Why you should read The Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore

I have no problem calling strikes one, two, and three on myself for not having picked up these books many years ago. The Legend of the Drow warrior Drizzt has only grown in stature for me after finishing Sojourn. In a matter of a week I have become a Forgotten Realms junkie and can not wait to continue my journey in this world. Most people reading this post will have read or at least heard about this series but for those who are just looking to get your feet wet in a classical series for the ages, then sit back and let the good times roll.

Drizzt story begins beneath the surface of the world, in the under dark of Menzoberranzan. A rock and cave like city inhabited by the Dark Elves also known as Drows. To navigate this city the Drow people ride not horses but lizards capable of climbing walls in order to reach its destination. Menzoberranzan is ruled by Matrons of the nine families instead of the male warriors who are viewed upon society in low regard. In fact, Drow families are forbidden by their Spider God from having more than two male children otherwise that third child would have to be killed in a ritual. Drizzt was one such third child of the Do’urden family and was about to be killed by his sister Briza when news comes that the eldest son was killed in battle. Drizzt now gets to be trained to be a great warrior or a magic user depending on what affinities he shows. The problem is he has an affinity for both paths and this will define his character throughout the trilogy.

Matron Malice Do’urden is looking to move her Household higher up the food chain in the hierarchy of the Drow community. With her daughters training to be priests of the Spider God and her sons training to be warriors, Malice seems to have all things going her way. In Menzoberranzan, full out assaults and killings of another Household members are not only allowed but are actually encouraged as long as the Household is completely annihilated with no witnesses. If a witness survives and makes its way to the Drow ruling party, the attacking Household will face dire consequences. Survival of the fittest, kill or be killed, and may the best family win are the rules that the Drow people have been living with for centuries. Drizzt never does adapt these barbaric practices as his own and has his own inner struggles throughout the coarse of these three books. Trained as a assassin but with a kind heart, Drizzt ultimately makes the difficult choice to live in exile from his people and does eventually make it to the surface world which opens up many new adventures and pain. I will leave the plot of the trilogy there to not get into too many spoilers but the twists and turns will have you begging for more.

This series contains the full range of pacing, action, magic and everything else in between to put a smile on the modern readers face. If you read a book for the action and battles, then book one Homeland is the novel for you. If you are a reader who enjoys the character building and emotions then the final two books Exile and Sojourn will make you jump for joy. R.A. Salvatore’s writing style is very accessible for readers old and new plus I would have no trepidations with recommending these books for readers looking to jump into the fantasy genre for the first time. Oh and did I forget to mention an animal companion to go along with our main character? Guenhwvyar is a black panther Drizzt is able to summon from another realm to assist him in his journey. Guenhwvyar is as loyal a companion as you could want with a mind of her own in sometimes can be seen as very humorous.

Apart from the Dark Elves of the under dark, we get to see a plethora of other creatures and characters just in these first three novels. Ranging from the earth gnomes, to bird-like creatures, orcs and goblins, dragons and humans the world will only continue to grow and expand as you make your way through the remaining books in the world. The main themes this series is looking to hammer home are: horrors of war and battle, family traditions and how they shape who we are as people, mental health, and redemption. Don’t sleep on the impact these books will have on your heart and soul.

When entering into the reading world of D&D type novels people usually go in one of two directions. They can go the route of the Dragon lance series (which are excellent) or the dive into the Forgotten Realms with our Dark Elf Drizzt. Shame on me for being about twenty years late to the party but at least they is still some scraps on the table left for me to devour and then some. Welcome to The Forgotten Realms and be sure to watch your back lest you will get stuck with a dagger in the back when you least expect it.


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