Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman: Three books (Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Winter Night, and Dragons of Spring Dawning) that comprise a single story, so I’m reviewing them all together. I’m not usually interested in multiple-author series fantasy, but this trilogy is one of my fiance’s all-time favorites and he wanted to share them with me. These books were inspired largely by a role playing campaign using the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons system. I wish I hadn’t known that beforehand, because too often I caught myself imagining not elves fighting dragons, but people rolling dice. It didn’t help that the map was obviously drawn on hex paper. Luckily, this feeling subsided almost completely after the first book.

This was a nice bit of “bubblegum fantasy” (not my term, and not meant to be derogatory either). Full of stereotypes – the half-breed with torn loyalties, the duty-obsessed knight, the healing priestess, the grouchy old dwarf with a heart of gold, the fearless thief who provides comic relief, the mysterious mage, the huge brute of a man who’s always hungry – but they are comforting and familiar, not shallow and cliche. Likewise with the plot: a group of unlikely heroes go on a quest to save the world. In this case, they are looking for a way to defeat the evil dragons and their minions through the discovery and/or recreation of the legendary dragonlance. Cheesy? Perhaps, but the characters are well-written and the action is almost nonstop. If you like your fantasy traditional and epic, this trilogy’s for you. As for me, no matter what other genres I read and adore, there will always be a part of me that yearns to go a-questing. These books fill that need.

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