A Different kind of Dark Elf

Book Review – With the exception of Dark Sun and Dragonlance I never really got into the various flavors of D&D, most of my knowledge of these worlds wa based on what I heard second hand, read in a random Dragon magazine or saw online or in-store. In fact my only real exposure to Dark Elves was with GW variety in which they are the evil emo kin of the happy forest dwellers. I really enjoyed the Malleous Darkblade books with an evil character as the protagonist and was expecting something similar with the Drizzit books. 

A friend gave me the first volume to read after I asked for some info on Drizzit to flesh out some home brew Super Dungeon rules for the Impact Miniatures I should have in hand any day now. He apparently owns all the collectors editions of the collections and insisted I'd enjoy them.

The first volume collects the first three R.A. Salvatore novels into one massive tomb. The binding and printing on this book is very nice and it has a fancy foil dust jacket. High quality like this is something you'd expect from a collector's edition. The only thing missing are some illustrations of the covers to separate the books. When I think of collector's edition I want art just one of my pet peeves I suppose.

Anyway onto the actual review, this may contain spoilers but given they were printed so long ago I'm not to concerned. If you haven't read them yet I'll try to keep this very generalized.

The first book opens with a Dark Elf family besieging another preparing to sacrifice the third son who is about to be born. (For some reason they can only have two noble males in a house, females run everything in Drow society) For me the first half of this book drug on and on very slowly, so much so I almost put it down. If you feel the same carry on because the massive back story is important in character development. Eventually the focus of the book turns to the main character Drizzit and things get more interesting.

Essentially Drow (Dark Elf) society lives underground and worships an evil deity called the Spider Queen, females run everything and their is a fixed cast system that the evil house mothers are always scheming to improve their standing in society and in the eyes of their evil goddess. To do this they must completely eliminate their opposition or face elimination themselves. Much like the Dark Elves of the Warhammer world this entire race is pure evil. Except for Drizzit, he is the exception to the rule and as such causes his family no end of trouble because he refutes the evilness of their society. Eventually he exiles himself and sets off to find his way in the world. Of course trouble and tragedy follows him everywhere he goes despite his best intentions.

The books were well written, if not a little bogged down in the details and back story. I suppose it was necessary to show why things were the way they were and set the stage but compared to a typical Black Library book the pacing was almost a crawl for most of the three books. I'm sure if I read these long ago I would have had a different felling about the pacing as it seems even with older movies going back to watch them now they feel slow compared to more current films.

Anyway the real reason I wanted to read this was to get some ideas to create a hero for Super Dungeon Explore using the Impact miniatures. My thought is to have his potion summon/unsummon the panther which will act as another hero while on the board with a static attack number and Drizzit will have a 3 button push attack called Blade Storm that hits everything within two squares of him. Still a little rough but the general idea is sound and fits with what I've read.

If you haven't read these books yet they are worth checking out, or at least picking up from the library.