When I finished Sojourn this evening I gently laid the book down and gazed ahead, the myriad story elements floating about my head like a cloud, and my first though was "Crap, I wonder if I still know how to write a review." It's been a little over a month now since the last time I wrote a review. Whatever my excuses I'll have to brush up fast because this post marks the final installation in the much celebrated Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore and my final post for the year. For anyone who missed the first post on Sojourn you can find it here: Internal Conflict or Bust.
If you'll recall I brought up a gripe last time about how our hero, Drizzt the dark elf, skilled swordsman, exile of his own race, somehow seemed immune to the daily trials and tribulations of survival. Well when I picked up where I had left off (I wasn't reading during that month long hiatus) the book saw fit to throw all that back in my face and then kick me for good measure. For the first time in three books Drizzt struggled. He was described hunting for fish in the cold autumn days leading into the winter. He struggled to make a fire and keep warm as winter fell, the season phenomenon unfamiliar to one who had lived underground his whole life. In reference to his time alone in Exile Drizzt recalled working in the kitchens as a young boy and burning dried mushroom stalks during his self-imposed exile. Well about damn time. If a bit late in the story, Drizzt pulled together previously undisclosed pieces of his past retro-actively shedding light on his survival up to this point and revealing a stint of illicit drug use. (He was burning giant mushrooms, how else should I interpret that?) Although I'm still skeptical that Drizzt lit fires in the tunnels during Exile without running into smoke issues, and I am still curious as to what he was eating during the early half of Sojourn, the details of Drizzt's first winter did much to alleviate my previous gripes. Teach me to open my big mouth.