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Dragonlance: Chronicles #4

Dragons of Summer Flame

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The War of the Lance is long over. The seasons come and go. The pendulum of the world swings. Now it is summer. A hot parched summer, such as no one on Krynn has ever known before. The uneasy balance starts to shift.

Distraught by a grievous loss, the young mage Palin Majere seeks to enter the Abyss in search of his lost uncle, the infamous archamge Raistlin.

The Dark Queen has found new champions. Devoted followers, loyal to the death, the Knights of Takhisis follow the Vision to victory. A dark paladin, Steel Brightblade, rides to attack the High Clerist’s Tower, the fortress his father died defending.

On a small island, the myeterious Irda capture an ancient artifact and use it to ensure their own safety. Usha, child of the Irda, arrives in Palathaas claiming that she is Raistlin’s daughter. The summer will be deadly. Perhaps it will be the last summer Ansalon will ever know.

552 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1995

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About the author

Margaret Weis

607 books5,377 followers
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!

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 257 reviews
Profile Image for Jim C.
1,547 reviews26 followers
July 21, 2021
This is part of the Dragonlance universe and tells the story of the children of our heroes from the original trilogy. Basically, this is the next generation's turn to become heroes. In this one, Steel Brightblade is a knight that follows Takhisis. His path crosses Palin who is his cousin and is on the path of good. Meanwhile, there is a new threat to the world of Krynn that even the gods fear and if people do not learn how to fight together they are screwed.

I know this is a divisive book for this universe but I absolutely love it. This is a reread for me and I have a personal history with this book so I might be a little bias. As for the story it is epic. We follow new characters as well as the ones from the original trilogy. Tas is an integral part of the story. I like the message about coming together to fight a larger threat as the world feels like it is in peril. We also get a message about the younger generation stepping out of their relative's shadows and finding themselves in the world. I also like how this feels like the next step in this universe and it is not static. Old characters die (I know readers do not like how this was handled) and new heroes step in as the world keeps moving on. With all this there is plenty of action while giving me "the feels" in certain scenes and making me laugh out loud at others.

I love this book for the story and for what it means to me. I read the "holy six" when I was teenager and it helped form my love for reading at the time. I turned twenty one and I stopped reading as I was busy with other pursuits. I was walking by a bookstore and I saw this book in a window. I had no idea the story was continued and I picked it up. This book brought back my passion for reading which has not wavered since. I owe this book a lot and part of the reason I hold it in high regard. That is why I am bias towards it and it might not be worthy of five stars but it is in my eyes. I look forward to my next reread of this book.
Profile Image for Mir.
4,867 reviews5,033 followers
July 18, 2017
A disappointing and unmemorable add-on to the original trilogy, moving on to the next generation.
11 reviews10 followers
August 9, 2010
Ever hear the phrase quit while you're ahead?

Hickman and Weis were well ahead. They should have quit.

Leaving the Companions to wander off into the sunset was the ending those characters deserved.

Finishing up with the whole 'The Gods didn't leave us, we left them.' idea was just fine.

They had written six really well done, beautifully characterized, interestingly plotted books, which dealt with religious and moral issues in a manner more subtle than most books aimed at younger adults tend to.

And then they wrote Dragons of Summer Flame. I saw another reviewer suggest that this book was written "to nuke" the world they had created. If that's true, they succeeded beyond what could have been their wildest hopes and dreams. They spent 300+ pages abusing their characters, even ones who really should have been well past abuse, and ripping what made their world unique to pieces.

If you loved the Chronicles or Legends, just don't read this. If your favorite character was a certain hour glassed eyed mage, then please, by the love of all that is good and holy, put the book back on the shelf and pick up your old copy of Time of the Twins and re-read that. You'll be much, much happier.
Profile Image for Jenny.
959 reviews90 followers
August 13, 2017
This is a good ending to the main characters' stories. We have the conclusion to the events that truly began in Dragons of Autumn Twilight and to the activities of the characters from the original trilogy. In this novel, we have Caramon, Tanis, Raistlin, Tas, and even Flint and Sturm. There are new characters too, but they are characters brought in through stories in other collections and still connected to the main company. There are Steel, Sturm and Kitiara's son; Palin, Caramon and Tika's son, Steel's cousin; and Usha, Raistlin's daughter (?). Tas, as usual, plays a major role even though nobody ever expects him to.
The one part of this book that really bothered me is .
Other than that, the book is good, but because most of the major characters are new, I didn't feel as invested in them. I still wanted to know what would happen in the plot, and I'm glad I read the book because it's a good bridge story to The Age of Mortals. But it doesn't have the same urgency as the Chronicles, Legends, or Lost Chronicles have.
I still recommend this book. The characters aren't the best, but it's essential to the DL cannon, and it's interesting with some major backstory included along with a concept that I find intriguing to lead into the next book. I also really like the last line: "And in the night sky over Ansalon there burns a new star--a red star--which will remain forever fixed and unchanging, a sign that, even in the Age of Mortals, mankind is not alone."
Profile Image for Keith Bryan.
163 reviews18 followers
January 21, 2011
In short simple phraseology, this book was awful. Our beloved characters were stripped of their dignity and, in many cases, their lives in the most demoting ways imaginable. I agree with Wyrmia Bradley when she says ‘I was so upset by what happened to my beloved Dragonlance characters that I shaved my head and attacked someone's car with an umbrella.’

The authors really messed up on this one. A writer should never explain the end before the middle, which they did this time by killing our beloved characters and now going backward to tell stories of the in-between times of their lives even before Kitiara gets deservedly knocked off.

Overall: I felt disgusted with this story in comparison to the earlier (excellent) books.
Profile Image for Reader Rick.
417 reviews5 followers
May 1, 2014
This book has everything that you would need to make it an exciting and interesting read. All the races on the brink of war either with each other or amongst themselves. All needing to settle their differences and band together, or face total destruction at the hands of an enraged god Chaos.
This is a next generation story with just a few of the original heroes managing to help out here and there. I absolutely enjoyed reading this one and particularly enjoyed the involvement of the Kendar, Tass who saves the day more than one with The Kendar Spoon Of Turning. Frankly. If I had the choice to have a Knight or a Kendar in my party, I would choose Tass.
Read and enjoy.
Profile Image for Joel Norden.
Author 4 books44 followers
July 11, 2018
I've read this book so many times that I've lost count. This is one of those books that I've enjoyed so much, that I feel the need to return to it every few years are so.

While I was never a huge fan of Usha, all the other characters are extremely well done. Some of the Companions show up throughout the book, some minor characters have major roles which is nice to see, and Palin and Steel are just awesome.

I have seen several negative reviews, and I heavily disagree with them. I also noticed a recurring theme in those reviews. Characters from the chronicles growing old, or not shown the respect that should be granted to them. A few even said that Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman should have left them alone after the Chronicles and let the characters enjoy the ending that they deserved.

Not everyone enjoys realism in there books, but I do. Seeing the Companions growing older and the developments that each character has taken is just phenomenal. The choices they made may have angered me or killed me inside, but they made sense and matched the characters beliefs. Tanis Half-elven for an example, in the chronicles I connected with his character so much as I was growing up. I understood where he was coming from, and I could relate to many of his plights. But now as I'm older, I enjoy other characters in the Chronicles a bit more. But in Summer Flame, as a father, I again find myself again relating to Tanis and his struggles with fatherhood. I understand his growth as a character and it's just wonderful.

People tend to nitpick shared worlds, whether it be books or movies-- doesn't seem to matter. Just look at the reviews on the last few Starwars movies and you'll see what I mean. Some of those reviews even match the ones on this book.

I, however, am glad that I got to see these characters as their journey continued.
Profile Image for 'Nathan Burgoine.
Author 48 books420 followers
December 31, 2021
I read this years and years ago, and when I think about it? I still get mad.

So many characters are killed (including two characters off page before the book even begins), some fascinating entries of the various Dragonlance stories get ret-conned, a character who at one point puts forth an impassioned anti-suicide plea in the earlier books throws his life away needlessly, and then everything the original trilogy characters fought so very hard for is more or less tossed aside.

Huh. I thought I was over this book, but I saw it scroll by on the feed as someone had read it, and nope. Not over it.
Profile Image for Greg Strandberg.
Author 91 books93 followers
December 14, 2014
I was not a big fan of this series. I think it was just Wizards of the Coast looking for money, but that's just me. Heck, maybe I even got the dates wrong and Wizards wasn't in charge yet, but gosh darn, you'll do better reading some of the 80s Dragonlance books...you know this.
Profile Image for Dru.
554 reviews
May 30, 2020
I kept meticulous notes while re-reading this in 2020 and was surprised by how much this book annoyed me:

First off, it is shocking to the point of annoying that so many “surprise children” are characters. As written in the original trilogy, these characters would NEVER have had sex:

Sturm with Kitiara
Raistlin with anyone

ESPECIALLY when Kitiara kills Sturm in the original trilogy! In that scene, at that time (according to THIS book) the two of them had a child. But in that scene, NO reference is made, no thoughts or emotions of either character flit back to their liaison or the child they have. Complete and utter bullshit writing.

Second, there are frequent references back to events with these children that didn’t happen in the original two trilogies. If they are codified elsewhere, then this puts an undo burden on the reader. There’s like 800 Dragonlance novels out there. Sure the original two trilogies are a fun read but the world wasn’t engaging enough to make me want to read every other money-grubbing book in the world of Krynn. So, such references fall flat and confusing to the reader of ONLY the original two trilogies. Considering that the NAME of this book ties it to the original trilogy, it’s poor writing to not explain these events when first referenced (example- Caramon saves Steel’s life. When? Where? How? All of that is completely left unanswered)

Then there are the rules of opening the portal, suddenly changed. No longer is it a black robed mage and cleric of good. It’s ANY mage and ANY cleric, provided they are powerful enough. Revisionist history at its worst!

Then there is the forests surrounding each Tower of Sorcery. The one around Palanthas sounds like it has ALWAYS been spooky but that ONLY happened when it was abandoned and the curse cast!

And then the Graygem...suddenly in the middle of the story we find out Palan was on a mission to acquire it some years before. Nice super coincidence...

Speaking of which, Usha meets Dougan Redhammer, the very person who got Palin and his brothers involved in the failed graygem quest just mentioned.

Then there are the dozen or more gods mentioned in this book. From a grand total of FOUR in the original trilogy, we now have a huge pantheon??

As in the original trilogy, gold dragons are mentioned as being in the army but when push comes to shove it is all about the silvers. Just like the blues on the evils side. Boring!!

The death of a beloved character...senseless

More revisionist history: “it’s a story people tell about you” to Raistlin, about him fathering a child. If this story were so well known, where was it in the first six books???

Without any explanation, Raistlin is suddenly devoid of his magic power. A pretty uninteresting character now because of that, though he’s still a dick.

Caramon remains an idiot for forgiving Raistlin

Tika is an idiot for letting Raistlin into her house and letting Caramon go with him

From a general D&D standpoint, spell casting is not the same. Palin can barely EVER get a spell just right and then is exhausted and depressed after casting a spell. Just a stupid way to describe a very common occurrence in any D&D game

Astinus explicitly states he doesn’t know the future in the previous books. Now suddenly he can. And now suddenly he is INFLUENCING people’s decisions, something he was completely against before.

More revisionist history - Huma suddenly had a wizard companion join him in battle! Never mentioned in the entire original trilogy! And who was this wizard? Why Magius, the very owner of the staff Raistlin carries and Palin now carries.

How is Kitiara running around, free of Lord Soth and apparently not dead?

The mechanics of wizard level and spells memorizable and cast able in these books is not D&D standard. How can Palin, at best a 5th level wizard, be given the spellbook of an archmage and be expected to use it?

Dragons come and go from the Abyss secretly? Since when? And why does Chaos’s rift in the world lead to the dragons secret tunnel to the Abyss? Pure luck?

All in all, this is some shoddy writing and not a very good addition to the original 2 trilogies.
Profile Image for Kristy Likeskaleidoscopes.
13 reviews1 follower
October 1, 2017
Not because it’s literary genius laden with complexities and twists, but because the characters are carved out with so much heart that you cannot misunderstand them. 4 stars just because it was such an enjoyable, light read, like the escape it should be for fantastical writings. It made me wish that someone would make a movie out of it.
Profile Image for T.C. Michael.
Author 8 books55 followers
August 29, 2016
When I was a kid, I read the original trilogy multiple times and loved them. In fact, those three original "Dragons of -" books were some of my all time favorite fantasy reads. To this day, they are still in my favorites, even over more modern fantasy. I loved them. Then I found out there was a third installment. I believe it was publishes in '95. I was so surprised that I immediately listened to the audio-book because I couldn't believe I missed it when I was younger. I was excited by this discovery. Well... I listed to the book and did not like it. This can be attributed to many aspects: a plot I didn't care for, getting rid of beloved characters, jumping so far into the future (20- something years), the gods playground, etc. All of these issues combined just did not do it for me, and I was ultimately let down. I fully plan on purchasing the paperbacks of the original 3, but I don't think I will purchase this one.

On a "slightly" positive note, there were things that I did like about the story. These are: the author's writing is still very good, the word choice works and the flow is lovely; some of the characters kept their original personalities, the good moral choices of the son of the knight was a good outcome, and the white mage was a nice twist to being a relative to the black mage. Not many positives go beyond that thought.

There's my five minute review. 2/5 stars.
Profile Image for  ☆Ruth☆.
663 reviews1 follower
July 16, 2017
Most annoyingly I read this book out of sequence [assuming it came next after 'Dragons of Spring Dawning' - it doesn't there's another book in between :(]. However I was already familiar with the characters - and the world of Krynn is always enticing, so I was totally engrossed by the time I'd turned the first few pages. Margaret Weis has the ability to make me feel as if the place actually exists and that magic and dragons are quite normal :)
I would recommend reading the 'dragonlance' novels in sequence as previous events are often referred to in later books and often form the basis for the ongoing adventures of the protagonists. I am now going to read the book I missed out - 'The Second Generation' and will follow the recommended reading order from now on!
I highly recommend this series to lovers of the 'high fantasy' or 'swords and sorcery' genre.
Profile Image for Matt Littrell.
146 reviews1 follower
December 11, 2019
I really love this book. I've read the reviews. "Why couldn't they have just left well enough alone?" They could have. And I'd have been happy. But I'm just as happy they didn't. The only negative for me, especially when we go as far as the War of Souls, is that over time, I really got tired of Tasselhoff.
I love the characters. I love the story told. I love learning a bit more about the gods. I laughed, and I even wiped a tear away a couple of times. This will always be one of my favorite Dragonlance novels. If you like the others, give it a shot. It seems to be very polarizing. Most either hate or love it. But I believe either way, it should be experienced.
Profile Image for Deborah Sloan.
116 reviews32 followers
July 4, 2010
If you haven't had a chance to read any of the DragonLance Saga books I highly suggest picking up a few. They are marvelous reading and this one Dragons of Summer Flame by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman is one of the best because it ties so many of the others together for me. I truly enjoy this series and rank it along with Tolkiens greats for Fantasy.

Though some may find it strange for adults to invest time in this type of reading I see no reason to avoid a little adventure involving dragons, knights, wizards and magic. A bit of Fantasy never hurt anyone. And this series is delightful!
Profile Image for Evan Leach.
462 reviews142 followers
February 11, 2013
This was kind of a weird one. I thoroughly enjoyed the Chronicles trilogy as a kid, but remember being surprised to see that TSR had published a fourth installment to the series (this was a decade after book #3 first came out). Taking place many years after the Chronicles books, Dragons of Summer Flame brings back the beloved characters from the trilogy and...well, no spoilers, but it gets a little grim at times. Weis & Hickman are still able to tell a fun tale, but this wasn't quite up to the caliber of the first three books. 3 stars.
Profile Image for Elar.
1,238 reviews15 followers
November 1, 2014
I probably should not have read/listened this book right after original trilogy, but as some sources named this as a sequel then I did not mind. Lot of time has passed and many new characters with very little background information to deal from beginning, but amazingly it did not matter in this book as tempo is passable and adventures constant. What I still cannot comprehend is writing style in which author just skips over some scenes and does little explanation afterwards what happened.
Profile Image for Colin.
Author 5 books127 followers
March 3, 2023
A bittersweet end to the Chronicles . . .

The Dragonlance Chronicles were not the best written fantasy out there, but in the 1980s, they were almost unavoidable to those who played D&D. This last volume of the Chronicles, published much later and also set decades after the original Chronicles, makes for a bittersweet ending. There is some real fan service stuff here, but it certainly invoked some feelings in me, especially with Caramon, Raistlin, and Tas.
Profile Image for BLynne.
171 reviews15 followers
February 21, 2016
I forgot how much I had missed reading fantasy book and this series. I enjoyed reading about the new characters and learning about the old characters and what had happened to them. I did find one of the new characters, Usha to be rather annoying but I liked the two other new characters Palin and Steel. I was hard to see some of my favorite old characters pass away.
Profile Image for Jeremiah Hebert.
37 reviews3 followers
September 27, 2007
Ah memories. My first fantasy series (other than Tolkien), and man did it suck me in to the fantasy genre. An easy read- I would almost call it mansmut. Classic, reccomended.
Profile Image for Büşra.
375 reviews6 followers
July 30, 2019
Güzeldi ya<3 Palin Usha ikilisi ve Steel güzel bir ekipti. Tabii Tas'ı unutmamak lazım sonra ceplerimiz boşalır filan :D
Profile Image for Tim.
575 reviews81 followers
September 22, 2016
Dragons Of Summer Flame kicks in directly after The Second Generation and thus deals with the new generation of heroes. Those heroes are Palin Majere, Usha Majere and Steel Brightblade, who is a dark knight. Reorx made a graygem, a stone, to capture a bit of Chaos (the father of all and nothing), but in doing so Chaos entirely ended up in there. The stone arrives with the Irda, who are magicians and keep to themselves. There Usha grows up, but she's human, so gets treated as the ugly duckling. The graygem gets cracked by the Irda, but they never realized what it would unleash. And so Chaos, who doesn't like the world of Krynn and its races and all, can now destroy everything.

Usha has to flee to Palanthas, to the Tower Of High Sorcery, to inform Dalamar with a message from the Irda. She doesn't know anything about life, about economics and stuff, about social life. Logical then that she has to flee all the time. The weather is dry and temperatures remain very high, causing drought and alike. Steel and Palin will meet each other on many occasions, as Palin is a captive of Steel. But Steel vowed to return the bodies of Palin's brothers to Caramon and Tika, since Caramon and Tanis saved his life while they visited Sturm's tomb. And so the two cousins then venture towards the High Clerist's Tower to open the portal to the Abyss (ordered by the Nightlord), so Takhisis can come out and play again.

Steel dares not enter the room, gets excluded, has to return to his commander and face death, since he lost his prisoner. Meanwhile Tas and Usha have already has some adventuring, also ending up at Dalamar's place, who learns about Usha and what not. While in the Abyss, Tas and Palin find Raistlin, who has to return to the mortal plains somehow. Or rather, he's not let in again and loses his magical powers as well. Also, the three saw the gods quarrel about the dark happenings on Krynn and how to solve it. A unique experience for mortal beings. The dark knights prepare to attack and conquer the High Clerist's Tower, the best defense of the Solamnic Knights. During that battle, Tanis saves Steel's life (promise to Sturm), but gets lamely killed by a barbarian. Why was this necessary? Sure, Tanis was getting older, but dying like that is just a lame way of getting rid of a character in your story.

Usha is brought to safety by Dougan Redhammer (Reorx) with the Thieves' Guild. During Steel's trial, Tas, Usha and Palin are with Raistlin at the library of Astinus. And there Palin has to choose to go his way for the magic or save Steel's life, which he does. This also allows him to tell Lord Ariakan about the gods. The Nightlord wants Palin and Steel dead, but why? For the betterment of the knighthood, but I wouldn't see why. Because they're not both committed to the dark queen?

In the end, evil and good join forces to destroy/get rid off Chaos, otherwise they will all perish. Tas, Palin and Usha, and Reorx recapture the broken graygem, despite the shadow wights, who turn everyone into nothing and thus out of memory of the others. Steel still has the family battle, mother and father each convincing him to join either side. Meanwhile Chaos has unleashed his daemon warriors (warriors, dragons, ...) via a rift in the Turbidus ocean, which is also his weak point and offers an entry to the Abyss, from where knights are to wound Chaos, so blood can be captured in the graygem. This serves to destroy the artifact and put an end to all doom and gloom. And despite all attacks, it's Tas and his Rabbitslayer knife that deals the crucial blow to Chaos, and so Usha (yes, her) captures the required blood in the graygem. After that, it explodes. Palin and Usha survive, so do Caramon and co, apparently, though that's not explicitly mentioned. It all ends with Flint and Tas coming together again, having an (annoying for Flint) chat, etc...

Final, general words:
It was nice returning to Krynn, see the old heroes again, see how the new ones fit in. But the happenings themselves were far worse than what happened during the Cataclysm and War Of The Lance, which was already very bloody and awful. In addition, several of the old ones die and not even an honourable death at that. What the hell? The book itself is thick (a good 580 pages). It seems this was meant to be a trilogy, but TSR decided otherwise, so the story got truncated to be fit into one volume. And while the writing itself is well done, it does feel like a drag sometimes to read on. And you can indeed feel there is stuff left out just to quicken up the pace. Characterwise, Tas is himself, annoying and curious as ever. But also dies, while striking Chaos the fatal blow with Rabbitslayer. Palin is a good lad, though spoiled and thus never really been through hard times, despite the death of his two brothers. Still, you can sympathize with him. Usha is a nag, a tart. Damn, how she acts like a 15 year old teenager. She's so annoying. And she sort of saves the world. Seriously, what kind of ending is this? Oh yes, Steel also goes to the afterlife after being struck by Chaos.

So, all in all, a very dark story. Nothing much to look forward to. Thread with caution if you liked Chronicles and Legends. The gods are gone (or are they?), it's all up to the mortals now.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Saha.
341 reviews23 followers
June 18, 2022
EW EW EW why is this book? Honestly, what is the point of its existence? We have the fantastic Dragonlance Legends trilogy, followed by the even more fantastic Twin Trilogy... and then this? My disappointment is truly hard to capture atm :(
Profile Image for Christine.
97 reviews3 followers
May 31, 2021
The grammatical editing in this book drives me crazy. The editor REALLY likes commas.

Didn't stop me from shedding some tears at the end though.
Profile Image for Meldelen.
261 reviews24 followers
April 4, 2020
"- Así que no te disculparías, no le pedirías perdón. Entonces, ¿qué es lo que querías decirle?
Raistlin guardó silencio unos segundos. Se había vuelto hacia las estanterías y contemplaba las sombras que envolvían los libros, como observando un momento que nunca tendría lugar.
- Quería decirle que a veces, en mi largo sopor, soñé con ella - dijo suavemente."

Sólo por este momento, este triste, triste libro vale la pena.
¿Y triste por qué? Porque después de la subida constante que suponen las Crónicas y las Leyendas, este cierre es una amarga decepción.
El Ocaso de los Dragones (publicado en original como Dragons of Summer Flame) es la conclusión del ciclo iniciado con las Crónicas de la Dragonlance. Honestamente, no he releído los 6-9 libros que irían entre las Leyendas y el presente que voy a reseñar - serie conocida como Cuentos de la Dragonlance en castellano y publicado como The Second Generation en ingés - porque no los tengo ni nunca los he tenido. No me gustaron lo suficiente como para adquirirlos. Éste tampoco, y obra en mi poder por ser de mi marido, concretamente.
De los Cuentos de la Dragonlance, una serie de historias corta al estilo de los Preludios y otras precuelas y spin-offs, sólo era memorable el momento en que Palin Majere - hijo menor de Caramon y Tika y sobrino de Raistlin - pasaba su Prueba para ser mago. Y eso por la posibilidad de ver de nuevo a Raistlin, que está mayormente muerto aunque la idea de que sobreviviera para sufrir a diario el suplicio de Prometeo a manos de su diosa tiene su macabro atractivo. Al final sólo es una patraña, como ese engendro de historia llamado La Hija de Raistlin, que no sé cómo se les pudo ocurrir a los autores, puesto que le pega al personaje como una zapatilla encima de un televisor.

Pero vayamos al presente volumen, El Ocaso de los Dragones, una duología que comprende los Caballeros de Takhisis y La Guerra de los Dioses. Decía que supone una amarga decepción, y no porque sea malo en sí - la historia es muy original y está muy bien escrita, sino porque los autores sufren lo que yo llamo el SAE (Síndrome del Autor Exitoso) que les ha llevado, básicamente, a escribir un montón de fanservice y a tirar de flashbacks porque ya dan por sentado que los lectores se conformarán con ello.

La historia gira alrededor de la segunda generación de los héroes de la Dragonlance, es decir, sus hijos (o supuestos hijos) y de sus acciones para evitar que Caos, el padre de todos los dioses de Krynn, que ha logrado escapar de su encierro en la Gema Gris de Gargath, destruya el mundo conocido y a todos los dioses con él. Como decía, la historia mala no es. El libro pocas veces se hace aburrido, aunque llega a hacerse, dependiendo del tramo. Tiene cosas muy positivas, como por ejemplo haberse dedicado a fondo a dar más consistencia al contexto social, por ejemplo, de la ciudad de Palanthas, proporcionando más lore y profundidad a la historia, cosa que rara vez han hecho hasta ese momento.

PERO, por desgracia, dan por sentado que, en cuanto a respecta a la caracterización, diálogos y evolución de los personajes, a estar alturas sus lectores son fans incondicionales y aceptarán cualquier cosa. Y no, señores, cualquier cosa no vale, por más que fuisteis estupendos con las Crónicas y maravillosos con las Leyendas. ¿Errores imperdonables? Hold my beer:

1. Traer de vuelta a personajes que ya están muertos. Lo siento, pero según mi modesta visión, esto es un recurso de mal autor. Sí, los quisimos, los echamos de menos, pero están muertos. Dejadlos en paz. Que los saquéis de la tumba no va a hacer que sean mejores o que los queramos más. A veces, el último recuerdo, por doloroso que sea, es el mejor recuerdo que podemos tener de un personaje. Así que dejadlos en paz. Los autores abusan de visiones, de flashbacks, o incluso del retorno físico (it's a kind of magic!) de los queridos personajes del pasado. Y no, es un error, porque ni siquiera juegan un papel destacado o relevante. Sólo están ahí por nostalgia, por fanservice y para servir de motivación a la segunda generación de personajes, que están vivos. NO, NO Y NO. Raistlin estaba muerto, un mártir de su propia ambición, de villano a héroe en un instante, una leyenda viviente para siempre en Krynn. ¿Para qué traerlo de vuelta despojado de su magia, pero eso sí, con toda su mala salud encima, y sólo para que todos le refrieguen por la cara sus muchísimos errores del pasado, olvidando de repente que murió por ellos? Mira que sois malos. Kitiara, Sturm, Flint, están muertos, dejadlos descansar en paz, es muy molesto que los traigáis constantemente de vuelta en visiones o flashbacks. Incluso Tanis, que muere en este libro, es traído de vuelta al poco rato en otra visión. ¡Venga, por favor!

2. Los personajes de la segunda generación no están bien caracterizados, no tienen autonomía ni personalidad propia, no logro quererlos como quise a sus padres. ¿Por qué? Pues porque los autores los han hecho vivir a la sombra de sus padres (o tío). De los pobres Tanin y Sturm Majere apenas me acuerdo, los pobres empiezan el libro ya muertos, y no logro columbrar si se desarrollaron mucho en los Cuentos. Palin Majere es una sombra de su tío, el pobre. Lo digo porque no tiene nada de malo - es guapo, es joven, es valiente, es bueno - y ahí está el problema, es un Gary Stu de libro. Pero vive con las expectativas de ser como su tío, todo el rato comparado con Raistlin, lo cual es absurdo, porque Raistlin es/era incomparable. Su evolución no es creíble, porque sabemos que es un mago mediocre - en el mejor de los casos - y al final lo vemos guiado por su tío, dotado de artefactos valiosísimos como el bastón y el libro de Magius, y haciendo un súper-hechizo OP que hiere a Caos. Venga ya, por favor. No estamos ciegos: la victoria es de Raistlin, que es quien le dirige durante todo el libro. ¿Y esa aseveración final de que es el mago más grande de Krynn? Por favor. Todos sabemos QUIÉN es el mago más grande de Krynn. Y el pobre Palin no le llega ni a la punta de su talón dorado.
Steel Brightblade es Sturm 2.0 y eso que su madre, Kitiara, de repente súper interesada en él - aunque está muerta - intenta constantemente volverlo hacia el mal. Usha "Majere" realmente no es nadie - gracias, autores glorificados, por confirmar que NO es la hija de Raistlin y arreglar un poco este desastre - aparte de ser otra Mary Sue que sólo está ahí para ser un enlace entre los irdas - prácticamente recién sacados de la manga de los autores - y los demás mortales. Ah, y para ser el amor de Palin, claro.
El único personaje decente vuelve a ser Tasslehoff, que, gracias a los dioses, aunque más maduro sigue fiel a su esencia. Y entonces van y lo matan. Y de qué manera. Prisión permanente revisable para Weis y Hickman por hacerle esto.

3. Flashbacks, repeticiones, memorias, nostalgias, explicaciones reiteradas a lo largo del mismo libro de eventos que ya conocemos. Y reencuentros. Muchos reencuentros. Reencuentros tensos. Reencuentros felices. Reencuentros. Y el único reencuentro que no tenemos, el único que yo quería, que yo necesitaba de verdad, nunca ocurre. El de Raistlin y Crysania. Sí, vale, es muy problemático. Es reunir a la víctima y su agresor. Sólo que una parte de mí se resiste a victimizar a Crysania, pues como Raistlin bien dice, ella sabía - mayormente - en lo que se metía, y además, Raistlin es un impenitente, no se arrepiente de nada. Pero sí que lo reencontráis con quien SÍ ha sido la principal víctima de él - su gemelo Caramon -; y esto es un puñetero libro lleno de innecesarios reencuentros por el mero fanservice, ¿no podríais haberme dado éste? Prisión permanente revisable para Weis y Hickman por hacerme esto a MÍ.

En fin, dejo esta diatria porque tampoco solucionaré nada con ello. El Ocaso de los Dragones, y en general, todos los libros dedicados a la segunda generación son un ejemplo de por qué a veces es mejor dejar de escribir sobre lo mismo y dar descanso a tus personajes entrañables. Este epílogo, la verdad, sobraba, para tener esto, mejor nos hubiéramos quedado en las Leyendas. Como dice una amable lectora por ahí, ver lo que Weis y Hickman le han hecho a nuestros queridos personajes da ganas de raparte el pelo y atacar el coche de alguien con un paraguas. Sólo que en cuarentena no debo y además me gusta mi pelo.

SAE. Síndrome del Autor Exitoso. Cuando has triunfado, lo mejor es dejarlo. Y sí aún así vas a escribir más - entre otras cosas, porque te lo mandan los jefes - por lo menos deja a tus muertos en paz. Es la regla de oro.

Huelga decir que ni me he molestado en leer más libros de la Dragonlance a partir de este punto.
Profile Image for Eco.
287 reviews1 follower
March 7, 2017
The end of a grand adventure. I should have been the redhead.
Profile Image for Kevin Rubin.
118 reviews7 followers
November 11, 2012
"Dragons of Summer Flame" is quite an improvement over earlier Dragonlance novels by Weiss & Hickman.

This one we mostly follow a couple of children of the main characters of past novels, Palin Majere, Steel Brightblade and Usha, along with an elderly Tasslehoff Burrfoot as it's their turn to save the world, and possibly more importantly, to learn more about themselves.

Palin has followed in his late uncle, Raistlin's footsteps and become a mage, only a white robed one instead of black, while Steel has followed the footsteps of the father he never met to become a knight, only a black one, dedicated to the evil queen of the gods, instead of a good one dedicated to the good god, but throughout he's tempted by the spirits of both of his deceased parents, including his evil mother, who was a famous military commander and fighter, but opposed to knights, and also the half-sister of Palin's father, making them cousins.

Usha has no idea who here parents were, found and raised by a reclusive race of super-magical, near-humans, but sent away for her safety when they decide to save themselves from Steel's commander's army they have to break open a magic gem they'd captured.

And that breaking sets the destruction of the world in motion, which can only be thwarted by the good and the evil gods, along with their followers on the world they created, joining forces to combat Chaos.

Overall it's better than the previous ones. By killing off the older generation of their characters, they now focus more on characters the pair created after gaining more experience at writing, so they're better formed, and more enjoyable to read about.

Some of it doesn't make sense, like the incredible, disastrous summer actually begins before the event that sets destruction in motion, so no idea what that actually has to do with anything.

There's still lots of inconsistencies, in particular Usha's adopted race, the Irda. On the one hand they're all individual and never do anything together, each individual makes his or her own food, clothing, shelter, magic items, it's extremely rare they even speak to one another because each is so reclusive, with even once-in-a-lifetime mating being something so unpleasant to them they never do it more than once, yet Usha compares them to the major human city and says the Irda don't have a concept of money, they share everything. And when revisiting her homeland later in the book, her reminisces make it sound like the Irda thrived in a pleasant village, like one big, happy family.

Overall, not bad, the series is definitely worth reading when I'm hard up for some good swords & sorcery books… But for someone who hasn't read any of the series, it's not a great place to start, even if it is a better book...
Profile Image for Christopher.
1,390 reviews155 followers
September 2, 2015
Dragons of Summer Flame continues on from the previous book in the series and at the same time weaves further threads connecting them to the earlier Dragonlance books with many of the characters returning though somewhat more aged or popping over from other realms when you least expect them! :D

The odds throughout the book are set at a extremely high level with the story very clearly putting its cards on the table and having the band of extended heroes constantly placed in different racy situations at the same time making it clear that things are already going south more than in any previous book! :D This is illustrated throughout with many of the characters visiting the forge in the sky before continuing on to other as yet unnamed adventures! :D

The plot half way through the book though ramps things up to an even higher level with more unexpected things happening and scale of events increasing with Krynn literally at stake and the unification of all forces which gets characters you would not expect to work together doing that as well as changing the dynamic of the story into that of a roller-coaster ride which is impossible to guess at how it will work out! :D

As ever with the books the humour is present on every page with numerous anecdotes about mages and kender that will have you laughing out loud some of them are extremely subtle and rely on you having read the previous books but will leave you chuckling for ages! :D

The book wraps the main storyline up brilliantly but at the same time leaves things open for the many more books that come after in a very clever way with lots of nobility being portrayed but having this noble spirit completely changed around by the arrival of Kender at the end leaving you the reader grinning even after the action and daring to as well! :D

Brilliant ad highly recommended! :D
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jeff.
12 reviews1 follower
July 2, 2013
If its possible to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, this book represents the single most amazing turn about ever.

Dragonlance was special. It changed people. When it came out, it moved people to care for the characters and started a revolution in fantasy literature. Sadly, it has not aged well and by todays standards, Dragonlance is a curiosity to be viewed as important once, but surpassed many times over since.

and then this appeared. like some steaming pile of dung, this final insult to anyone who cared about Dragonlance in the first place has finally murdered any and all possibility of salvation.

In this book, they take that aforementioned Dung heap and roll it in glitter to hide its origins. This book parades itself as a culmination to the story that had millions of fans enthralled as they first learned of the Dark Queen and her armies of draconians and the ever present threat of failure challenging their morals and to remain true to their principals as the enemy turned on itself in a spectacular clusterfuck of assassination and arrogance. In this however, forget it... didnt work... lets just give up and leave the entire world to the evils that we defeated because, hell, its easier than fighting for something.

Yes, when Gods turn around and say "ahh fuck it, i cant be bothered" you know theres a problem. Hickman and Weis should be smacked around the face with the pile of glittery dung. If this is the ending that took so long, id rather you didnt bother thanks very much. Stick to whatever it is you think youre good at, cos this aint it.
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