Adolescent Hero

When I was young and couldn’t read well I didn’t know people looked down on fantasy novels. I thought, I mean, I figured, what other kind of novels were there? I loved the old D&D novels. The ones by R.A Salvatore. He was my adolescent hero. The stories of Drizzt were my favorites and I must have read 12 of the books in the series before I lost interest because the baddies were never really dead and the goodies never really died either. But 12 books in a series is a lot to read–even though the series, last I checked was over 25 books long, and still being written.

When I was a freshmen in high school I took my big R.A. Salvatore books to school and read them in class when I was suppose to be reading course materials in Special Ed. The English classes of Special Ed were so boring I would open my English book and then place my fantasy book on top of it, and they were about the same size, if not width and then instead of reading boring stories about high school kids who didn’t get the bike they wanted for their birthday, or got in trouble for vandalism, I fought dragons with a Drow Ranger (dark elf) and met wizards, faced armies, and the like. But those Salvatore books weren’t only about adventures. Drizzt was a dark elf, or Drow, and Drows were known for their appetite to kill basically everything. But Drizzt was different and fled his homeland and then ends up facing all kinds of prejudices and hurt in his attempt to find a home, a place where he belongs.

Looking back on this, it totally makes sense that I’d enjoy that type of story. I was a freshman in high school, unsure where I fit in, and Drizzt was much the same. I saw a lot of myself in him.

I didn’t know it was nerdy to bring my fantasy books to school. I just liked reading them–why did other people care? Maybe the content didn’t matter. What mattered more was the fact that I wasn’t spending time with friends and trying to be cool–instead I would spend lunch in a quiet classroom and read. And I guess this doesn’t really endear you to others when you’re at that age.

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