Defying the fate that claimed his evil predecessor, Raistlin opens the Portal to the Abyss and passes through. With Crysania at his side, he engages the Queen of Darkness in a battle for the ultimate prize-a seat among the gods.
At the same time, Caramon and Tasslehoff are transported to the future. There they come to understand the consequences of Raistlin's quest-and Caramon at last realizes the painful sacrifice he must make to prevent his brother's success. Old friends and strange allies come together to aid him, but Caramon must take the last, greatest step alone.
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!
War returns to Krynn. The Dragonarmies are on the march once more. And in the shadows, Raistlin Majere prepares for his ultimate test: the final confrontation with the Queen of Darkness...
Test of the Twins was a surprisingly good ending to the Legends trilogy, just as Dragons of Spring Dawning was a surprisingly good ending to the Chronicles trilogy. Both of those saved their respective sub-series from hopeless mediocrity after very disappointing middle books, and ended up making both trilogies look like the legends of fantasy that they are.
This book still had some of the things I hated about the second book, but some of the scenes in this one were amazing. And of course, it made me look even more forward to start exploring this huge universe for real.
I have now finished the two classic DragonLance trilogies, and must say I am positively surprised overall. I thought it would be a disaster though, so it might be hard not to be positively surprised. Still, these books are amazingly enjoyable even to people who aren't in their early teens.
A very satisfying end to the Twins Trilogy. And great character development for both twins.
Raistlin will always, always be my favorite character in any D&D novel. Period. I keep thinking about who I'd cast as him in a blockbuster adaptation. He has to be super scrawny, sickly, sneering (but super charming) master manipulator. So confident that he can do anything, including walk into the Abyss, kill the Dark Goddess, and take her place? Loki, go away. You aren't good enough for this role. :) You need to be as smart as Moriarty, as ruthless as that jerk from 24, and as confident as Thanos. Who do we have that could fit that bill, anyway? I can't even imagine!
Back to the novel and the capstone of this trilogy...
Test of the Twins is super fascinating, but it's not without its flaws. Or the flaws that I think they are, anyway. I never cared much for Tanis. He gets a lot of facetime here. On the other hand, I absolutely adore the hulking brute of Raistlin's brother now and the smart alec kinder has grown on me. Especially since they did so much time traveling.
The best part is the multiple futures and all the branching paths that had to be corrected. A lot of tragedy, but also a lot of excellent adventure. Dragons galore! Undead! Wizards! Destroyed worlds! Immense magical battles, and tons of mindf***ery. :)
This deserves to be in the fantasy hall of fame. For real. It still remains a good sight better than most of the fantasy that keeps churning out today. That's saying a lot because I think a lot of modern fantasy beats the old stuff. By a lot. :) And weirdly enough, I can count this as a classic despite my prejudice against franchise fiction. It's worth reading, period, if you like fantasy.
This is the final book of a trilogy. I would go far as to say this is the final book of a series as one should include the trilogy before this one as one series. In this one, Raistlin has entered the Abyss to challenge the Dark Queen. He is trying to become a god and what will this mean for the landscape of Krynn?
I loved every page of this book as all the events lead to this culmination. Every few years I do a reread of these books and this book is a great example of why I do it. I believe I went through every emotion while reading this book. There were times I was laughing out loud and then within several pages I was getting the "feels" because of the actions of these characters. This book does a wonderful job of displaying the message of redemption while having plenty of action throughout. The redemption arc is for both twins as we get to see the growth of not only these two characters but all the characters. I am in awe that these authors juggle so many balls in the air and they are all handled perfectly. We get cameo appearances from characters that hit home while so many sub plots interweaved within the main plot.
I might but be gushing about this book but I cannot help it. For me, this book is why we are avid readers. I went through the whole range of emotions while reading this book and I came close to calling in sick for work because I just wanted to continue reading. I love this book and I will begin my countdown to when I can do a reread again of this amazing series.
"Our last hope, thought Tanis - a dark elf. This is insane! It can't be happening.
Leaning against the stone table, he let his head sink into his hands. Name of the gods, he was tired! His body ached, his wounds burned and stung. He had removed the breast plate of his armor - it felt as heavy as a gravestone, slung around his neck. But as much as his body hurt, his soul hurt worse.
Memories flitted about him like the guardians of the Tower, reaching out to touch him with their cold hands. Caramon sneaking food off Flint's plate while the dwarf had his back turned. Raistlin conjuring up visions of wonder and delight for the children of Flotsam. Kitiara, laughing, throwing her arms around his neck, whispering into his ear. Tanis's heart shrank within him, the pain brought tears to his eyes.
No! It was all wrong! Surely it wasn't supposed to end this way!"
Test of the Twins is the final novel in the Dragonlance 'Legends' trilogy. Originally published in 1986, it has enjoyed unusual longevity for a Dungeons & Dragons trade novel - testament to its benchmark quality.
The edition reviewed is the latest release and the first time that the novel has enjoyed a hard cover. Illustrated with the same Matt Stawicki painting that graced the most recent paperback edition, this release continues the hardcover releases of the Dragonlance Chronicles in 2003.
The authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman should need little introduction to fans of Dragonlance, between them they have written all of the core books of the Dragonlance novel line, creating some of the best known and most loved characters of Dungeons and Dragons literature (many of whom, beside the twins - Tanis, Kitiara, Lord Soth, Lord Gunthar, Tika - continue their roles in this novel). They have also collaborated on such projects as the Darksword Trilogy, the Death Gate Cycle, the Starshield novels and the Sovereign Stone Trilogy. They have enjoyed a great deal of success outside of their well-known collaboration with books such as The Immortals and Requiem of the Stars (Hickman) and the Star of the Guardian novels and The Soulforge (Weis).
The Test of the Twins begins where the previous book left off with the unlikely allies, dark wizard Raistlin Majere and the devout cleric Crysania, about to open the portal to the Abyss in order to enter and confront the Queen of Darkness. Raistlin, through his time-traveling endeavors, has assumed the mantle of a legendary evil wizard of past times and is following - literally - in his footsteps on a dangerous path to re-write history in his favor.
Chasing behind Raistlin is his twin brother Caramon accompanied by the kender Tasslehoff Burfoot. Caramon's heart-wrenching quest to save his brother if he can, but to ultimately stop him at any cost is the test that the twins must face.
Although the conclusion of the trilogy, Legends is so closely tied to the previous trilogy that the six books could be viewed as one saga. As the climax, Legends does not disappoint. Gathering momentum and building to a satisfying conclusion, the authors truly manage to make you feel for the characters - both the good and the evil - and as such are able to deliver some truly poignant scenes and genuine tugs at the heart strings.
Test of the Twins serves not only as a gratifying and compellingly exciting climax to the trilogy but also to the story that began six books ago, with the start of Chronicles. If one has invested the time (and you should) to read each of the novels in succession, you are able to truly appreciate the depth of the characters, to care for them and share in their joys and sorrows.
The characters themselves are written with outstanding clarity and development - even Tasslehoff, lovable to some but irritating to others, has evolved beyond mere comic relief to become a sadly mature person scarred by personal loss and grief.
Not really a fumble, but a word of wisdom to the new reader. Do not plan to pick up this book, having read none of the others in this trilogy and hope to appreciate it to its fullest. Although the plot would not be difficult to pick up, the characters and the story deserve to be read in full. Begin with The Soulforge (by Margaret Weis), progress from there to the Chronicles Trilogy and then the Legends trilogy. To do otherwise, would be to do the Test of the Twins (and yourself) a great injustice.
I would highly recommend this and other Dragonlance novels to anyone who hasn't yet discovered them. They are a cut above most of the rest of the Dungeons & Dragons novels, and it was not for nothing that these were the books that began it all. Or, if like me, you have fond memories of these books but have not picked them up in some time - then that time has come. The new editions are beautiful re-releases and the words on their pages more than stand the test of time.
Buy this book if you (a) enjoyed the other books of the Dragonlance Chronicles, Legends, or War of Souls, or (b) enjoyed the Sovereign Stone trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
That's probably the question Raistlin Majere should have asked himself before setting off on his epic quest to take the place of Takhisis, the Dark Queen, Krynn's five-headed dragon god of evil.
But, y'know, mistakes were made ...
So more time travel: After Caramon and Tasslehoff spend some time in the future, they (finally!) return to the present day just in time to meet up with Tanis, who's going to be helping to defend the holy city of Palanthas from the onslaught of Kitiara (Raistlin & Caramon's half-sister Dragonlord) while Raistlin's path takes him to the Abyss itself, in company with the cleric Crysania, for whom he most certainly doesn't have feelings ...
As I said in the review of the first book of the trilogy, this was a surprising follow-up to the original Dragonlance Chronicles -- despite all of the time travel & war &c., it's a surprisingly intimate story of redemption (although exactly whose redemption might be up for debate); and when things reach their end, they are surprisingly melancholy.
This almost got bumped down to three stars, because I cannot begin to tell you how much I still don't care about Tanis and Kitiara, but while the good bits were smaller than in the first two books, they were in some ways even sweeter.
Crysania buys a clue! Caramon manages to find a small bit of balance between total dependence on Raistlin and total repudiation of him! Raistlin remains fascinatingly ambiguous! (Did he stop Takhisis at the last minute because he realized that winning would be wrong, or did he stop because he realized that winning would be no fun at all for him? Does it matter?)
In short, it was a lovely reread of the whole series, and it almost makes me want to plow through the Chronicles again.
"Dragonlance: Legends" is actually a good series. And that's weird, because game-inspired books do tend to suck big time. I give most credit for complexity of Raistlin's character and for the fact that Caramon suffers from PTSD. And that's just great, because too often fantasy heroes tend to be completely immune to distress and we know that human mind doesn't work that way.
After feeling the first book in this trilogy felt rushed and thoroughly enjoying the second one and watching the characters really come into their own, this one took my breathe away and broke my heart. For the first time since I began reading these books, I saw Caramon as more than just Raislin's twin or the brute force of the group - I saw him as a person who has become whole and found himself, which I suspect, is what was intended. The appearances of both Tanis and Kitiara were nice touches and Tasslehoff was written as less of an annoyance than he came off in the previous two books, which I was extremely happy to see. What can I say, I'm a kender loving fool!
But, as has been the case throughout all of the books, my heart was with Raistlin. It was my desire to see if my feelings about him were going to be validated in the end that made me devour this book in one sitting. Throughout the trilogy we've seen him wrestle with his desire for power and the humanity that burns somewhere inside of him which he tries so desperately not to give in to. A being of seemingly total evil, willing to challenge the Queen of Darkness and attempt to take her place amongst the gods, he's done unspeakable things and is past the point of redemption - or is he?
Sequels are rarely as goos as the original. The Legends trilogy is actually better than the original. Raistlin is one of my all time favourite characters and I know I'm not alone here. The relationship between the brothers is heart-wretching. If you love fantasy and have not read this book yet do it now. Classic.
As others have said, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman have created another trilogy that will forever have a seat within my heart next to their The Annotated Chronicles. The final volume of the Twins trilogy, the ending was superb. Test of the Twins weaves in a few old faces to join this volume's roster of main characters - although, again as others have reviewed, I personally could have cared less of their involvement. At first.
That said, at least one old friend is pivotal to the 'good' outcome that Tasslehoff Burrfoot and Caramon Majere desperately work to achieve. More than once throughout the story I find myself cheering on a few characters, and more than a few I inevitably find many giggles escaping my lips. At the risk of sounding like a Tas fanboy, I must admit he creates an endearing synergy between the events around him and the characters he interacts with themselves. Everything is believable (as believable as Fantasy, let alone dragonlance, can go) and vivid in its descriptions and atmosphere.
On the other side of the coin we have Raistlin and Crysania who have successfully entered the Abyss, their goal to defeat Takhisis, the Queen of Darkness. Their test is both mental, physical, and spiritual - however, no less taxing than the test Caramon must face as his brother draws nearer to his goal.
Overall, if everything did not wrap up as solidly and perfectly (again, in my opinion) as it did, I would have gone for 4 stars. However, seeing as all three books went beyond my expectations, I could see myself enjoying this trilogy again and again in times to come.
A very satisfying end to the trilogy. It is true that I didn't get as thrilled as I was while reading the ending chapters of the first two books, but it doesn't matter. This book gave me the satisfaction of finally reaching a conclusion, seeing what happens in the end, and watch everything fall back into place after all the adventures, the triumphs and the tragedies the heroes had to go through.
I was glad to see Caramon get his happy ending, and go home to Tika a changed man, as she had bid him to do. Throughout the books, I was glad to see him become more and more responsible, wise, and finally break free from his attachment to his brother, which did more harm than good to him. Now he's at peace, and as Par-Salian had said, throughout this journey, he did save a soul. His own. And, in a way, Crysania's too.
I was sad for Raistlin's end, even though I can't help but think that he did that final "sacrifice" out of selfishness (as always), and not for the sake of the world, or Crysania, or his brother. He just wanted to prove to himself that he was not emply inside, as well as save himself from the fate that awaited him if he defeated the Dark Queen. I do believe that there are still fragments of good in him, but they are few, and weak, and not enough to redeem him. Nonetheless, I was sad for him, even though I believe this was the way everything was supposed to end.
However, despite all this talk of endings, I myself am not done with the Dragonlance universe yet ;) There are still books to read, places to explore, adventures to be had. I will take a break from this series now, but in the future, I will definately be looking forward to returning to this enchanting world, thrilling stories and beloved characters :)
The third and final book of the Legends trilogy finishes off the series with quite the epic conclusion. Raistlin and his brother Caraman, Tasslehoff, and Lady Crysania have split ways. Raistlin and Lady Crysania enter the abyss to do battle with the dark queen, Takhisis. Meanwhile Caramon and Tasslehoff are thrust forward in time to bear witness to the effects of Raistlin and Crysania's actions. Not particularly liking what they see, they rush back to the present to try and change the future and save the world they love.
This volume is a fast paced epic conclusion that keeps you turning pages up until the very end. All four are faced with decisions that, if made incorrect, could lead to the end of the world. The end shows us that not everything is at it seems, and that people will suprise up until the very last. The only way for a hero to save this day is make an ultimate sacrifice for eternity. Who will be the one willing to give everything they have and could have to stop the end of time?
I am continuely amazed at the characters in these books. They come to life in a way that is seen so rarely. They become your friends and family. You cheer when they succeed and would do anything to stop them from making the mistakes they do. Their development is so seamless and natural that I am continually surprised to find they are not real. As this part of their story ends, we look forward with what is rest of the world to better days, and grieve for those that were lost along the way.
"They just don't seem to understand. They just don't...well...care. It's hard---caring---isn't it, Caramon? It hurts sometimes."
For me, no other quote sums up Test of the Twins as completely as this. Yes, it hurts sometimes; so much so that to care makes the actions of one who dives too deeply into it seem reckless and ill-fated. By caring, one can even seem stoic and aloof, inwardly making choices too painful to put into words.
What began in Solace a smattering of years prior begins anew, this time with agony and regret as heralds to a new adventure with far more on the line than the expected swinging of the pendulum between Light and Dark. A new player, one wholely consumed with his own power and ultimate goal, challenges the place of the gods and wins. It is a victory so complete that death comes to a plane of existence and those that walk the streams of time see their folly, desperate to change where moments of callousness wrote the last lines of a dying world for them. Maybe it's time for the pendulum to stop its course and hang in respectful neutrality.
For those who held on through the War of the Lance, I highly recommend this story, to care a little longer on the path of the twins. They hold the deepest lessons for us all.
Test of the Twins is the third and last book of Dragonlance: Legends series, which was written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman in 1986.
After reading the first two books of Legends series, I’ve been expecting more from Test of the Twins. I expect a different ending for this novel but I could not find what I expected and the end did not satisfy me.
In this novel you will read mostly Caramon’s adventures and also in this novel Tanis and Kitiara has roles. I could not learn what Raistlin is thinking and why he takes the actions in this novel because there are really few parts in this novel and most of them are just shallow parts.
It would be nice to write more on Raistlin’s feelings in this book.
DragonLance: Chronicles and Legends are two trilogies that hold a really special place in my heart. So much so that I can't really divvy them up into separate reviews. I don't even think I could give an objective review of the books.
But if I know this: if I've had to replace a book from over-reading, that's amazing. I've had to replace these 6 books so many times that I keep spare copies around just in case. True story.
Dragons of Autumn Twilight Dragons of Winter Night Dragons of Spring Dawning
Time of the Twins War of the Twins Test of the Twins
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman can do no wrong. The Twins Trilogy is high fantasy at its best. I think this follow up to Chronicles is even better than the original trilogy because they narrowed the focus down to the lifelong relationship between Caramon and Raistlin.
Honestly one of my favorite so far. Enjoyed the enjoyed the whole Legends Trilogy more than I thought I would, as I was not a big fan of Raistlin. Overall my prospective did change and this ended things well between the brothers.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Even though the stakes in this trilogy are probably bigger than the previous trilogy, it never felt as epic or compelling as the War of the Lance. It's still worth a read for any fantasy fan and especially for Dragonlance fans, though.
The opening chapters of this is the best section of the two main Dragonlance stories, and that's because it's the climax of the Legends trilogy even if it's not the climax of this particular installment. If the story had taken that part, skipped the whole middle section, then given us the last few chapters, things would've been fine. That would've left a pretty short book, but still it would've been great; five stars all the way. But no, we get the middle which I consider three star stuff. We leave the Caramon/Rasitlin/Crysania/Tasslehoff story, and deal with a bunch of war stuff reminiscent of the Chronicles trilogy which really just serves as a vehicle to get Caramon to the tower so he can do the cool end of the book stuff. The entire middle section is unnecessary, and I'm sure the writers could've found another way to get Caramon where he needed to be without introducing plot lines that are kind of out of place here.
Tanis is back, and one of the first things he does is faint when he gets the idea of some bad news. Not actual bad news, just something that's thrown out as a possible plan from one of the bad guys. He faints... This is the big hero from the great war? Shee-it.
Also, they show us that the leaders of Krynn (Tanis included) are complete idiots. I literally smacked my forehead a couple of times listening to this.
Aside from that, Tasslehoff was more irritating than usual. Well, I was more irritated by him than I had been though he didn't change very much. I think after six books I had just had enough and was ready for him to be gone no matter how essential he is to good things happening in the end.
We don't see much of Raistlin in this, but his scene at the end is one of my favorites in the whole series. WARNING, THIS IS A SUPER SPOILER. CLICK AT YOUR OWN RISK. Wow, sucks for him, but I probably would've made that choice too. At least the former has variety.
And we have a couple of cool scenes with Astinus who is actually one of my favorite characters on Krynn even if he doesn't really do much. He showed up before anything was made, pulled out some pen and paper, and started writing down what happened. He kept doing this every day and pretty much recorded all history which is kept in his ever growing library. I was a history major in college, and this kind of thing is like a wet dream for people like me; how could I not love the man?
Anyway, if you liked the first two books, keep on keeping on; this won't disappoint... too much.
We're back in the present for this one (after a brief sidetrip somewhen unexpected), as Caramon and Tas race to try to save Krynn from unspeakable horrors, joining forces with an old friend along the way. At the same time, Raistlin and Crysania are fighting their way through the Abyss, in an attempt to defeat the dark queen. Messy? It certainly was (for the characters, I mean, not the book). Again, this was somewhat darker in tone than earlier books set in the Dragonlance world, and there are plenty of Eeek! moments to keep you turning the pages. Curiously enough, I think one of my favourite characters in this second trilogy was probably Dalamar. He's not perfect, he's playing both sides against the middle, and he has a couple of extremely unpleasant things happen to him on the way through. He's a marvellous blend of evil and Trying To Do The Right Thing, and so seemed much more real in some ways, since he's not as firmly pigeonholed one way or another as some of the other characters.
(This review is about the whole trilogy) This is an amazing series. Suffice it to say that I'm not a book re-reader and those three are the only books I've ever read for a second time!! They are that good! In my opinion, (which admittedly was formed when I was much more inexperienced reader and might be a little foggy from the passage of time) this series has everything a reader might expect from a good fantasy read. Very well written and distinct characters, passion, drama, magic, more magic, exotic locations, time travel (oh yes!), frenetic pace, excitement and a grand finale!! Even though this is typically a plot-driven series, the main fuel behind the plot are the characters and their aims and deeper wishes. Seriously, if you're a fan of fantasy, just go read it! You will not be disappointed.
Using Crysania as his shield, Raistlin enters the abyss in search of the Dark Queen. Heedless of the wounds Crysania takes in his stead, Raistlin’s only goal is to kill Takhisis and ascend to Godhood. Meanwhile, Tas and Caramon have traveled forward in time and lay witness to the devastation left behind. But as they journey back to save the world, they will find it isn’t only Raistlin at fault. Kitara has once again taken up the mantle of Highlord, eager to earn her piece of power.
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have shown readers the damage codependency can create when one side no longer needs the other. Readers have witnessed Caramon at his darkest moments, battling to reclaim his life. And while he has come a long way since Time of the Twins, the struggle is far from over. Pitted against one another, Raistlin and Caramon will engulf the readers in a tension filled storyline, rife with action and heartbreak.
Raistlin’s character has always fascinated me. He can be so cruel, yet he will perform small acts of kindness for those who are looked down on. Throughout Test of the Twins, as he makes darker and darker decisions, you keep hoping there is something left behind of the character you once knew. He wraps the reader around his finger, bringing to life a conflict of emotions. I found myself questioning why I was drawn to Raistlin. And yet still as I read, a part of me hoped he would find what he was looking for, even if it meant the end of the world.
And amongst all the tension and conflict, lighter moments are thrown in to draw the reader back from the edge. Tasslehoff has a more prominent presence in Test of the Twins. And you can always count on good old Tas to bring humor. He has a heart of gold and does everything he can to help his friends. His antics will win you over from the moment he steps on the page.
Revisiting this trilogy was such a delight. The characters are wonderfully crafted. And the storyline is filled to the brim with complex relationships, swords and sorcery, as well as timeless world-building. If you haven't given Dragonlance a try yet, what are you waiting for?
Ha estado mejor que el anterior pero no llega ni por asomo a la altura de las crónicas para mi gusto.
En resumen: Tas es un amor, le quiero demasiado, y no dejan de hacerle sufrir, malditos. Pero es él el que salva este libro. Caramon being Caramon, animalito, aunque al menos ha escarmentado. Me he cansado de Tanis (no se podía saber). Y me habría gustado más Raist todavía, aunque las veces que aparecía debo reconocer que quería matarle un poco (bastante). Por último, Crysania va un poco como pollo sin cabeza la pobre.
Ha sido curioso el inicio del libro, no me lo esperaba y me atrapó bastante después de que el segundo me dejase indiferente. Hacia la mitad hubo un tramo aburrido, y el final ha estado bien, creo que es un final apropiado, sin más, aunque en algunas partes fue algo confuso y también anticlimático.
Admito que al principio pensaba en ponerle 3 estrellas porque básicamente me importa nada y menos lo que haga Tanis con su vida y sus pensamientos, pero luego (por fin) volvieron a escena los verdaderos protagonistas de esta trilogía y además dándole un cierre tan genial que ha subido a 4. Sobre la trilogía decir que, aunque la calificación no lo refleje, me ha gustado más que Crónicas. Ese ritmo más pausado y explicativo y ese centrarse en unos pocos personajes hace que puedas saborearlo todo mejor, aunque en el último libro recuperen ese ritmo vertiginoso de acontecimientos. Destacar el gran crecimiento personal de Caramon, se agradece que le den esa oportunidad a un personaje tan noble. Y, como no, Tass te adoro.