Reviews of 'The Legend of Huma'
Reviews of 'The Legend of Huma'
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I have just finished reading The Legend of Huma for the first time. It was a very enjoyable read, though the deaths of so many characters was very unappealing. It seemed as though the second I began to like a character they died.
I was suprised by the way the author portrayed Huma as a 'people-before-honor' type person. I got the impression (courtesy of Sturm's constant story-telling) that he would be somewhat like the character Bennett--a perfect knight, in every perfect way. But Huma has faults and I loved his character for it; no perfect character is an interesting one.
If you do not wish to hear any minor spoilers please do not read on. (Though any who remember the 'modern' story of Huma would expect it.) From the first second the silver dragon appeared I knew it was the one who Huma would fall in love with, who turned out to be Gweneth. I wasn't much for her character, though she proved herself worthy of my grudging admiration as the book wore on.
I feel that the author neglected to add some details (though they may just have been rumors spread by the characters, or rather Sturm and Raistlin, in the Chronicles books). Did Huma not follow a white stag? It was not mentioned. The author also failed to include that, because of Magius's death, the Conclave voted mages have some protection, other than spells, and were permitted to carry daggers or knives.
Though most of my comments are negative I honestly did enjoy this book and find it worthy of four stars.
The Legend of Huma, which has been in my possession for a good 3 and a half years, is a great tale of Huma's accomplishments during the Dragonqueen War. What hooked me into getting this book is the great artwork on the cover. The artwork inside is just as beautiful, and really demonstrates each chapter in one way or another. I am a loyal dragon fan, and the name of this series of books says it all. This is my first and only Dragonlance book I have, but it has hooked me into this realm of magic and dragons. Anyways, back to the book. This book tells of Huma's exploits during his life as a Paladine Soldier. His bravery, his friendships, and his love for the silver dragon (whos secret is not to be told, you must read it yourself!). Huma was a very brave and pure warrior... some might even say he's a mortal descendent of Paladine himself. On the journey, Huma gains massive respect and a high sense of heroism. He gains some friends along the way, but also gains a foe or two, mind you. He tries, and almost defeats, the Commander of the Black Guard, Crynus, Takhisis' Warlord himself! He, after quite a bit, exacts revenge on Huma and his friends, and, stubbernly though, dies in the Silver Dragon's purifying flame. Kaz, which killed his own commander, faces death until Huma rescues him. Actually, Huma rescues Kaz 3 times in the story, each time because the warriors on the Palidinian side are not used to a minotaur protecting one of their own! What an amazing sight! Then, Huma meets up with his childhood friend, Magius, who is a former Renagade mage. Magius ran away from the Conclave of the 3 Orders because they gave him one of the toughest tests around: viewing his own death. Magius and Kaz don't get along real well, and Huma has to brake things up every once in a while. Huma shortly after meets up with Gwyneth, a beautiful cleric helper. Her past is shrouded in mystery, and Huma doesn't even know what hits him when he finds out that...eh-heh! Thought I would give it away, eh? Not a chance! Huma even learns of Rennard's, his mentor and best friend, dark past (and that they are related) Then finds out the reason why the Grand Master fell sick and died, and how Lord Oswal becomes threatened with the same plague! With the help of his friends (not to mention that awesome silver dragon!), Huma gathers the legendary Dragonlances after 3 massive, deadly challenges. The final showdown between Takhisis, the Dragonqueen herself, and Huma is one of the most awesome climaxes I've ever read in a book. Takhisis is ruthless and cunning, and will do anything to rule Krynn, if not the world! Even if it means sacrificing ALL of her army to do so (even her right-hand Mage, Galan Dracos, unleashes his final spell to "never exist", at the end. As he said, he "gambled and lost". He'd rather escape than face Takhisis' "tenderness"). The epic clash of good versus evil involves the Silver Dragon and the 5-headed Takhisis battling it out, with Huma right on the saddle of the Silver dragon. The ending has a complete different twist than any other book I've read. And, the finale is very emotional and even got me a little teary Anyways, this is a gotta read book, for people just getting into the series or vetrans of Ansalon. You can't go wrong with this book! The Legend of Huma is an awesome story with awesome visuals (mental and drawn on the pages) and a vivid plot that give it just the right stuff! And Richard A. Knaak does all the right things to pull this dragon-lover's heart strings. Lets just say he has a "Knaak" for it! (Sorry, Richard, but I just had to use that awful pun.) Read it! You won't be disappointed.
I first read The Legend of Huma years ago, before I'd even heard of Dragonlance. So I had never heard of the characters, nor did I know how it would end. And the book astounded me with the characters and events that were absolutely amazing. Come to find out, these characters had existed for the history of the Chronicles long before Richard A. Knaak ever tackled The Legend of Huma. Years later, I still read The Legend of Huma every few months. It is easily my favorite Dragonlance book, and in my opinion, the best Dragonlance book there is.
First, I'd like to cover a couple of the complaints that I've heard about this book. The first one being the absence of the White Stag. After reading the Chronicles, I actually became far more impressed by Knaak's portrayal of Huma and his quest. I thought the absence of the White Stag was a notable achievement in separating man from myth. Whereas the White Stag is just something that was added in later as bards and storytellers took over the legend and made it more myth than truth, the actual book represents the true history of Huma and what really happened. The other complaint I've heard would be the fact that Knaak did not cover the Conclave's decision to allow wizards to carry daggers after Magius's death. However, this is not a book about Magius, it is about Huma. Not only that, that decision was made by the Conclave after Magius's death (obviously) and The Legend of Huma ends shortly after, so there was no room for the Conclave's decision to be included, nor would it have made any sense in context with the rest of the story.
Now, on to the multitude of strengths this book carries. The character development in this book was very well done. We see a side of Huma that the Chronicles can only hint at, given the fact that it's only a myth by that point in Krynn's timeline. The Legend of Huma shows Huma as a man who is not always sure of himself, but in his disregard for his own well-being, and sometimes his disregard for the Measure, he becomes a better person and a more worthy servant of Paladine. And Huma is not the only character that gets the spotlight. We also meet Bennett, Kaz, Gweneth (Heart), and a wealth of supporting characters that add a certain depth to The Legend of Huma that other Dragonlance novels can be lacking in. Gweneth's first appearances do make you wonder, "how can Huma not know that's a Dragon?" Though, I doubt it was the intention of Knaak to carefully mask Gweneth's identity, as most of the readers have read The Chronicles and already know the basic story. Gweneth's character was thought out well and portrayed beyond being just the love interest of a humble Knight, which is good. Kaz the Minotaur is also a beautifully written character. He is saved by Huma towards the beginning of the book and swears to protect Huma, which he does until the very end. Kaz is easily one of my favorite characters in Dragonlance and along with Magius, Kaz offers some much needed comic relief at times.
The battle scenes in The Legend of Huma are tastefully done, with more emphasis on individual characters and reactions over the typical "stab, thrust, death" of many large-scale battles you will find in other novels. And there are plenty of battles to read about, given that this book is set in the Third Dragon War in the general area of Solamnia. And of course, there are Dragons. Sky battles involving Dragons are balanced expertly with land-based battles involving the standard troops of the Knights of Solamnia, so this book works well to give both sides of the coin and does not focus too much on the Dragonriders.
While the battles add a sense of urgency and loss to the book, with lots of characters dying (as it should be in war times), this book is not without emotion. A few of the most emotional scenes I have ever read are right within the pages of The Legend of Huma. The farewell from Kaz to Huma as Kaz realizes that Huma is going to die nearly made me cry, and stands to me as one of the most touching moments I have read (I still get teary every time I read it).
Overall, this book has absolutely everything. Knaak's writing is absolutely brilliant and he incorporates every important theme in one book. If you haven't heard the true story of Huma, this is definitely a book to pick up. Or if you just like Dragons, The Knights of Solamnia (when they still had honour), lots of battle, and some very touching moments, then go out and get this book. I honestly think this is a book that no Dragonlance or Fantasy-genre fan should be without.
WOW!!! Is all I can say! The Webmaster of
Dragonfyre's Dragonlance Site gave it 10/10 and said it was his best book ever, but for me I'm not too sure if this is the best. One thing I cannot begin to deny is that this book is DAMN NEAR my personal friggin fave. In Singapore I went to my usual store which sold/rented out DL books and I saw The Legend of Huma which I never saw there before. Under the influence of Dragonfyrez's review I bought the book and finished it within 4 days.
But what of the book? Needless to say it BLEW ME AWAY PERIOD. I admit being so moved to the extent that I almost cried (and I can't remember the last time I felt like this). I agree with Dragonfyrez who said that it teaches a lesson about honour to which I cannot agree less. It is sad of course what happened to Huma and Gwyneth but I'm sure they would be much better off in the bosom of Paladine for eternity. Wait, until Chaos came along at least. (darn, I'm sounding like a cleric of Paladine. Yikes!) This book also shows how selfless yet simple Huma was, with no care for the political intrigues inside the Knighthood.
Guys, if you consider yourself a human or DL fan at least DO NOT think twice! Stop what you're doing, turn off your CD Player (blasting Blind Guardian's The Soulforged at max volume I hope) NOW and run down to the store and GET THIS BOOK! You owe it to yourself!
The Legend of Huma – Exciting & Engaging
After reading the "core" DL books by Weis and Hickman, I admit that I was skeptical embarking on new literary adventures with different authors. Richard A. Knaak (RAK) quickly alleviated my doubt. I was captivated from the beginning and it stayed that way throughout the book. The Legend of Huma is a novel of faith, emotion, friendship, and loyalty. These characteristics are woven in the fiber of those foundational DL books, as any DL fan would agree.
The main character, Huma, is a dedicated Knight of the Crown, but viewed as "ordinary" or "mediocre" because of adhering to his values on what is right and not allowing the politics or power to sway them. It is Huma's faith and leadership that supports the Knighthood in fighting the Dark Queen, Takhisis, against taking over Krynn. Huma grows as a knight and as a leader throughout the book. His upstanding values are the foundation for his growth that spreads to his fellow allies. He challenges the "status quo", accepting his best friend Magius, despite being a mage. He also defended and befriended Kaz, the minotaur, despite the common perception as an adversary to humans. These hurdles aren't simply handled by Huma, ,as evidenced by his inner struggle on his feelings for Gwyneth. Huma's challenges occur both inside and outside the knighthood. But Huma's quality and support from his allies enable him to meet these challenges head on.
RAK did a superb job in depicting Huma as the legendary symbol of the Knights of Solamnia. The characters around Huma are well defined. The plot is enticing and makes you wonder how the side of good will persevere against overwhelming odds. I would definitely recommend this novel to read after reading the core novels.
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