Dragonlance Dragonlance: Dragons of Deceit Review

Dragonlance is back, and not just with the RPG adventure book Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen (I expect a release date announcement on August 18). Dragonlance: Dragons of Deceit is a new novel by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman and the start of the Dragonlance Destinies trilogy.

Dragonlance Dragons of Deceit FG0Jpa2XEAYrJWm.jpg

Of course, Dragonlance has never really gone away. Even after Weis & Hickman left TSR and other authors were hired to write Krynn novels, the original duo have regularly returned to their fan-favorite series in addition to some novels written by Weis alone. Still, the last completely new novel by the pair was 2009's Dragons of the Hourglass Mage so it's been a long time.

If you're a Dragonlance fan, you'll be happy with DDoD. Weis & Hickman are still at the top of their game, and while this is a new story, familiar faces make an appearance with even more named. Prior knowledge of Dragonlance isn't necessary, but if you are a fan, you'll immediately recognize a lot of references.

Destina Rosethorn, daughter of a Solamnic knight, has been raised to follow The Measure, care for her hereditary lands, and maintain Castle Rosethorn as a line of defense against the forces of evil. Even when tragedy strikes her family, Destina continues as she was taught – until another loss strikes and upends everything she expected from life. Destina decides the solution is to go back in time, using the Device of Time Journeying, to save her father during the War of the Lance.

While I think Dragonlance fans (and I've always considered myself one) will enjoy or even love this book, that last sentence is part of the reason why I didn't enjoy this novel as much as I expected. I've been a lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy, and grew up on Star Trek time-space continuum shenanigans and Doctor Who, so time travel is not a deal breaker for me.

But...

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Even in a world where dragons and magic exist, I trip over Destina's leap in logic. Citizens of Krynn have experienced magic, lived through the return of the gods and clerics, and likely have seen dragons fly overhead, but time travel is beyond rare. People view Tasslehoff Burrfoot's stories of his time-travel adventures as Kender exaggerations. I understand Destina's desperation, but that's quite the leap. Maybe it's just that Destina sometimes comes across to me as more immature than I expect from the Destina depicted in the early chapters.

Or maybe my tastes have changed since I originally read Dragons of Autumn Twilight. Both books open with a location description, but DDoAT focuses on Tika and her thoughts while also describing The Inn of the Last Home, whereas DDoD begins with a several paragraphs description of Castle Rosethorn before Lord Gregory even appears. It wasn't exactly a grabber.

I'm used to Tasslehoff being flighty, but his refusal to accept the truth of a plot-point, even after it's been repeatedly explained just rubs me wrong. There's a difference between being trusting and denying evidence.

Worse, I didn't feel an emotional connection to the characters or Destina's dilemma. I enjoyed DDoD, was interested in the plot, and I'm curious about the rest of the trilogy, but I didn't feel any tension or emotion like I did while reading Drew Hayes' NPCs or Travis Baldree's Legends & Lattes. Yet when I compare DDoD to Weis & Hickman's earlier Dragonlance novels they all fit together, so the disconnect is mine.

Also, time travel trilogies can be tricky to accurately evaluate while incomplete. I might look back when it's over and love this book. I hope so.

The hardcover is nicely made with end-papers that show the map of Ansalon. If you prefer audiobooks, reader Kirsten Potter is very good. Whether voicing Destina, her parents, Tika, Caramon, Tas, Dalamar, or others, Potter changes her voice so you know exactly who is speaking before you get to the attribution. Most fiction audiobook readers try to do that, but don't accomplish it nearly as well as Potter does.

If you love Dragonlance, Dragons of Deceit will likely be an A or an A+ for you even though for me, it's currently a solid B to B+. Fan of epic fantasy but new to Dragonlance? It'll be somewhere between a B and an A+, depending upon your exact tastes. And despite my hesitation, I am interested in the next book, Dragons of Fate, and I think that's a truer sign of my Dragons of Deceit review than a letter grade.
 
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Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels


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Fifinjir

Explorer
"Literary quality"? Fancy way of saying, genre books are a grade below "real" books. It's an arrogant and elitist position.
I wouldn’t go that far, but “literary quality” needs to get an actual definition before I can judge if something has it.
 

DarkCrisis

Reeks of Jedi
That character may very well have always intended to be in Krynn to begin with though.

Possibly. He’s always been a fan of DL, though I don’t think you could play a “Dragonborn” until 3.5 Ed. I know DL had some books in 3rd Ed so yeah possible he’s a draconian. Who planehops.
 

I enjoyed Sable the copper dragon, and Wolfstone the Daergar dwarf, and Tasslehoff!
This caught my eye. Do they share any similarities to Dragonlance: New Adventures series with Raedon the copper dragon, Oddvar the Daergar dwarf, and Sindri Suncatcher? Tasslehoff is a beloved old character of course, but that specific racial combination of three immediately brought the New Adventures to mind.
 

They mentioned the Hand of Vecna in it, too.

And Ak
The book is fun. I don't know what else someone could want from a hobby item.

I also started reading the Elric stuff, and while that's entertaining, the new DL is far more fun.

As a DL fan, this book is like coming home. And it's sad this trilogy may be the last EVER. So I plan to cherish it and the next 2 as much as possible.

If it sells well enough there is a chance a deal for another trilogy is possible. I mean the person who was behind a lot of the conflict between WotC & the writers is gone as I understand it. So keep hope.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
This caught my eye. Do they share any similarities to Dragonlance: New Adventures series with Raedon the copper dragon, Oddvar the Daergar dwarf, and Sindri Suncatcher? Tasslehoff is a beloved old character of course, but that specific racial combination of three immediately brought the New Adventures to mind.
It's been a while since I've read the New Adventures series. Dragons of Deceit is set around the same time (I think), but other than that . . . Sable the Copper Dragon is a friendly, helpful dragon . . . Tasslehoff is, well, Tasslehoff . . . and Wolfstone is a Strider-like figure, and best buds with the King of Thorbardin, also works as his 007.
 


DarkCrisis

Reeks of Jedi
Almost done with it. This is some Back to the Future stuff and I love it.

I don’t know what people are complaining about, this is just awesome.

I know there are 2 books to go but I really hope this ends up “fixing” a few things.

And people who don’t understand Destinas heel turn, did you not read it? She loses everything in her life and gets desperate. And like most people she justifies her actions to herself with stuff like “it won’t matter once it’s done. It will all be fixed.” She’s not the first righteous person to “make a deal with devil” to right what they see as a grave wrong. See also: Crystania and her love of Raistlin.

I’m willing to bet she sees the errors of her ways by the end of the trilogy and makes amends.

As for Tass, I’d say it’s pretty par for the course.
 
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DarkCrisis

Reeks of Jedi
Finished it.

Love it. Can't wait for the next one as the tale should kick into high gear,

My only nit is that this book is all set up. There is one fight at near the start of the book, if i recall correctly.

The last bit though with the Heroes of the Lance... oh man.

The only way I could get if someone didn't like this book was if they didn't read the first 2 trilogies and/or did read them and didn't like them. I pretty much re-read the first 2 trilogies before reading this.

As a long time DL fan and being not pleased with how Tanis went out and the Age of Mortals and etc etc I'm glad to get more tales of the original cast by the original authors.

If this somehow erases the Age of Mortals on up, or offers am alternate dimension branch where it never happened that would be great.

I know WotC plans to set their 5E book during the War and that's "The setting."

I found it interesting that Tass pointed out that the majority of Kender traits is cultural. A Kender raised by humans would be very different, though I guess keep the curiosity that's innate to them due to the grey gem. Which kind of lends to the 5E update Kender. Though if someone didn't play a atypical Kenderhome Kender (Most Kender) would the DM make sure their Kender background was "Raised elsewhere"?
 

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