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127 of 136 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 25, 2000
I read at least 75 novels per year, at least 20 of them in the fantasy genre. I have read most of Salvatore's works already, including the Icewind Dales trilogy. This trilogy is simply the best. It follows the life and times of Drizzt Do'Urden, a dark elf (drow) through his first years in the underdark to ultimately finding a "home" in the Icewind Dales. Drizzt has become one of the most enduring fantasy characters ever written, and with this volume, it is easy to see why. Salvatore masterfully tells the story, creating an entire world, rich with detail and amazing interconnectivity. The characters, whether good or evil, are complete, and multi-dimensional. It is not predictable, yet is incredibly satisfying. My hat is off to Mr. Salvatore, TSR, and to Drizzt!
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2000
I'm not a jaded sci-fi/fantasy reader; in fact, I haven't read a fantasy novel in a very long while, because a lot of them I found to be very pedestrian and not worth finishing. I just decided to pick this up, and this was one of the best fiction novels I have read in a very, very long time. I didn't think combat could be described on a page very well until I read this trilogy. Salvatore describes every move in glorious detail; you read it, and you see it in your mind's eye. The character development is top notch, all the hidden motivations of the main characters are not left to doubt. All three of these books are tense and gripping; it's a "just one more chapter" pageturner of a book. The first two books will shock you at what a ruthless and cold trip the climb to power and status can be (especially when your expected lifespan is 600+ years), and how The third book makes you feel Drizzt's frustration as he tries to find acceptance on the surface. I hope I get the same rush out of it the second time I read through it. So what if Drizzt seems to be the perfect warrior? There are enough heroes with fatal flaws out there, so there's plenty of room for an excellent story where the main character gives the baddies a well-deserved beat down, and you just sit back and smile at his success. A wonderful series.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2003
This trilogy, although written as a prequel to the fantastic Icewind Dale books, can stand alone as a great fantasy series. R.A. Salvatore takes us to the hideous and beautiful city of Menzoberranzan, home of the Drow. Out of this twisted land emerges Drizzt Do'Urden, swordmaster and warrior, torn between the evil teachings of his people and his own sense of honor and right. These three novels tell his story starting with his birth and early training at the hands of Zaknafein, his time at the deadly school of Melee Magthere learning to use his fabled scimitars, how he meets Guenhwyvar the panther, his flight from his home and time among the Svirfneblin, his wanderings in the Underdark facing monsters and madness, and finally his victorious emergence into the surface world where he builds his life anew.
This is great fantasy writing (nothing to scare Tolkein, but highly highly enjoyable). The best aspect of Salvatore's work is his combat scenes. He clearly knows what he's talking about, and you can almost see Drizzt's scimitars dancing and twirling as he squares off against an opponent. I can't think of another author who writes duels quite so well. Drizzt Do'Urden is Salvatore's greatest and best developed character, and the Dark Elf books are his story. Fans of sci-fi fantasy will not be disappointed, and Salvatore's contributions are the best tales set in the Forgotten Realms world.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2000
There are more books (fantasy fiction included) out there that I'd rather avoid than sit down with. Among all the fantasy literature out there, the Dark Elf Trilogy are not only the most interesting and inspiring, but I have to admit it. I LOVE them! Salvatore is simply my favorite author of all time. Thank you for making this for me to read!
The characters are just perfect. There are so many interesting characters it still amazes me. You'll never get stuck in a "boring chapter" that focuses on someone you don't care about. You will love the main characters as they live and develope. The evil characters truly demand respect... never was such a cold world named as the world of the Drow. And amongst it all is a hero who has great amounts of love for all that is good, yet who can become a incredible force of destruction. Absolutely beautiful.
The fighting scenes are unlike anything you've ever dreamed. After reading these you'll want to take up some form of sword fighting as a career! If you ever thought the fighter character in dnd/fantasy was boring, well you'll have your mind changed just like I did. Did you say you like magic and monsters? Well so do I... and these books satisfy my craving more than any other fantasy books I've read.
In conclusion, you're missing out if you don't get these books. Rare if ever do I reread books because usually they weren't that great the first time. Not so with this trilogy. What can I say, Salvatore has broken all of my rules.
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50 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2000
For years I've been wanting to get into the fantasy realm of wizards, warriors, and the odd beasts that they battle. After all, I've been a huge fan of the same genre of video games for nearly all 19 years of my life. Well, at whim, I decided to grab The Dark Elf Trilogy because I had heard acclaim about R.A. Salvatore's books from different sources.
After having the book in my possesion for several days, I decided to sit down and begin reading. 3 hours later, I decided that I had picked up one of the best books I had ever read. I quickly finished the book the following day.
I highly reccommend this book for anyone even slightly interested in the Fantasy genre of books. The detail of the dark elven society that Salvatore dishes out is simply stunning as well as the character detail he goes into with everyone in the book. Everything that I have come to know over the years about this genre was reinforced by this book and even more knowledge was tacked on. I have filed this book away in my bookshelf as part of my permanent collection that I plan to re-read on a rainy day. Definitely as good as it gets in literature.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2001
In my experience of fantasy book reading it is my absolute convincement that this trilogy is the best I have ever read of the ones based on the TSR Dungeons and Dragons. You will visit the dark underground city of Menzoberranzan, where the evil dark elf dwell in their neverending search for power.
Meet Drizzt do'Urden, a peculiar dark elf who has been granted a white soul, and the strength and capacity to uphold his positive ideals in a world where treachery is the code. See him grow up, finally understand the background and past experiences of the dark skinned ranger we all already loved in "The Cristal Shard".
Meet his father Zaknafein, the allmighty Master of Arms of the noble Shaezbernon house, capable of ripping out with a flash of his whip the tongue of a chanting drow priestess before she can lay whatever spell on him.
Geat characters, great story in the best fantasy books R.A. Salvatore ever wrote.
Remember: "Forgotten Realm" books will never get better than these 3, so read them slowly and with gusto.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2000
R.A. Salvatore really brought to life the legend of Drizzt Do'Urden in this absolutely wonderful trilogy set in the Forgotten Realms gaming universe. Salvatore's tortured dark elf has grown to be one of the most popular heros of all the Realms. Even though introduced in Salvatore's previous novels (the Crystal Shard trilogy). Drizzt's early life is documented through this thick tome, and just endears himself to both the new, and the Dungeons and Dragons experienced reader. For the new to the Realms reader, some of the creatures mentioned within are confusing, but overall the book is fantastic, and well written, and full of trademark Salvatore fight scenes! I felt that the final book in the set, Sojurn was my favorite, and have enjoyed all of Drizzt's other adventures very much.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2000
I love Mr Salvatore's work. I read all 3 volumes years ago. Now its all in one book. Those of you that haven't read this book is in for a surprise. I fell in love with all the characters and how Mr Salvatore tells his stories. This book is the first beginings of the famous dark elf and his crew. I just love how every character grows in their own way as each book come along. The first book of this trilogy had me hooked and I read most of the books he wrote. I feel that the writer puts real emotion within each character that I grown to love and hate. I think the best part of the whole Drizzt series are Drizzt's journals for each chapter. I sensed that the writer is passionate and emotional with each character he writes. I say this book will always be a keeper!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2001
Salvatore's Dark Elf Trilogy was the first fantasy I ever read aside form the hobbit(obviously) and MTG novel or two. This series was what got and has kept me into the fantasy genre. "Homeland" is the first and by far the best book of the series. It gives the reader a detailed account of life with the dark the dark elves of the Underdark. (The imagery of "Homeland" is incredible, Almost even comparable to Tolkien,) And begins to chronicle the advetures of Drizzt, who Salvatore has now managed to write about a dozen novels about. "Sojourn" is a little slower to get into but if you can just hang in there for the first hundred pages or so The plot picks and up and stays steady for the rest of the trilogy.
Fans of this series would enjoy: "Cormyr" By Jeff Grubb and Ed greenwood and the all three books of MTG's Ice age cycle.
P.S. If you plan to continue the series you are best to get the next three book of the Icewind Dale Trilogy as paperbacks. The trade paperback and hardback of the trilogy is horribly flawed with typo's to the point of annoyance.
Also pick up the Salvatore's "Silent Blabe", "The Spine of the World"(amazing, his best since "Homeland") and "The Servant of the Shard".
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Drizzt Do'Urden. This character now sits down at the same dinner table with Conan, Elric, and Kane, as a great sword & sorcery character, and this is the series that does it. This trilogy introduces not only a terrifying world of murder and lust, but also tells the beginnings of Drizzt and his attempts to keep his morals in an immoral world, as well as his eventual escape from the Underdark.

The great thing about these books to me, though, is the lovability of the characters, even the evil ones. They're appealing enough to attract a non-D&D player like me, and from these books I bought R. A. Salvatore's many other masterpieces following Drizzt and his friends' trails in battles against evil. This trilogy is for anyone who wants to read a great story, not just for roleplayers.
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