Homeland, the first entry in the Legend of Drizzt saga, starts off with an astounding level of detail about the lives of the Drow in the Forgotten Realms. This is fantasy writing at its best. Rarely have I seen a fantasy character take shape so well and under such sinister and devastating circumstances.
When I read fantasy novels I am constantly on the lookout for break-out stories and characters, things that do not seem like yet another tired version of Tolkein. When I find something that sings with originality, Iâ€™m thrilled and want to read absolutely everything the author puts forth. I have not yet been disappointed by Bob Salvatoreâ€™s work.
First and foremost the man can weave a spectacular yarn. Itâ€™s good storytelling. I am eager to find out what happens because in the world where it occurs everything is unique and fascinating. Each turn of the page brings something new and moves the story toward a viable climax. Every book actually has an ending, not just a juvenile cliffhanger like so many books do these days.
Salvatore does not tend to pad his novels either. They are concise and well-edited - very tight. The economy of words doesnâ€™t divert from the subject-matter. In fact, it pulls you in even more.
In this first book about Drizzt Doâ€™Urden, we visit the Drow (Dark Elves) of Menzoberranzan and discover their demented and twisted evil society. I did have some criticism with the level of evil depicted here, for there are not many societies that could so continue for thousands of years without totally consuming themselves in the process.
However, my criticism uses a human mind and human logic also based on our shorter life-spans. I have no idea what a society would be like with people who live to be 700 or 800 years old. I suppose everything would be slowed down considerably, so perhaps even the level of evil would be commensurate with the life-spans. It would not, for instance, matter if you committed an evil act every day so much as a big juicy one every 50 or so years, perhaps.