Reviews of 'Dragons of a Vanished Moon'
Reviews of 'Dragons of a Vanished Moon'
Here are the visitor reviews we have of Dragons of a Vanished Moon. For more information about this title, please visit the item detail page.
Though the end was not exactly what I'd have prefered, I found it deeply interesting. One thing I really appreciated is how you present the nazi-like evil of Mina: passing herself as a do-gooder and having the entire elven nations killed because they displeased her goddess, for instance. At first,
I thought she was a anti Joan of Arc, but there is one thing you must know: Joan of Arc's myth has been heavily tainted lately by the National Front president Le Pen (you might know him as the chalenger in April's French presidential elections). The ideals presented by Joan of Arc (preservation
of France from England, for instance) has been erected as a way to get rid of "outsiders" and "people who think differently". They've stolen a national pride symbol and turned her into a racist, xenophobic extremist, just the
way they've perverted religion to their own end. Thus, I do not see Mina as Joan but as a shadow of what Joan's become in deluded people's eyes. One last thing is Mina's fanaticism, especially when Tak is killed. She would never listen to the "truth", since she's been lost to a biaised version of
truth by none other than the Dark Queen, completely loosing her self will in the process. That character, whatever people might say, was well fleshed out.
Of the other characters, Odila's presented as a true-believer, and I apprecate that. When she understand who the One god is, she turns away from her, yet she still revers her as a god. One might say that she's discovered that without Go(o)d there'd be no (D)evil and without the Devil (and
Temptation), there'd be no God.
Gerard is interesting, since his is not a story of heroes in the classical sense, but a man faced with choices, who does not really think about them but acts as his heart tells him to. A true knight. Reminds me of Sturm, a little more "moraly-flexible", though.
Galdar, is the best example yet of a thoroughly evil character who IS loving someone, devoting his very life to that other person. Even emblematic Raistlin, who's shown that his soul still possessed some bright elements,
was proof that there can still be some good in a supposedly evil person.
Paladine's remark is fully appropriate.
I shall miss Tas. Farewell, light-hearted friend.
I really liked the intervention of gods. I mean, I've always looked fondly at theologies of the greek, aegyptian, norse, etc. pantheons. Krynn's unique "balanced" families of gods are intersting, because, behind what you write, we can guess that the gods themselves must follow a certain set of rules: not stealing the world, not entering the world entirely without risking the absolute destituion... i loved that. Especially since getting rid of Tak meant no more Fizban.
Having minotaurs rule Silvanesti is a bit weird, but, as a later Role Playing situation, this is perfect !
Some little criticism:
- The Deux Ex Machina of the Good Dragons. It sounds sooo like what happened in Chronicles. The idea is marvellous, but you did not have enough time to tell the whole story. That's the point, I guess. Just like Moliere's ending the Avaricious by introducing unforseen relationship between all characters
of his play so that all ends well.
- Then, the death of some people do appear to be a constant in your latest books ;-). This time, though, I really felt sorry for the young prince, though in death he may redeem himself.
This story was great. I really like the character Gerard. I'm not sure why but I have always been into the Solmanic Knights. Maybe it was my immediate liking to Sturm or just that I have always been into knights of any sort.
Well this story immediately jumped out at me. I had already read the other two stories in the series and I was very excited to hear that it was going to come out. (I had waited so long for Dragons of a Lost Star that this story was almost more than I could take.) I was kept enthralled through the whole book. I hated having to put it down to do something else. There were things going on that I just did not expect and it kept me on the edge of my seat.
The characters were always doing something unexpected and it was really fun trying to figure out what was going to happen and then it be turned completely around. It was very exciting. Weis and Hickman took twists and turns into a new realm with this story. I can't wait until they release another novel together. Those two can really pull some great things. (Look at the phenomena they started when they first wrote thr original three Chronicles.) This story was great to be able to read and I was very impressed. I definitely recommend this story. I've read other Dragonlance novel (I'd say around 50 or so.) that weren't so great, but this one comes out of the woodworks. Well I hope you read this story, you'll like it I can almost assure you. But make sure you read the first two in the series before reading this one. It will make things that much greater if you know what is going on. Well I hope you enjoy this book. Peace! :)
The fight scenes were well done. Bravo for the action and well laid out battles. I tingled when I read about the gold and silver dragons flying onto Sanction. I could picture the flashing of their scales, especially when they rescued the elves in the valley from the ogres. Mina's battle with Malys, atop the back of the ghost dragon was also well done. Overall, Weis and Hickman don't disappoint and continue to portray some very well done action scenes.
Characters... there were a few that were very well done. I liked Gilthas' role, and his gradual turn from the puppet to the leader that all the elves need, even the Silvanesti, over the course of this entire trilogy. It was a bit of a surprise to see him become the speaker for all the elves, especially when it was expected that Silvanoshei would take that role, but Gilthas proved himself to be a far better elf than any other.
I did really like Odila and Gerard. They had their moments, but they both came through. I thought their characters developed very well over the entire series. I was a bit surprised that their relationship didn't go beyond the platonic stage, but maybe that's for future stories.
Mirror and Razor I also liked. Maybe I'm just biased, since I like dragons in general. Their partnership was interesting... it seems almost natural that blues and silvers have the potential to get along, since they are both colors of dragons that bond with humans. Razor's sacrifice to battle Malys and save his rider was also commendable.
Speaking of which... Galadar. That character literally saved this book from being a total wash out. I felt torn in two for this poor minotaur, who was bonded by love to a snit that didn't deserve it. Galadar was willing to sacrifice his life for the one he loved, regardless of what she did. He looked beyond everything and was friends with Mina for herself and nothing else. Definitely one of the best done characters in the book.
And another great scene was the Lord Soth scene. Superb and well done. I was moved to tears to see him ask for forgiveness.
And this now brings me to what I dislike. Unfortunately, it seems that what I liked is also strongly tied into what I dislike.
For starters... Lord Soth, again. We were promised that Soth would have a part in this book. One chapter? Give me a break. That was the cheesiest use of a character and no excuse for anything that was ever done to him as a result of Dragonlance "requiring" his services. A definite thumbs down, regardless of the scene. It wasn't necessary to have him in there just for that. Or if he was necessary, why not use him more, other than one chapter, that spanned possibly 5 pages. I have no respect for this usage of him.
Characters... It's surprising how much I hated two characters in this book. You're not supposed to like villians, but it's not often that I dislike the character so much, I dread reading a chapter that involves either of them.
Mina. I hated her. I hated her attitude and everything about her. She started off interesting, but by this book, I couldn't stand her. I've read stories with religious fanatics before, but she took the cake. She reminds me of why I can't stand religious people pushing their religion at me, regardless of what it is. Some people debate whether she was good and misguided, or truly evil. I think it boils down to the same argument used for the Kingpriest... she started off good and misguided, but there was no excusing her actions by the end. She was down and out evil. She aimed for the destruction of the elves, would sacrifice anyone for her god, worked with evil dragons and races, and had no problems in consorting with the dead. All of these actions are evil, regardless of how the person who's doing them views it. You can only hide under the banner of "misguided" for so long before it becomes pathetic. And that's also how I saw it... there were too many attempts to show her as misguided instead of evil, which is laughable after so many of her actions. A character that I disliked completely.
And the other one... Silvanoshei. What an absolutely annoying and irritating character. I hated him too! Ok, he was supposed to be immature and irresponsible and influenced by a god, but to the point that he's getting under my skin? Don't think so. I have no use for people who are like that in real life, so why do I want to read about one in this book? I was under the impression that he was supposed to be so pathetic, you felt sympathy for him. I had none. I just hated him. I was glad he died, although I was hoping he'd at least redeem himself so I could care at least a bit about him. But he died, and I felt nothing.
Raistlin. Good lord, let the man rest! How many times does he have to be responsible for saving Krynn and stopping Takhisis from gaining power? He thwarts her in Chronicles, he prevents her from going through his portal in Legends, he aids Palin in stopping Chaos from destroying the world, and now he somehow saves the world again by guiding Tas, Gerard, and the gods? Please. The Takhisis taking over the world idea being reused is bad enough, it's worse having the same character that everyone fawns over saving the world.
Tas. I loved Tasslehoff in his other stories, but his character degenerated throughout this last book. No longer did he seem like the kender I'd grown to love. Instead, he felt like one of those cheap kender cut-outs, that we usually accuse of being poorly done Tas clones. Now it seems even Tas falls into the category of a poorly done Tas clone. How's that for a confusealated mixup?
The Dragon Overlords. I knew that there would be a time when they would be driven away or destroyed, since it's obvious that no state of the world can exist for eternity, but I felt that many of them weren't dealt with well. Beryl was probably the only exception to that. The battle with her over Qualinesti Dragons of a Lost Star was phenomenal. She fought the way a dragon overlord would, and took out the entire city of Qualinost. But Skie? Being slain by Mina? And Malys? Being killed by Mina's dragonlance? The battles were well done, but I felt that the overlords had been cheated of their grandeur. They came into power with one hell of a boom, and sort of fizzled out in the end. Not what I expected to see happen.
It's hard to say anything about this book. I liked a lot in it, but at the same time, the things I didn't like left a really bad taste in my mouth. Great writing, it should have been pointed into a more fruitful direction. Maybe it's the story the authors wanted to tell, but a lot of it, I didn't want to hear.
Review made July 30th, 2002.
Certainly, in what is the inevitable revival of Krynn and the Dragonlance saga, Weis and Hickman have written one of the most astounding novels to date. Dragons of a Vanished Moon is a "can't-put-it-down" read, filled with twists and turns that leaves the reader craving for more. I consider it a fitting conclusion to a trilogy that has breathed life back into a franchise cast into limbo after the publication of Dragons of a Summer Flame. The War of Souls trilogy tempted readers with the thoughts of the One God, a Power responsible for the wild magic and mystics of the Fifth Age, a Power that we find out is the Dark Queen herself. Krynn is a world thrown into chaos once again, a world that needs heroes to rise to the occasion. Weis and Hickman have set-up the stage beautifully for the emergence for a new group of heroes, and created for us a Krynn that is both familiar and fascinating.
Though the conclusion to Dragons of a Vanished Moon is anti-climatic, it does stir renewed thoughts for a world that has given us so many beloved characters. I, for one, cannot wait for the next Weis and Hickman installment to the Dragonlance saga.
What can I say other than I was very unimpressed and disappointed with this book.
It seemed to me a halfhearted attempt to take the world from the 5th age and return it to something that at least resembles what it once was. While it did get me excited to see old friends back in action, it seemed they did so in a way that was unimaginative and left me feeling little connection to the characters. I am trying to keep from including any spoilers, but i will say the only real part that touched me in anyway was the final departure of an old friend, which lowers the chances of me being able to get into any of the coming books. This book was certainly a step in the right direction, but i cannot help but think a toe got stubbed along the way.
This was close to getting only two stars! And just to point this out--I love all the Dragonlance novels by Weis & Hickmann.
My major gripe with it is the structure. It's just horrible. The book is beautifully written, the action fast & furious but the plot is horrendous.
We get a little bit of Moorcocks Multiverse and a lot of monotheism. All of a sudden Chaos isn't the Father of all and Nothing. Suddenly Takhisis turns back to her nasty personality where she could have won far more by staying "a blessing". Raistlin turns up to help the gods (what was that all about?). Suddenly the good dragons return as a deus eux machina and the ending is stretched unneccessarilly.
What really disappointed me most is that because Weis & Hickman try to incorporate the new ideas into the canon of the earlier books a lot of illogical twists are explained so far as that the gods did mess their own history up!!! The ending of Dragons of Summer Flame had a similar problem but it was not as bad as here. A new metaphysical concept became a battle of dragons. blaw...
Instead of trying to break the new ideas down to incorporate them in the existing canon the authors should have gone with what they established in the two earlier books. Now all the old gods are back and all the exiting twists and ideas have been flushed down the toilet. I'm sorry to say this, but that book let me down big time!
Wow. If somebody asked to describe Dragons of a Vanished Moon in one word it would be Wow. This book had me guessing every chapter only to be shocked at the end. I was in suspense everytime the chapters would change to follow another charecter. Dragons of a Vanished Moon is by far one of the best DragonLance Books I have ever Read. It was Far Better than the First Two Books in the War of Souls Trilogy. Minas Army rallys her troops for the March to Sanction. Silvinoshi shearches for his long lost love. This Book has all the great elements to make a great Fantasy Novel. Betrayl. Lies. Friendship. Love. Suspense. This is one book I could not put down. I can hardly wait for the next book to come out. Dragons of a Vanished Moon is a MUST read for any true Dragonlance fan.
Even the best-laid plans go awry.
If there is one lesson that the One God—in all her various incarnations—should learn, it is that things just never seem to go her way. That certainly is the case in the final installment of the 'War of Souls' trilogy, Dragons of a Vanished Moon.
On the whole, I found Vanished Moon to be an excellent read, and a good final installment in the trilogy. It did a good job of bringing all of the threads of the various stories together, as well as bringing the "high fantasy" feel that had been lost during the Fifth Age back to the world. A fantasy setting simply isn't a true fantasy setting without gods, wizards, magic, and all of the intrigue and sub-plots spawned from the interactions between the divine powers.
It was interesting to watch the character development of the characters from previous books in the new novel. Odelia's spirituality and her need to believe in something, and to test that belief, certainly came through in Vanished Moon. It is a part of her personality that is hidden beneath the surface in Lost Star, but comes to light after her encounter with Mina during the third book. Her need to believe is so great that even after she realizes who the One God truly is, that she still cannot tear herself away from the god's service.
I found Gerard's character development to be a bit more dissappointing. Gerard really came into his own in the last book through the relationships he had developed with the royalty in Qualinesti and the Knights of Solamnia in Solanthus, but there was much less opportunity for that in Vanished Moon. To a certain degree, it felt like Gerard (and to a lesser extent, Odelia) was being propelled through the book by the twisted plans laid by the One God, with little hope of escape.
Galdar's role as Mina's protector is even more evident in Vanished Moon than it was in the trilogy's previous installments. The interesting twist in the novel, of course, is that Galdar sees himself as not only protecting the naive Mina from those who might harm her in the world, but also from the One God. All of Galdar's suspicions of the One God are suddenly confirmed when he discovers her true identity, and he fears for the safety of the god's young cleric. Galdar's devotion to his friend is reminiscent of Kaz's devotion to Huma—yet another interesting twist to the story.
These characters are not central to the plot, however. The main plotline follows the prophet Mina from victory to victory, culminating in her ultimate victory at Sanction—until Mina's sun is completely shattered by the sudden downfall of the One God in the final pages, and her complete reversal of fortune. It seems that in Dragonlance, one thing is always constant: that evil may rise to the height of its power, only to have it swept away at the last second by an unlikely champion of good—in this case the equally young, innocent, and naive Speaker of the Stars. The power of the final scene in the book, the ultimate struggle between good and evil, between the creators of the world, stands out from the rest of the book, and even the rest of the series as a whole.
While it has its flaws, Dragons of a Vanished Moon is an excellent novel that belongs on every Dragonlance fan's shelf. Not only is it a strong book of its own accord, but it sets the stage for Dragonlance adventures for years go come.
Dragons of a Lost Star had ended in a bang, with Qualinost destroyed and the truth about the immense dragons and the One God revealed. Dragons of a Vanished Moon kicks off revealing what happened to Krynn: Takhisis had stolen it at the end of the Chaos War. It then goes on to reveal several details, kill off another dragon overlord (two down, three to go) and sets up the story in an interesting fashion, with Razor and Mirror teaming up, Gerard turning into an interesting character with initiative and boldness, and Gilthas leading elves to the rescue, apparently on his way to deal with the situation in Silvanesti, and Tasslehoff finding the past. The ingredients for a great story were there.
Skie's final words are a fascinating tale, and explain more in full where the big dragons came from, and why they came to be on Krynn after the Chaos War. It all makes a lot of sense, although I do feel that it should be explained better why Skie was summoned to Krynn at the moment in time that he was. And wouldn't the origins of the huge dragons have been tied better to the War of Souls plot if Takhisis had actually summoned them to kill people so that she could gather souls, then dispose of them after she had harvested enough power, than if the dragons came because Krynn happened to be placed in the vicinity of their planet?
Tasslehoff's journeys were what caught my interest the most. He went to Huma and Magius during the Third Dragon War, OK cameo appearances. Then he saw Raistlin at the time of the War of the Lance. This felt much more like a forced, pointless cameo, particularly with the long monologue Raistlin performs. I don't imagine him, or anyone else, talking to themselves in that fashion, it felt to constructed. The chapter on Lord Soth was a poignant and fitting epilogue to the death knight. Unfortunately, it was also a fitting epilogue to the potted plant. Lord Soth's final bow should, in my opinion, have come after a longer appearance on the War of Souls stage, perhaps as a recruit of the One God's army (after all, he did support Takhisis's troops in Dragons of Summer Flame) before turning on his former goddess. This could have improved the overall plot (as I'll explain later) as well as give Lord Soth a proper story before his end. As it is, it was a goodbye without a set-up.
Anyway, the book started good, but it soon degenerated into a long series of frustrations. During the first two books in the War of Souls trilogy, when were the good guys in control? Never. In fact, the only thing the One God didn't control was Tasslehoff and what was going on with him and the Device of Time Journeying. Apart from that she controlled just about everything. If there were some events in Dragons of a Fallen Sun and Dragons of a Lost Star that we thought were achieved through the efforts of our protagonists, Dragons of a Vanished Moon tells us otherwise. As frustrating as that was with the first two books, I was hoping for the good side to win initiative throughout Dragons of a Vanished Moon. Boy, was I disappointed. Every singly protagonist in the book is a puppet. Gerard, a character of initiative, is stuck in a situation where he can't do anything properly. Odila becomes a boring religious nut of a zombie, while the elves of course fight among themselves. Even when it seems they stopped fighting among themselves they continue. Palthainon gains political power after the exodus through the Plains of Dust even though the elves denounced him and hailed Gilthas prior to it. Guess it must be the Knights of Solamnia syndrome; they learn a lesson and actually become a little less dumb, but they soon forget it. Heck, even Tasslehoff is a puppet, but to the forces opposing Takhisis. Not that we see much of them. I was hoping to see more of that, but the plot focused on Gerard who walked around never free of the manipulations of Mina and Takhisis. And Mina's forces took Sanction as easily as they took
Solanthus? How predictable.
Back to the elves. After the Qualinesti came to Silvanesti, the elves wouldn't listen to reason and consolidate their power in Silvanesti before marching off to Sanction. I was as frustrated as Gilthas when that happened, although I was not frustrated at the characters in the book. I was frustrated at the authors. For too long now, Weis and Hickman have been teaching us the same lesson. It worked well with Solostaran and Derek Crownguard in Dragons of Winter Night (particularly because in that book the side we were to root for actually gained victories such as discovering the secret of the Dragonlances and defeating the Dragonarmies at the High Clerist's Tower), but now there has been way too much of it. Aren't there decent people on that planet at all? We hear that none would be sorry to see kender exterminated, including the Knights of Solamnia. We hear that the Knights of Solamnia are in reality no different than the minotaurs. The Knights of Solamnia are so ignorant, stupid and prejudiced they will never believe a warning of attack, even in the uneasy time of post-Chaos War Krynn. The elves are no better.
War of Souls as a whole also suffers in one respect besides the tired lessons and the predetermined story the protagonists are forced to follow: Lack of descriptions. It's as if Weis and Hickman have determined that physical descriptions should be kept to a minimum, and I mean a minimum. While I do not think that they should have descriptions as elaborate as that of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, I do feel that they should have included physical descriptions of characters and places much more than they had. They had enough in Chronicles and Legends; there I saw the characters vividly, and walked with them through the world. But in War of Souls, while much is focused on the minds and souls of the characters and I knew them well, I couldn't see them vividly, and the minimalist descriptions of places didn't convey the world of Krynn as well as Chronicles did, but leave everything in a haze. When reading Chronicles, I was there. I wasn't in War of Souls. In fact, I'm much more on Krynn when I read Dragonlance books of Chris Pierson and Mary Herbert (they are great with descriptions) than I was with War of Souls.
This brings me to the ending. I loved this ending. Not only can I gloat that I sort of predicted it (when I read the chapter that there was a plan and that Paladine would sacrifice himself, I thought "PLEASE let the ending be a Krynn where the gods return but Paladine and Takhisis are out of the pantheon."), I also got what I wanted. Not only do we have a world where the gods have returned, but also a world that no more will have "Takhisis tries to conquer Krynn" plots. We will have a world not based upon good versus evil, but various factions with various interests fighting and allying with each other; but with the gods. The political situation is very interesting, and opens for a steady progression of the world in future novels and game products. If it hadn't been for the fact that the continued existence of High Sorcery, sorcery, clerical magic and mysticism creates a FAR too crowded and confusing supply of various magics (I will comment more on that below, in my review of the appendix), the ending would've been just about perfect as a solid foundation for a world of novels, game products and a steady progression. Terrific ending, shame about the journey.
Review made Sunday July 7th, 2002 on the alt.fan.dragonlance newsgroup
I caved into temptation two weeks ago and purchased an advanced reading copy of "Dragons of a Vanished Moon" from a book dealer in an auction. I quickly ready it, and then re-read it. Some of you may love the book, while others, like me, will read it again and try to figure out some twists and plotlines that left a lot to be desired.
When the previous book, Dragons of a Lost Star, ended we knew the identity of Krynn's "One God". I enjoyed the set-up because it opened up many possibilities as to what would happen next. Several of these possibilities were written off too quickly in the new book.
It is difficult to not give anything away, but for those who read the opening chapter online, you should have sensed something was wrong right then and there. With the elimination of Palin and Dalamar, you take away any magical oppposition to Mina and Takhisis. Though the story continues to involve them and Goldmoon in a passive way, it makes you wonder why Hickman and Weis made the decision they did within the first chapter. Might alone is never interesting to read about. In the past books we had Raistlin, Dalamar, or Palin to root for in the ways of dealing with the enemies of Krynn. By eliminating a mage story line, the possibilities narrow.
I was also at odds with how the book ended. The climax is anti-climatic compared to the Chronicles and Legends finale. It doesn't even stand up to the climax of "Dragons of a Summer Flame". You feel cheated as a reader and think, "That's it?" To make matters worse, it would seem that the entire point of this trilogy was for all the races of Krynn to put aside their differences and fight Mina and Takhisis. Instead, when all is said and done, no one apparently learns from their mistakes and prejudices set in again. I am not one for sappy endings, but it makes you wonder why go through the struggles of establishing alliances, and then quickly discard them at the end of the book.
I believe the fatal flaw of this book is that one of the most central characters is Silvanoshei. This character has never been a likeable character in any of the previous novels, and the situation does not improve here in this one. I find it impossible to accept as a Dragonlance reader that the elven nation would cast its fate to save a weakling King that has hardly any redeeming qualities. You don't care about Silvanoshei's fate, so the climax leaves much to be desired.
Finally, we come to the guest appearances of previous characters in the past trilogies. I won't spoil any plot lines by mentioning who shows up, but more often than not, the appearances are brief and matter little to affecting the plot. There has been great speculation about two particular characters making an appearance in the third book. They both do, but you wonder why they were ever mentioned since it amounts to little more than a cameo.
That is not to say that this book doesn't have its positives. The mystery of what happened to the dragons is beautifully written. Gerard comes full circle in this book. Galadar also adds great intrigue to what happens. Galadar loves Mina, but has no love for Takhisis. It is a pleasure to read about how he reconciles this difference. Also, there is a very well written duel between two dragons that deserve to be mentioned as one of the best battles in the Dragonlance history. We also get to view for the first time what happens in a court of the gods. The political intrigue between all three alignments are very well detailed. And yes, Tas does provide wonderful entertainment in this book.
In conclusion, some readers will have had their appetites whetted for a classic showdown between good and evil at the end of the book, as the other finales of the Dragonlance trilogies possess. This ending is the weakest of them all. Too many questions were raised about certain characters in the first two books that were never answered in the third book. The ending is very open as to what happens next. I only hope that the authors take advantage of the window they allowed themselves to reward their readers with what we have come to expect from them over the years.
Thanks for letting me take a moment of your time to review this book. I just finished reading it and have to say I am extremely pleased with the outcome. Its unfortunate that I cant really discuss certain points of the book for fear of giving away too much, but if you love this world as much as I have come to love it, you will be immensely pleased by the events. I have to agree with another reviewer that the other 2 books in this trillogy did seem to be slow moving, but this one makes up for it by leaps and bounds. The pace is set in the first 3 chapters and never seems to stop. All our questions are answered. Though now weve been left with a new set, which hopefully we wont have to wait long for new books to help answer those as well. I came to greatly enjoy and feel connected to many of the characters in the trillogy and am not ashamed to say I laughed many times with them, though I also wept for them. I found 1 person in particular to be of great feeling for me. This character was searching for something greater than ones self. The growth of this character and the heartache involed in the search, and the answer, were well writen and thought provoking. All in all I have to simply say that I was very pleased by the book in its entirely. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I did.
First of all, don't read this review before you have read Chronicles, Legends, and Dragons of Summer Flame. It will contain no spoilers of the War of Souls trilogy, but will spoil the above books if you haven't read them yet. Now the review will begin!
The War of Souls trilogy (Dragons of a Fallen Sun, Dragons of a Lost Star, Dragons of a Vanished Moon) is the latest Dragonlance trilogy from Weis and Hickman. This itself makes it a required read for anyone who claims to enjoy Dragonlance. Like it or not, you must read War of Souls, if only to know what happens in the Fifth Age.
Though you must read War of Souls, I'll bet you'll be happy about it. It's extremely exciting the whole way through, and is the type of book you don't want to put down. From the start, the trilogy is rife with mystery and excitement. A strange girl, only about seventeen years of age, leads a troupe of Dark Knights (now called the Knights of Neraka). Ahlana's band of elves are under attack by ogres. Tasslehoff is back! With all these plotlines running about, how could you possibly put it down! Though the many plotlines (three or more at a time) can get a little confusing at times, I find that they actually enhances the book. At the end of most chapters, there's a cliff hanger that makes you want to read as fast as you can so you can get back to that plot. The book is all-around good-quality as would be expected of Weis and Hickman.
One popular complaint about the War of Souls is "how could a book, without the gods and magic that's typical of Krynn, be nearly as good as the rest of the Dragonlance series?" Well, the answer to that is this: though magic and the gods are gone, the plot is so good that you don't even notice. Also, there's the fact that througout the books, there are always hints of something happening detailing the gods. There is the "One True God." There is the time-travelling device, etc. Though they're gone, it doesn't feel like the gods are gone.
Throughout the book, you keep learning about what happens to the remaining companions (and the heroes of the Second Generation). Didn't you want to know what Caramon would be like in his eighties? Well, now's your chance to find out! Wanted to know whether Raistlin's prediction of Palin would come true? Now's your chance! If you wanted to know more about anyone, you can.
Though they detail much of the old companions, there are plenty of new characters in the book. Between Mina, Galdar, Gerard and Odila, you won't get bored and the book will never seem stale. Of course, there are also the dragon overlords. Ever thought dragons were mighty and powerful? They're not, at least compared to the dragon overlords! These dragons are colossal, bigger than any others, and they rule Krynn! How could good ever depose them? Who knows? Read the book and find out!
All throughout the book, it's simply good quality. This will be a page-turner, and there's quite a lot of pages to turn. With over 1,800 pages in the entire trilogy, this Dragonlance will take you awhile, but you will enjoy the whole ride! I wish you luck on your journeys through Krynn!
Well, what can I say....another job very well done.
I got this book on Tuesday June 18, and I finished it today, Saturday June 22. I COULD NOT put this book down.
I'll admit, there were a few disappointing moments for me in this book, but the pros far outweigh the cons. Everything is made clear; from the dawn of time to the Fifth Age.
I thought I had figured out what was going on when I finished Lost Star, and I happily admit how wrong my conclusions were. I'll try not to give anything away for those who have yet to have the fortune to read this book.
I think this book rates up among the top of my list of favorite Dragonlance books for many reasons; the epic scope of the story; some old characters revisted; and best of all, the emotions it evoked in me. I found my self shouting in triumph, and seething with anger. I wept for joy and sorrow.
This book lives up to the highest of Dragonlance standards. It will make you happy, and it may disappoint, but it never failed. It is true to the Dragonlance tradition. I only hope more tales are forthcoming, because I feel we have not heard the last of Krynn just yet...
Since December I have been on a quest to read every one of the major Weis Hickman Dragonlance novels. I read Dragons of Autumn Twilight right after christmas and I just finished reading Dragons of a Vanished Moon today, two weeks before the fourh of July.
I mention my reading quest in this review of DOAVM, because I feel that this last book served as a perfect ending for my quest. By the end of this book many lose ends that have started throughout Weis and Hickmans run are finally tied. We learn the fate of all the original companions, the ones who are still alive an those who have passed on. We find out what happens to their children (Who by the time you reach this book, you care about and root for as much as you did their parents).
I have only one complaint abot the book. The compandium of the gods in the back of the book. My curiosity took hold of me after i read that it was in the book (as Im sure the same has happened to many DL fans) and i read it before I read the story. I loved every part of the compandium, but after reading it the climax of the book was ruined for me. The book could have been far more intense, like its predecessor Dragons of a lost Star, if I hadnt let my curiosity get to me. A word of advise to any DL fan who is reading my review before they decide to pick up the book -- don't let your curiosity get the best of you -- read the book from front to back like it should be!
Out of the war of the souls trilogy I would place Fallen sun with my least favorite DL books and Lost Star and Vanished moon amongst the very best f the pack. like Autumn Twilight, Winter Moon and Summer Flame.
The book not nly brought about many powerful endings to storylines throuhout he series but it also opened up new and exciting ones. I am probably going to take a break from te DL series for a while now, but after seeing the quality of Vanished Moon as well as he new possible future for the series, MY guess is I will come back to Krynn when Weis and Hickman take heir next journey.
How can one review a book where every chapter, and every nuance in the book spoils the plot? It isn't going to be easy, but I will endeavor to try.
My overall impression is that this book is the best Dragonlance novel I have read since Chronicles and Legends. It's just that good. The action is intense, and it is hard to put down.
On top of that, the book comes complete with an appendix by Tracy Hickman and Matthew L. Martin (which includes portions of Martin's Martinian Canon) which explains the background behind the gods of Krynn, the magic of Krynn, and the beginnings of the Fifth Age. I found this to be one of the best points of the book.
Certainly, when I read Dragons of a Fallen Sun and Dragons of a Lost Star, I thought that they went a bit slow. All of that was setup, for one of the greatest Dragonlance novels of all time.
Mina leads the Dark Knights in the name of the One God, revealed in the last book to be none other than Takhisis! With no other gods in the world to challenge the One God, hope is bleak indeed.
While this book is a great read, one has to wonder if Weis and Hickman are falling back on some old plot lines. Certainly, there are a few guest appearances in the book, one of which was a bit disappointing, though the end result was good. However, Vanished Moon was much better at the prior two books in the War of Souls series at not using previously used plot lines. I also felt that the ending was a bit anti-climatic, insomuch as the events of the end of the book could have happened earlier in the book, and still be a winner.
To the book's credit, there are plenty of surprises throughout and just when you think you have the answers, you will guess again!
The world of Krynn is fresh and new. Adventure possibilities, both in novels and in games, are to be found everywhere, and aspects of the world which were not explored previously can finally be fleshed out. Weis and Hickman did an excellent job of setting up the world for those who will follow them.
For the first time in a long while, I am anxiously awaiting the next Dragonlance novels to come out. I want to know what happens next!
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