I was introduced to Drizzt when Devil's Due Publishing started publishing Salvatore's stories in comic book form the year before. Having had a long-time interest in Dungeons & Dragons and roleplaying games, I was enthralled with Drizzt's story. I'm happy to see that IDW is releasing the comic books into a series of volumes for a new group of fans to enjoy.
Although the story, Sojourn, is the third volume, this is an excellent book for jumping into Drizzt's world. The first issue of this volume picks up with Drizzt emerging on the surface, on the run from his underdark home, seeking peace and a place to call home. The surface was a drastic departure from the dark caves of his youth, and, regrettably, humans only knew the drow's reputation as evil and deadly, an elf to be avoided. Acceptance was difficult for Drizzt and while he encountered hardship at every turn, he did experience two life-changing relationships in this volume: a blind ranger named Montolio Debrouchee who teaches him the ways and principles of a ranger's life and Cattie-brie, a human teenage girl who befriends Drizzt when he settles in the Icewind Dale ruled by dwarven king Bruenor Battlehammer, Cattie-brie's adoptive father. Sojourn documents a pivotal time for Drizzt; it is an engaging story and one of my favorite Drizzt stories.
Salvatore's novel was fantastically adapted into a script by Andrew Dabb and competently realized visually by Tim Seelely who did the pencils for this lengthy trade paperback that weighs in at about 140 pages. Dabb's dialogue and exposition narrations were well balanced, and Brian J. Crowley's lettering expertise made reading the text and looking at the visuals a seamless experience. The detail and textures on each page brought this story to life and was realized through the efforts of four inkers: John Lowe; Rob Atkins; John Rauch; and Mark Englert. Special mention has to be made to Blond who had the monumental task of coloring this volume. He showed consistency in the quality of his highlights, shadows, and color choices – from extreme close-ups of faces to establishing vistas and battle scenes. In the third issue, his colors for the cold, wild world of Icewind Dale is phenomenal. Tyler Walpole completed the volume with his cover art of Drizzt in the heat of battle. It juxtaposes the stereotypical drows known for their deadly fighting abilities, but, as mentioned above, in Sojourn, Drizzt was seeking a peaceful existence and a place to call home.
As a fan of fantasy stories and Salvatore's Forgotten Realms, it was great to revisit Drizzt's world. For readers who enjoy fantasy stories influenced by Dungeons & Dragons and The Lord of the Rings, then I suggest picking up this IDW trade paperback and giving this volume a shot.