Sojourn is a bit different from the previous two books. Drizzt is now living on the surface, which has opened a whole new share of problems. From not knowing what a skunk is (hilarity ensues) to not speaking the language, Drizzt has his work cut out for him. The first book was about where Drizzt came from. The second touched on who he is. This third installment sets up who he will be. Which some readers may already know, if you picked up the Icewind Dale trilogy before this. Either way, Sojourn establishes itself as a series of stories rather than one big one.
As the previous books established, drow are evil. And that’s the extent of knowledge most surface-dwelling folk have about them. So, it is a bit tricky for Drizzt to make friends. A lot of people take one look and are all torches-and-pitchforks if he doesn’t move on immediately. But a few are willing to help teach the young drow about the surface world, and himself. Sojourn takes place over roughly 7 years as these adventures gradually move Drizzt closer to the Icewind Dale.
This book can be divided up into the various early adventures of Drizzt. For existing fans of D&D, the book is a little easier to understand. Most of the monsters Drizzt fights are fairly common and the various adventures are set up similarly to quests in a game. This feels like something R.A. Salvatore did purposely to appeal to the fanbase while also writing a generic-ish fantasy story. With the plot involving Menzoberranzan wrapped up at the end of the last book, Sojourn can focus 100% on Drizzt. There is one storyline that connects the events of Sojourn, but it is relatively minor compared to Drizzt’s previous challenges.
On the whole, the Dark Elf trilogy is a strong story of characterization. While characterization is important in any story, it’s rare to see it higher on the priority list than the plot. So-and-so’s quest for vengeance or yearning for true love typically comes second to stopping armageddon. But this is a prequel, so we known Drizzt will be ok. Physically, that is. He is a very different person at the start of this trilogy than at its end. Finding out not only what he is but who he is was not an easy road for the dark elf. It’s no wonder this fan favorite is still having novel adventures more than 30 real-world years later.