Publisher: Audible Studios
Series: Legend of Drizzt #1
Narrator: Victor Bevine
Edition: Audiobook, 10 Hours 48 Minutes
Purchase: Amazon / Audible / Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4/5 Stars
In exotic Menzoberranzan, the vast city of the drow is home to Icewind Dale prince Drizzt Do’Urden, who grows to maturity in the vile world of his dark elf kin. Possessing honor beyond the scope of his unprincipled society, can he live in world that rejects integrity?
Finally! I have finally tackled the first book of the Drizzt series! After years of people telling me I need to get around to these books, I finally managed to actually do that, and I’m so glad I did.
Our story focuses on Drizzt Do’Urden, a young Drow elf and his life within the subterranean city of Menzobarranzan. It’s a story of almost innocent pure morality being placed up against ingrained corruption and maliciousness, and the Drizzt’s progress through the book is one of a tightrope walker. Always teetering on the verge of disaster despite being confident and skillful. I absolutely love the Drow society and how utterly unstable and screwed up it truly is. I don’t condone their awful behavior, but it’s so rare to find a society in fiction that is so viciously and uniformly formed that nearly every inhabitant is completely on board for the horrible things occurring. It’s so different from the baseline of all other societies that we know. The focus on the worship of Lloth was quite interesting as well, and in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, the gods/demons are very much a tangible thing to take note of. So seeing her influence on the Drow people and how she rewards them for underhanded tactics, and on the other hand how she abandons those who step a toe out of line, was quite interesting. I think Salvatore does an amazing job of building the somewhat closed-off world of Menzobarrenzan, spending plenty of time exploring all the dark little corners without getting bogged down in too many details.
Drizzt is an interesting main character, though I must admit to finding him a bit…obvious. A mary-sue even. The odd thing about D&D is the alignment system, which sort of pigeonholes everyone into a different morality including entire races of things. Drow are considered innately evil, which is…a bit of eye roll, BUT it works when you take in the consideration the sheer power Lloth holds over their society and the somewhat cult-like education they go through. So for Drizzt to be the one shining beacon of upstanding morals is a bit of an eye roll over all, because where does his innate ability to discern his everyday life as being horrible come from? He has no basis of comparison and the level of uniformity of the entire society doesn’t offer glimpses of other options. However, I still like him, despite his obvious heroics and his being good a damn near everything. I do think that if this had focused purely on Drizzt and less on the society I wouldn’t have been as enthused about it, but I loved how his story fits into everything as a whole.
Victor Bevine does an excellent job with his narration, and I definitely think I’ll be grabbing the rest of these books on audio as well.
If you enjoy epic fantasy on the shorter side filled with fantastic world building and prose, as well as a hero who is fighting an uphill battle against society then this one is for you! It’s certainly one to check out, even if you like lighter fantasy.