Tag Archives: michael williams

Before the Mask by Michael and Teri Williams

Before the Mask [Dragonlance Villains Series Vol. 1] by Michael and Teri Williams: This is the story of Verminaard, unloved bastard son of Solamnic Knights, and his road to evil. My husband adores the Dragonlance series and insisted I read this. He’d finished it in a weekend, so surely I, the voracious reader, would speed through as well. He was wrong. Though far from being a bad book, it just didn’t draw me in. Verminaard’s evilness seems to be inborne rather than reactionary, to the point that the supposed contributing factors – the unloving father, the loss of the beloved brother – seem more like asides and much less sympathetic. Likewise with his half-brother Aglaca, who is unfailingly upbeat and loyal for no apparent reason. I understand the story the Williamses were trying to tell, and it took a while to put my finger on what was wrong. Then I realized it was missing a vital element of all great drama: levity. The human experience is not serious all the time. Even in the grimmest tales there is laughter. The unrelenting depression of this book left me frankly unmoved.

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