Author: R. A. Salvatore
Series: The Dark Elf Trilogy #1
Rating: 5/5 stars!
“Homeland’ is not just the first of an amazing trilogy, but is also the beginning of the brilliant “Legend of Drizzt” saga. A well-rounded prequel, it takes you deep into the kingdom of Menzoberranzan where dark elves rule with unabashed cruelty. Among them dwells Drizzt, an anomaly with honor and compassion who yearns for a different life. A tad slow to start, the story soon launches to become one of the most epic fantasy adventures in the genre.
There are a lot of positives to this series: Highly, and I mean HIGHLY memorable characters – I swear they’re practically a religion at this point, some of the most stylized and intricate sword-fighting scenes you’ll ever read, epic world-building, and a unique, mold-shattering storyline – I’ve never read such a fantastic tribute to the dark elf culture.
As good as the characterization is, I find it somewhat lacking in one regard: While there are a plethora of beautiful women, there is a distinct lack of relatable feminine characters, as most of them express male personalities and tendencies. While that works for some women (I realize we’re all wonderfully different creatures), it should not be the standard for all. I believe women warriors can be both feminine and dangerous, just examine Kahlan in the Sword of Truth series, and you’ll know what I mean. In any case, I don’t think that distinction bothered many people, and despite my opinion on it, I still loved ALL the characters and Salvatore remains solidly in my top 10.
Overall, if you want a long-term sustaining series that will take you on epic adventures, involve you in fantastic fight-scenes, and make you fall in love with some of the most brilliant fantasy characters in the genre’s history, then these are the books for you! Still going strong, there are over 25 titles that continue the story, and each one is honestly as good as the last.
Recommendations: Although the “Icewind Dale” trilogy was written first, I strongly recommend you start with “Homeland” in the “Dark Elf” trilogy, as it is first chronologically. Not only will that give the story more of a solid flow, but is also a much stronger representation of Salvatore’s works as the series continues, so if you like it, you’ll probably like the entire saga.
Other books you might like:
- “Dragons of Autumn Twilight” by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
- “The Cleric Quintet” by R.A. Salvatore (a spinoff worth reading after book 10 or so)
- “Magician: Apprentice” by Raymond E. Feist
- “Wayfarer Redemption” by Sara Douglass
- “Wizard’s First Rule” by Terry Goodkind