Exile, by R.A. Salvatore
Exile is good, and I feel an improvement on Homeland, largely due to the increased interaction with other races, and a greater exploration of the world. While Homeland was good as an ‘origins’ story, Exile is fantastic for its exploration of the underdark. As with the first instalment, it still constitutes ‘traditional’ fantasy, and reading them back to back was maybe a bad idea, as both are somewhat clichéd – something which starts to wear a bit.
A considerable number of well-written, fast-paced battle scenes did a lot to maintain a plot which might otherwise have been slow. Most seemed however to have been fight scenes for the sake of keeping things interesting, rather than necessarily fitting into the plot. The whole trilogy as well takes place on a tiny scale, something which is almost unknown in modern fantasy. The cast of characters is restricted to under 20 or so.
I took a long break about 80% of the way through due to technical issues (I was listening to it as an audiobook). I found it quite easy to get back into it after a break of almost 6 months, which says something good for the quality of the writing.
‘Exile’, by R.A. Salvatore is the second in The Dark Elf Trilogy.