THE DRAGONLANCE CHRONICLES by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
Dragons of Autumn Twilight, a classic work of high fantasy, marks the beginning of a remarkable 6-book tale (the Chronicles Trilogy, followed by the even more magnificent Legends Trilogy), which greatly increased the interest in the Dungeons & Dragons game throughout the 1980’s. It certainly does contain more than a few stock fantasy elements (e.g. dragons, elves, dwarves, an unlikely group of friends somehow being chosen to stop the conquest of Evil…). However, the straightforward, simple way in which the tale is told and, even more so, the distinct, “real” nature of most of its characters set it apart from the paperback fantasy pack.
Another wonderful aspect of the trilogy is the title sequence: autumn twilight, winter night, spring dawning. Why? Because this is the timeless pattern of fantasy tales: the strengthening of Evil compels weakened and bickering good forces to unite and strengthen, to become Good so that the glory of life may continue — weakness to death to resurrection, as with each turning year, as with us…
Who can forget the irrepressible Tasslehoff, the conflicted Tanis Half-Elven, or the cynical, ambitious Raistlin as they strive to carry word of the ancient, true gods to a war-torn land? Some of the other companions, particularly Sturm and Riverwind, are a little bland in comparison, and the comic relief with the gully dwarves and the magician Fizban is sometimes too modern-feeling and cute (like the ewoks in Return of the Jedi).
Nonetheless, DRAGONLANCE is worthwhile reading for the fantasy fan, often resounding with the true voice of a legend, greatly assisted by splendid songs and poetry throughout, leading onward into the heart of story, as one of the poems proclaims.
The Dragonlance Chronicles — (1984-1985) Publisher: Lifelong friends, they went their separate ways. Now they are together again, though each holds secrets from the others in his heart. They speak of a world shadowed with rumors of war. They speak of tales of strange monsters, creatures of myth, creatures of legend. They do not speak of their secrets. Not then. Not until a chance encounter with a beautiful, sorrowful woman, who bears a magical crystal staff, draws the companions deeper into the shadows, forever changing their lives and shaping the fate of the world. No one expected them to be heroes. Least of all, them.
DragonLance: Legends — (1986) Publisher: Sequestered in the blackness of the dreaded Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas, surrounded by nameless creatures of evil, Raistlin Majere weaves a plan to conquer the darkness — to bring it under his control. Crysania, a beautiful and devoted cleric of Paladine, tries to use her faith to lead Raistlin from the darkness. She is blind to his shadowed designs, and he draws her slowly into his neatly woven trap. Made aware of Raistlin’s plan, a distraught Caramon travels back in time to the doomed city of Istar in the days before the Cataclysm. There, together with the ever-present kender Tasslehoff, Caramon will make his stand to save Raistlin’s soul. Or so he believes.
Kang’s Regiment — (1996-2000) Publisher: The fearless draconians of the War of the Lance have retired from the field of battle to a pleasant valley in the Kharolis Mountains. Well, it would be pleasant, if it weren’t for some dwarves, whose irritating feuding prevents the draconians from realizing their greatest hope — the ability to continue their doomed race. When the dwarves discover a map leading to a fortune buried in the dwarven kingdom of Thorbardin, the draconians are swept up in a feverish race for treasure. Little do both sides realize that they are part of the strange and terrible destiny descending upon Krynn during the Summer of Flame. A desinty that includes the children of Chaos… the fire dragons!
The Raistlin Chronicles — (1998-1999) Publisher: A mage’s soul is forged in the crucible of magic. Raistlin Majere is six years old when he is introduced to the archmage who enrolls him in a school for the study of magic. There the gifted and talented but tormented boy comes to see magic as his salvation. Mages in the magical Tower of High Sorcery watch him in secret, for they see shadows darkening over Raistlin even as the same shadows lengthen over all Ansalon. Finally, Raistlin draws near his goal of becoming a wizard. But first he must take the drea Test in the Tower of High Sorcery. It will change his life forever — if he survives.
The War of Souls — (2000-2002) Publisher: The people of Krynn have known war in past ages. Some are still alive who remember the triumph of good at the conclusion of the War of the Lance. Still more remember the devastation of the Chaos War, which ended the Fourth Age of the world. But now a new war is about to begin, more terrible than any have known. This war is one for the very heart and soul of the world itself.
The Dark Disciple — (2004- ) Publisher: Amber and Ashes takes up where the War of Souls left off with the central character Mina. While following her story, this new trilogy will also explore the chaos that is post-war Krynn.
The Lost Chronicles — (2006-2008) Publisher: Tanis Half-Elven… Flint Fireforge… Tasslehoff Burfoot… the classic Dragonlance characters are back! Picking up where the first book of the classic Dragonlance Chronicles left off, this tale follows the Companions of the Lance on their adventures following the rescue of the refugees of Pax Tharkas. Flint and Tanis Half-Elven travel to the dwarven kingdom of Thorbardin, while the rest of the Companions confront challenges of their own.
Dragonlance: Young Readers — (2003-2004) Ages 9-12. Publisher: An all-new young reader adaptation of the very first Dragonlancenovels. For the first time ever, the Dragonlance novel that started the entire series, Dragons of Autumn Twilight, has been made available in a format that is perfect for young readers. The novel has been divided into two volumes, A Rumor of Dragons and Night of the Dragons, that are sized to fit the young reader market. These titles contain brand new cover art and interior art.