To Read or Not to Read?

Forgotten Realms: Homeland by R.A. Salvatore

When my fiance learned that we would be partaking in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign soonish he instructed me to start reading this series which is set in the Forgotten Realms, one of the main campaign settings for Dungeons and Dragons games. He’d talked about it enough and, since I’m such an utter newbie, I decided that i would go ahead and at least start reading the series.

Now this book focuses on Drizzt Do’Urden who is a drow. So basically he’s from a race of evil elves with dark skin who live underground. This book definitely proves that the drow are all evil, blood thirsty idiots and Drizzt is pretty much the only normal one of the bunch. Which, of course, means that pretty much everyone in this novel, including his family members, want him dead. But that’s cool. Murder is what drow society revolves around.

Other than the horrible characters I had one major fault with the book and that was Salvatore’s writing style. There was telling when there should have been showing and showing when there should have been telling. I had to look up what each of the monsters were supposed to look like because most of them weren’t written in a way that gave me a context to appearance. And the dialogue. Man that was rough. It was stilted and was like the author was trying to hard to make it sound fancy. It just did not work for me.

The saving grace though was Guenhwyvar, the enormous black panther who resided on the astral plane and could be summoned by her master through a figurine. All of her interactions with Drizzt were well written, emotional, and she was a great way to show just how awful the drow were because SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT…

she actually had a freaking moral compass! She was supposed to do anything and everything her master told her but in the end of the book she was told to kill Drizzt who was her best friend and his friendship gave her the strength to resist the command. A wild animal fought magical compulsion because she knew her orders weren’t okay!

So basically Drizzt is okay, all other drow are awful, and the only reason I’m going to read anymore in the series is because the giant panther is awesome. (And I’m also not certain how any of this is going to help me actually play Dungeons and Dragons?)


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