Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy. I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings. Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them. For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday I look at the amazing upcoming Starlight Enclave, the latest novel featuring iconic fantasy protagonist Drizzt Do’Urden from legendary author R. A. Salvatore.
While I receive a number of great books each year, a major highlight of my reading schedule is always the new R. A. Salvatore fantasy novel. With over 60 novels to his name, Salvatore is one of the most prolific and highly regarded fantasy authors in the world today and he is easily one of my absolute favourite authors all time. I have been a major fan of his for years, and I absolutely devoured his various Drizzt Do’Urden series when I was younger. With a career lasting over 30 years (2021 is the 33rd anniversary of his debut novel, The Crystal Shard), Salvatore is still going strong, having written several great books in recent years. Indeed, between 2018 and 2020 he actually wrote two novels a year: the three novels in The Coven trilogy (Child of a Mad God, Reckoning of a Fallen God and Song of a Risen God), as well as the three books in the Drizzt focused Generations series (Timeless, Boundless and Relentless). All six of these recent novels have been pretty incredible, with Song of a Risen God and Boundless being amongst some of my favourite audiobooks of 2019 and 2020 respectfully.
Having read several of Salvatore’s books in the last three years, I am obviously very much a fan of this author’s work and I have been eagerly keeping an eye out for his next fantasy release. As a result, I was incredibly excited when I found out about Starlight Enclave, a brand new Drizzt Do’Urden novel that is set for release in early August 2021. Starlight Enclave will serve as the first book in Salvatore’s new series, The Way of the Drow, and will follow on from the epic conclusion of the Generations series as shown in Relentless.
After the settling dust of the demon uprising and two years of peace, rumblings from the Menzoberranzan drow have Jarlaxle nervous. Worried his allies may be pulled into a Civil War between the great Houses, he is eager to ensure Zaknafein is armed with weapons befitting his skill, including one in particular: Khazid’hea. A powerful artifact, the sword known as “Cutter” has started wars, corrupted its users, and spilled the blood of many, many people. Nonetheless—or maybe because of that—the rogue Jarlaxle and a small group of friends will go on an expedition looking for the weapon’s last wielder, Doum’wielle, in the freezing north, for she may be the key to unlocking the sword’s potential…and perhaps the key to preventing the bloodshed looming over the Underdark.
And as they explore the top of the world, Drizzt is on a journey of his own—both spiritual and physical. He wants to introduce his daughter Brie to Grandmaster Kane and the practices that have been so central to his beliefs. But, having only recently come back from true transcendence, the drow ranger is no longer sure what his beliefs mean anymore. He is on a path to determining the future, not just for his family, but perhaps the entire northlands of the Realms themselves.
Two different roads. On one, Jarlaxle and Zaknefein are on a quest to find pieces that could offer salvation to Menzoberranzan. On the other, Drizzt seeks answers that could offer salvation to not just his soul, but all souls.
And no matter the outcome of either journey, the Realms will never be the same again.
Well, I have to say that this sounds pretty damn epic to me. The above synopsis is quite intriguing, and I love the fact that this next book is going to be a cool fantasy adventure with some of Salvatore’s most iconic and beloved protagonists. Both of the separate storylines sound extremely interesting to me. The first with Jarlaxle, Zaknafein and several of their friends adventuring out to find a powerful magical sword is classic fantasy and very much takes the series back to its roots. I am really excited for this particular storyline for a number of reasons. Not only is their adventure bound to be filled with action, danger and all manner of unique obstacles and opponents, but we will also get to see more of the fun team of Jarlaxle and Zaknafein. Jarlaxle is a colourful and cunning rogue who has managed to manipulate or outwit everyone he has come across, while Zaknafein is a taciturn and moody master of the sword who has only recently come back to life. Both characters are particularly captivating and enjoyable in their own right, but they are also a lot of fun together and Salvatore spent a significant part of his last trilogy exploring the long friendship that they have had. As a result, I am extremely excited to see them head out on another dangerous adventure together, this time on the surface world, and it will be interesting to see how their relationship has changed after the events of the previous book. Throw in the deadly Drow politics and potential civil war that spurs their adventure and you have quite the amazing storyline which I know is going to be fun to watch unfurl.
The other storyline mentioned in the synopsis also sounds really intriguing, although it is going to be very different from the more adventure-filled arc with Jarlaxle and Zaknafein. This second storyline will follow Drizzt as he journeys back to his spiritual and martial guide, Grandmaster Kane, to introduce his daughter to him. From the sounds of it, this is going to be a particularly intense and metaphysical as Drizzt tries to come to terms with some of the major events that occurred to him during the vents of Boundless and Relentless (to avoid death by a giant demonic spider robot, he transcended his body into energy and then reformed it at a later point; you know, typical everyday stuff). This part of the book sounds like it will be quite fascinating, and I am very excited to see Salvatore dive into Drizzt’s inner psyche, especially after he was not used as prominently in the previous trilogy. I am really interested in seeing where this part of the book goes, and I am curious about the wider implications hinted in the synopsis. I am also very curious to see how both of these impressive and compelling plot lines come together and what the entire book will look like.
I think it is fairly obvious by this point that I am extremely excited for Starlight Enclave. Due to how amazing I find Salvatore as a fantasy writer, there was absolutely no way that I was not going to pick this book up and enjoy it, but I feel particularly enthused now that I know some of the plot details. I love both the storylines mentioned above and I cannot wait to see how they unfold and what unique plot points come out of them. All of this sounds so incredibly epic and I cannot wait to get my hands on the latest Drizzt Do’Urden novel.