Archive for the 'Books' Category

Dragons of the Dwarven Depths

So over the summer my goal was to read Dragons of the Dwarven Depths by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman. It seems kind of odd to make a goal out of just a single book over the summer, but to be honest given that i read so heavily during the school year, reading takes a back seat in my life when I don’t have to. So when I read in recreation, I do it extremely slowly, often just a few pages a day, if that. So the fact that it took me all summer to read it, is not a negative thing against the book, it is just how it reads. I actually started this book the summer previous to this but it was late in the summer and wasn’t able to get very far until school started. So the reason I made it a goal this summer was because I wanted to finish it, and because the second book in the series came out.

This particular book takes place in the Dragonlance saga and is essentially the 1.5 in the series. Meaning that the purpose of this book is to fill in gaps between Dragons of Autumn Twilight and Dragons of Winter Night, the first two books that started the saga over 20 years ago.

Because of this, the book itself expects you to not only read the original Chronicles Trilogy and Legends Trilogy, as well as perhaps at least know what happened in the Majere Chronicles. This actually limits the audience quite a bit, but the book may be in existence for no other reason than to bring back older fans of the series who have left, and to that it may work quite well.

To be honest, I thought the book was quite charming, though by no means deep. It was a friendly reminder of how good this group of adventurers worked together, and how great those original books really were. They brought me back to a better time in the series which really hasn’t been matched since. It is obvious to me that when it comes to Dragonlance, even Weis & Hickman have a difficult time trying to really establish new characters and plot lines that don’t include gods. Most of the W&H books bring back members of the original group, even in their recent Lost Souls trilogy it is about the son of Caramon, the dark elf, Tas, and Raistlain, the dominants of the series.

However, for this book it worked because it wasn’t trying to be anything more than that original trilogy. In addition, where most books in the series tend to deal almost solely on Paladine and Takhisis, this book’s god had much more to do with Roerx whom hadn’t really been explored previously as a personality. For this, I really appreciated the change… it was far too boring with the old two gods and I thought Roerx brought a slightly different perspective to the mix. However, with this they brought betting into dwarven culture, and while it kind of works it never really seemed like something that had been there previously in the series so it felt somewhat out of place… especially for Flint who seemed to take any and every bet that was offered to him for no more reason than it was a bet… if he was like this in the original trilogy, it would have been much easier to deal with the stubbornness…. (I bet you that you won’t get in that boat!)

The other main affect that occurred in this book was a further deepening of the Draconian race, which as it turns out since the original two trilogies, has been the most interesting race of the world.

The book was overall, ok. It was a nice reminder of a beloved franchise that has since gone into the dumps… I think this book was well worth picking up if you’ve read the above two trilogies, but by all means leave it alone if you haven’t… if by chance you decide you like this series, there are many many spoilers for the other 6 books just in this one.