January 11, 2010


Exile: Part 2 (Forgotten Realms: The Legend of Drizzt, Book II)Title : Exile
Author : R.S. Salvatore
Reading Dates : 11 Jan - 6 Feb 2010

Book Summary of Exile.

After a decade of surviving in the Underdark with no other companionship than Guenhwyvar, Drizzt Do'Urden grows to fear his transformation into a deadly warrior surviving on pure instinct. His fears are confirmed when he forgets the vow he made to never kill another drow and nearly kills Briza, his eldest sister who is leading the Do'Urden house in pursuit of Drizzt. Only Guenhwyvar's timely interference prevents him from carrying out the deed. Fearing the loss of his self and no longer able to bear his terrible solitude, Drizzt throws caution to the wind and puts himself at the mercy of the dark elves enemies, the deep gnomes in Blingdenstone.

Drizzt finds unexpected friendship and peace there when he encounters Belwar Dissengulp, the svirnebli whose life he once saved years ago. However, Drizzt has not reckoned on his mother's determination to regain the favor of the Lolth, the drow's deity. Drizzt finds that he must leave or risk putting Blingdenstone in danger from Menzoberranzan. Unwilling to abandon Drizzt to his fate, Belwar accompanies Drizzt when he leaves to travel the Underdark once again.

Unexpectedly, they find a friend while travelling in the Underdark. Their new companion, whom they name Clacker, is a pech transformed into a hook horror through the magic of a human wizard. Determined to save Clacker whose mind is slowly degenerating into a monster, the friends seek out the wizard with disastrous consequences. In a fit of rage, Clacker loses control of himself and kills the only person who could have reversed the magical transformation.

Returning to their camp, they find unmistakable signs of Drizzt's pursuers closing in on them. Thus, the companions set out once again only to end up caught by illithids, one of the deadliest creatures in the Underdark, and used as slaves. They manage to escape the illithids' control with Guenhwyvar's appearance but Drizzt is almost killed by the spirit-wraith, in the guise of Drizzt's resurrected father Zaknafein, sent by his mother. Drizzt is saved by the timely interference of Clacker whose mind for a short time reverts back fully to a pech.

Their luck soon runs out when Zaknafein catches up to them. Clacker is killed by the spirit-wraith, regaining his mind and form in death. Instead of avenging Clacker, Drizzt risks his life on the possibility that Zaknafein's spirit still dwell within the spirit-wraith, albeit submerged by Matron Malice's control. Drizzt's gamble pays off giving father and son time to say their farewells. At the end of which, Zaknafein chooses to kill himself before Matron Malice regains control.

With the danger seemingly past, Drizzt returns with Belwar to Blingdenstone. Believing that Matron Malice and his family will never stop hunting him, Drizzt decides to leave the Underdark world never to return, accompanied by only Guenhwyvar. Unknown to Drizzt however, House Do'Urden has been destroyed by House Baenre for failing to dispose of their traitorous son. The only survivors his brother Dinin and sister Vierna. In return for sparing his life, Dinin now serve s Jarlaxle, the leader of the mercenary group, Bregan D'arerthe. Vierna who had survived the raid would be absorbed into House Baenre as a valued high priestess.

Book Review of Exile.
Exile is a better read than Homeland. It starts off interestingly when we are given a glimpse of a transformed Drizzt. This is no longer the compassionate Drizzt from the first book, but Drizzt's other self, the Hunter. The Hunter is a creature of pure instinct, whose only goal is to survive, at any cost. Drizzt's alter-ego is the reason for his survival in the long years alone in the Underdark, but is also the reason he flees to Blingdenstone later. Unfortunately, the story loses its momentum after this. Though, the Underdark is supposed to be filled with untold danger, we see nothing much of this when Drizzt travels the Underdark a second time. Drizzt and his companions encounters with the creatures of the Underdark are quickly and often easily resolved. The greatest danger seems to be from his own family, with the spirit-wraith Zaknafein proving far more deadly than the creatures it encounters. Too bad, but perhaps Drizzt's adventures in the Underdark alone should have been explored in more detail.

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