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Reviews of 'Protecting Palanthas'

Protecting Palanthas

by Douglas W. Clark
The Champions, Volume 4


Reviews of 'Protecting Palanthas'

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Reviewer: BeezerMN

Rating: Stars

Protecting Palanthas by Douglas W. Clark is the fourth book is a series of stand alone books titled the Champions. The first book, also penned by Mr. Clark is titled Saving Solace. The second book written by Lucien Soulban is titled Alien Sea and the third nook by Peter Archer is The Great White Wyrm. All four of these novels are set in the Dragonlance universe. The beauty of these stand alone novels is that prior knowledge of the Dragonlance world is not truly necessary to understand them. It is certainly helpful, and readers of past Dragonlance books will recognize many nuggets scattered throughout the books, but it is not imperative.

The plot of this book, on the surface, seems rather linear. A chest was stolen, and two people are hired to find it. Later in the novel the reader find out there is more to the small chest than first thought. The small chest is really the main plot line, but there are also a couple sub plots within the pages of this novel as well. One being the Beloved of Chenosh appearing a couple of times. When I first read the book this particular sub plot seemed more like an editor telling the author to make sure and include it and I was a little disappointed in that. However, if that was the case, I think Mr. Clark did a very good job of adding it without it detracting from his story. I actually ended up enjoying the inclusion of it as I had forgotten about them. While reading this book, I almost felt as though it was a gaming session being put to paper, and I by no means mean that in a negative way. It's a nice compact, succinct plot. It allows the reader to immerse themselves in it and worry about little else.

The characters in this book are in two categories. One being characters that have appeared in past Dragonlance books. Specifically Galdar, who Dragonlance fans will remember as the minotaur from the Mina novels. The second is Gerard who is an ex knight of Slomnia. He has appeared in several books, but his latest was Saving Solace which as mentioned above was written by Mr. Clark and started off the Champions series. Both of these characters hold true to their past actions and motivations. The second group of characters are largely new characters that add to the story. Since this is a Dragonlance novel, there is the requisite kinder. Admittedly, I am a fan of kender and the one in this novel is no different. Mr. Clark wrote him, and really all the characters, very well. They all seem to have their own voice, actions, motivations, and flaws. It really is a joy to read about such diverse characters. Certainly, they may be a little clichéd at times. But, the way Mr. Clark has written them they don't feel like recycled characters. They feel new and interesting.

The only criticisms I can think of for this novel is the linear plot. I would have liked just a little more substance in it, and the ending seemed rushed to me. Almost like Mr. Clark was running close to his word count so he tied everything up nice and neat. Neither of those two issues detracted significantly from this novel however.

This is only the second book I have read by Mr. Clark, however, I can already say I am a fan of his writing. His prose is smooth and his pacing is spot on. It is almost as though he is daring the reader to put the book down. It is easy to read, but covers a lot of information and builds well upon itself. I am really hoping Wizards of the Coast gives Mr. Clark more opportunities to write novels for them. He has a tremendous talent and I am anxious to see what he does next.

Fans of the Dragonlance universe will enjoy this novel. Fantasy fans who are looking at a nice introduction to the Dragonlance universe could do worse than starting with the Champions series. It gives a good overall feel to what readers can expect from the world. I enjoyed the Champion series as a whole and think most fantasy fans will as well. I can easily see myself recommending this novel to other readers.


Reviewer: Kranar Drogin

Rating: Stars

Protecting Palanthas is the second book by Douglas W. Clark of the four book series The Champions. You don't need to have read his first book, Saving Solace, prior to reading this book, but it will give you more background on the hero of the story Gerard uth Mondar. This book also follows Galdar, which most readers hadn't seen since Amber and Ashes.

The book takes place in Palanthas, and follows the theft of a jewel box from a noble women's bedchamber. Gerard and Galdar are asked to track it down and the thief. Their travels move them from the city to the wilds of the Vingaard Mountains to the northeast of the city. What was really contained in this jewel box is revealed to the champions and their companions.

The only real problem I had with this book is that it seemed like the editor told the author to put so much into this story. Having the Emperor of Solamnia in there along with the Beloved seemed kind of forced. The reason I say that is that we don't know if the Beloved live past Margaret Weis' novels with the Dark Disciple series yet. So time will tell how the final book of that series coming out (Amber and Blood) will affect the book overall with the Dragonlance timeline.

Other than that, I really enjoyed this book. This is a must read for any Dragonlance fan, especially if you liked Gerard or even Galdar. What I really enjoyed about this book, just like with Douglas W. Clark's other book Saving Solace, is that nothing earth shattering takes place. This is an event that could have taken place everywhere and a sort of breath of fresh air from every author that tries to destroy the world in their novel or series. Those who are picking this book up by itself will not be confused as to what is going on other than reading a good story.


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