Well, it is my second to last night here in Adelaide and I have to say that I am going to appreciate being home in my own bed on Saturday night. Okay, it has been interesting working out of the Adelaide office for the last three weeks, but it has also been quite exhausting working a full day and then going exploring in the evenings so that I can have more businesses to write about on Yelp (and the other websites). At least I managed to visit the three comic shops in the city: The Adelaide Comics Centre, Pulp Fiction Comics, and The Comic Shop, as well as what is now the only gaming shop left in Adelaide Infinity Games (not that they actually stock any roleplaying game products).
Anyway, after really enjoying the first graphic novel, when I went and checked out Pulp Fiction Comics and trying to work out what I was going to buy I suddenly discovered that they hadn't written just one, but all three of the Drizzt prequel novels (though some seem to argue that these novels were written before the Icewind Dale trilogy). As such I decided to grab this one, and since I was meeting up with a friend of mine (who I had passed the first one to previously) I decided that I would mark this one as a 'read immediately' – which I managed to do to my amazement.
So, after Drizzt leaves his people to go into voluntary exiles he ends up spending years alone in one of the caverns, however because he is isolated from all other intelligent creatures, his bestial nature begins to take over, and when he is discovered by a drow patrol (from house Do'urden no less, since they are attempting to track him down due to the fact that his existence means that his house is out of favour with Lloth), he realises that he must do something about it. So he decides to take a risk and rocks up at a deep gnome stronghold expecting that by doing so he will be executed. However one of the gnomes remembers the mercy that he showed him and decides to vouch for him.
Unfortunately, he simply cannot escape his former life, especially since his mother creates this zombie assassin to go and track him down. This does lead to quite an interesting adventure and they travel to all parts of the underdark and even get captured by the mind flayers (who then discover that their powers are useless against a zombie assassin – actually the word zombie makes this creature sound weak, and I have to say that it is anything but).
The main theme of this part of the story is the idea that people aren't supposed to live outside of a community. I would say civilised society, but some may argue that the Drow society is hardly civilised (but then again isn't the modern capitalist society just as cut-throat as the Drow society?). However, it is not the question of civilisation but rather the question of community – living with other people and having people to communicate with. When one cuts themselves off from others one begins to loose the ability to be able to communicate with them, to understand a concept of manners, and how one is to act around them. It is interesting that there is that ideal of the Grizzly Adams type of character that lives in a hut in the mountains with only a bear as a companion, and in a way that lifestyle is an idea (and a fantasy). Sure, some have that desire to completely withdraw from humanity because, well, humans can be little more than pricks, however even if that is the case I believe we humans are social creatures, and we thrive and grow much better surrounded by people than in isolation.
Actually, as a side not, it turns out that Grizzly Adams was a real person, however the TV series, as is typical of Hollywood, is only based on the guy.
Mind you, as I was rereading this before posting it I suddenly realised that there is a second theme (wow, a Dungeons and Dragons novel with two themes) and that is how difficult it can be to escape from one's past. In fact it can be really hard to escape from a bad group of people. As I have mentioned humans are social creatures, and if the only people that you know are these bad people, then many of us would rather stick with the bad people than risk being alone. I remember a lady at work bemoaning how her son had become caught up with drug users, and that it was had from him to break away from them because to do so meant that he would have no friends. The same is true when you make enemies, because is many cases these enemies won't let you get away that easily. Sometimes in fact they will hunt you to the ends to the Earth to make sure you pay (though I am speaking in extreme terms here – sometimes these people are too lazy to actually do anything beyond bitch about you behind your back).