In this final installment of the Homecoming trilogy we finally leave behind the increasingly uninteresting drow and pick up the story of Regis and Wulfgar (who have been absent for the past few books). As Wulfgar quips in the early part of the book, “I came with you for adventure, and one that did not involve Dwarven mines”, we finally get some new locations instead of trumping around the same places for the umpteenth time. Well, if not entirely new then at least less traveled – a bit marred by the re-introduction of Pikel and Ivan.
Hero breathes a bit of life into what has been a rather repetitive trilogy, especially in the early parts of the book. The main plot, if it can be called that, involves an aging king and his much younger queen and a drow/demon plot into which our characters are drawn into for various reasons. This for the most part is quite enjoyable. Fortunately, the drow stay in the background and the whole thing feels fresh.
The overarching plot features a moping, teenage-emo Drizzt which is painful to read but thankfully completes halfway through the book. If possible there is an even worse plot of the wholly unbelievable transformation of Yvonne into a half-neutral/half-good person, of which the less said the better. The rest of our characters concentrate on the restoration of the Tower of Arcane which continues competently in the background and wraps up the overall arc.
The writing here has improved from previous books. Fight scenes no longer take pages and there is a lesser proliferation of ‘perfect grace/balance/parry’ and other hyperbole overall. I applaud Salvatore for this – I no longer find myself skimming through sections of endless combat.
All in all I am hopeful for the inevitable next trilogy featuring our favorite dark elf. Most of the plotlines are now complete which will allow a new story. There is a final cringe-worthy twist in the epilogue of Hero which worries me a bit on this front, but even with it I will be picking up the next installment when it comes. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.