I was first introduced to Dungeons and Dragons in the Summer of 1989 and I was immediately hooked. By the time winter break rolled around, I had saved up a little cash and was dying for something to read. My best friend and our DM recommended I read Darkwalker on Moonshae by Douglas Niles. He was a “don’t crease my spines!” kind of guy, and wouldn’t loan me his copy of the book. I wasn’t old enough to drive yet so I had to wait for our next family shopping trip to visit the nearest bookstore. That trip came in early January 1990, right before school started back. I was pumped as I raced down the sidewalk to a little Hallmark store. The Dungeons and Dragons novels were right up front and I headed straight for them. No dice. I was crushed.
The book I wanted was out of stock. I did not want to go home empty handed, so I browsed the selection. There were some Dragonlance titles, but I had already read all of them. Nothing looked that great.
The moment of truth
Finally, I spotted an interesting book with a cover that looked different from every other D&D book I had read. I saw an elf wielding a scimitar on the books’ cover! I had seen my friend’s copy of The Crystal Shard, another Salvatore great, sitting on his pristine shelf, but I wasn’t allowed to touch that one either. Intrigued, I picked it up and read the jacket. It was very interesting.
I bought the book and left the bookstore excited. On the twenty minute ride, I started reading. Seven hours later I painfully rose from the chair where I had been sitting since I got home having stayed up all night reading. That book blew me away. The story that Bob Salvatore unfurled amidst the exotic backdrop of a city full of evil elves was beyond anything I had imagined.
Salvatore developed each of the characters so well. The main characters mentor is so heroic and brave that he still ranks as one of my favorite characters in any book. The ruthless way of life that typifies the dark elves was very well portrayed. Salvatore explained the reason for the Drow Elves cruelty so well that I pitied them.
This is Salvatore’s wheelhouse. His understanding of the mechanics of martial arts and his own study of them balance his incredible fight descriptions seem very realistic. The detail and intense action floored me.
Homeland doesn’t end with a typical happy ending. Drizzt’s victory came at a high price. Salvatore addresses several problems in Homeland common to our modern life. Matron Malice could have had the two most formidable fighters in all the city within her house If she wasn’t so hungry for power. Because she was so greedy, she lost them both.
The Dark Elf Trilogy was written after the Icewind Dale Trilogy as a prequel and backstory for Drizzt. Homeland did a wonderful job establishing Drizzt as the hero millions of people loved so dearly.