have a good f*** back home, but instead... Ah, nevermind.
And YES, I am still a fan. I will never stop being a fan. That's why this hurts so much.
3.5 stars. Drizzt. Ah Drizzt. I love this series. He doesn't appear before the 25% mark but I hardly noticed because the titular character truly shines through most of the tale. What else? Lots of drow politics, a wicked Mistress, a wonderful Catti-Brie and brilliant battles (also Entreri. Can I ever get enough of this one? Hardly! Go, go Artemis!). I like this very questioning Drizzt.
Oh and I get it. Magical pouches are handy and Cattie-Brie reverts to a lovely dwarven brogue when she is off-balance. Fast-paced, well written, back to form and truly entertaining.
Life is a journey from trial to test, from love to hate, from friendship to grief. We each deal with unsettling uncertainty and we each march on, ever on, following the road that will ultimately lead to our grave.
Salah satu novel dari universe Forgotten Realms (juga siri game Dungeons & Dragons), antara siri novel fantasi yg terkenal dan banyak peminatnya. Merupakan buku ke-2 dalam trilogi 'Homecoming' - menyambung kisah pengembaraan Drizzt Do'Urden dan rakan-rakannya. Juga merupakan buku ke-29 (dari 34) dalam siri 'The legend of Drizzt'. Buku kali ni banyak mengambil tempat di Menzoberranzan, kota Dark Elves. Jadi suasana penceritaan agak dark dan slow sedikit. Namun, scene2 aksi pertarungan tetap mantap.
Ketika tentera drawf di bawah pimpinan Bruenor berjaya menawan kembali kota Gauntlgrym, suasana di Menzoberranzan pula semakin kucar-kacir. Arcmage Gromph telah melarikan diri ke Luskan setelah tersilap menyeru makhluk berkuasa dari Abyss yg menyebabkan kemusnahan teruk di Menzoberranzan. Sementara itu; Jarlaxle, Drizzt, dan Artemis Entreri pula cuba menyelamatkan Dahlia yg kini dijadikan ketua boneka di Menzoberranzan. Catti-Brie, dengan bantuan Gromph pula cuba membina kembali 'Host Tower of the Arcane' di Luskan untuk mengekang 'fire primordial' yg menjadi sumber tenaga di Gauntlgrym...
Well now with Drizzt going back to his former home. To rescue Dhalia an old friend and companion with the help of other past friends and Enteri and Jarlaxle. There were lots of twist and turns as well as for near death experiences for the all. Will have to admit that I loved this one immensely. As Salvatore proves he can weave a story that will keep you turning pages wanting to find out what happens next.
I’m enjoying this trilogy more than any I’ve read since Sellswords.
Seeing Drizzt, Entreri, Jarlaxle, Cattie Brie, and Gromph unite to fight a common enemy was absolutely epic. I especially enjoyed the exchanges and power struggle between Gromph and Cattie Brie, I’m really curious to know more about him now. Jarlaxle’s dialogue never disappoints, and it’s good to see Entreri back in the game.
This book was an all around great time, and I’ll be starting the next immediately.
Salvatore definitely does not skimp on the action in Maestro, Book 32 of "The Legend of Drizzt" (Book 2 of "Homecoming"). But then, he never does.
Overall, he provides a great continuation for the story he has wrought since The Companions, bringing together almost all of the characters from the The Companions, the "Companions Codex" trilogy and, of course, Archmage, to face problems that could have worldwide ramifications.
He does this very well, but a few things he chose to do weakened the story for me.
First, Salvatore actually brings to the fore the one issue I had had with the resurrection of his former characters. Granted, it is due to the madness inspired by the weakening of the walls of Faerzress and the presence of Demogorgon on the mortal plane, but Drizzt has come to believe that none of his companions are actually back, and they are all an illusion cast by Lolth to trick him. I think this is a brilliant piece of storytelling, as it really shows just how much Drizzt has actually been through, and brings back in stunning clarity Wulfgar's torture at the hands of Errtu. I look forward to seeing how this works out in the end.
Now on to the things I cared less for:
i)Regis and Wulfgar were completely absent, which was not surprising, but still disappointing, and I think Bruenor was in one scene total.
ii) Drizzt's defeat of Demogorgon. I get that that was fight was all staged by Yvonnel, but still. A single blow to kill the Prince of Demons? After building up his threat all book? That struck me as weak, and disappointing. While I understand the narrative purpose, it just felt like a buildup for nothing
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
As always these books are easy to read. There is not a great depth to the plot, but they are faced paced and fun. This book is more of the same, and follows Drizzt as he returns to Menzoberranzan, as the series title "Homecoming" suggests. All the old familiar characters are there, with a couple of new ones. Downsides are it all feels a bit samey, and the ending seemed rushed to me. Good fun to read if you don't want to think too hard.
A much tighter followup to "Archmage" that sees, for the first time in almost 30 books, some real self-doubt creep into the mind of dark elf Drizzt. Salvatore is strongest when he pairs Drizzt with charismatic mercenary Jarlaxle and assassisn Artemis Entreri and has them play off each other. The bulk of this novel features that trio traveling into the underground dark elf city of Menzoberranzan to rescue Drizzt's former lover (and Entreri's current lover), Dalia.
The attempts by the dark elves in the previous novel to harness demons to their side to conquer the neighboring dwarves didn't quite work out and now we have more, and worse, demonic forces at play and running loose. Add to that an army led by Bruenor and this novel is the first Salvatore novel to have three independently interesting plotlines moving forward: (1) Drow/Dwarven/Demon war; (2) Drizzt/Jarlaxle/Entreri rescue operation; and (3) drow priestesses attempting a major mindf*ck of Drizzt for the glory of the Spider-Queen Lloth.
This third plotline is where we actually get some character movement with Drizzt as he begins to seriously doubt the reality around him to a degree unseen in any previous novels. And it actually has some bearing on him character. His increasing skepticism with everything he sees is refreshing and here's to hoping it pays off.
Book #2 of the Homecoming trilogy basically comes down to three storylines: Cattie-brie's mission to rebuild the Hosttower of the arcane, Drizzit's rescue mission back to Menzoberranzan, and more Drow machinations and politics which continue ( for me at least ) to be the best part of Salvatore's ongoing saga.
The Drow focus centers mainly on Yvonnel who has aged from an infant in the last book to 20 years old or so. She spends the bulk of the book walking around naked and putting a lot of matron mothers in their place. Salvatore handles her amazingly well every single time she gets attention on the page.
Overall, another great book in the continuing saga of Drizzt and friends.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Lather, rinse, repeat. Drizzt goes back to Menzoberranzan. Again. He turns all doomy and gloomy. Again. Rape, torture and incest among the drows. Again. A plot to break Drizzt. Again. Basically, status quo established. Again. No moving on for our characters. Also, Jarlaxle, the quick-witted mastermind, reduced to a pawn. And Catti-brie, made even more all-powerful, all-knowing... almighty. Of course. Yeesh.
This is one of the worst books Salvatore ever wrote, possibly THE worst. Why? Because Drizzt goes back to Menzoberranzan, AGAIN, like in Starless Night (another epic failure book), this time with Jarlaxe and Entreri.
- Drizzt starts bickering with Entreri, with the lousy excuse that it's the Demogorgon bad influence, but those 2 are the only ones affected. The rest of the Underdark seems not really affected. So it feels more like a pathetic tentative of rekindling the animosity between the 2 key characters instead of pursued their new path of friendship. Ultimately it turns into a plot hole because it does not get explained or concluded. It just lays there for few chapters making you think if they would go back being enemies or not then it gets abandoned.
- Gropmh and Catti brie. This is the absolute worst I have ever read. The first tries to seduce the second, who seems to be genuinely attracted by the archmage even before he started using magic and psionic to instill lewd thoughts inside her mind. Gromph could have basically overpowered Catti Brie at any point, but it SEEMS he prefers to not compromise the construction of the new tower of the arcane that saw him, her and a bunch of other people working together. The problem is that he never says that, you would assume that, but ultimately he just grumble all the time and keeps desiring Catti Brie without actually doing anything to get her. It's tragically pathetic for a wizard that is on par with Elminster, especially at the end when he humbles himself BOWING to Catti Brie (?????) and she FORGIVES him for hitting on her. That bit left me completely nauseated.
- Catti Brie. What's even more pathetic is Cattie Brie. The character is simply totally useless, she is constantly devoured by doubts. She is uptight and loyal to a point that she criticize anybody else, even a middle aged woman who just likes to have fun and have sex. Pathetic. Catti Brie was a chosen of both Mystra and Mielikki, but now she is only a chosen of Mielikki. Even so she is a wuss and she gets powerful only thanks to legendary items, robe of archmagi, staff of the magi, ring of fire control. Every single chapter featuring Catti Brie is a pain to read.
- Jarlaxe. This should have been the book about him. Sadly he is not the protagonist and acts as a support character. Even he, the master of intrigue, is just maneuvered like everybody else by Yvonne, maybe she is the real Maestro after all.
- Yvonne. The chosen of Lloth is plotting something that stays hidden till the very end and you are left in suspense till the last pages, but ultimately it turns out to be what? A mass forgiving for everybody. Drizzt, Jarlaxle, Gromph, Kimmuriel. Everyone is forgiven as long as they contribute fighting the Demogorgon. Ultimately she leads Drizzt in a 1vs1 against him. The renegade filled with all the magic and psionic power of the Underdark plus the favor of the goddess he always hated and that hunted him down for all his life. There is no real description of the fight or of the prince of daemons itself. Drizzt just wins and gets awesome loot from the benevolent chosen of Lloth. Honestly, I think Salvatore wanted to show how the drows are chaotic and unpredictable and maybe underline the contradictions of that wretched race with the irony of the chosen choosing a renegade as symbol of their race? Or something like that. It could have been cool I guess, but the narrative is demeaning and ultimately the cliffhanger feel more like a dip rather than a cliff. It left me with a bitter aftertaste.
- Demogorgon. He was supposed to be the big boss fight at the end of the book. Turns out that the is just an appearance. He does not speak, does not have a plan, we don't know anything about it, just the fact that the mighty prince of daemons get pulled and kited like a world of warcraft boss till drizzt has all the power he needs to instant kill him. It was really uninspiring and unimaginative to be honest.
I cannot bring myself to read Hero now. I just can't. I enjoyed the Vengeance of Iron Dwarf. It seems Salvatore is simply better when he writes about dwarves. When he goes back to the drow with their unending fucking plots he gets lost into them trying to deliver something majestic and too many times all that plotting turns to be a pile of crap filled with plot holes and discontinued threads. I honestly had enough, I will have to stay away from Salvatore for a while. I'm actually happy WotC broke the contract with him and Greenwood because they were the only authors left writing and their latest books have been really bad. I feel WotC needs better writers, with fresh ideas. Personally I hope next year we have more Kemp or Evans in the pipeline and less Drizzt or Elminster.
I enjoyed this read as well. RA Salvatore keeps me following multiple lines of plot like a master puppeteer. I've moved on to the next book 'Hero' as soon as I could. The only detraction I have is that the ending battle feels like the ending of Eye of the World; like it was cut short for publishing deadlines before it was ready to be released. I'd love to see a more expansive discussion of the last battle.
This is the best drizzt book I've read in awhile. I was annoyed at Archmage's laborious setup and find the dwarf centric stories more boring. But Maestro has a lot more focus. The antagonist, Yvonnel, feels more weighty than anything in recent memory. The Cattie-Brie subplot is the weakest part for me, but still enjoyable. Five stars as far as the legend of drizzt goes.
I've been a fan of R.A. Salvatore's books and to say I really enjoyed Maestro. It was hard to put down once I started. There were a few sections that were quite terrifying and some that made me chuckle. Overall a good read. I can't wait for the next book!
Didn't even get 50 pages in and wow, more rape. Nope. I'm done with this series and this author. I've loved the Drizzt series for years, but no more. I came to these books to escape that Game of Thrones crap. -_-
This book was an easy read, but the story went nowhere and the ending was anticlimactic.
The title was 'Maestro', which referred to Jarlaxle's masterful manipulation of events and major players in Faerun, but by about a third of the way into the story, he's already lost control. He ends up at the mercy of his enemies, stripped of his power, and has to be saved!
Drizz't has an insanity problem and no one notices, even though he starts attacking teammates. Well, Jarlaxle kind of acknowledges it, but shrugs it off. Give the guy a heal spell people!
Cattie-brie gets mind-raped by Gromph, but stands up to him (in her underwear?), so it's declared 'okay'. Then it was double okay because Gromph was all 'I didn't directly psychic rape you, I merely put a psychic rape time bomb in your head, so, like, I didn't enjoy it or anything.' The hell? I guess Salvatore just has to include at least one rape per book now. This one actually has two... Tiago raped Dahlia as well.
Speaking of which, while that whole psychic rape intrusion thing was going on, Cattie-Brie gets into a weird sex argument with her mage friend (Penelope or something?) I'm not sure if Salvatore's personal life is getting into his books or if he's just been reading too many Laurel K Hamilton books lately.
Entreri got his killer artifact sword/gauntlet combo back, evidently with him in charge. I didn't like this because they're now saying that the reason Entreri is still alive as a human after a couple of centuries is because he's bound to this stupid sword. See, Entreri had originally had the evil sword and used it without any problems because he had the control gauntlet. Without it, the sword could control the user instead of visa versa. Then, at some point, there was a cool short story that showed that Entreri was attacked by a Netherese Shade, but defeated him by sucking his life out with the jeweled dagger of his, and in so doing, his visage became grey like the shade and Jarlaxle basically said that he'd gained his powers, including long life. At some later point, a bad guy overpowered Enteri, took the gauntlet for himself, and forced Entreri to use the sword without it, turning him into a weird thrall assassin bound to the sword. After defeating these bozos over the course of a few books, they got the sword back and tossed it into lava because it was so evil, even though Entreri figured it was the only thing keeping him alive after so long, and he assumed he would immediately die. But he lived! I loved this, because I thought it meant that the author hadn't forgotten his own short story! Only now it turns out that it was only because the sword was an artifact and was too powerful to be destroyed by lava. Lame! Story continuity fail! Speaking of which, how lame is the sword's most used power, making a smear of obscuring ash when you wave it in front of you? Why does no-one just back the heck up when that happens? Everyone tries to lunge through it and, spoiler alert, they get stabbed.
I guess Salvatore got tired of having Tiago around, because near the end of the book, they were just like 'Drizz't/Tiago Cage Match!' and Drizz't blew his head off with an arrow from his magic bow. Oh, afterwards, they gave Drizz't Tiago's super sword and shield (which must have looked weird, because he doesn't have a pouch of holding to carry them around in unobtrusively). I do wonder what he'll do with them. Maybe rotate out either Twinkle or Icingdeath to rotate in Vidrinath? It seems weird that everyone but Drizz't regularly uses some kind of instant death blade. Drizz't has Taurmaril the bow, which has always been the 'Chewbacca's Force Awakens Bowcaster' of bows, but when it comes to his swords, he's a 'wear them down with many slight hits' type. Meanwhile Jarlaxle can evidently throw a crazy amount of magic daggers in an instant, Entreri has his jeweled soul destroying instant death artifact dagger as well as now having an instant evisceration artifact sword. Meanwhile Twinkle glows sometimes and Icingdeath gives him fire resistance (and may be a bane vs fire critters or maybe demons - at least when Salvatore remembers).
So, at the end, the new Yvonnel (I wonder if she's a proxy?) uses Drizz't to kill Demogorgon. I didn't like it because it wasn't something Drizz't did for himself, but I think that if I'd played through some of the Fifth Edition adventures I'd actually be pissed at this! See, they've been entwining the books with the adventures. In the last book, there was this whole plot where Lolth tricked Kimmuriel into tricking Gromph into casting a mixed arcane spell/psionic power thingy that ended up summoning Demogorgon and bringing a bevy of other demon lords to the Underdark as well. Honestly, it didn't make a hell of a lot of sense, even from what little I've picked up from Fifth Edition, but then there was an adventure where the Player Characters are sent to deal with the fallout from that. But then to have the most powerful of the demons just be killed in a couple of pages? Sigh. That should be something for the PCs to do!
Then, of course, they leave Drizz't insane at the end of the book, and the main bad guy just lets him go in the hopes that he'll accidentally kill his own wife. That's a pretty evil plan, sure, but other than letting him go, she doesn't do anything to ensure it actually happens. Considering his wife Cattie-brie is a powerful clerical type and a 'chosen', whatever that means in Fifth Edition, and it's been shown that he can't deal a death blow against someone who just looks like her, it's more likely she'll just heal him up.
I do wonder how psionics fit in with Fifth Edition DnD. Salvatore's books have always used psionicists as boogymen, keeping them mostly off screen except for Kimmuriel, and that one illithid/mindflayer (Methis?). He had more at one point, but killed them all off, leaving only a few highish level types out and about. But, now they brought the whole mindflayer hive mind into the mix directly (as well as re-describing the elder brain). Will there be psionics rules in the new edition?
Oh, also, the whole mission is just abandoned. I mean, they were rather soundly defeated, but come on, they could have mentioned it at least!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Maestro proves that Salvatore still has a worthwhile tale left to tell in the Drizzt saga.
This is the sequel to The Dark Elf Trilogy Collector's Edition that should have been written a long time ago. Salvatore takes us back to Menzoberranzan with Drizzt, Jarlaxle, and Artemis Entreri fighting alongside each other. As they travel through the Underdark, they slowly start to lose their sanity and question reality; this is a unique twist and new concept in Salvatore's writings - at times, he forces the reader to question which reality in this story is actually true. This theme was very refreshing for the series.
Drizzt's story that started in Homeland comes full circle in Maestro. The foundation that was built in many previous novels including Sea of Swords and Siege of Darkness has a very strong influence on Drizzt's actions. The reincarnated Matron Mother over all of Menzoberranzan, has her own plans for Drizzt; as his choices ultimately have extreme implications for all of Menzoberranzan.
In the world above, Cattie-brie and Gromph Baenre align to rebuild the Hosttower of the Arcane, and they have to come to terms with one another in a most unusual manner.
The last third of the book is all climax, and dare I say it feels like the climax to the whole series of Drizzt in some manners? There is very little fluff in this book, if any at all. It's nice to get a Drizzt book without a bunch of bumbling dwarves in it, and that's not a complete regurgitation of previous books in the series.
Homecoming serisinin ikinci kitabı Maestro, kapağından da anlaşılacağı üzere Jarlaxle merkezli bir kitap. Drizzt ile birlikte tüm Faerun'da en sevdiğim karakter olan Jarlaxle'ın yanlış bilmiyorsam merkezinde olduğu ilk kitap ve bu da çok heyecan vericiydi. Ancak, Salvatore'un plot twisti ile işler çok farklı yerlere gitti. Kitapla ilgili yazacağım çoğu şey hem bu kitap hem de ilk kitap için spoiler olabileceği için mümkün olduğunca kitap yerine kendi duygularıma yoğunlaşacağım.
Kitabı 2 arkadaşımla beraber okuduk. Onların da tahmin edebileceği üzere sevdiğim ve farklı olmasını tercih ettiğim yerler oldu. Özellikle okuma etkinliği konusunda bu konuları derinlemesine konuşup tartıştık. Üçümüzün de benzer şeylerden hoşlanması süreci çok keyifli hale getirdi. Beni bu serüvende yalnız bırakmadıkları için bir kez daha teşekkür ediyorum onlara.
Salvatore bize çok yeni (aslında yeni değil de yeni diyelim) ve sağlam bir karakter tanıttı, o karakterden üçümüz de çok umutluyuz. Eğer beklentilerimizi karşılarsa üçüncü favorim olabilir. Bununla birlikte epik dövüş sahneleri (ki bunlar Salvatore'un alameti farikası artık) ve Menzoberranzan'ın kaotik atmosferi keyifli kısımlardandı. Drizzt'in yol arkadaşları ise her zamanki gibi birisi hariç gayet sıkıcıydı. Bir de climax sayılabilecek bir dövüşün çok çabuk bitmesi biraz kolaya kaçmak gibi geldi başta ama sonra düşününce anladım ki Salvatore onu yapmasaydı sonucu belli bir dövüş olacaktı. Bu sebeple çok da itiraz edemiyorum.
İlk kitaptan daha iyi bir devam kitabı oldu kısacası. Drizzt ve palalarını çok özlemişim, bunu fark ettim. Üçüncü kitapla devam ediyoruz.
And we're back for (I believe) the 32nd book in the Legend of Drizzt, the middle book in the Homecoming trilogy.
My rating is based on my enjoyment of the book and let me explain. This is a very good book and probably one of Salvatore's best but my enjoyment wasn't as high as usual because it was all doom and all gloom all the time and that had me at times not wanting to read it, not wanting to spend an hour with murder, rape, torture and all of the other evils of Menzoberranzan.
We have two main plot points. Cattie Brie trying to rebuild the Host tower of the Arcane to prevent the escape of the primordial. And we have Drizzt, Artemis Entreri & Jarlaxle heading to Menzoberranzan to rescue Dahlia.
Drizzt, Entreri & Jarlaxle of course are a fighting force of nature and are pretty amazing together but they also have to battle magic and that leads to a bunch of times where the unbeatables are slapped down.
The pacing was great - no real 10 page fight scenes that drag on just a little too long. The tension and plot escalate slowly until we have a pretty good conclusion. Characters are amazing as always. World Building - Faerun is great and we spend a ton of time in the politics and house dealings in the Underdark.
Really the only thing that wasn't amazing was me. Maybe it was the mood I was in but I found it really hard to maintain enjoyment when 90% of the book takes place in the most evil depressing place in Faerun and compared to previous books, it's more dark and gloomy than it ever has been in the past.
But I am excited to continue the series and see where Salvatore takes us next.
This one is jammed packed and character building for sure. Mainly between Catie-Brie and Gromph Baenre. Yvonnel continues her ascent and the city of Menzoberranzan has to eventually face the Demogorgon. Really enjoyed this book. Only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars was that it was hard to follow along with some of the events happening with the thinning of the layer to the Abyss and all the things it was causing the underdark to experience but overall, great Drizzt story! Definitely excited for the next!
It becomes harder and harder to write about these books when reaching #29 in the series. But as part of a trilogy, this is a reasonably strong entry. I enjoyed most of the book, although a few parts were uncomfortable and the ending seemed on the abrupt side. Not quite as strong as the prior book, but probably better than last few before that. I will still be very interested to see how the third book closes the trilogy, if in fact it does so without just leading straight into the next. In any case, Maestro does resolve a few long-running plot threads and earns an overall 4 star rating.
The book was good. A good book it was. Good, was the book. Bookedy book book. Books here books there, books everywhere. Blah, blah. Yakity, shmakity. Tweedle dee, tweedle dum. Kick me in my bum.
The book was good. A good book it was. Good, was the book. Bookedy book book. Books here books there, books everywhere. Blah, blah. Yakity, shmakity. Tweedle dee, tweedle dum. Kick me in my bum. Don't force me to write a review...