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Watershed Book Cafe: A Quiet Place to Read

Cover of Forgotten Realms: HomelandA Review of Forgotten Realms: Homeland   

by Erik Berg

MOST COMMONLY, A fantasy story is about a character's quest to save his community. This story, however, is quite different. Drizzt, the main character in Forgotten Realms: Homeland, is an antagonistic character in the eyes of his race. He makes only two friends. His goal is to survive with a satisfied heart.

Homeland is about a child who's born in the middle of a battle and is intended to be sacrificed, but suddenly his brother dies and they no longer need to sacrifice him. There is also something weird about him. He has lavender eyes unlike any other drow, who usually have red eyes. But there's more. As a baby, he does not cry when he sees a flaming candle, while a common adult drow cannot stand the light. When he's tested at the age of five he has learned how to levitate, a skill most learn at fifteen. He's a warrior with an unthinkable ability to fight. At fifteen, he can flip about a dozen coins at the same time and catch them all on his first try. One of the greatest warriors in the city finally succeeded after trying quite a number of times. This story tells about how this child defies his civilization. He sees them as ruthless, savage, greedy and evil. He sees through their masks and realizes he cannot live here with a satisfied heart. He promises to himself that he will never kill a drow, but realizes that if he keeps that promise he won't last very long so he stops following the rules. He banishes himself from his old life and gets ready to start anew.

People may read this novel for the enjoyment of the offbeat action or the murderous mystery. But what about thinking of the book's morals, that every book in life has something to teach us whether the writer wrote it like that or not? The meaning of this story is that if you do what you truly want to do and not what people pressure you to do you'll be truly happy. For example, in the story when Drizzt is about to graduate from the Academy, the place where drow learn to fight, he leaves the graduation ceremony. He doesn't want to be known as a Drow Warrior because of their longing to kill. In this way he keeps true to his heart.

I think this is one of the greatest lessons we could learn, but don't take this the wrong way. If it's bedtime and what you want to do is play video games, that's not what I mean. I mean you do what is good for you. When you've got an assignment due tomorrow but you really want to go to your friend's party, think win-win. It'll take you two hours to finish your assignment and your friend's birthday is five hours long. You could work on the essay for an hour and then go to the party for three hours. When you get back you can finish your essay. The story helps us avoid peer pressure and think win-win. It helped Drizzt have a satisfied heart. Maybe it could help us too.


Salvator, R. A. Forgotten Realms: Homeland. TSR: Washington, 1998. 313 pages.

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