Fantasy Book Review: Starlight Enclave by R.A. Salvatore

Fantasy Book Review

Starlight Enclave
Author: R.A. Salvatore
Publication Date: Aug 3, 2021
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genres: Epic Fantasy

Even though my last adventure with Drizzt Do'Urden in The Sundering was an experience best left forgotten, I stumbled across an article last month where R.A. Salvatore was talking about race in The Forgotten Realms, and how he was addressing its implied racism in The Way of the Drow, and I let my curiosity get the better of me. 

Starlight Enclave was a solid read. Clearly, I've missed a lot, not having read Companions Codex, Homecoming, or Generations, and that led to some early confusion, but I was able to catch up pretty quickly and get into the flow of the story. That flow was responsible for my first positive impression of the story, feeling much more like a story Salvatore was excited to tell, as opposed to one he had to tell for the sake of a new rules system. 

As I read, it was clear the characters changed considerably over those unread trilogies - accepting Jarlaxle & Artemis Entreri as heroes was tough - but none more so than Drizzt. He's older and wiser, a far different character than I remember, and yet he still maintains the philosophical bent that always made him so intriguing. That was my second positive impression of the story, slipping so easily back into those issues of ethics and morality, questioning things like assumptions about the 'monstrous' races.

Where I stumbled a bit was with the narrative focus, which largely relegated Drizzt to the role of side-character. He was always the appeal in these stories, and I wanted more of not just him, but his interactions with the likes of Catti-brie, Regis, Bruenor, and Wulfgar. They're all fine characters on their own, and I liked what Salvatore has done with Jarlaxle and Catti-brie here, but they're not who I wanted to carry the story. That said, their Arctic quest is a worthy one, with enough obstacles and twists to keep the story moving forward.

I don't know that I'll continue with the trilogy, but I'm certainly feeling better about the literary legacy of Drizzt and the companions than I was with my last read.

Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀

My sincere thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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