Homeland (Book One – The Dark Elf Trilogy – R.A. Salvatore)

Recently a friend loaned me The Dark Elf Trilogy.  For those that are not familiar with this series, the books are about the story of Drizz’t Do’Urden beginning with the time leading up to and shortly after his birth.  The trilogy then follows him throughout his youth giving the reader an insight of who Drizz’t is and his trials and tribulations of how he found out himself who he was and who he wanted to be.

The story line is unique (to me) because I was previously not wholly familiar with the Drow race, aside from knowing that (as part of) the world of Dungeons and Dragons indicates that this race is known for it’s skills in deception and for being rather evil and vile creatures.  From the beginning of the first book (Homeland) it is made quite clear how evil the Drow are.  Without giving away anything that could be viewed as a spoiler, this book is full of backstabbing, deception and hatred all in the name of an evil deity named Lloth.
Drizz’t goes from a child to a teenager as part of the timeline for Homeland.  Being guided first by his sister and later his Uncle in being taught and learning the ways of a male Drow and later a Drow warrior.  It is not immediately seen that Drizz’t disagrees with the ways of Lloth within Homeland but the first layers of doubt that he is Drow in mindset becomes apparent.
The imagery within this book is breathtaking; it is not difficult to gain an idea of what the characters and their surroundings look like through Salvatore’s description of them.  A reader is able to envision these aspects of the book while still being able to make their own decisions of what this looks like.  Salvatore leads you in the direction of what he sees the characters and their city Menzoberranzan looks like while allowing the reader to have their own visualization as part of it.  The writing is very well done as well, including the descriptions of some of the battles.  The dialogue is also well written, allowing the reader to almost see the conversations as if in third person.
Overall, this is a great fantasy series that I would recommend to reader’s of any age, however based upon the literacy of this book;  judgement on the ease of reading a chapter book and the mild violence within this book should be left at the discretion of a (minor) child’s parent.  I appreciated that as a 30 something woman I was able to easily immerse myself within this world without feeling like I was reading a children’s book, even if the characters and scenery are fantastical in nature.