When I was 14 I started playing Dungeons and Dragons, specifically Dragonlance. For those of you that don’t know what Dragonlance is all about then I suggest you go to Wikipeida and look it up, because I really cannot be bothered to explain it here. Suffice to say it’s good vs evil, there are some dragons and an unlikely group of hero’s save the day.
Got that? Good.
Anyway it was through role playing I was introduced to the books on the series which (according to the blurb on the back of my collectiors edition*) “have been enjoyed by over a million readers and satisfy the itch for something to read after Lord of the Rings”**, shamefully at this point I had not read the rings and was still in my infancy in terms of reading fantasy novels so I eagerly borrowed the books from a friend.
Now we all know what a double edged sword nostalgia is, on the one hand it can remind of great things from our past but on the other it can blind us to just how much something sucks. In this case my nostalgia for the Dragonlance books made me think they were awesome, in fact they were as good as Lord of the Rings***, so when it came to choosing some books for holiday reading they were the perfect choice, or so I thought.
The following is a short review, followed by a long review or said series. They basically say the same thing so feel free to choose ether depending on your mood.
Short Review: They Suck.
Long Review: I think my brain died halfway through reading this utter crap.
The first thing I noticed when revisiting these “classics” is that Raistlin Majere is basically a grown up Stewie Griffin. In fact if you imagine the voices of Stewie and Chris Griffin for The Twins it will improve your enjoyment of these books no end.
My next observation is why the hell would anyone follow Tanis Half Elven? The man is a self absorb idiot who spends far to much time dithering over even the smallest decision. Oh and surprise, surprise two hot women fancy him and he can’t make up his mind which one to be with. I really sympathies with you mate.
That brings me to my next point. Every woman in this story is the most beautiful woman in the world. I kid you not, read the introductions for each female character, even the minor ones, every guy on Krynn must walk around in a permanent state or arousal cos every woman he meets is a babe. Tika was the hottest barmaid in the world, then we meet Goldmoon who’s beauty outshines the sun (or some such crap) then Laurana is the hottest Elf maiden this side of the Abyss, but wait a minute because Alana Starbreeze’s beauty is beyond compare. Then there is the Silvara, Kitiara and even the stupid Sea Elf Dolphin chick they are all major babes.
Silly me I also forgot the Goddess’ Mishakel and Takisis who are also the most beautiful women you will ever see. Basically if you want to meet hot chicks move to Krynn.
Then there is the bigget crime in the book: Everything interesting happens off screen. It’s like the book had a budget and could only show us so many good bits. We get the rescue of the slaves and the formation of the rebellion, thats cool. But we don’t get the story of finding the good dragons, the story defeating the second Dragon Highlord (complete with interesting sounding frozen dragon scene****) or even the story of how the dude who got his arm chopped off gets a fricken magic silver arm. They are all (and I quote) tales for another time. Instead we get chapter after chapter of Tanis’ self doubt and Flint not dying, actually thats a point all to itself.
Flint takes the who sodding book to die! Which sort of ruins the emotional impact when he finally does pop his clogs.
Finally we have the ending. All our heroes are in the Evil Goddess’ temple and hopeless outnumbered. Tanis decides he can’t save the world so he is going to pretend to be a baddie so he can escape with Laurana (who he is still not sure about, cos you know Kit looks hot in her evil highlord armour). All this is for nothing however because then Rastlin shows up all evil looking, kills the big bad guy himself. For an encore he rescues his brother prevents Takisis from entering the mortal realm and then flies away on a big green dragon.
Well not quite, we get the “reveal” that Fizban is really Paladine, and if you didn’t work that out then I suggest reading something simpler like the Twilight saga. He gives our hero’s a helpful lecture on the mysterious ways of the gods then also buggers off and leaves them deep in enemy territory with no supplies and no obvious way home.
Cracking effort there High god of good!
So in summary don’t read these books, don’t look at these books and for god sake stop me from reading the sequels….
* I was young forgive me.
** that is actually what it says, mind you the quote is from Dragon magazine so it may be a touch bias.
*** Again I was young please forgive me, it’s not like I have worn Crocs out in public or anything, wait, I have done that, just ignore me and get back to the story.
**** We do get a two page poem though, which is also crap.