Fashion a roaring fire, adorn your favourite cloak, and prepare to plunge yourself into a world where dark elves, deadly dungeons, and daring exploits reign supreme. In a series fitting for anyone with a thirst for adrenaline and a soft spot for misfit heroes, R. A. Salvatore’s “The Legend of Drizzt” combines all the right ingredients for an epic fantasy feast that leaves you begging for seconds… and thirds, and fourths.
Follow the treads in the boots of the endearing rogue Drizzt Do’Urden from the strict, fiendish city of Menzoberranzan, to the tumultuous wilderness of the Underdark, to the frontier lands of the surface world where he must negotiate, and often fight, the prejudiced morals of its habitants. The series combines jealousy, fratricidal tendencies, blood ties that chill, and friendships that warm, all woven skillfully into a spectacular tapestry of high fantasy empire.
- “Do not blame a mirror for showing what is reflected.”
- “If I could not purge the evil from the hearts of Menzoberranzan, I could at least keep it from my own.”
- “When a king turns a blind eye to evil, I would pluck that eye out.”
Here are some stirring quotes from “The Legend of Drizzt” series:
- “There is no teacher but the enemy. No one but the enemy will tell you what the enemy is going to do. No one but the enemy will ever teach you how to destroy and conquer. Only the enemy shows you where you are weak. Only the enemy tells you where he is strong.” – from “Sojourn”
- “Every journey begins with a single step. We just have to have patience.” – from “The Crystal Shard”
- “I will change the world, and even if I die trying, at least I will have died doing something worthwhile.” – from “Homeland”
- “Survival itself is but a slower form of death.” – from “Homeland”
- “I have come to value loyalty above all other virtues. If I had one piece of advice to pass on to the next generation, it would be simply this: be loyal to your friends. Other considerations, status, money, titles, they all are secondary.” – from “Siege of Darkness”
- “I don’t have to beat you. I don’t have to beat you, motherf***er. I just have to keep you here… until Jeanie finishes making the trap.” – from “The Halfling’s Gem”
- “Evil is, after all, a certain measure of applied selfishness.” – from “The Legacy”
- “Regret is part of being alive. But keep it a small part.” – from “Passage to Dawn”
- “The road to redemption is a long one, and it’s a road you have to keep walking no matter how hard it gets, and no matter where it takes you.” – from “Starless Night”
These quotes encapsulate the themes of the series, showing Drizzt’s struggles, determination, loyalty, and introspection in the face of adversity. They capture the essence of his character and convey the core of Salvatore’s storytelling.
Perhaps what strikes most about Salvatore’s series is its unabashed celebration of the outcast. Drizzt, the dark elf walking in the light, is the epitome of the lost soul dwelling within us all. The capricious and merciless culture of Menzoberranzan plunges you into the world of dark elves and their seemingly insatiable taste for deceit, treachery, and power-lust. The title of the first novel, “Homeland,” drips with bitterly-tinctured irony, as one quickly realises that our dear ranger-hero does not, in fact, consider the cut-throat city of dark elves his home, despite his heritage.
Later books transport you to the dangers of the Underdark and the prejudice of the surface world. “The Crystal Shard” stands out as it adds a sprinkle of sorcery, a dash of demonic power, and a shiny, magical crystal to the mix. Narratives of companionship, loyalty, and bravery intersperse with thrilling fights against beasts, wizards, and everything in between. Moving through “Streams of Silver,” “The Halfling’s Gem,” and the rest, Salvatore weaves an epic, complex universe as enthralling as a warm butterbeer on a cold Hogsmeade day.
The “Legend of Drizzt” does for anti-heroes what Hogwarts did for witches and wizards. It brings an underestimated, maligned character class out of the shadows, giving it complexity, gravitas, and the charisma necessary to bear the burden of an epic journey. The muscular prose, sudden plot twists, dramatic climaxes, and disturbingly believable depictions of the dark underbelly of society make this series addictively readable.
Series Titles in Order
Here are the book titles in reading order in the Legend of Drizzt series and a snarky summary for each:
Meet Drizzt Do’Urden. He’s an outcast in a society of dark elves who pride themselves on backstabbing. Literally. You’ll find more loyalty in a den of wolves than in the city of Menzoberranzan. Drizzt’s got his scissors, I mean, scimitars, ready for some family bonding.
In this episode of ‘Surviving the Underdark’, Drizzt’s got more crawling horrors chasing him than a Halloween party gone wrong. Who knew leaving your murderous family behind would be the easy part? At least he’s made a friend: a 600-pound astral kitty panther named Guenhwyvar.
Drizzt finally makes it to the surface world, and all he gets instead of a warm welcome is an arrow to the chest. Give a guy a break, will ya? Oh, and if you thought human racism was an issue, imagine how fun it is being a dark elf in a society of ‘good’ surface-dwellers.
- “The Crystal Shard”
Because just surviving daily life wasn’t enough, now Drizzt has to join a fellowship to save the world from a crystal. The biggest takeaway? Even in fantasy literature, it is not advisable to thaw mysterious artefacts found in the ice.
- “Streams of Silver”
It’s the classic story: dwarf loses ancestral home, dwarf forces friends on a suicidal mission to get it back. Drizzt and his ragtag gang now have to play house-hunters with the catch that the house might actually hunt them back.
- “The Halfling’s Gem”
If you thought dark elves and dwarves had it tough, wait until you meet the trash-talking halfling in this installment. With his friend held hostage in a city of cutthroats, Drizzt must dust off the old detective hat and prepare for a rescue mission. And you thought your landlord was the worst.
- “The Legacy”
Remember Drizzt’s family? Yeah, they are back and never got over their backstabbing tendencies. Drizzt’s return home makes any dysfunctional family dinner look like a cozy picnic. Family reunion, but everyone has weapons and none of them have good intentions.
- “Starless Night”
Drizzt decides to tackle his problems head-on, which translates to returning to a city full of murderous dark elves. We all cope differently. Also, seems like everybody wants a slice of Drizzt – and not in a good way.
- “Siege of Darkness”
Dark elves invading the surface world? That’s a whole bugger of ‘dark’ we didn’t need. Also, a demon. Because why not? Now, Drizzt needs to rally the forces of goodly folks and prevent his old housemates from redecorating the surface world in fifty shades of underdark.
- “Passage to Dawn”
Sick of dark elves? No worries, now we’re dealing with demons! As Drizzt learns, you don’t defeat one without the other holding the grudge of a lifetime. Tip: Don’t make demons your lifelong enemies and if you do, definitely don’t get on a boat.
…And many more! Including the “Paths of Darkness”, “The Hunter’s Blades Trilogy”, “Transitions”, and several others, this epic saga keeps on spinning to feature assassins, more demons, some sneaky drow politics and a whole lot of Drizzt wading through it all with blades, masochism, a big kitty and never lacking good humor.
R.A. Salvatore is a celebrated author best known for his fantasy and science fiction works. He has sold more than 15 million copies of his books in the USA alone, proving that tales of misunderstood dark elves, towering trolls, and daring dwarves will never lose their charm.
FAQ or Study/Book Club Questions
- How does the culture of Menzoberranzan challenge Drizzt’s personal ethics?
- Can you find examples of foreshadowing within the series? How effective are they?
- How does Drizzt’s character evolve throughout the series?
- What challenges does Salvatore present about societal norms through the actions of his characters?
- Has this series changed your perception of elves, dwarves, and halflings in comparison to how they’re usually depicted?
Where to Buy
Ready to embark on an epic journey? Follow this link to buy The Legend of Drizzt series on Amazon.