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Reviews of 'Brothers in Arms'

Brothers in Arms

by Don Perrin & Margaret Weis
Raistlin Chronicles, Volume 2


Reviews of 'Brothers in Arms'

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Reviewer: Cassandra Jacobs

Rating: Stars

Well, I most definitely wasn't disappointed with this book. What was *very* different from other Dragonlance books is the age level it was written for. I'm not sure if this was intentional, but I found the language and several scenes far more advanced than the typical Dragonlance novel. This book follows the life of the twins just after they leave the Tower of Wayreth, dealing with their first job in a mercenary army. Definitely well worth the read.

Also covered through this novel is the growth of Kitiara and her introduction to Ariakas and the Dragonarmies. Interestingly, I enjoyed the way she was portrayed... as the typical hard Kit, and also some of her fears. I was able to see that maybe she is human... she actually has fears and doubts beneath that tough exterior, which is something not seen in Chronicles or Legends. Her love for Tanis is still obvious throughout the entire novel, as reminders of him keep coming up.

I found the book was pretty split between following Kitiara's career and Raistlin and Caramon's careers in the mercenary army. This was interesting, as there hasn't been much of a story about how Kitiara wound up in the Dragonarmies. Her relationship with Ariakas is fascinating, especially her idea that they would rule Krynn together. Her skill in outwitting Immolatus was impressive to say the least.

Speaking of Immolatus, that was definitely the most nasty and egotistical dragon I've ever read about. I hated him. Definately a good job on his portrayal.

Raistlin is typically Raistlin... grouchy, snippety, and hating the world and his brother, yet having the occasional bout of niceness towards Caramon. His growth in magical power is obvious towards the end of the story, with his teacher giving him the respect he deserves. Even the mercenaries respect him after he worked in the hospital tent with the wounded. An interesting feature is how Raistlin's fragility seems to disappear with the exercise and work he puts in with the army.

Caramon's growth was also interesting. I didn't expect his initial reaction when the army first attacked the city. I guess I had expected Caramon to already have some experience with battle, and seeing people die wouldn't have been that big of a deal. Obviously not. The warrior's first experience and the fear and terror that accompany it were well laid out, showing his growth in this area.

This book was a good follow-up to Soulforge. It also foreshadows the coming War of the Lance, mostly through musings by Par-Salian. This book should definitely be read after Chronicles and Legends.

Review made April 2nd, 2001.


Reviewer: Keith Martinez

Rating: Stars

This is a FANTASTIC book. Margaret Weis and Don Perrin have created another DragonLance masterpiece. This book ties up a lot of loose questions that were not answered in the other series, and leaves you with a deep sense of satisfaction when you are finished. Anyone who considers themselves a fan of DL should read this wonderful book. This is the second book in the Raistlin Chronicles, and comes after The Soulforge. Read it. The only real problem that I have about this book, is that it is the last one in the series. (I read that in the Hickman Newsletter that I recieve.) I feel that there is still more storyline to cover dealing with Raistlin and Caramon, and that this book doesnt complete the story. But who knows, we may be surprised in the future with another book in this series. Hopefully.


Reviewer: Lord Sivart

Rating: Stars

Brothers in Arms, sequel to the Soulforge, takes quite a turn away from most Raistlin novels. If you enjoy reading about Kit AND Raist then this is your book, but if you dislike kit then your probably going to skim a couple hundred pages. The book was well writen with a well thought out story line. In this book Raist learns to cast spells quickly and without using the proper components (a skill that seems to desert him in all the other books). Brothers in Arms finally reveals how Kit startes out in the Dark Nighthood, and even under close inspection fits with the storyline throught the series. This is not a classic story like soulforge but more of a book that shows just how far the characters can go. I liked the book but Raist's character was on and off with very little stability. The book was overall a bit choppy and came dreadfully close to screwing up like Brothers Majere did. The book had a D&D feel to it and as you read your probabl going to be thinking about how best to set up your next gaming session based on the book. Despite a lack of depth, the book contained many stellar parts that made the book not only worth reading but a great book. With great new characters (a new half-kender perhaps?), a dragon, a ghost, cooking lessons from raist and so more history from before the war this book is a must read. Those who are getting sick of the 'New Age' and want classic this might be the answer, though not a classic style it brings back all the memories of sitting up in the middle of the night trying to finish Dragons of Winter Night. Do not read this book before the Chronicles series. Soulforge can be read at any time in the series; this book cannot. If this book is read before the chronicles then you'll have a slightly different understanding of Krynn then what you should have and that may ruin the whole fun of the series. Finally, let us all pray that M. Weis works either by herself on the next book or with T. Hickman; another Perrin book would ruin the Raistlin Chronicles.


Reviewer: Morten Brattbakk

Rating: Stars

I never particularly looked forward to Brothers in Arms. I think the world has seen enough books about the heroes pre-Chronicles.

Just like The Soulforge, Brothers in Arms is an OK book, a good book. It has two parallel storylines; one is about Caramon and Raistlin as they journey from the Tower of Wayreth and to the Mad Baron of Longtree, where they take part in military training and become part of the baron's mercenary army. The other storyline is about Kitiara, who is in Sanction, proving her worth to Ariakas by convincing a dragon to come back to Sanction. The two storylines are intertwined as the mad baron's army is hired to attack a rebellious town in Blödehelm, and the ones who hired it are the dragonarmies, who have provoked the rebellion for their own dark purposes.

The storyline is a bit interesting, especially as the alliances shift in a power struggle around Hope's End, and the writing is good. The book never really soars, though. The main reason for this, I think, is that the most interesting parts of the book at the end, the fighting over the town Hope's End, are diminished to make room for storylines that are less interesting... and too much in the Preludes tradition.

Let me explain. I said that The Soulforge was good because it didn't fall into the trap that Preludes did, by making the heroes heroes before they became heroes. Brothers in Arms, on the other hand, falls into this trap. Because Brothers in Arms, you see, and here's the big spoiler, has Raistlin fighting, and practically beating (with a little help from the Staff of Magius) a dragon years before his encounter with Khisant in Xak Tsaroth. Sure, he doesn't realize it's a dragon because it is in human form (even though Raistlin sees it partly transformed from human to dragon), but still that's way too much Preludes. The fact that there is this huge coincidence where Kitiara and Caramon and Raistlin almost bump into each other more than once (and Kitiara observes her brothers) is too much of a coincidence to ring true, too.

It would have been great if there had been a map in the front of the book. Exactly where Longtree was I'm not sure of (Abanasinia?), and how Caramon and Raistlin and the rest of the army traveled from Abanasinia to Blöde I have no idea. (It couldn't be by boat, since according to Dragons of Spring Dawning Caramon had never sailed a big boat before. Did they cross the Plains of Dust?)

Besides all that, it was a good book. Anybody who has been in the army would recognize some of the situations Caramon found himself in. Scrounger was a good character and Kitiara's ambitious climb towards power in Sanction was very good. At then end, I liked the tale of fighting and betrayal at the town of Hope's End, but the sub-plot with Immolatus, Kitiara and the temple of Paladine just didn't catch my interest as much, and was given way to much "screen time" at the expense of the things that were interesting.

A good, but not unforgettable, Dragonlance book. One that doesn't stand out neither in a positive nor negative way in the line of Dragonlance novels I've read so far.

Review made Monday December 12th, 1999 on the alt.fan.dragonlance newsgroup.


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