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Reviews of 'Theros Ironfeld'

Theros Ironfeld

by Don Perrin
Warriors, Volume 4


Reviews of 'Theros Ironfeld'

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Reviewer: Darlaten

Rating: Stars

Theros Ironfeld is the story of the rise of a man who would one day forge the fabled dragonlances during the War of the Lance. The book was written by Don Perrin and is part of the Warriors Series of books.

Synopsis of Story (Minor Spoilers Ahead)

The story takes place through the lifespan of Theros and is written in five parts. In Book One, the story opens with the Minotaurs raiding the north coast of Nordmarr in order to capture male slaves. The village of Theros has been raided; however, the Minotaurs initially decide not take Theros because he is too young. Theros, on the other hand, volunteers to go with the Minotaurs because there is nothing left for him in the village.

Captain Kavas sees that Theros has honor and courage by voluntarily becoming a slave. Therefore, he takes Theros with him. As the story progresses, Theros saves the life of the captain. While this act doesn't make him any friends amongst the human slaves, it does earn him respect from the Minotaurs. More importantly, Sargas the Minotaur god comes to speak to Theros indicating that Theros will fulfill a grand destiny. Sargas promises that he will visit Theros three times in his life to offer guidance.

During part two; Theros is a slave under the auspices of Hran, a weapons-smith and armorer to the Third Minotaur Army. While here, Theros learns the skills of making weapons. Theros also learns how honorable the Minotaurs are. Part Two is primarily about the Minotaur invasion into the realm of the Silvanesti elves.

The battle, unfortunately, does not go well but Theros manages to save the life of a Minotaur named Huluk. Because of this deed, Huluk grants Theros freedom from being a slave. Also, Huluk makes Theros a member of his clan—an act almost unheard of in Minotaur circles. While in Mithas, Theros continues his weapons-smith training with Hrans brother Hrall. After making enough money, Theros leaves Mithas to explore the mainland.

During Part Three, Theros has begun to make a name for himself as a weapons-smith. He moves to Sanction to set up shop. Sanction, in the mean time, is under the command of Baron Moorgoth. This Baron is planning on building his army in order to strike at various villages and towns in order to acquire treasure. Theros is hired on as a weapons-smith for this army.

Theros does not want to work for the army; however, his forge is destroyed under suspicious circumstances. Consequently, without any money or a forge, Theros joins with the Baron. At this point, we also meet Theros's young apprentice Yuri. He is a small, capable human who possesses some skill as a weapons-smith. Theros is genuinely impressed with Yuri—but is unable to express this to him. He treats Yuri as he was treated as a slave.

While moving north of Sanction, the Baron's army begins to rampage the area. Theros starts to have doubts about the army and the Baron. Instead of doing anything however, he turns his back and looks the other way. He keeps on telling himself that because he is getting paid with lots of money, he doesn't need to worry about the misdeeds of the army.

When the army fights with the Knights of Solamnia, Theros finally recognizes how horrible the Baron truly is. He escapes from the army only to be confronted by Sargas. Sargas is not pleased by what Theros has done or, more specifically, failed to do.

In Part Four, Theros starts his journey to Solace. On the way he encounters the Qualinesti elves. Under the leadership of Gilthanas, the elves are fighting Lord Verminaard while at the same time trying to flee to Qualimori. (See Chronicles Trilogy for more info). Theros agrees to help the elves in their flight by building ships to help transport the elves.

In the last part of the book (Part Five) Theros has finally arrived in Solace to set up shop. He ends up creating weapons for Henderick, the High Theocrat (see Henderick, the Theocrat by Ellen Dodge Severson for more info). Theros notices odd things about the weapons he is making—they are to big for the average hobgoblin or human. Thus, he finds that Henderick is trading weapons to Baron Moorgoth and Lord Verminnard who, in turn, are supplying them to the new race of creatures—the Draconians.

As tensions continue the rise in Solace, Theros sees the Companions after their return from their five-year separation. After the Companions escape Solace, the town is burned and overrun by Dragons and Draconians. Theros, finally realizing that he can no longer stand apart from the events of the world, defends the town of Solace only to be struck down and have his arm cut off.

Sargas intervenes and tells Theros that he is no longer a disciple to him; although Theros has acted honorably. Theros is introduced to the other gods of Krynn with the exception of the Dark Queen and Paladine. He ends up selecting Mishakal as his god to serve.

The book ends with Theros being transported in a prison cart with Goldmoon and Tanis. However, Theros's story is far from over. Mishakal herself has said that Theros would one day make a difference to the world.

What I liked about the story:

  1. Don Perrin provides a superb example of Minotaur life. The description of the ways in which Minotaurs view each other and the ways in which honor matter to them was excellent. Also, the explanation of how the Supreme Circle governs Mithas and Kothas was very informative.
  2. Huluk, the Minotaur is an impressive, intriguing, character. When first introduced, Huluk is a mean character that despises Theros because he is a slave. However, he soon learns that it doesn't matter what race you are—instead, it's your actions that matter. Theros was a slave who saved Huluk's life. This action shows Huluk that all creatures can be honorable.
  3. The inclusion of a number of chapters devoted to Gilthanas was a huge surprise. His character portrayal is nearly identical to his character portrayal from the Chronicles Trilogy and from the Odyssey of Gilthanas. It was also nice to see Gilthanas's early days when he clearly was not impressed with the developing relationship between Tanis and Laurana. While the focus of this book is not on Gilthanas, the reader is featured to one of the many lessons Gilthanas will learn in his life—he is capable of calling a human a friend.
  4. Various cameos by the Companions and by Henderick, the Theocrat! While occupying a very small point in the story, it was interesting to see the Companions through the eyes of Theros Ironfeld. Also included is Henderick, the Theocrat during the last days of his rule in Solace. The inclusion of these characters is one of the strong points of Don Perrin's writing—it helps draw this book into the world of Dragonlance.
  5. Another strong aspect of this book is that the main god is not Paladine or the Dark Queen; rather, it is Sargas, the god of the Minotaurs. The lesser gods of Krynn typically do not get much exposure in Dragonlance novels; consequently, when a different god is mentioned, I am always pleased.
  6. The battle scenes were well written and described. Don Perrin provides a lot of details and creates an elaborate description of various wars. If you are looking for a book with action—this book will definitely satisfy you.

What I didn't like about this book:

  1. The first part of this book is to short. While we get some background information on Theros's father and mother, there is nothing meaningful provided. Given the fact that his home life, or lack of one, is the reason Theros gives for going with the Minotaurs in the first place, more detail's should have been provided regarding his childhood.
  2. Theros's character change in the middle of the book seems sudden; consequently, it is difficult to understand. Theros starts out as a man of honor; one who has earned the respect of the Minotaurs and their god. However, between Part Two and Part Three, Theros character changes—he is now mainly concerned with money and perfecting his craft. There is not really an explanation given for this sudden change in character. As a result, the change of character appears abrupt and hard to swallow.
  3. The ending of the book felt rushed. A lot of action happens in the last couple of chapters in the book. All of it is very sudden without a lot of explanation. More time should have been spent on explaining the intricacies of what happened in the final chapters of this book.
  4. There are to many loose endings in this book: how did Theros acquire his silver arm; how does he come to know how to make the dragonlances; what happened to Yuri after he escaped from Baron Moorgoth; what happened to Huluk and the Third Minotaur Army; what happened to Marissa, the girl who Theros had feelings for in the town of Sanction; what happened to Baron Moorgoth and his army?

Conclusion

Although this book provides a lot of background information on Theros Ironfeld, it fails to answer the question most readers want to know—how did he come to obtain his silver arm. Having said that, if you are looking for a book with action, intrigue, Minotaurs, and lots of battles, then this book would satisfy your needs.

Theros Ironfeld also fits in with the established lore of Dragonlance. For those individuals concerned with continuity, the ending of this book meshes well with the beginnings of the Chronicles Trilogy.

In short, Don Perrin and his writings have served to provide insight into a unique character whose role, arguably, turned the tides during the War of the Lance.


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