Of many fine Forgotten Realms novels R.A. Salvatore has written, this one is probably the most creative and easily the most important. In Homeland, Salvatore fleshes out an entire race for D&D by giving us the first deep look into drow or dark elf civilization. By doing so, he also gives us new insights into the enigma that is Drizzt Do'Urden, the dark elf ranger and Salvatore's signature character.
Homeland begins the Dark Elf Trilogy and follows Salvatore's Icewind Dale Trilogy, serving as a "prequel" to that series. We learn of Drizzt's life from birth to early adulthood in the malevolent society that is Menzoberranzan, the City of the Spider Queen. Equally important for the FR world, Salvatore introduces the important institutions, noble houses and religious practices of the drow, which sets the backdrop for many other novels in the FR setting.
Salvatore does not seek to develop deeply any particular characters here besides Drizzt. Instead, he develops the entire drow culture, showing the amoral, individualistic and sadistic behavior of the drow, with an emphasis on the oppression of males in the matriarchal society brought about by the worship of Lloth. Drizzt's struggle as he matures to harmonize his own ethos to that of the drow culture is the central plotline of the book, and when the naive, sincere and ethical Drizzt finally resolves the struggle in three fateful encounters with his father, his enemies and his family, Drizzt as we know him is born.
Some suggest Homeland should be the first book someone new to the Drizzt saga should read. However, I recommend reading the books in the order written, as Drizzt's past is even more engrossing when the reader knows of his present.
Highly recommended. Popular fantasy doesn't get any better than this.