Friday, 19 December 2014

Blast From the Past: The Dark Elf Trilogy by R. A. Salvatore

Before I started reviewing books online I loved rereading my favourite SF/Fantasy books.  Since I don’t have time to do that anymore, this column is a trip down memory lane, where I’ll rave about books I love to read.  And then read again.  These aren’t reviews, as I won’t necessarily mention criticisms, they’re my chance to fan girl about books I love and hopefully garner some interest in some older titles.

After reading the Shannara books at 13, I found I had a real passion for fantasy books and started combing through my brothers’ collections to see what else was out there.  I read R. A. Salvatore’s Icewind Dale trilogy and enjoyed it a lot.  Then I saw that there was a prequel trilogy about Drizzt Do’Urden’s life.

I LOVED the Dark Elf trilogy, especially Homeland.  Drizzt’s childhood and his skill with swords fascinated me.  I loved reading about Menzoberranzan and the conflict between his parents, a powerful follower of the Spider Queen and her contentious weapon’s master.

Exile and its descriptions of the Underdark and what happened to those who gave him a chance was also fascinating.  Watching him try to retain his humanity in the face of the horrors that live there, as well as the family hunting him, was gripping.

Sojourn was my least favourite of the books, probably because Drizzt heads for the surface, so the interesting underground society was left behind.  Still, seeing him try to make a place for himself and prove that he wasn’t evil, when the rules of the world stated that if you were ‘x’ race, you’re good and if you’re ‘y’ race you’re evil, was very interesting.

I did notice a few inconsistencies between the original books and the prequels, but I’m willing to bet Drizzt’s got a few fuzzy memories, considering his long lifespan.

The books were rereleased a few years ago with gorgeous new covers.  (In fact, I liked the new cover of Homeland so much I bought a copy of the image from Todd Lockwood's website.)   I’m not as keen on some of the reformatting of the text, but ah well, that’s why I’ve got my original copies.

If you like action and adventure and gut wrenchingly horrible family dynamics, then this is the series for you.  Indeed, I read a bunch of Forgotten Realms books (and you don’t have to be familiar with the series to jump into most of the books), and enjoyed a lot of them.

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