Fantastic Journey: The Soul of Speculative Fiction and Fantasy Adventure
By Azalea Dabill
Deep meaning in fiction affects us in the spiritual world, inducts us into the arena of ideas, and impacts the sphere we breathe in.
Experience the mystery, the beauty, and the adventure – from great middle-grade books and enchanting young adult series to standalone novels. Discover worlds near and far, dare to unveil the elusive secret of imaginative fiction. Find that which is the wealth of souls.
Will You Challenge a Subterranean World of Terrible Ethics and Elves?
Wrong suffered tests the heart and soul by fire, pushing us beyond knowledge to understanding.
… Thankfully, Drizzt the elf enters many tests-passing from knowledge to understanding – with all his heart, two swords, and a determination to be different. He is set on living well despite his utterly corrupt society.
It is the propagation of lies that bind drow society together, the ultimate perpetration of falsehoods repeated so many times that they ring true against any contrary evidence. The lessons young drow are taught of truth and justice are so blatantly refuted by everyday life in wicked Menzoberranzan that it is hard to understand how any could believe them. Still they do.
… The thought of the place frightens me, not for any physical pain or the ever-present sense of possible death – I have trod down many roads equally dangerous in that way. The Academy of Menzoberranzan frightens me when I think of the survivors, the graduates, existing – reveling – within the evil fabrications that shape their world. They live with the belief that anything is acceptable if you can get away with it, that self-gratification is the most important aspect of existence, and that power comes only to she or he who is strong enough and cunning enough to snatch it from the failing hands of those who no longer deserve it. Compassion has no place in Menzoberranzan, and yet it is compassion, not fear, that brings harmony to most races. It is harmony, working toward shared goals, that precedes greatness.
Lies engulf the drow in fear and mistrust, refute friendship at the tip of a Lolth-blessed sword. The hatred and ambition fostered by these amoral tenets are the doom of my people, a weakness that they perceive as strength. The result is a paralyzing, paranoid existence that the drow call the edge of readiness.’ – The Dark Elf trilogy by R. A. Salvatore, pg 113.
Though not yet as bad as Menzoberranzan, our world is close. There is much barbarism to fight. Injustice, laziness, greed, passivity, lack of compassion – in a word, self-centeredness under a veneer of civility. We need taken out of ourselves, to dive beyond our narrow insides – then when we return with a jewel from the ocean [of books] we will see both ourselves and everyone around us more clearly. We will have gained a little light to see by, as Drizzt gained light to guide him through the dangers of the Underdark.
Why do we cheer for Drizzt? Is it only because he is one against the world, so to speak, and we wish we had the same courage? Or is it that we behold the same choices before us, watch the same dangers in our world, sense the same dire monsters stalking us – and wish to keep our society from becoming another collapsed civilization? …
In his journey, Drizzt goes only so far as to refuse to do evil as much as he can, and so he pursues the light and the life-giver, though in his story he does not yet fully know what and who he yearns for. Though he has caught sight of the path of right, to cross the abyss of the wrong he has done will take more than he ever dreams, more than he possesses.
… The motives of our hearts are the deepest waters of all.
Meet Azalea Dabill
I grew up in the hills, building forts in the oaks. Homeschooled, I read fantasy and adventure stories to my siblings. Now I enjoy old bookstores, growing things, and hiking the wild.