And thus begins my love affair with the Forgotten Realms. I have not read this book in its entirety in years, but it will never leave my shelves. The Crystal Shard introduced me to Drizzt Do’Urden and he stole my teenage heart. There was nothing about the lonely stoic ranger that didn’t tug at my heart strings. Ignorant humans kick him while he’s down, he is utterly loyal to his true friends, and he was such a perfect tragic hero I was blind to any and all flaws.
There will be a different post about the pitfalls in R.A. Salvatore’s Drizzt series later, this post is dedicated to the sheer nostalgia of discovering a new group of adventuring companions and the wonderful world of the Forgotten Realms. I have never played a straight Drizzt knock off in any of the many campaigns I’ve played, but I do have an elf in my head who started out as a misunderstood drow. I may also have a fascination with two weapon fighting, strictly because of Drizzt.
Magical and heroic, the Crystal Shard is my gateway fantasy drug. A quest to defeat the bad guy, heroic companions, and written more simply than my beloved Lord of the Rings. The Crystal Shard was the book that made me say, “I can do that. I want to do that.” Nothing in this book will ever be a total cliche to me, because I saw them here first. The dragons, the evil sorcerers, the armies, the magical cat, and the outcast hero are defining bits of fantasy, and I will always love The Crystal Shard for opening the portal to the Forgotten Realms.