Dragonlance

Review: Dragons of a Lost Star by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

Book review of Weis & Hickman’s Dragons of a Lost Star

Dragons of a Lost Star

I picked up Dragons of a Lost Star out of sheer desperation. I had just concluded Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson, and was sorely in need of some familiar characters. Gardens of the Moon presented me with an overwhelming cast of characters, and not enough time to get to know any of them, which is a recipe for disaster in my opinion. What better way to get back to my roots than to throw in a Dragonlance book? And off I was.

Dragons of a Lost Star picks up where Dragons of a Fallen Sun left off, and all the familiar faces are here. To my delight, much of the story follows Tasslehoff, who I’m sure Weis & Hickman have as much fun writing as I have reading. Weis & Hickman combine classic Dragonlance characters, like Tas and Goldmoon, with some of the transitional characters like Palin Majere and Dalamar, along with fairly new characters like Mina and the idea of the One God. It is this blend of old familiar characters and fresh new faces that makes Dragons of a Lost Star such a pleasure to read.

And an easy read it is. The pages of Weis & Hickman’s Dragonlance books have always been easy to turn, and Dragons of a Lost Star is no different. This is a very easy plot to follow, without all the layers of intrigue that weigh down many current fantasy novels. I’m not saying that multi-textured novels are of a lower calibre; not at all. I absolutely love a story with overlapping plot lines and complexity. What I am saying is that Dragons of a Lost Star accomplishes my main goal of reading fantasy novels: to transport me to another world and distract me from the real world for a short time. Dragons of a Lost Star accomplishes this goal, without any additional padding.

Dragons of a Lost Star is a medium to fast-paced novel. While not completely action-packed, there was no point where I felt as if I was trudging through unnecessary background material. Here you’ll find war, love and best of all dragons. So many dragons.

This is a good novel, plain and simple. For fans of the Dragonlance series, this novel is a delight. For newcomers, I’d recommend reading Dragons of a Fallen Sun first, since Dragons of a Lost Star directly continues multiple plot lines from the first novel in this trilogy. But for first-timers, you definitely don’t need to read any of the earlier Weis & Hickman Dragonlance novels to fully enjoy this series.

I would strongly recommend Dragons of a Lost Star to anyone looking for a quick escape. It is easy to read, and Weis & Hickman have certainly still got their touch.

You can purchase Dragons of a Lost Star over at Amazon.com.

Fantasy Book News Ratings

  • Overall: 6 out of 10
  • Plot Originality
  • Setting Development
  • Characterization
  • Dialog
  • Pace

Fan Ratings

Categories: Dragonlance, Reviews, Weis & Hickman | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: Dragons of a Fallen Sun by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

Book review of Weis & Hickman’s Dragons of a Fallen Sun

Dragons of a Fallen Sun by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Ah, Dragonlance.  Dragons of Autumn Twilight was one of the very first non-choose-your-own-adventure-style novels I read, dating back to my pre-teen years.  I’ve still got the original first printing paperback.  Simply classic.  Returning to Krynn is always a fun time for me, having read a healthy dose of Dragonlance in my life.  I’ve made my way through the original Chronicles trilogy, the original Legends trilogy, Dragons of Summer Flame, The Dawning of a New Age, and more recently Dragons of the Dwarven Depths.  I definitely dabbled in a few spin-offs as well, like Galen Benighted and the Preludes II books.  The first six books I’ve read multiple times.  So coming back to Krynn is always a bit nostalgic for me, but with that out of the way I can say I’ll be as fair as I can with this review.

For anyone who knows the Dragonlance world, Dragons of a Fallen Sun will be a welcome return.  Everything you’re familiar with is here, from the non-human cast of elves, dwarves, kender, gnomes, draconians, minotaurs and the like to the warm feeling you’ll get when you return to Solace.  The settings are some of the most well-known and well developed in fantasy books, and range from large cities to open plains to the underground tunnels of the dwarves and the forested protection of the elven lands.

Dragonlance novels are undeniably high fantasy.  Dragons of a Fallen Sun is no different.  You’ve got a fairly standard cast of rebel elves, conquesting dark knights, and mischievous kender.  One of the main differences between this novel and the previous Dragonlance novels I’ve read is the presence of dragons.  Dragons are seen in other Dragonlance novels, but they way in which they are presented as rulers over certain regions of Krynn in Dragons of a Fallen Sun differs from their typical appearances and presence in Krynn.

The novel moves fairly quickly, although one caveat I noticed is that at the beginning of a lot of the chapters, we’re reminded frequently of what the other characters are doing at that very moment.  I personally don’t feel the need to be reminded continually of what else is going on in the novel.  If I do forget (which can happen easily in books like A Game of Thrones), I’m usually delighted to return to a character I had let slip from my focus.  Its actually a tool that some authors use to their advantage, and I felt that with Dragons of a Fallen Sun there was perhaps a bit of a “dumbing down” for mass audiences.  I’m not sure if this is something Weis and Hickman would inject into their story themselves, or if it is a ploy of the publisher to appeal to a larger market.  Either way, its there.

Even though this novel is set about 30 years in the future with respect to the original Weis and Hickman Dragonlance novels, they still manage to work three of the original eight characters from the Heroes of the Lance into the book.  Its a difficult task to do for any author, but Weis and Hickman accomplish it beautifully in a manner that is at times funny.

Overall, while I thoroughly enjoyed my return to Krynn, there has been some opinion in recent years that the quality of the Weis and Hickman novels has declined.  I had my first taste of this with Dragons of the Dwarven Depths, which is an even more recent book than Dragons of a Fallen Sun.  It seems to me that there is a lack of enthusiasm on the part of Weis and Hickman with the recent Dragonlance books, and I would skeptically mention that it could be caused by Wizards of the Coast’s takeover of the Dragonlance books and the entire AD&D brand.  Even though it brings me back to my childhood, I just can’t give high ratings to a book based on personal nostalgia, especially when it can’t compete with some of the other great fiction that’s out there right now from authors like Patrick Rothfuss, Scott Lynch, and Robin Hobb.

If you’re a Dragonlance fan, this book is definitely worth checking out, as there are a lot of familiar characters, settings, and stories.  If you’re just getting started with fantasy novels, but would like to test the Dragonlance waters, I would suggest you start at the beginning with Dragons of Autumn Twilight.

You can purchase Dragons of a Fallen Sun over at Amazon.com.

Ratings

  • Overall: 5 out of 10
  • Plot Originality
  • Setting Development
  • Characterization
  • Dialog
  • Pace
Categories: Dragonlance, Reviews, The War of Souls, Weis & Hickman | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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