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Reviews of 'Dragons of a Lost Star'

Dragons of a Lost Star

by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
War of Souls, Volume 2

Reviews of 'Dragons of a Lost Star'

Here are the visitor reviews we have of Dragons of a Lost Star. For more information about this title, please visit the item detail page.

Reviewer: Cassandra Jacobs

Rating: Stars

Well for starters, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, but there is some "issues" I had with parts of the story line.

I 'm kind of annoyed by the identity of the One God. I'm feeling like the Fifth Age is going to be changed completely. The fact that Takhisis supposedly "didn't flee" when all the others did makes me wonder what's going on. Of course, she would lie about her role in the chaos war, but how did she come back and the others didn't? Or is this a repeat of Chronicles>... She was the first god to arrive back on Krynn, although knowledge of that wasn't revealed to the rest of the world until it was too late.

It also bothers me the way the Dragon Overlords are treated. I've enjoyed them in previous books, but it seems that in this series, it's constantly emphasized how they're bloated, oversized, fat, lazy, etc etc. It's like they're not even dragons anymore. I feel like the authors are almost trying to demean the Dragon Overlords, which I don't really care for. Because of the way they're portrayed, it lessens the impact when one of them is destroyed. The elves didn't kill a great and powerful monster in Qualinesti... they destroyed a fat ugly worm that pretty much dying on the inside anyways. At least that's how i saw it.

I think the battle over Qualinesti would have had far more impact on the reader if Beryl was a great and majestic dragon. I should say though, the battle was pretty impressive.

And I'm irritated that Skie is being placed as a non-native dragon from Krynn now. He had far more impact when it was thought he was one of the native dragons. His past in previous books and his entire personality strongly suggests he has more in common with the native dragons than with the foreign ones. I feel like this was almost an after-thought change thrown in. For what reason, I don't know, but meh... didn't care for that.

I have to admit, I'm impressed that there were two Heroes of the Lance killed off. Now if Tas will just lay down and die they'll all be gone.

Characters... I enjoyed them. I really loved Laurana in the battle at Qualinesti. And Medan, her knight, was also fascinating. I was quite shocked when he was killed by the elven servant. It showed that not all "heroes" die a noble death... sometimes it's a stab in the back.

Silvanoshei is irritating me. His constant chasing and fawning over Mina shows that he hasn't grown and doesn't realize his role as a king, whereas Gilthas obviously understands and is willing to be responsible. I have a feeling Gilthas might be the one king for the elven people (if that will ever happen).

Mina, well... interesting character, that's for sure. I'm torn whether she's truly evil, or just misguided by the power of Takhisis. She seems unaware when she's telling Goldmoon of it, but how can one be blind to the killing and extermination of the elves, as she says is her goal?

Anyways... enough rambling. It's a good book... so far, it's not giving me too many eebies over where it might go, but that's up to the last book to prove it to me.

Review made May 22nd, 2001

Reviewer: Joel Feldhacker

Rating: Stars

It's been a while since I've read this one (I got it as soon as it was published in hardcover), however, I loved the twists and turns throughout the book. Although a lengthier piece than most DL books, it was well written and did an exemplary job of keeping the reader's attention. Great job!!!

Reviewer: Matt Lynch

Rating: Stars

Editor's Note: This review was written prior to the release of Dragons of a Vanished Moon, so some comments below are from that perspective.

Okay, now onto the book. Let me start by saying that I've always enjoyed the overall writing style of Weis and Hickman, even if I disagreed with some of their conventions and, more importantly, the crux of their most recent Dragonlance plotline. They always seemed to know what direction they wanted to move in, how they wanted the book to flow, etc. Even in Dragons of Summer Flame, rushed and cramped as some say it was, there was a sense of flow-through in the story. Everything seemed to make sense with its placement in the novel. Not so with Dragons of a Lost Star, in my opinion.

Chapters that should have ended as mini-cliffhangers often went into others that continued in the same locale, with the same characters. It seemed to me as though they couldn't decide whom they wanted to truly focus on in the story. The two most important characters, from a plot device standpoint, Tas and Mina, seemed to be barely there. Instead, the book centered itself around Gerard, Laurana, Medan and, to some extent, Gilthas. Everyone else took a back seat in the story, and things seemed as though they were carrying over were dropped inexplicably not to resurface in the book (Khellendros, Silvanesti, the Citadel of Light, etc.). As a reader, it was very disconcerting to find the text so jumpy and not, for lack of a better term, streamlined. It was a style that distracted me and one I hope not to see repeated.

I was vastly indifferent towards this book.

Long story: Even when I've known how a book is going to end, there is usually something in the story itself that keeps me involved, so that the end still impacts me in some way, surprise or no. Por ejemplo, in Dragons of Winter Night, I knew that Sturm was going to die because I flipped to the end of the book and read as much (something I still do with series wherein I worry about my favorite characters). His death scene and the pre- and proceeding still hit me almost as hard as they were intended to and despite the proverbial cat proverbially being let out of the proverbial bag, it worked. In Dragons of a Lost Star, this was not the case. Every major event seemed flat and dull to me. The deaths of the several key figures in the novel and the series were unimpressive and spectacularly unmoving. Medan's death was out of nowhere, a tactic that only really works if it is a character that the readers have been given a lot of time to get associated with. Do to the multi-character cast of The War of Souls, Medan received maybe half of a book all to himself, hardly enough exposure to leave a full impact. That said, he was a good character and I didn't like to see him go, especially like that. Laurana's death was uninspiring and hardly the heroic death scene it was made out to be. Beryl's death was, much like Cyan's in Dragons of a Fallen Sun, dumb and out of character. Goldmoon's was so devoid of any emotion that I almost missed it. Her death in The Day of the Tempest was a lot better, but, then again, I think EVERYONE in their right mind agrees with that. Targonne's death, much like his revised character, was an insult, pure and simple.

As far as other characters go, Mina remains dull as a supposed religious fanatic. Most fanatics have a zeal and a fervor that accompany their faith. She doesn't. The only time said luster appeared was at the end, when she tried to play the "Mommy, look what I did today!" little child. Silvanoshei has been made out to be the most gullible wretch ever in the series. After the events of The Puppet King, with what he had to listen to, one would think he'd be a bit more sensible. The Lioness, when she appeared, was never referred to by her real name, which is more of an irritant than a real issue. However, in case you guys forgot, it's Kerianseray. Gilthas was done well, that I must say. The presence of Kerianseray as his advisor helps dilute the missing sense of kingly concern. Galdar is good. Lady Odila is a nice change of pace from the standard warrior woman/slut archetype we see all too often. Palin becomes a little more interesting now that he seems to be drifting somewhat back to his original character. Dalamar the Dark's appearance was never explained. As someone else put it, it was much like he was there just to say, "I am NOT dead!" Conundrum works well as a gnome of a different color. Still doesn't need a book all to himself, though. I'd rather have one on the life of Cyan Bloodbane. Every other character was too minor to worry about here, so I won't go into them.

As far as Tas, goes, however, he proved how unnecessary he was in this series just by being in this book. He's a plot device, pure and simple, and no effort was made at ALL to hide that fact. He's the comic relief factor (a role Gerard and Lady Odila stole away from him for the most part) and otherwise useless. Sadly, the whole trilogy seems to hinge on him.

The whole thing about the Great Dragons being from another world completely destroys the mystique behind them. The whole thing with Skie being one of them is just sickening as a long time fan of the character. The dead being unable to leave Krynn is something that I actually find pretty cool. I figured that with Krynn being a closed sphere (or whatever you prefer to call it), the gates didn't function either way. I guess we can all figure out why Athas was always so uninviting a place to look at. With no Fugue Plain-like place for gods to collect the souls of their worshippers, said souls would wander forever. Eventually, they might come back...

Takhisis is NOT the One God. Reading the revelation scene, I came to the conclusion that it was too convenient, too heavy-handed, too blatant of a thing to be true. Plus, this is only the second book of the trilogy. It's quite obvious that the One God is a major plotline who's true repercussions won't begin to be felt until Dragons of a Vanished Moon. One gets the feeling from reading the Epilogue that Mina was a little shell shocked at Goldmoon's death, the first time an event surprised her. She was obviously expecting something drastically different, something the One God promised. When you have a deity fail to deliver on a major promise, it makes them seem less deified, more of a lucky gambler. Will be interesting to see how she deals with her faith next.

On a side note, the name God was substituted in place of One God a few times. This is something that doesn't fit the DragonLance style, in my opinion. In Krynn, gods have always had names, and the word god has been used to represent what type of being they are. It makes no sense for the word to be used as a name when there's no previous basis for such a convention. The same with the brief mention of the month of May. Ansalon's calendar has been laid down in several spots. It would have added some color to the story to use one of those names in place of the Roman name. There was no Rome on Krynn. My final complaint was that there were too many Tolkienish, "Now we must pause here to explain..." instances in the book for me. Makes it seem too much like a narrative than an actual story the reader is experiencing. There is no more Astinus, and no mention has been made of a group of people who have taken over chronicling all the events of Krynn, so it doesn't work.

The thin man on the boat could be Raistlin, but I doubt that it is. Most likely it is Ulin.

So, would I recommend Dragons of a Lost Star. If you want to keep up with what is obviously being used as "the" storyline for the series, then that's a no-brainer. If, like me, you just want to see how far gone the world is going to get from what it could have been, go ahead and pick it up. Either way, it's not a book for people who like a sense of hope accompanying their reads, a sense of excitement. A lot of it works, a lot more of it doesn't.

Reviewer: Morten Brattbakk

Rating: Stars

I will be blunt and honest: This book did not live up to my expectations. Not because it wasn't good, it was. In terms of quality, I would say it is about as good as Dragons of a Fallen Sun, which I thought was very good, but not great. One problem I had about Dragons of a Fallen Sun was that although it was a good, complicated and many-faceted story, but it only tickled my curiosity about the what I see as the *real* story: The story about what is really going on with Mina, the dead, the One God, Tasslehoff and the Time Travel Device. I accepted that, thinking the answers would be delved upon more deeply in Dragons of a Lost Star.

Alas, that was not to be. I was annoyed by the authors always hinting about Tas and his time travel, always hinting about the One God; but very rarely giving some more substantial hints.

The book starts well. The very tense situation at the end of the first book in the trilogy is capitalized upon, as the Citadel of Light and Silvanost are attacked, and the defense of Qualinost is prepared. Of great interest was Palin and Tas going to Dalamar, who had teleported the Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas to Nightlund at the start of the Fifth Age. Maybe there finally I would get some answers.

After the first chapters of excitement and interest, the book kind of ran out of steam, and had some plot twists I didn't much care for. In Dragons of Summer Flame, the good guys couldn't do anything. Everything went according to the bad guys' plans. In Dragons of a Fallen Sun, Tas, with very important information, is ignored by everyone for a long time. When I read the section in Dragons of a Lost Star when Gerard was getting ready to fly to Solanthus, I prayed that the story wouldn't slow down by him being mistaken for a Dark Knight by the Knights in Solamnia, but of course I was praying in vain; he was arrested even though the story didn't benefit from it. Bad guy Mina's plans were never thwarted, I would much have preferred it if her forces at least had to fight for their victory in the battle of Solanthus against a larger number of Knights who managed to stay relatively calm and disciplined. I was also annoyed by Silvanoshei being such a puppet, but that is a more complicated issue I will get back to.

I said the book ran out of steam, there wasn't much sense of hurry about it. The arrangements before the Qualinesti attack didn't seem as hurried as they should. I probably shouldn't complain, because the story was good. However, I was impatient. Very impatient. There were few revelations, and not particularly consequential ones. We got to know a little more about the situation of the dead and other little things, but still I felt as if I was waiting and waiting for something to come, and I was much more interested in getting there than I was about reading about Qualinesti, Silvanesti and the various characters. I curled my toes and snickered as I got to know more about the background of Skie and the other great dragons. Now there was a revelation! It was so cool. That part with Mirror, Skie and Mina is by far my favorite part of the book. (Too bad it was also by far the shortest.) I probably would have thought the same about the revelation of the One God if I hadn't got it spoiled. Overall, though, just as with the first book, only crumbs were given to a ravenous beggar, namely me. With the first book, I could accept that, with the second, I did expect more, and spent my time reading it waiting for something that never came. I do feel that the answers to mysteries haven't been portioned out very well in the series so far. At the end, when Laurana and Medan prepared for battle in the Tower of the Sun, I wasn't interested in that battle, I want to know about the deal with Tas's time travel. (Of course, as the battle progressed I got *much* more excited about it. I will of course wait for the third book to pass final judgement about this issue, but as it is now I feel like War of Souls has been two thirds set-up, maybe with even more set-up in the book to come. Overall, for a trilogy, that is not good.

I have some comments about Mina. In the first book she was modeled after Jeanne D'Arc, and she had a cynicism to her that I didn't like. In the second book she is modeled after Jesus Christ. At the end we finally got a look inside her mind, her motivations for following the One God and for doing all the things she did. The ending proved to me what I had thought about her: She is a very dangerous religious fanatic. In Silvanost, she healed elves and won admiration. She spoke her point through allegories. She died and was resurrected. Obviously based on Christ. But Mina had no qualms about killing at random, about genocide, about sufferings of the living and the dead. Still, she wasn't using the One God to her own sinister ends, she firmly believed that what she was doing was right, and all she did was for her god. That made her all the more dangerous.

The characters were well drawn, but of course not as easy to love as the good old ones. Gerard is growing on me, though. Conundrum had some amusing moments, and I enjoyed the satire around modern real-life society's obsession with money and legalities. That is a new satirical twist applied to gnomes that worked, I would like to see that given some more depth in other Dragonlance novels. The plot has some nice political intrigue (I wish there could be more of that in Dragonlance) although it is best at the very beginning. The relationship between Medan and Laurana is very interesting, but I lost interest as my impatience grew. The conflict patterns are more black and white later in the book, making Dragons of a Lost Star slightly less complex (and thus a little less satisfying) in its plot than its predecessor. I also like it that the geopolitical patterns across the whole of Ansalon is taken care of, and this book actually make very good use of the great dragons as rulers. (I would have liked to see more on Malystryx's place in the whole thing, though.) The writers are bold, and they managed to kill off a great dragon, but showed that it has a huge price.

Characters, even Heroes of the Lance, drop like flies (or "like elves") at the end. I like that. And Goldmoon, dying for the third time in her life (or something.), had better stay dead this time. I also liked to see a dragonlance for the first time since what feels like forever. Despite the carrot that have dangled in my face for a couple of years now and that even the second book only let nibble, I must admit that I read the book within a period of 24 hours, including sleep. For me that's awfully fast, although it was more because I was anxious to know what was going on than because I enjoyed the story as it progressed. No doubt the book was very enjoyable, but when the text keeps telling me that it has something more important and more interesting in store it lessens the entertainment value the story of Silvanost, Qualinost and the battle of Solanthus otherwise would have had. As was the case with the first book, the thought after finishing this book is: "I can't wait for the next book. That's where we'll really see what's going on."

Review made Friday May 4th, 2001 on the newsgroup.

Reviewer: Tasselmarsh Sothfoot

Rating: Stars

In terms of suspense, Dragons of a Lost Star is the best Dragonlance book ever written. Out off all the Weis and Hickman DL books, Dragons o a lost Star had me on the edge of my seat for almost 100 pages. The book was so suspenseful that I kept worrying about accidently glancing from the right page to the left, in case I might see what hppens next and thus ruin the surprise.

Its predecessor, Dragons of a Fallen Sun, ran a little slow, in my opinion, compared to the other Weis and Hickman books. Fallen Sun had a strong ending though, where it picked up he pace and that carried right on into Lost Star. Out of all the Weis Hickman boks I read Lost Star the fastest, devouring each page so that I could get to the conclusion. I hadread al of the lost Soul trilogy and it would take me less than a second to declare which one I enjoyed the most. Lost Star is far superior to the other two books.

The majority of the supsense in this book is related to the fate of the Qualisenti elves. For most of the Dragonlance series I have had little affctio for the elves. They never caught my attention as much as the other beings on Krynn. I put the elves at the bottom of my list of interesting beings of Krynn. At the top would be The Wizards, Kender and Solamnic Knights. Lost Star completely turned my list on its head. By the end of the book I wasnt conmcerned about the Wizards, the Kender (ok maybe I was still looking out for Tas) or the Solamnics. I didnt care about Mina's quest, or even about the fate of Solanthus, The only thing I could think about by the end of this book was the Qualinesti.

The book ends rather well too. It explains the fate of the Qualisenti (gasp Thank Paladine!!) and then it stirs up to an incredible cliffhanger ending, where the identity of the One God is Revealed.

I would have to say that it was definately not who expeted it to be, and by the end of Lost Star I was glad that it wasnt. I loved the direction Lost Star took the War Of Souls into and the identity of te One God was just the icing on a very delicous and filling cake. One of the most rewarding Dragonlance books to read!

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