This time the focus is on fewer characters and fewer locations. That doesn't mean that the trilogy is less than its predecessor, it's just different and feels more grown up, like an older and wiser brother. The authors clearly learned a few things from the first trilogy. It doesn't keep them from making a few of the same mistakes, primarily repeating things that are already established, but this is a small pebble in a raging sea of inspired storytelling and engaging action. I remember the excitement with which I sucked in this trilogy back in the late 80'ies. The keyword to these books are still: Fun.
The Legends trilogy primarily focuses my favorite characters from the Chronicles; Caramon, jovial warrior who has become lost in the depths of himself after the end of the war, his twin brother Raistlin, magic user of questionable moral, who is planning to challenge the gods and the kender, Tasslehoff, who merrily skips along for the ride. Throw in a bit of time travel for good measure and I was quickly caught up in the epic story, which deep down was about saving a soul, just not only the one immediately obvious.
This time around the story is more personal, more focused and has a better sense of place since the authors take their time and stay in one location for an extended period. It is exciting to explore the lore of the world by taking already established characters and sending them back in time to experience events already known. The gladiator bouts were highlights for me and spark the imagination. Movie please!
Through books one and two, the story takes its time and slowly but surely rises in momentum, gains in intensity until the atmosphere is crackling with excitement. All of this is released in book three which is simply glorious and delivers in full what could only be hoped possible. By the end there is a feeling of melancholy but also a peaceful sense of closure. This makes me want to go back a re-read the whole thing just to feel that way again. I've lost count of the number of times I've done that.
The Dragonlance Legends are easily read, highly entertaining, breathtaking in their scope and filled with soul. Just enjoy them for what they are: Bloody great entertainment.
Written By Steen
Online: Sunday, July 27, 2014