Overview

The Legend of Drizzt Book I: Homeland

Review

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The Legend of Drizzt Book I: Homeland

Credits

  • Words: R.A. Salvatore and Andrew Dabb
  • Art: Tim Seeley
  • Inks: Andrew Pepoy, Marco Galli, Derek Fridolfs, et al.
  • Colors: Blond
  • Story Title: Homeland
  • Price: $14.95

A dark elf struggles with his identity in this adaptation of a series of popular fantasy novels.

Deep below the Forgotten Realms, there is the Underdark, home to the dark elf creatures known as the drow. Theirs is a world of treachery, deceit, and bloody coups, a world into which young Drizzt Do’Urden is born. Spared from being a sacrifice to the spider-goddess, Drizzt grows to become one of the finest warriors at the drow academy. But the teachings of his mentor Zaknafein and the stirrings of his own heart lead him to question the culture he’s been raised in. Surely there is more to life than warfare, violence, and cult-like servitude. Can Drizzt find it before his gathering enemies strike?

I’m largely unfamiliar with the work of R.A. Salvatore and the Forgotten Realms franchise in general but high fantasy has always been my favorite genre. I went into this collected edition of the Devil’s Due adaptation with an open mind and by the end, I was glad I had done so.

Often in fantasy, there is a tendency to fall into easy stereotypes—noble elves, good fairies, evil vicious orcs, etc. It’s a convention of the genre, true, but the creatures run the risk of becoming character types rather than individuals. The Legend of Drizzt does not fall into this trap and shows that goodness and individuality can exist even among those traditionally perceived as evil. Drizzt’s quest is largely an internal one dealing with identity, societal corruption, and rebellion. The themes at work here make the story a compelling read beyond simply the escapism and imagination of the fantasy elements. Salvatore’s story and Dabb’s script paint a fully realized picture of drow society and the power struggles, religious zealotry, and political corruption that rule it. Drizzt’s rejection of this is sure to resonate with readers appalled by the evils of their own world. The grand epic storytelling in this book doesn’t fail to entertain either, as there is plenty of intrigue, mystery, and long-sought revenge along the way. If the story errs, it is in its tendency for the melodramatic, which may seem laid on a bit thick at times for readers not as enamored of fantasy adventure.

The dramatic and epic qualities of the story are greatly enhanced by Tim Seeley’s artwork. Seeley lends an impressive realism to Drizzt’s imaginary world, with sleek dynamic figures influenced as much by idealized superhero art as by fantasy. The book is strikingly detailed and Seeley’s sense of storytelling is strong. He shows equal skill with both the beautiful perfection of the elves and the monstrousness of the grotesque beasts that lurk in the Underdark. The palette of Blond achieves an interesting mix of the drows’ gray drab world and bursts of eye-catching color.

The Legend of Drizzt: Homeland is a graphic novel that will surely please fantasy fans with its ambitious story and introspective hero.

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