The people of Krynn have known war in past ages. Some are still alive who remember the triumph of good at the conclusion of the War of the Lance. Still more remember the devastation of the Chaos War, which ended the Fourth Age of the world.
But now a new war is about to begin, more terrible than any have known. This war is one for the very heart and soul of the world itself.
Fantasy novelist who, along with Tracy Hickman, was one of the original creators of the Dragonlance game world. I've written numerous novels and short stories set in the world of Krynn, as well as series in other, original worlds. These include: Darksword, Rose of the Prophet, Star of the Guardians, DeathGate, Dragonvarld, Sovereign Stone, Dragonships, and the Dragon Brigade. I also wrote two paranormal romance novels, Fallen Angel and Warrior Angel, with my daughter, Elizabeth Baldwin. I graduated from the University of Missouri–Columbia and now live in Wisconsin with dogs, Max, Dixie, Joey the Thug and Clancy the Hooligan.
I am currently working on the third book in the Dragon Brigade series, the Seventh Sigil. The first book is Shadow Raiders. The second book is Storm Riders, coming out from Tor in July 2013.
My hobby is flyball racing with my dogs, Dixie, a border collie, and two crackhead Shelties, Joey the Thug and Clancy the Hooligan.
I am the owner of the company, Margaret Weis Productions, publisher of RPGs. Our newest project is creating the RPG for the wonderful TV series, Firefly. Shiny!
This is probably my favorite Dragonlance series from Margaret Weis and Traci Hickman. I love dragons and this one hits all the right chords where that is concerned. I feel like this series is under the radar compared to their more popular Dragonlance books, but for me they outdid themselves here and the writing is phenomenal. If you like dwarves, dragons, wizards, and traditional fantasy in the vein of Terry Brooks, then this one should be at the top of your list of series to read. I've read it about five times since it was first published. Great stuff.
This is the first book of a trilogy and continues the Dragonlance saga. This book takes place after the Chaos War. The gods have left this universe and now huge, great dragons rule Krynn. The inhabitants live in fear. A massive storm happens one night and a young teenage girl appears out of nowhere. She performs several miracles and soon gains a following where she says the one true god is behind her. Meanwhile, Tas is time traveling and might be causing havoc.
This is a terrific start of a new trilogy and it fits within this world. People are living in oppression instead of being able to worship. They are looking for guidance and hope. I am binging this series as they are all rereads for me. What I noticed in this book is how the writing is so much tighter than their earlier works. Even though this book takes place on several fronts I was interested in all of them and was eager to find out what happens. These different fronts deal with different ways of the current world and I enjoyed them. The arrival of Mina differs from the Elven homeland that has cut itself off from the rest of the world. I like the character development of Tas and you cannot go wrong with any book where he is involved. The only flaw with this book is that it is over six hundred pages and it is a set up book. Our characters are in place now for the action to take place. That being said, I was deeply involved in the current state of the world the authors have created.
Nothing is probably going to equal my enjoyment to the "holy six" novels but this is a worthy starting point for this world. If you do use this as a starting point there will be some points that will be lost on the reader. I enjoyed the new characters with some of the old characters and the mystery of Mina. I look forward to the next book.
We've got a terrible problem with Dragonlance, and that's the fact that the first 3 books were so darn good, and they were good because they were so negative and depressing and, well...world-ending.
So you get a real twisted and tough canonical that's hard to do much with. And boy, have they tried just about everything with Dragonlance but throwing the kitchen sink on the cover and having a gully dwarf come up the drain pipe (2016 maybe?)
I like Dragonlance, I just didn't much like this book or the trilogy of books that dealt with a new world and cataclysm. I didn't much like the New Generation.
All in all, why can't I just have a time machine back to the early 80s, when things were simple?
Dragons of a Fallen Sun is the first book in an arc in the Dragonlance series called The War of Souls. This fantasy novel was co-written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman and published by Wizards of the Coast in 2000.
The timeline of the book takes place after the events of Dragons of Summer Flame and the gods of Krynn had abandoned the people. The book is beautifully written and helps the series continue to stand out on it's own within a sea of fantasy novels that follow the same repetitive formulas. This book helps illustrate a land that is familiar to fans of the Dragonlance series in a different light as the land is now ruled by dragons. We are reintroduced to a few familiar characters from the past as well as meet new ones.
This book can be read in order of the series or be picked up as a standalone trilogy. I highly enjoyed this novel and wouldn't mind revisiting it again in the future.
Dragons of a Fallen Sun is the first book of the Dragonlance: The War of Souls series and written by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman in 2000.
Like other Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman novels, reading this book is enjoyable. It is nice to read good novels in Dragonlance world.
Forty years passed after the Chaos War which destructs everything in Dragonlance universe. Dragons have divided the continent and reigning the humans, elves and dwarves. Magical powers are fading and gods have left the world.
But there are some changes, a new god is emerging without a name. Mina who is the priestess of the one god, the Nameless God become the leader of Knights of Neraka which was previously serving to Takhisis.
Tas has traveled from back to the current time and find this future is different from what he has remembered. The previous future world was much better, most of his friends are living, elves have united as a one nation, Palin was the head of the whites. But in this new future everything is destroyed, there is no magic, elves are still fighting each other, Palin become a black etc.
It’s interesting to read a time-travel themed Dragonlance novel.
It took me a little while to get into this book because it starts with characters I don't know and ones who aren't very likable. The story picks up when familiar characters come into play, and then, when Weis and Hickman go back to the characters from the beginning, I didn't mind as much. The other reason this book is only three stars for me, though, is that much of it feels like exposition, not actual storytelling. I want more connection to action, dialogue, and the characters. My favorite parts are with Tasslehoff, Gilthas, and Silvan because those parts have the most immediacy and development.
I think Weis and Hickman do a good job of fitting their own vision for Krynn with Jean Rabe's story line. They're kind of dismissive of some of her ideas, which bothers me, but I understand that she took their characters and world in a direction they may not have liked but had to work with. Still, I grew to really like Rabe's world and characters, so that's a little disappointing.
Overall, I'm curious about this series now. I like the way the different threads come together in the end, and I'm starting to become curious about Mina, a character I REALLY didn't like but one who is starting to make more sense to me now. I still don't care for her, and it's really annoying how everyone instantly falls in love with her and does anything for her. I wish Weis and Hickman developed her power a little bit more and made it less sentimental, but it got better towards the end.
All in all, I recommend this to DL fans, but you might be disappointed if you're expecting a story along the same lines and of the same caliber as the original Chronicles. I think this story does suffer, and there's some repetition and lack of creativity. Hopefully, that changes with book two!
It wasn't a BAD book per say, it's just that the ending left me kind of embittered, and I thought there were a few characters that just absolutely destroyed the book for me (Mina.....)
As a disclaimer, I have always loved the combination of Weis and Hickman, but I couldn't really get behind this one.
Throughout the series, they just kept throwing character after character at the reader, introducing new story arcs, but not doing much with them, and I felt that the ending left quite a few loose strands, and you never get to find out or get any resolution about them. It was well-written, and a couple characters had me empathizing with them, since they had depth and were well developed (Tas and Gerard), and the story being given through the eyes of the evil faction was pretty inventive as well. I wanted to like this book more, but it came short of my expectations.
Though it has been years since I have read this book, I still remember it fondly. Set in the future of the original Dragonlance books it still holds the same quality of writing and the same epic quality. A truly great fantasy read.
Goed verhaal in de traditie van de ouderwetse fantasy. Ridders, draken, elfen en Kenders (geen idee wat dat precies zijn.) Mina is een jonge vrouw die plotseling verschijnt tijdens een ongekend zware wereldwijde donderstorm en zij heeft de gave om mensen mee te trekken in naam van de ware God. Maar er zit een duistere kant aan deze god. En dan heb je nog een aantal jonge mannen, Silvan, Galder (een minotaurus), Gerard en Tasslehoff (Tass) Burrfoot, die naar mijn idee een grote rol in het verhaal gaan spelen, of wel aan de kant van Mina ofwel aan de andere kant. Het verhaal is zich nog aan het ontwikkelen dus door in deel 2
Personal Response: I believe this book is good, but it has a lot of setup for the future. I am hoping the next book will follow more on Gerard and Qualinesti, because there was very little of it near the end. In the beginning I was confused because the story was from many characters point of views, but then they started to meet up and it all came together. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, and possibly going back and reading previous series.
Plot: There are many main characters, but it starts off with Galdar, who meets Mina and restores his sword arm in the name of The One God. Galdar and his troops follow Mina who leads them into battle for a victory against the Solamnics. They then spend most of the book traveling to Silvanesti where they hope to penetrate the shield. Tasslehoff Burrfoot has been dead 30 years, until he uses an artifact to travel forward through time to speak at a funeral. He meets Gerard, a Solamnic Knight who is duty bound to honor a man’s last wish. They travel to Qualinesti to meet Palin Majere and deliver the artifact to him. He wants to meet with a colleague in Solace to inspect the artifact. Palin believes that since Tas went forward and didn’t sacrifice himself, he messed up the past. Palin scares Tas and tries to send him back to his death, so Tas runs away to the Citadel of Light. While their, Goldmoon somehow changed back into her younger self. Beryl discovers the artifact is in the Citadel, and she travels out to obtain it. Silvanoshei is with is mother when they are attacked by ogres, and he is sent to get help from the Legion of Steel, only to get knocked unconscious and fall in a ravine. When he awakes, he is inside of the shield that protects Silvanesti. He then becomes King and learns the politics of court. When Mina and her band of warriors make it into the shield, he captures and falls in love with Mina. She helps him kill Cyan Bloodbane, who was disguised as Glaucous, the elf who maintained the Shield Tree. She then helps him to take down the shield surrounding Silvanesti, but leaves before he can see her. Mina has a large number of forces that are entering the area to help conquer Silvanesti when the story ends.
Characterization: Palin Majere is a broken wizard, and has lost everything. So when Tas shows up with a magical artifact. When he uses the artifact, he doesn’t see any history past the chaos war and blames Tas. He believes that since Tas didn’t die, it caused a rift in time, and yells at Tas to go back and die. When Tas runs, Palin realizes what he has done, and tries to find him to reconcile. He understands that he was too harsh, and tries to calm down in the future.
Marshal Medan is the leader of the Knights of Neraka in Qualinesti, and was sent there by Beryl. He is a strict man, but also has some compassion. He has fallen in love with the Queen Mother, Laurana. He is seen as following what Beryl says, but he likes the people of Qualinesti, so he plots against Beryl. He lets Palin and Tas escape, and makes Gerard his servant. At the end of the book, he arrests Laurana so that he can protect her.
Setting: Dragons of a Fallen Sun takes place in many different areas. They include Solace, Qualinesti, Silvanesti, and even the woods around Silvanesti. Having many different characters make the story jump around from place to place. It takes place after the Chaos War. No definite time or date was mentioned, but it follows some time after Dragon’s of a Summer Flame.
Recommendation: I would recommend this book to high school seniors and up because there is some graphic content. In addition to the graphic content it is an all around difficult read. I would also recommend it to people who enjoy fantasy books and can persevere through parts of the story that are boring.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
The first big trilogy from Weiss and Hickmann since Legends. I have read it once and I think I have tried reading it a couple of times since but not really getting into it - not sure why because this time around, I really liked it. A new player stands on the face of Krynn, Mina, a young girl, follower of the One God. Able to predict the future, heal the sick and look into the hearts of people around her, Mina soon gets a huge following of Knights of Neraka and mercenaries. Meanwhile, Tas suddenly appears in Solace after being presumed dead for 30 years and a young knight, Gerard uth Mondar, travels with him to Qualinest to meet up with Laurana, Palin and the young king Gilthas. Qualinest, being controlled by the dark knights, are not so easily entered but Gerard and Tas manages, setting events in motion they hadn't even dreamed of. In Silvanost, young Silvan, son of dark elves Porthios and Alhana Starbreeze, suddenly finds himself inside the shield the elves have risen to keep out everybody else and finds himself on the throne of Silvanost, a country rapidly dying because of the power of the shield. As always, Weiss and Hickmann manages to keep many storylines in the air at once and keeping you guessing as to what will happen and how it all will come together.
"OK, guys, let's take everything that everybody liked about the Dragonlance setting and get rid of it."
That's essentially what happened with the introduction of the Fifth Age. From what I hear, this same error was repeated in the Forgotten Realms setting nearly a decade later as D&D moved forward into its 4th edition rule set.
Although when I decided Dragonlance sucked now I just started reading Drizzt books, so you know... whatever. I have the young and dumb shelf for a reason.
Dragons of Summer Flame sonlarında hekayənin ucunun nisbətən açıq buraxılması belə bir seriya üçün təkan olub. Bir eranı bitirən və digərini başladan Xaos müharibəsindən sonra tanrısız Krynn və irqlərinin çəkdiyi əzablar. Nə (ya da kim) olduğunu bilmədiyimiz bir tanrı var işin içində, bunu da dayanmadan "Tək Tanrıya dua edin, o sizi xilas edəcək" deyən müridi Mina ilə bilirik. Düzü, mən ciddi spoiler yemişəm bu tək tanrı haqqında :D
The Dragonlance Books had a profound impact on me when I first read them as a kid. I loved the characters and the world of Krynn. The stories shaped who I would become and have had a significant impact on who I am as a reader. I have loved fantasy stories since I read Chronicles.
Coming back to the series felt a bit like revisiting my childhood. One of the best things about these stories is that they are light - they still deal with good vs evil, but do it in a way that is fun. Many fantasy stories have a darkness to them - that I do enjoy, but the world is a dark place right now and these stories are fun without being dark.
I love the new characters - Mina is different from anyone else in the Dragonlance world. Galdar is awesome, and who doesn't love Tas.
The story brings a new threat to Krynn and changes the power dynamic of the world. The struggle is interesting and feels fresh because it is not entirely clear who the real bad guy is.
I had a ton of fun listening to this. The reader has the perfect voice for Tas and narrates the story perfectly.
This is classic Weis and Hickman at their best, building a compelling story that grabs you and keeps you involved from start to finish. I like the new characters as well as the returning characters. If you’re looking for good fantasy, you can’t go wrong with this book or how everything is set up.
Top-notch fantasy. One of my favorite Dragonlance novels. Full of mystery, psychology, humor, politics, and action. Weis and Hickman are masters of writing from the point of view of the evil characters. They are also excellent at creating flawed, ambiguous characters.
This book won't be very enjoyable (or completely understandable) unless you've read most of the prior major Dragonlance novels: at least the Chronicles trilogy, the Legends trilogy, Second Generation, Dragons of Summer Flame, and the Dragons of a New Age trilogy.
Wow! For my first Dragonlance book experience that was great! I commend the authors on doing a stunningly amazing job at creating and developing their characters.
Mina was.... Mina was simply amazing. I loved her from the moment she appeared in a blaze of lightning and hailstorm among the great black monoliths. I cheered for Mina as her Knights did, I worried as Galdar did when her footsteps faltered. Everything about her character was amazing in my opinion. I have to say that I am so enamored with her character at this point that I honestly cannot tell whether or not she is a villain or a hero at this point. All I know is that I'm rooting for her. I want to take up her battle cry with her soldiers and I want to follow her story to the very end. She is so... inexorably charismatic and unyielding. She truly does capture the reader. Galdar was a very good character as well and I am excited to see where he ends up as. He loves Mina but at the same time he speaks against her when he feels its necessary. He has a mind of his own and frequently voices it, if not aloud than to himself at least.
Silvanoshei.... I'm not quite sure what to think about him. While I liked him in the beginning, he quickly became rather moody and tiresome by the end of the book. I admired him in some places, but I am very much on the fence about how I feel about him. I am very curious to learn about his mother, Alhana Starbreeze, and his father, Porthios. I am hoping that when I back track and read the previous books belonging to Dragonlance that I will be able to see more of them. The same goes for Goldmoon, Jenna,Laurana the Queen Mother and this Dalmar (as well as Raistlin) that I keep hearing about.
Gerard... I did not like him one inkling to begin with. He irritated me with his constant brooding attitude and his mistreatment of Tasslehoff. Ultimately, I have to admit that while I do not like him he does deserve, and command, a grudging respect. And Palin? I wanted to throttle Palin and his angst. Tas was amazing though. He was obviously the comic relief and I quite enjoyed it. However, he did bring up some very insightful outlooks throughout the book. He was a funny character, rather adorable I think. I pitied him a great deal, though. I've got to say, I like his Gnome from the Hedge Maze. Really funny.
Overall, it was a great book to start my Dragonlance experience. While I didn't understand all the terms, I quickly began to pick up on everything. The only thing that I fault the authors for is there ocassional habbit of info-dumping. I am not going to complain a great deal about this, though, considering that it was quite useful to me (and probably to other newcomers of the series). I also do not know how much of the information given is common knowledge among the fanbase that has read the previous books either. Once again, awesome book. Sucked me in from the start and I had a very difficult time putting it down.
It's been a long while since I've last touched a Dragonlance novel. After reading many other fantasy books during the interim, I finally can see why many readers desperately wanted the original authors of the Dragonlance novels to write the next trilogy of books and hopefully, beyond that as well. It's definitely not the case that I think the other fantasy authors are not good. It's just that every good author(s) should have a distinctive writing style to make their book unique and both Margaret and Tracy have done an excellent job in reminding me of why I started reading fantasy novels in the first place.
For the most part, the authors have done a pretty good job of filling in the readers of what happened during the Dragons of a New Age trilogy (the one I skipped over). This is very important because events do carry over. In this fifth age, the occupants of Krynn find themselves without magic power for their Gods have abandoned them in order to save them. One of the main focuses in Dragons of the Fallen Sun consists of the elven nations of Qualinesti and Silvanesti. We get to meet new characters such as Mina, Galdar and Gerard (he might have made an appearance in earlier series but I can't remember). Other more familiar characters such as Tas, Palin, Goldmoon and Caramon return as well. It's hard to imagine a world where dragons rule over humans and non-humans as well but yet that is exactly what becomes of Krynn in Dragons of the Fallen Sun.
It's always hard for me to write a review of a book because I always fear of spoiling it. With Dragon's of a Fallen Sun, this is even more so because there are many plot lines and things can get complicated very fast. Suffice it to say, this book is very plot-driven. However, it doesn't get boring at all in my opinion. The one minor gripe I have is with some of the dislikeable characters. At certain times, I feel like wringing the necks of Mina, Gilthas and Silvan. They are not necessarily bad characters, but there's just something irritating about them at times. Mina is a young girl who came out of nowhere one stormy night and quickly awed and shocked an entire army due to her healing powers. Throughout the book, not much information is given about her other than the fact that she's young, has magical healing abilities, is beautiful, and is on some secret mission. Good or evil, you can't really make her out yet you're suppose to think of her as some sort of divine being sent down by some nameless God. Yes, it does get irritating.
The story in Dragons of a Fallen Sun is complicated like I have mentioned above. It's very hard to summarize it in a simple paragraph because there is so many back history to the world of Krynn. Although you technically can choose Dragons of a Fallen Sun as the very first Dragonlance novel you read, I really don't recommend it. The ending definitely sets up a cliff hanger of some sort and many questions are left unanswered until the next book comes around. I've read other reviews stating that the authors did a much better job with some of the dislikable characters I mentioned above so that's definitely a good sign. While I do feel that Dragons of a Fallen Sun is a pretty long book, I don't consider it a drag or bore. I never found myself even having the urge to skip any pages. This I attribute of course, to the awesome authors of this book/series. Long live the Dragonlance chronicles!
The gods have abandoned Krynn, the people on their own, struggling to find their own magic. Faith has begun to flounder and people hunger for something to believe in. Then, Mina, a young girl with close shaven red hair appears, professing the power of the "One God". A god who did not abandon Krynn and was here. From her a cult begins to spring, the power of this god flowing through her and causing her amber gaze to lock thousands in service to her. The forces of light seemed doomed as Mina and her dark horde slowly gain ground. That is, until Tasselhoff Burrfoot, long dead hero of the lance, travels to the present by means of a magic device. When he lands he says that time is wrong. Something has changed the events in time and everything is all wrong. What has changed time?
To discover you will have to read this book, the first in the War of Souls trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, the original authors of the first Dragonlance trilogy along with many follow-ups. This duo has had practice in perfecting the mythology of Krynn and this book is bound to capture those experienced and those new to the universe that is Dragonlance. What happened to the gods? What happened to time? And, what in the world is Tasslehoff doing time traveling again? All these are to be answered in this and the next books in the War of Souls trilogy. I garuntee that once you pick this book up, you won't stop until the trilogy, and quite possibly many more books in the Dragonlance series, sit comfortably read upon your shelves (or e-readers).
This book is among my favorites, the Dragonlance series as a whole easily making it to one of my most cherished series. I assure you that you will, in the end, join me in my love of this incredible fantasy series.
I wouldn't say I was a precocious reader, but once I learned how I fell in love with it. Reading for pleasure was a hobby I developed early, and as it turned out the genres I gravitated towards were fantasy and adventure.
I remember the transitional books I was into between "juvenile" and "adult" reading -- I was a big fan of the Choose Your Own Adventure clone Time Machine which had the audacity to put learning into my adventure stories as they all took place in historical periods, from the time of the dinosaurs to World War II. After I ripped through Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia without getting hung up on the Christian allegory of it, I was teed-up for a career in genre fiction.
I even remember the moment I "graduated" to the adult shelves of the bookstore, as I walked past the Fantasy section and all the colorful cover art, turned out to face the room, caught my eye. One book in particular was emerald green with a cover painting featuring a trio of fantasy characters with a dragon behind them. It featured an elaborate logo that said "Dragonlance" and that's all I needed to dive in. I had my five bucks, I bought the book, pocketed my change, and started reading it on the way home.
It was Dragons of Spring Dawning by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, names I'd never heard before. Eventually I realized that I'd made a hasty mistake in starting with the third book of a trilogy, but that was a problem soon remedied, as I was hooked.
Over the years there have been something like 170 books with that elaborate "Dragonlance" logo on them, by dozens of authors, but I did not stay in that particular pocket long enough to read them all. Through all that content there is one through-line, though, that I did stick with, the line towed by Weis & Hickman via their dozen or so Dragonlance books. These tell the core story of the shared Dragonlance universe (a universe, I later learned, that was also shared with the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game).
This book, Dragons of a Fallen Sun, came out in 2000, some 15 years from the beginning of the Dragonlance Saga and a good decade since I'd stopped reading them regularly (though I did read Dragons of Summer Flame at some point in the mid-90s). Yet it is 18 years since its release that I finally find a nostalgic urge to dip into the world of Krynn again alongside its best storytellers.
Right off the bat, this is not the book to start with if one has never read Dragonlance before. Though it features enough exposition to support its own narrative, it does not engage in world building. This ought to be expected given that it takes place in a world supported by over a hundred novels before its publication. One should at least have read and been fans of the other Weis & Hickman Dragonlance novels; it is not necessary to have read the whole shebang.
As the first release in a new trilogy ("The War of Souls"), Dragons of a Fallen Sun is mostly set-up material. The cast of characters is introduced, some plot wheels are set in motion, and minor short-lived conflicts spring to life and are resolved within its pages. For characters we have a few familiar faces like Tasslehoff Burrfoot (who died 30 years ago), the priestess Goldmoon, the elf matriarch Laurana, and the legendary fighter Caramon Majere. These guys were all key players in Weis & Hickman's original Dragonlance Chronicles and their reappearance seems like fan service, though Tasslehoff does introduce the plot's McGuffin, a powerful magical artifact. There is also Palin Majere, Caramon's son, who has previously featured in Dragonlance fiction; Gilthas, Laurana's son who is now King of the Elves; and Silvanoshei, Gilthas's cousin who becomes King of some different Elves. New characters include Mina, a mysterious young girl who shows up out of nowhere to proselytize her One True God and lead evil armies; and Gerard, a member of the super-honorable Solamnic Knights but who is not all that into it and undertakes a more pragmatic approach to problem-solving than the typical stodgy Knight (a foil, in some ways, to the long-deceased character Sturm Brightblade).
The setting of Dragons of a Fallen Sun is the world of Krynn, a more or less generic high fantasy world of Tolkienesque mythical races, magic, dragons, and a constant futile struggle of good vs evil. The wrench in the gears of the world is that magic is departing, which leaves everyone who relies upon it as their source of power in the lurch. Likewise, the Gods have all departed, taking their divine interventionism with them, leaving priests and clerics to use herbal poultices to heal wounds instead of casting Cure Light Wounds and rolling 1d8.
One piece of exposition that is repeated a few times is how the world of Krynn now has only one moon in its sky, which is different to the three that used to be there. This is of special consternation to Tasslehoff Burrfoot, a fan favorite from long ago who is supposed to have been dead for decades. Instead, he pops into the world and the story to introduce the McGuffin, to provide comic relief and fan service, and to be the reader's surrogate in the much-changed world of Krynn. You see, Tasslehoff has (spoiler) traveled forward through time with the aid of a powerful magical artifact, but the future into which he's arrived is not the future he expected.
I do not know if the Krynn status quo has been well-established by other Dragonlance books leading up to this one but I do suspect that Weis & Hickman perfectly anticipated readers like me who might drop in after a long absence just because of their names on the cover. To that end, Tasslehoff is in the same position as the reader might be, so if he's confused by some fact of the world ("What do you mean Dragons rule the land?"), so are we, and the exposition is provided to both of us. I found this to be a great narrative device throughout the book, which makes it accessible to casual and hardcore Dragonlance readers.
Nothing much happens in this book, which is not to say that it is boring. Rather it is setting up for the next volume in the trilogy, so we spend most of the time meeting the players and setting the contexts; putting threads in motion but not quite allowing them to collide. Mysteries are established and not quite solved. Fights are started but not quite concluded.
The writing is fine. Weis & Hickman have been at it now as a team and on their own for dozens of books over the years. There is humor and heart in it. Overall, it's a fast-paced and smooth read that encourages one to move into the rest of the trilogy (and to revisit some of the older works).
This book was great! I can't think of anything to complain about, try as I might. The writing is solid enough that you don't notice it; the plot is well-woven and inventive. One is kept in proper suspension-tension. The characters are finely-made enough to be believable... It's a "what's not to like?" experience.
I'm tempted to say that this series is the D-and-D'd cousin to George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones, but really I know much better than that. It isn't a masterpiece of that magnitude, but nevertheless, despite (or because of?) its relative lack of sophistication, I plowed through its 600+ pages in a single week. As they say, "I couldn't put it down." I haven't read anything like it before. Other fantasy authors generally attempt to do what Weis and Hickman have done here, and I've never seen them succeed, in craft or in storytelling.
In brief recall, I only see Tolkien and Martin as being better at evoking a fantastic world and its inhabitants, although I grant that the latter authors are on a whole higher level. Weis and Hickman are on a lower level, but perhaps masters of the upper-middle (or lower-high?) echelon.
This book completely surprised me. I wasn't expecting much. But before even finished it, I went out directly to buy 2 and 3; I needed them on hand. I thought this would be a casual read, but it turned into much more.
No soy una persona que se deje llevar por la opinión de la mayoría, porque, seamos honestos, cuando uno opina lo mismo que la mayoría suele ser buen momento para pararse y reflexionar. Pero, en esta ocasión, la mayoría tenía razón. Después de la fallida fase experimental que supuso la etapa de la Quinta Era, el regreso de Margaret Weis y Tracy Hickman a la Dragonlance es digno de echar las campanas al vuelo.
Yo mismo he sido bastante crítico con las primeras novelas que escribió este dúo, pero, en general, la calidad de su obra mejora título a título. Ciñéndonos a la forma y el estilo narrativo, el primer volumen de la trilogía de la Guerra de los Espíritus supera sin duda a las Leyendas y a las Crónicas. A veces a los autores aún se les mete alguna palabra o expresión en la cabeza y la repiten más de la cuenta ("a trancas y barrancas" no debería utilizarse más de una vez en menos de cincuenta páginas y la utilizan tres veces), pero los días de las aventuras dictadas por reglas de juego y tiradas de dados y de las florituras rebuscadas quedan ya lejos.
El contraste entre unas novelas y otras es incuestionable. Por poner un ejemplo, estas son las líneas con las que Weis y Hickman describen en Los Caballeros de Neraka el momento en el que un anciano supera la muerte de su esposa tras un duro periodo de duelo:
"A la mañana siguiente llevó flores a su tumba y tomó un desayuno lo bastante abundante para saciar a tres hombres. Volvió a sonreír y a reír, pero en aquellos gestos se advertía algo nuevo, algo que antes no había. No era tristeza, sino una impaciente nostalgia".
No sé a vosotros, pero, tras ver cómo afectó a mi abuela el fallecimiento de mi abuelo, a mí ese párrafo me toca la fibra sensible.
En cambio, con estas líneas de El retorno de los dragones me da la impresión de estar leyendo el manual del Advanced Dungeons & Dragons:
"Con cada hechizo expira parte de la energía física y mental del mago; entonces, totalmente exhausto, debe descansar antes de poder utilizar su magia de nuevo".
Sí, he escogido aposta la peor frase que recuerdo para reforzar mi postura. Demandadme.
La novela tiene carácter introductorio, pero en ella ya suceden más cosas que en los tres libros de la Quinta Era juntos. Además, todas las tramas, sean más o menos interesantes, tienen un elemento de intriga para mantenerte enganchado; no es la típica novela con capítulos que preferirías saltarte. Weis y Hickman incluso se permiten introducir algunos giros argumentales que, si prestas poca atención, a lo mejor te pillan desprevenido.
Por otro lado, temáticamente, la novela relega a un segundo plano el clásico debate sobre el Bien™ y el Mal™, y se centra en el reto de afrontar cambios. Esto se ve de forma clara en el conflicto principal de la historia, que es que la magia está desapareciendo del mundo.
Es cierto que la magia ya había desaparecido antes, cuando terminó la Guerra de Caos (leed El ocaso de los dragones para saber de qué porras hablo), y de hecho ese inconveniente se resolvió al comienzo de la trilogía de la Quinta Era, con el descubrimiento de la magia salvaje y de la magia mística. La diferencia es que ahora la desaparición de la magia se cuenta como parte de la historia, creando un misterio alrededor de lo que ocurre en lugar de exponer los hechos al margen de la trama y a modo de trasfondo (esto último es lo que hizo Jean Rabe en El amanecer de una nueva era, y ya sabemos lo bien que le funcionó cuando se quedó sin nada que contar en los dos libros siguientes). Es más, la razón por la que la magia está esfumándose en esta ocasión no empieza a desentrañarse hasta el final del libro, y el momento en que se revela el aspecto más superficial de esta incógnita es terrorífico.
Pero si esa clase de misterio os sabe a poco, abrochaos el cinturón, porque detrás de todos los eventos de la novela hay una posible paradoja temporal, aparentemente provocada por un uso irresponsable del ingenio mágico que utilizaron Caramon y Taslehoff para viajar al pasado en la trilogía de las Leyendas. Eso hace que la novela sea un 23 % mejor. Es pura matemática.
Hablando de Caramon y Taslehoff, la novela recupera a varios personajes de la etapa clásica de la saga (incluido uno que dábamos por muerto, porque, como decía Luke Skywalker, "nadie se va nunca del todo"), pero pone el foco en los personajes nuevos. Entre estos últimos, destaca Mina, una muchacha de ojos ambarinos que aparece de la nada en mitad de una tormenta mágica y que, a pesar de tener cero experiencia en combate, se une como jefe de garra a un contingente de Caballeros de Neraka. El pasado de la chica es un enigma, pero dice hablar en nombre del "dios único", hace milagros, y su primera gran hazaña militar consiste en poner fin al asedio de una ciudad.
Si este personaje os resulta familiar fuera de la Dragonlance, probablemente se deba a que guarda un parecido más que evidente con Juana de Arco. No he encontrado ninguna declaración ni entrevista que confirme esta suposición (reconozco haber dedicado menos tiempo a la búsqueda que a escribir este párrafo), pero, teniendo en cuenta el bagaje religioso de Hickman, no me extrañaría que una figura histórica tan ligada al cristianismo le hubiera servido de inspiración para crear a Mina.
Otro personaje que me ha parecido curioso, aunque tenga un papel secundario, es el gobernador militar Medan, un ex Caballero de Takhisis que dirigió la invasión de Qualinesti durante la Guerra de Caos y que ahora gobierna la región con mano dura, pero sin crueldad gratuita. Lo interesante de este personaje es que, pese a no le quita el sueño recortar libertades si con ello garantiza la estabilidad y seguridad de la nación (representa el centro-derecha de la derecha extrema), se ha convertido en un megafán de la cultura élfica, así que prefiere dedicarse a cuidar sus orquídeas y camelias que tener que ajusticiar a elfos rebeldes. La cuestión es, llegado el momento crítico, ¿a quién será leal?
No sé hasta qué punto el trance que supuso la lectura de la Quinta Era ha comprometido para siempre mi criterio, pero este comienzo de trilogía es cuando menos esperanzador.
I picked this up used for a friend and decided to read it before I gave it to him. Weis and Hickman are supposed to be some of the best writers in the Dragonlance series, but I was not impressed. They tell, but don't show, overuse words (never seen the word "restive" used more in a book), and this book should have been significantly shorter. It had been a long time since I'd read any of the Dragonlance novels and I didn't particularly mind that you were supposed to be familiar with the world to know the context of this one, but this book was nothing special with characters I didn't particularly care about.
About halfway through it picked up a lot so I did give the next two books in the trilogy a chance, but once I finished the trilogy I pretty much decided to give Dragonlance a pass in the future.
First off, this is VERY different from all the previous Dragonlance books I have read, and when I say different, I mean DIFFERENT. The world that I once knew has been completely tuned upside down. The government has changed, the laws have changed, the factions have changed, heck, even the land itself has been changed. All of the familiar characters have been completely changed as well. Palin, for one, used to be all heart but now, he is turning into what his uncle Raistlin turned into, deceiving, angry, and hateful.
Now, everything that I just said is why most people hate the books, but I gotta say that it made me enjoy the experience even more. It opened my eyes to just how real this world is, and how everything can be changed with a few small mistakes.
So yeah. This book is awesome! And it even introduced a new favorite character to me, Mina.
Wow. I had to take a moment and a deep breath after this one. This trilogy took me (I'm a little embarrassed to admit) several months to finish. Each volume is so big it could break a foot if you dropped it. This is a very intricate story with many threads woven to make a fine mesh tapestry.
I have been interested in the universe of DragonLance for a long time, and my very first venture into the world of Krynn was the Suncatcher Trilogy by Jeff Sampson (which I'm thinking of reading again, because Sindri). I fell in love with the race of kender, which are kind of like hobbits, but not really.
Then I brought this War of Souls Trilogy into my collection and decided to give it a whirl. My first impression after diving into the first volume was that I would have benefitted exponentially from reading its predecessor series first, as there are many people, places, and events mentioned and alluded to that bear some significance. Albeit the authors did a fair job adding enough detail to give a novice (such as I am) some understanding to keep me from being totally lost, but in the future I would advise starting at the very beginning, because that's a very good place to start. I jumped into an ocean with this DragonLance stuff, because while there are numerous (and I mean numerous) series and trilogies encompassing individual stories, they're all strung up along the timeline of this world of Krynn, which opens with Dragons of Autumn Twilight, first in the Chronicles Trilogy by Weis and Hickman.
So, before you dive into the War of Souls, be smarter than yours truly and start in the beginning instead of somewhere in the middle.
Now, that said, I have to admit I have some mixed feelings about this story. Overall in the grand scheme of things I enjoyed it, but it was the ending that sold it to me. I love me a good ending (I'm not saying anything more about that, because a spoiled ending is the worst). I had some trouble getting there, though, because it took so very long. We follow a bucket load of people scattered across the continent dealing with the myriad of happenings, and to be honest, I really only cared about Tasselhoff's happenings (poor, poor, loveable Tas. I'd read Dragons of an Autumn Twilight just for him). I favored Gerard's bits, too, but those two were my only real favorites.
The overarching theme of this One God seriously creeped me out in the beginning, when I couldn't decide if it was a good or bad thing. The details were so conflicting (which is good storytelling, leaving the reader in the same shoes as the characters as they try to figure out what to think of it). I'm going to spoil that for you and say that it is most certainly a bad thing. There wouldn't be much of a story if it had turned out to be a good one.
Such is life.
Anywho, the diversity of the characters and their varying personalities gives a wide perspective of what's going on, what it means to the world as a whole, and how it affects/will affect the individuals in it. One thing is for certain, not a single person will be the same. Trials can stretch and grow or shatter and destroy. Tas learned about fear and true bravery, Odila found her way through the mire of a troubled heart, Gilthas fought through the pain and responsibility of kingship to lead an exiled people. Mina succumbed to darkness.
Mina is a curiosity for me. Duly mysterious in the beginning, we learned very little about her throughout the story. Outside of her unswerving faith in her One God, she has almost no personality. Her initial impression is one of a capable leader and miracle worker filled with kindness and compassion for everyone, including her enemies, so long as they recognize the One God whom she serves. Then come to find out towards the end that this 'innocent' youth isn't as kindhearted as we've been led to believe. I know that stress and pain can alter a person, but I would think that such a compassionate person would hesitate a little more before doing what she did, might waver a little in the face of the dark truth. But maybe it was all a farce to begin with. An act. Devotion to her god turned this inquisitive girl into a devout pawn and then a bitter and vengeful creature. It would be interesting to see what happens with this new bane in the followup series, The Dark Disciple.
Story aside, I thought the narrative had good points and not so good points. It was wonderfully descriptive, painting vivid pictures, but there were times when I thought this exposition or that one wasn't entirely necessary for the development of the plot. I also found a boatload of typos, but it's not like that ruined the experience for me. The pace was moderate for the most part, kind of slow at times (which is one of the reasons it took me so long to finish, I rarely felt the insufferable need to read more at the soonest opportunity). But it got better in the last three or four hundred pages, keeping me up too late.
All in all I'd say it was a good addition to the DragonLance world, certainly enough to convince me to go back and read from the first.
I read Dragons of a Fallen Sun many years ago but I'd almost forgotten I had. In going back through the original, main series, I assumed I'd forgotten it because it wasn't very good. What a pleasant surprise to discover a quite brilliant fantasy novel of epic proportions. Weis and Hickman's writing is, objectively, better than their first books and they can draw on deep wells of character development and world building. Fallen Sun is packed with descriptions of places, people and events that will be very familiar to you if you've grown up reading Chronicles and Legends. I actually found myself skim reading long passages that told me about the Inn of the Last Home or the history of the Qualinesti or about the Solamnic Knight's Code and Measure. Because of this, Fallen Sun feels unnecessarily long, especially for part one of a trilogy. For someone revisiting this world, however, it provided just the refresher I needed to dive right back in. It felt like an old friend and Weis and Hickman pull a neat trick of mixing the perfect amount of old and new to create a believably continuous narrative which enriches and extends the story that ended so epically at the end of Dragons of Summer Flame.
The new antagonist of the novel, the warrior prophet Mina, is the weakest link. The story jumps between disparate narratives which luckily serves to evoke a sweeping, worldly story rather than a collection of unconnected ones. Next we are introduced to spoilt heir to the elven throne, Silvanoshei, who accidently finds his way back into his kingdom which has laid under an inpenetrable magical dome for years. We also meet Marshal Medan, a dark Knight in charge of occupied elven Qualinesti. He has become enamored of the kingdom and Laurana, mother to the puppet ruler, Gilthas. Finally, we head to Solace, where it all began, where a discontented Solamnic called Gerard discovers a time-travelling Tasslehof in his own ceremonial tomb. Gerard, on the request of the dying Caramon Majere, takes Tasslehof to find someone who can solve the mystery of his appearance and Palin, transformed from his earlier, more heroic incarnations in the Fifth Age books by years of torture and disappointment, realises the significance of a kender who was supposed to have died saving the world. He determines to send him back but Tasslehof isn't entirely sure if he wants to return to his own death.
There are a few problems with the plot. Firstly, time-travel is always problematic. Weis and Hickman messed with it in the Legends trilogy with great success, enriching the history of the world they had created but also permitting almost Dickensian moral questions to enter the narrative. The attempt here is similar and, narratorially, works quite well, backed up by the very fitting characterisation of Palin. As for Tasslehof, he is too inconsistent. He seems to have learned what sadness and trauma are countless times. Many times we've poignantly seen him cry or feel fear. Here we reset the clock. This isn't the Tasslehof that has gone through seven books of heroic adventures. This is the original Tasslehof - great for injection a little humour into the story but irritating because it makes Tasslehof's likeable soul completely ingenuine. His develop over the book would be believable, except for the fact that its the same trajectory he's followed before. It's a credit to Weis and Hickman's writing that the novel is, despite this, a huge success. My niggling doubts were dispelled by how much I was caught up in the story and the mystery. When Palin discovers there is no past, I was genuinely intrigued. It is a major rewrite of what Jean Rabe tells in the Fifth Age books. One has the impression that this trilogy is an attempt to correct and repossess the world that Rabe turned on its head with those book which are, while entertaining, of a much lower quality than Weis and Hickman's work.
So I was happy to go along for the ride. Medan is a fantastically sympathetic character, one in a long line of characters who refuse to place themselves in the fantasy stereotypes of good and evil. Meeting Gilthas, Tanis's son, is a pleasure. Silvanoshei is the most annoying of the new characters but when he collides with rampaging Mina and her evangelical band of Dark Knights we get a spectacular end to the first book. There are so many mirrored events and parallels that it could all seem very contrived and repetitive but, as they showed in their original trilogies, Weis and Hickman know what they are doing. They take their world very seriously and they create moments of portentious poignancy. It is, most certainly, a part one and it is much too long-winded for many modern fantasy fans. It's also no Game of Thrones with grit, violence and shocks on every page, and it's not a woke, innovative, silkpunk. It's very, very traditional fantasy with one notable difference - it's written by great writers who know how to write memorable characters. Laurana is as good as the new Marshal, Palin is as interesting as the anti-Knight Gerard. And maybe it's also good because they don't murder everyone horrifically. Weis and Hickman might not be as popular as Martin, but they might actually be better writers and they certainly know high fantasy better than most.
Weis and Hickman have shown time and again that their major strength is world-building. If the original Dragonlance Chronicles weren't enough, well, the Legends series allowed them to branch out and fill in gaps the original series didn't have time for. They then went on to write the Darksword series and the seminal worldbuilding classic the Death Gate Cycle, in which they create four separate worlds of Earth, Air, Fire and Water each with its own set of rules and political dramas.
Having to come back to Krynn again and again must have been tough for these authors since, by the time this book dropped there were, perhaps 50-70 books published in the series, leaving no room for surprises, and whatsmore publishers had forced them into directions out of their control and followed up by inferior writers (Jean Rabe's previous trilogy was a fun enough read, but just not - understandably - what long time fans had wanted). Having had a brief to destroy everything they'd created in Dragons of A Summer Flame, it seems this time the brief was to try and return Krynn to something a little more recognisable. No easy task since the heroes are mostly dead and buried and the next-generation are getting old too.
Weis and Hickman are good authors and can see the problems and how to solve them, but they can't create magic from this situation. We get a sprinkling of awesome new characters - I especially like Mina, the very mysterious religious fanatic who seems to be able to waltz in and out of every situation unscathed and comes to lead the Knights of Neraka, but there's also Gerard, who admittedly is just another Solamnic Knight but hey, he's also ugly and can't get along with Tas to provide a little humour along the way, and Silvanoshei a would-be leader of the Elves, somewhat assertive though hopelessly naive. We have a sprinkling of returning characters including Laurana, whose effect seems somewhat muted, Goldmoon who actually now has a personality, Tas who is Tas and, y'know what, he does make me laugh a lot, and Palin who has changed from romantic lead to grizzled and embittered old man. Characters in Dragonlance always dealt in types and here we have them, there's no reason to complain.
There are traces of it, but one of the things that make their better novels better is their lack of self-consciousness about how over the top they are. You could argue that Weis and Hickman have grown as writers and the steadiness at play here is an attempt to build a sustained threat to take us through the entire trilogy - and I like it, I really do. Mina's story is certainly compelling, and the idea of the shield around Silvanesti has a lovely visual element to it as well as being a useful plot point on which most of the novel converges. And yet, in an earlier book it would have been a throwaway side-adventure before rattling on to the next and one can't help long for that approach just a little bit. Storylines involving Tas do have a little more forward momentum (this is 600+ pages after all) though mostly involve discovering something and then travelling across the world in order to tell someone else.
This is the first book of a trilogy but rather than wowing readers into picking up the next one with a whizz bang opening, I think that our Dragonlance primadonnas decided that people would be along for the ride and they could take their time to build the story they wanted to. It's not full of surprises, it doesn't play to their strengths but I'm certainly still open to believing this Trilogy might yet be as essential as previous Dragonlance tomes. It's still Dragonlance after all, written by the authors who know it the best.
Es la última semana del 2018, y también es mi última lectura del año. Cualquier libro que comience será parte de la colección 2019; y quizás por este sentimiento melancólico, he decido regresar a un mundo de lectura que me abrazó en mis primeros años de lector empedernido. La fantasía épica es un gran portal al mundo de la literatura, y como muchos compañeros adolescentes, me adentré en las vidas de varios héroes dispuestos al sacrificio por la salvación del mundo. Lecturas iniciáticas como el Hobbit, el Señor de los Anillos o las Ruedas del Tiempo, fueron secundarias en mi entorno debido a que la serie de Dragonlance fueron los primeros en recibirme. Margaret Weis y Tracy Hickman son los autores de “Los Caballeros de Neraka” y creadores del mundo de la Dragonlance. Después de unos 50 años de la guerra de la lanza y como unos 30 de la guerra del Caos, una terrible tormenta cae en todo el continente de Ansalon. La magia casi ha desaparecido y el mundo está bajo el dominio de los inmensos dragones; elfos, enanos y humanos siguen enemistados, prefiriendo mantener sus antiguas rencillas antes que ponerle un alto a los dragones. Sin embargo, esa noche durante la tormenta, sucederían varios eventos que definirían el futuro de Krynn, y quizás arreglar su pasado de una vez. Tas se presentaría de manera inesperada un día antes del sepelio de Caramon, gracias a un artilugio mágico que le permite viajar en el tiempo, para poder hablar en su funeral así como Caramon habló en el suyo. Sin embargo, el discurrir del tiempo no es como lo recordaba Tas: Gilthas no ha unido a los elfos; Silvanoshei, hijo de Porthios y Alhana, no es reconocido como rey de los Silvanestis; Goldmoon ha enviuado hace mucho, Riverwind no cumplió la promesa de envejecer a su lado; Dalamar está perdido y Palin no es líder de los magos túnicas blancas. Los caballeros de Neraka marchan hacia la ciudad de Sanction para atacar los caballeros Solamnicos, cuando una jovencita de escasos 18 años toma mando de la unidad militar salvando a los Nerakianos de una terrible derrota. Según ella, es enviada por el Único para conquistar Silvanesti. Así es como se posicionan las piezas de esta nueva trilogía de la Dragonlance, mientras vemos antiguos personajes aparecer para tomar lugar en la trama general. Siempre ha resultado agradable dar un paseo por tu antigua escuela, y así resulta mi pequeño regreso a este mundo. Divertido por las ocurrencias del kender y el gnomo, así como expectante por la sola mención del mago más poderoso que jamás haya pisado Krynn: Raistlin Majere. Una novela juvenil de fantasía épica dedicado a los fans 90eros de la serie. En cuanto a material literario, es de menor dedicación que Game of Thrones, pero solo ahora lo veo (jeje). Recomendado solo para fans de Dragonlance.