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Reviews of 'Dragons of the Highlord Skies'

Dragons of the Highlord Skies

by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
Lost Chronicles, Volume 2

Reviews of 'Dragons of the Highlord Skies'

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Reviewer: BeezerMN

Rating: Stars

Dragons of the Highlord Skies is the second novel in the Lost Chronicles trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. The first book in this trilogy is Dragons of the Dwarven Depths and tells the tale of the companions as they attempt to recover the lost Hammer of Kharas. This book focuses mostly on the journey Kitiara takes as she rises in the ranks of the Dragonarmy. It also tells the tale of Laurana as she slowly emerges into what she becomes in the later books of the Dragonlance Chronicles. Fans of the Dragonlance Chronicles will no doubt find this novel very interesting. However, if you have not yet experienced the Chronicles and are thinking of reading this book, I would highly suggest that you read the Chronicles first. I say this simply because some of the events that happen in this book will be so much more clear after reading the firs trilogy.

The plot of this books fills in a major gap of events that occurred during Dragons of Winter Twilight, and a little into Dragons of Spring Dawning. The plot of this book is a little different than most Weis and Hickman books in that it is a very involved plot and has several shifts in perspective and following main characters. Some of the plot points in this book are things such as Kitiara's rise through the Dragonarmy, her interactions with Highlord Ariakas, Sturm's interacting with Derek Crownguard, the battle of the Ice Wall, and several other things. This book is chalk full of plot points and story arc points. Fans of the original Chronicles will appreciate the depth that this story is explored and the answers it gives for how characters behave later in books and stories. Weis and Hickman have obviously had this story idea in their heads for a long time. It's great to see that this story has finally seen the printed page.

The characters in this book will be largely familiar to fans of the original chronicles. There are a few additions, but for the most part all the 'big players' will be known to readers. Unlike the first Lost Chronicles book, Dragons of the Dwarven Depths, there is a substantial amount of character development in this novel. Almost every one of the major characters has some level of development. Kitiaria, Laurana, Derek Crownguard, and several other characters all grow as characters in this book. It seems that Weis and Hickman put more thought behind developing the characters in this book than they did in the first. It was very refreshing to see.

My main point of contention with the first Lost Chronicles book was that the character dialog seemed 'off' ad wrong at times. I am very pleased to say that that issue seems to be completely resolved. The dialog in this book is exactly what I read in the first chronicles. Sturm, Tasselhoff, Derek, Laurana, and Kitiara all have spot on dialog and hold true to the characters I came to love more than twenty years ago. After the last book, I was slightly worried that those things would be repeated, I was very pleased to see they were not.

This novel fits nicely into the stories that have come before it. Reading this novel was like putting on an old pair of shoes. It was comforting and I knew just what I was getting myself into. I can't say enough good things about the original Chronicles and now I have another book to add to that saga. Fans of the Chronicles will fall in love with the companions all over again. Hopefully, this also brings more readers to the original Chronicles and allows others to discover the wonderful books I grew up with.

The last book in the Lost Chronicles is titled Dragons of the Hourglass Mage. This is certainly a book I am looking forward to. In regards to this book, I have no doubt I will find myself recommending it to countless Dragonlance fans. It truly was a great read.

Reviewer: Kranar Drogin

Rating: Stars

This is the second book of the Lost Chronicles, a series that Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are writing to "fill in" what the Heroes of the Lance did during the War of the Lance. I must admit from the outset, that I was not looking forward to this series. I was in the minority in this, but figured anything to do with Weis and Hickman is worth reading even if my own personal feelings were that I did not want to read about the Heroes any longer.

Most of the book fills in on what Kitiara uth Matar was doing behind the scenes before Dragons of Winter Night. It was interesting to see what she was doing, her thoughts, plans, and ideas that eventually led up to her attacking the High Clerist's Tower. It also was pretty interesting to see that she followed Tanis' every move following the death of Verminaard.

The book will also flesh out how Laurana's Companions escaped from Tarsis after it was attacked, and how they got to Icereach and made contact with the Ice Folk there. Derek will also show how he became even more insane, and why he made the decisions he made in Winter Night. I even grew to really like Brian Donner even more, and it even showed how Sturm was accepted into the Knighthood.

I think that any Dragonlance fan should pick this book up to read, especially if you are a Kitiara fan. After Lord Soth's initial appearance, you will pretty much have to wait until the end of the book before he makes another appearance, because he doesn't have a big part in the book. As far as continuity goes, Weis and Hickman did a decent job. I did not like how they changed the Battle of the Ice Reaches from a small group infiltrating the Ice Wall Castle, to a large scale attack of 300+ Ice Folk and Laurana's Companions. Overall though, I think the book started out slow, but picked up steam as it went. I would recommend this book to any Dragonlance fan, but would encourage it to be read AFTER original Chronicles and Legends.

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