DragonLance Preludes II Volume 3 – Tanis the Shadow Years

This is the 18th of the DragonLance books in the order I have been reading them. Honestly, this one was probably the least favorite so far. It could have or maybe should have been a short story.

The book wraps around and meanders for 160 pages easily in bizarre directions that just don’t feel all that well thought out.

The plot is simple, the book takes place during the 5 years between the Companions making the pledge and returning to the Inn of the Last Home to kick off the Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy.

In this book Tanis meets another dwarf, who claims he can introduce him to someone who knew his human father. It turns out a mage who was 1/4 elf, and 3/4 human had met him, and could give Tanis a chance to do the same if he allows Tanis to magically insert him into his memories. The deal is Tanis has to bring forward the memory love of his (the mage’s) life.

The book started out pretty good but then it was like they ran out of story and through in 150 or more pages of just filler “killer hobo” stuff if I can steal that phrase from the playing style some use while playing Dungeons and Dragons.

I finished the book, but I had to push myself to do so in places, and I will finish just about anything.

I would do a video about this one, but I think I have said it all. Out of the books I have read in the DragonLance series (now with more than 200 books) I have liked this one the least, but it won’t cause me to give up on the series.

Yes, I will read and review more DragonLance books, as I do enjoy many of them, but not this one.

DragonLance Preludes II Volume 2 – Flint The King

In Flint the King by Mary Kirchoff and Douglas Niles we follow the story of Flint as he visits his home before the Chronicles trilogy kicks off.

It was really interesting to me because we get a fairly deep dive into the dwarven culture and learn more about their love of crafting and creating things. It is really deeply rooted in who they are.

We open with Flint just enjoying alone (before he travels to his homeland) and realize that he really is aging and not as adventurous as he might have been when he was younger. He is really more the reluctant hero in many ways.

As he travels he finds that this new Seeker group who claim to be religious and offering people chances at and afterlife, claiming to believe in the “new Gods” are really just kind of bullies that take taxes or donations from people that aren’t really all that voluntary. In Flint’s mind that makes them not to be trusted. These religious zealots have none of the healing powers of the clerics of old, and business owners view them as an absolute annoyance.

As he considers traveling to his homeland we find that Flint hasn’t really been around other Dwarves for years, and as he runs into one he finds that things in the homeland aren’t what they were, that annoys him into going and checking it out.

As Flint travels we see that he really doesn’t mind traveling, what bothers him is other people. We get the impression he is really just a recluse who would rather be left along than thrust into some leadership role.

We do in this book learn why he was invited into the Elven homeland and how he met Tania, which was an interesting side bit of his character backstory. It also serves to show just how respected Flint Fireforge is around Krynn.

Once we reach his homeland we find things are much different, his brother has been murdered and the entire village is not as he left it at all. Now change happens but apparently Dwarves are too stubborn to change quickly. That leads to some great action as Flint has to figure out what the heck is really going on.

There is more discussion in the video on my YouTube channel, but all in all this book I really enjoyed. I kept looking for time to read (I may have snuck the book into a football game which annoyed my fiancé just a little). Highly recommended for any DragonLance fan!

DragonLance Preludes Volume 2: Kendermore

I will say a few things about this book.

First, if you are going to pick apart a book for “not being cannon” or “OMG they rode it off the rails” this isn’t for you. It is a book based on Kender for goodness sake.

That out of the way, it is the most fun DragonLance book I have ever read. If you just enjoy the ride, you will love this thing.

First, as the book opens, Tasslehoff is being escorted back to his home because he violated the Kender code, I didn’t know the Kender really had a legal system so to speak, but they do.

Interestingly, it was because he ran out on a marriage vow, but he can’t really remember her name because they haven’t met?

Weird right?

Now, imagine a few things that you will come across in this book.

Imagine being the mayor of Kendermore and trying to get your citizens to pay attention during a meeting.

Try being a human seeking medical help in a Kender village.

Also, always remember, when following a Kender map, don’t believe everything you see.

Another word of advice, when taking a sailing ship, never ever leave Tasslehoff Burrfoot in charge of that process when he is assisted by Gully Dwarves. Imagine that same group trying to get a cart unstuck from the mud. Hilarity results.

Also, in this book, you will find a doctor that treats people with some “magic potion” that is closer to pure alcohol than anything magical.

I can’t say enough good things about the fun of this book. If you have not read it, and it wasn’t one of the more popular books in the DragonLance series you need to. It wasn’t high adventure, it isn’t “the legend of” it is just fun. Enjoy the hell out of it!!

DragonLance Preludes Volume 1: Darkness & Light

If you have been following along I am on a quest to read (hopefully) all of the books in the DragonLance series. Given how many there are, we shall see if I make it.

So far I have read the following books:

Dragons of Autumn Twilight Nov-84 Chronicles
Dragons of Winter Night Apr-85 Chronicles
Dragons of Spring Dawning Nov-85 Chronicles
Time of the Twins Feb-86 Legends
War of the Twins May-86 Legends
Test of the Twins Aug-86 Legends
The Magic of Krynn Mar-87 Tales I
Kender, Gully Dwarves and Gnomes Aug-87 Tales I
Love and War Nov-87 Tales I
The Legend of Huma Mar-88 Heroes
Stormblade Aug-88 Heroes
Weasel’s Luck Dec-88 Heroes
Darkness and Light Apr-89 Preludes

Darkness & Light is the first in the Preludes trilogy. It takes place five years before the War of the Lance in the Chronicles trilogy and gives us much of the backstory we all wanted after reading those books.

This book focuses mostly on Sturm and Kitiara and their travels somewhat assisted by some Gnomes.

The Gnomes always mean well, and are super good at comic relief but they may not always get you where you want to go by the most direct route possible.

We open up with Sturm and Kitiara practicing their swordsmanship with one another. Kit is obviously the better fighter at this point. As they head out on their travels, after promising to return in 5 years (for the now famous meeting in Chronicles) things don’t go really well from the start.

They are traveling along when Sturm learns a valuable lesson. Never ever fall asleep on guard duty. Had it not been for Kit, the Sturm we all knew in Chronicles would have never made it there.

After a little fight, they get caught in a storm that interrupts their travels. They eventually meet some Gnomes that have a strange method of traveling. They have a ship, powered by lightening that happens to fly.

The only challenge is they end up losing control of the ship (go figure) and end up on Lunitari, the red moon!

I won’t go into what they find there but it does foreshadow the war to come in other books.

No shocker, they do eventually find their way back to Krynn, and at the end, we are treated to how it was that Sturm finally received his father’s armor and sword.

I really enjoyed this book, but anything with the Gnomes is always a joy for me.

DragonLance Heroes Volume One: The Legend of Human

While reading the first 9 DragonLance books in the world of Krynn we heard little bits and pieces about Huma. Mostly legend, no one was sure if the stories were true. Now, you can see for yourself.

Huma is human, he goes through the emotional swings everyone does. He is scared, tired, feels defeated, he isn’t sure if he is doing the right thing all the time. He isn’t sure if he can live up to the expectations of a Knight of Solamnia.

There are times he just wants to figure out how to live through the day!

In this book we also meet Magius, and Kaz a Minotaur that Huma befriends and they save one another more than once despite a long standing feud between the Knights and the minotaurs.

I really enjoyed this novel. I think Richard A. Knaak did an amazing job in filling in the blanks I had in the back story of Huma in the time before the Cataclysm.

DragonLance, The Legend of Huma is one to read! You won’t be disappointed.

DragonLance Legends Vol 3 Test of the Twins

Test of the Twins is the third and final book in the Dragonlance Legends trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. It is a sweeping fantasy epic that follows the twin brothers Caramon and Raistlin Majere as they embark on their specific quests.

The novel begins where the previous book, War of the Twins, left off. Raistlin has opened the Portal to the Abyss and has entered the realm of the Queen of Darkness. Caramon and Tasslehoff have been transported through time, including to the future, where they witness the dire consequences of Raistlin’s quest.

Along the way, they will face many challenges, including the Queen of Darkness herself.

Test of the Twins is a classic fantasy novel that is full of action, adventure, and suspense. It is also a story about family, friendship, and the power of love. If you are a fan of fantasy novels, then you should definitely read Test of the Twins.

Here are some of the reasons why you should read Test of the Twins:

It is a well-written and exciting fantasy novel.

The characters are complex and relatable.

The plot is full of twists and turns.

The setting is rich and detailed.

The themes are timeless and relevant.

If you are looking for a good fantasy novel to read, then I highly recommend Test of the Twins. It is a classic that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

Here are some additional thoughts my kids came up with on why you should read Test of the Twins:

The novel explores the complex relationship between the two brothers, Caramon and Raistlin.

It deals with themes of good versus evil, free will versus destiny, and the power of love.

The novel is full of action, adventure, and suspense.

The writing is clear and engaging.

The characters are well-developed and believable.

If you are a fan of fantasy novels, then you should definitely read Test of the Twins. It is a classic that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

It is a fantastic ending to the first six books in the DragonLance series.

DragonLance Dragons of Autumn Twilight Chapter 4, 5

Chapter 4

The Open Door

Flight into Darkness

When we last saw the party in Chapter 3 they were running out the back door of the Inn of the Last Home.

Here they are fleeing into the night’s they try to answer questions about what is going on. Can they trust Goldmoon? Can they trust Riverwind?

Is she and the staff really able to hear people or is it all a trick?

Can the barbarians trust the party of friends?

As they find a place to hold up for the night as the town is being searched they try to answer some of these questions. Is the staff blessed by the gods? Is it a sign of the true gods everyone has been looking for?

All is going well until their hiding spot is found and the party may have to run again because they may have accidentally killed a few more guards. While we don’t get many answers in this chapter it does move fast and it does make us try to figure a lot out, and make us want to turn a lot more pages!

Chapter 5

Farewell to Flint!

Arrows fly. Message in the stars.

They have to flee again. This time they have to get out quickly but all of the roads are blocked by guards searching for whomever is hiding with the blue crystal staff.

The answer is to go across the lake in a boat…except Flint really doesn’t like boats. He has a crippling fear of them thanks to that time Caramon almost accidentally drowned him.

As they are trying to get in the boat, and argue with flint a group of Goblins find them. Arrows fly in both directions! Will Flint go or will he stand his ground and fight?

Raistlin shocks everyone when he casts a spell to solve the problem in one shot. As they finally find safety they look up, and notice something missing.

There are two constellations of stars that are no longer in the sky. That of the Queen of Darkness, and the Valiant Warrior. Have the gods of evil and good come to Krynn to fight for control?


DragonLance – Dragons of Autumn Twilight Chapter 3

Knight of Solamnia

The Old Man’s Party

We find that Kitiara (the twin’s sister) isn’t going to make the reunion but now we also know she is a mercenary and probably pledged to something she couldn’t get out of.

For the first time in the book we meet Sturm Brightblade, seen in the painting traveling with Flint, who walks in the Inn, and everyone instantly recognizes him as a Knight of Solamnia. Strum is oddly proud of being a Knight. The knights themselves have fallen out of popularity as they have corruption issues in the rank and file.

He is accompanies by two barbarians in clothes recognized as those of the Plainsmen.

These two characters are Goldmoon and Riverwind. They are very proud people that Sturm found tired and hungry on the side of the road.  He brought them into town so they could find food and rest.

Throughout the chapter we hear again about Armies massing to the North. But this time we learn they may not be made up of humans. But given the amount of chatter it is obvious something is going on and there is about to be a war, but what kind of war? A war against all living things or is it something else?

As we progress the old man comes back into the story, this time telling stories to kids around a fire. We learn that Dragons have long since left the world and children want to see them (DragonLance did that before Game of Thrones so hush!).

The action really starts when the High Theocrat starts a drunken argument about the old Gods not being true Gods, he gets hurt, the mysterious blue crystal staff shows up (Goldmoon had it). It has magical healing powers that everyone is afraid of! Now the real brawl starts, our companions leave quickly out of the back of the Inn through the kitchen as the local authorities start the search for whomever was responsible for injuring the theocrat and using dangerous evil powers to heal someone!

The real story starts here as the party escapes out the back of the Inn through the kitchen! The authors brilliantly rocketed through character introduction, and combining it with action in these first chapters and thrust us headlong into a story that we can’t wait to experience.

DragonLance Dragons of Autumn Twilight Chapter 2 – Return to the Inn, A Shock, The oath is Broken

In this chapter, we return to the Inn of the Last Home as our setting and learn more about it and Solace, the town where it is located.

The Inn isn’t just a place for weary travelers. It turns out to be the place where local townspeople go as often as they can just to escape, and get some news. Solace is at a crossroads between a bunch of interesting places:

  • Haven, The Seeker Capital
  • Qualinesti, the Elven Kingdom
  • The Barren Plains of Abanasina

The Inn itself is one of those places that is known to everyone around the world. Like most restaurants that gain notoriety, it is known for something food related. In this case Otik’s spiced potatoes. The smell alone is enough to make you want to try them!

Interestingly there is a book called Hero’s Feast that gives a bunch of Dungeons and Drgaons/DragonLance recipes, and I have made those potatoes. They are pretty darn good.

Walking into town Tanis can feel that something is off. It raises the tension of the story just a bit, you can feel the conflict coming.

The Seekers are everywhere. The Seekers are a group of people who “seek” the new Gods.

Interestingly to me the clerics in this religion apparently started out as decent people but in the times when the story is set the clerics have become power and money hungry. Like that would never happen with a religious group or a mega-church at all..Right? Wait, it would? Well crap.

As the trio we met in the Chapter 1 discussion enter the Inn they find twin brothers Caramon and Raistlin already among the crowd.

Caramon is a fighter, pure and simple. He is a huge man with a sword that you would not want to meet on the battlefield.

Raistlin is the polar opposite. A frail man who is a mage.

One brother uses brawn the other uses the brain. The pair can be seen in the painting here along with a large dragon.

The old friends meet, have a drink, and start to catch up when we learn of their sister Kitiara who had pledged to return but didn’t make the reunion. Of course, Flint grumbles and is annoyed by all of this.

In short, what this chapter does is more character introduction, but it does it while moving the story forward. The pacing is amazing, it really does grab your attention and make you want to stay up late reading. Can not recommend these books enough.

DragonLance Dragons of Autumn Twilight – Chapter 1

Dragons of Autumn Twilight

Book 1

Chapter 1

Old Friends Meet – A Rude Interruption

This chapter does a lot to introduce us more to the area around The Inn of the Last Home and brings in three of the major characters for the story. It is a world-building and character chapter but does it with action, it is a page-turner, and a necessary one to really start to dig into things.

It opens with Flint Fireforge, who we learn is a Dwarf, as he decides to take a break from his travels and sits down on a nice warm boulder. Flint, despite being alone, likes to talk to himself. As a dwarf, he lives much longer than humans and keeps to himself, and who better to keep him company as everyone else seems to annoy him.

He is clearly of the opinion that he should have never left his most recent home of Solace, the town where The Inn of the Last Home is found, and that he has missed it a great deal. The surrounding area is beautiful in Flint’s opinion, it has wonderful trees, a lake, valleys, and from his position an amazing azure-colored sky.

As Flint rests along the path leading into town he is met by Tanis, who we learn because it is important to the story, is half elf, half human. The authors are some of the best I have come across at keeping the story moving, so to get us to understand that these two are old friends, they start behaving like old guy friends would, just right away.

Flint looks at Tanis and says, “Why the beard? You were ugly enough.”

Who but two old, very close men would do such a thing?

Well, we learn that being gone for half a decade from one another that they still consider themselves tight. They have also found that there is trouble here in Solce, which they consider to be their home.

We also learn that in the world of Krynn, different people believe in different Gods and are willing to go to War over it. These two have been off looking for evidence of the “true Gods.” So we know all of this will play an important role in the story.

I got the feeling reading this chapter that Flint will grumble about almost anything, who doesn’t have that kind of person in their family? They are grumbly and upset all the time, but you love em anyway. Flint is that person! He is the favorite Uncle, who is always just annoyed.

The two are so in-tune, and always alert that anything out of the ordinary will get their attention, which is when we meet Tasslehoff Burrfoot.

Tasslehoff we discover is from a race of beings called Kender. They tend to be very small, very thin, and almost childlike in appearance. They also tend to annoy anyone. They are known to question everything and be constantly curious. They also have a unique view on property and who owns what, so hold only your money near them, very carefully.

The trio is about to head into Solace for a reunion when they run into a group of Hobgoblins led by Fewmaster Toede, who are acting under orders from someone that the group doesn’t recognize as an authority figure and is searching everyone for a blue crystal staff. Well, the trio doesn’t like that and battle the hobgoblins, and fight together like they had just practiced working as a team the day before. They are obviously old, and very well acquainted friends and adventuring companions.

That, thrusts us forward into the world of Krynn, and three very unforgettable characters. So much more depth in this story and world to come!