R. A. Salvatore
Homeland Cover

Homeland (Audio version)


First of all, I must admit that I am not a fan of Dungeons & Dragons. It's not that I don't like it, not at all. I just do not know much of it. So, for me, this book was quite a new experience, as I knew very little of the characters, rules and races of the Forgotten Realms. And all the complicated names required some getting used to. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it a lot.

'Homeland' starts the story of a dark elf Drizzt Do'Urden in the Forgotten Realms universe. The drow city of Menzoberranzan lies in the world of the Underdark, where the dark elves live, away from the surface dwellers and its scorching sun.

Drow society is matriarchal and militaristic. The drow worship the evil Spider Queen. Sorceresses wielding snake-headed whips play an important role in the religious society. The noble Houses of Menzoberranzan are ruled by Matron Mothers. The Houses have a strict hierarchical power structure, and each House tries to protect their place and go up the ladder, as the most important objective in the society is power. There are practically no limits to that as long as you are not too open about it and do not get caught. Members of family are important only as instruments of maintaining and gaining power; they can be easily murdered or sacrificed, if only to improve the family's social standing.

Drizzt family is ruled by Matron Mother Malice Do'Urden, with the help of her three daughters Briza, Vierna and Maya. Drizzt is one of the two living sons of the House Do'Urden. From the very beginning it is clear that he is different from the rest of his kin. Little by little he gets to learn about the drow society and his family, and feels alienated to it. The weapons master of the House Do'Urden, Zaknafein, teaches Drizzt how to fight and more, and he seems to be the only other person that is different from the drow, but is he really?

Drizzt is a great warrior, intelligent, and unafraid to question and break the rules. As a result, he makes enemies. The concept of friendship is so alien to the drow, but Drizzt meets a creature that he cares about. He tries to do what he thinks is right, even though his understanding of 'right' is very different from his kind. From the birth the drows are taught to hate all living beings, blindly follow the way of the drow, and worship the evil Spider Queen. It is interesting how this submission to rules and brainwashing takes place in the Academy and the society as a whole, and what parallels could be drawn to our society.

This world is very dark, and its vicious characters and their actions can be overwhelming. Drizzt is the only light that shines in this darkness, he is a highly likeable and heroic character. I can't wait to follow his journey through the Forgotten Realms.