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Book Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: The Druid’s Call by E.K. Johnston

Hey all, Sam here.

Tomorrow is the first day of Fan Expo Cleveland, and as this post goes live, we’re checking into our hotel, hanging out, and talking over our game plan for the table setup for the weekend. Since we’re in Artists Alley, we can’t even load-in until tomorrow, but with David and I’s experience with working conventions, I know it won’t take us much time at all to get everything ready.

In the meantime, I’m just going to keep on gushing about the “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” movie. I had looked it up and there are a couple early screenings in Cleveland this weekend, but sadly they are on Sunday at 2pm, and the convention doesn’t end until 5pm, so there’s no way to see it again this weekend…but give it one more week and I’ll be trying to watch it as much as I can.

A few days ago I talked about the other prequel novel, The Road to Neverwinter, and you can find my review at this link, and then there’s also a prequel comic, which I’ll review soon. So today I’m talking about the YA novel prequel, following the tiefling druid who is honestly pretty darn cool.

So let’s jump into the review.

Explore the thrilling origins of the druid Doric in this original prequel to Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.

For as long as she can remember, Doric has felt alone. Abandoned by her human parents, she wandered for years before being taken in by a community of Neverwinter Woods elves. But her horns and tail proclaim a tiefling heritage, and even among the kindest of elves, her fledgling druidic abilities mark her as different from the rangers around her. And as humans begin to encroach farther and farther into the once pristine woods, Doric knows she needs to master her druidic capabilities if she is to be any help to her adopted family. With no means of helping Doric themselves, her guardians see no choice but to send her somewhere she can come into her own.

Tucked among the ancient pines of the Ardeep Forest hides the Emerald Enclave, an order of warriors tasked with preserving the natural world. They fight to maintain balance between the forces of the wild and civilization, and in doing so, protect the sanctity of each.

Among their order, Doric begins to find power in her differences. But not all her fellow initiates are so capable of new growth, and as her training continues, Doric is forced to confront the very beliefs that brought her into the Enclave’s fold. If she’s going to protect her home, she’ll have to reckon with her people, her power, and the walls she’s built to keep herself safe from both.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

I actually really love druids. The first character I played in D&D 5th Edition was a cleric, but the second was a druid. Basically, I rather enjoy playing Wisdom based characters, and because I’m the kind of person to read through the books, I don’t mind a character with complex mechanics, like the druid’s Wild Shape feature.

So I was really excited to meet Doric and learn about her backstory and her druidic training, especially her talent for wild shaping.

And, honestly, this book did not disappoint at all.

We don’t see many tieflings portrayed with normal flesh-colored skin. In most games players and game masters alike seem to prefer any number of colors for these hellish blooded characters…but according to the PHB, most tieflings are flesh-colored or in shades of red. Doric’s tail and horns still make her stand out though, and it leads to a large number of not-so-friendly encounters, as one might expect.

Doric’s human family were jerks, and through numerous flashbacks we saw glimpses of her childhood and her young adulthood, as she was abandoned by her human parents, found a way to survive on her own, and eventually found the Wood Elves who took her in and cared for her. We also get to see her travels to Ardeep Forest to learn from the druids of the Emerald Enclave…which showcases her unique abilities with wild shaping, and helps set up where we meet Doric with the film.

No spoilers for any of that, obviously.

I will say that Doric does encounter one of the others in the movie’s adventuring party, and those were a fun couple of encounters.

Honestly, this book again felt like it was written by someone who understands D&D, who understands Faerun, and who understands the features and mechanics of druids, but who also knows how to portray that in a literary fashion instead of a session recap for a campaign.

Doric is an awesome character, and I loved learning more about her. Reading this book made me extremely excited about seeing her in the movie…..and honestly I can’t decide who my favorite character is. They’re all pretty darn great. There’s humor (and snark) and action and magic and lots of found family vibes.

While you don’t need to read these books before seeing the movie, I think they are definitely worth the read. I’m really happy that I read them, and I look forward to enjoying them again in future. Because a good and fun fantasy adventure is always good for a revisit.

Well, that is all from me for today. Thank you so much for stopping by, and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.


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