Dragonlance: Dragons of Fate Review

Like last year, the second book in the Dragonlance Destinies trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman arrives in time for Gen Con. Dragonlance: Dragons of Fate picks up the time-travel adventure shortly after the Dragonlance: Dragons of Deceit ended, but with a brief, in-character recap to remind readers where things left off.

Dragonlance Dragons of Fate.jpg

Where Last We Left Our Heroes...​

In the last book, Destina Rosethorn decided that the solution to losing Castle Rosethorn to deceit and trickery is to find a legendary artifact, travel back in time, sabotage Sturm Brightblade during the War of Lance in the hopes that her father will then survive the war, preventing his estate from passing to a greedy, lying relative. Only Destina also acquired the Graygem of Gargath, which literally holds chaos. As a result, Destina and Tasslehoff Burrfoot are thrown into the past with versions of Raistlin Majere and Sturm from the War of the Lance period, and the Device of Time Journeying is shattered.

So now our heroes are trapped during the Third Dragon War with no way to get home, fearful that their very presence could change history and cause the forces of evil to win the war.

Can you guess what will happen by the end of Dragonlance: Dragons of Fate?

The Journey, Not the Destination​

The good news is that the journey to get there was much more enjoyable than the prior book's. I reread Dragonlance: Dragons of Deceit before starting DDoF and while last year I gave it a B, I was too generous, probably because of nostalgia. After rereading it, I feel even more strongly about the problems I cited in my review.

Paired with the new book, it really feels like DDoD was just setup to get readers to this book, where things become interesting, and the characters are more engaging. Worse, the problems in the first book could have been smoothed out or explained better, but they didn't put in the effort.

Thankfully, the bulk of DDoF is more engaging. Raistlin and Sturm get to meet their idols Magius and Huma, who turn out to be less the paragons of lore and more human, with their own quirks. With Magius, Raistlin forges his first genuine friendship, and Sturm learns through Huma that there's more to life than The Measure while still upholding the Solamnic code.

Tas, meanwhile, is off to “preserve the song” which takes him on an adventure. And, of course, the forces of evil are scheming to further the ambitions of Takhisis. Once they know the Graygem is in play, it becomes a fight for the power of chaos.

Character Study​

After DDoF gets rolling, I cared far more about the characters than I did in DDoD. It probably helped that far less of this book focused on Destina. In the first book she whines about having to save her father to rewrite history so she doesn't lose her home. Here, she whines about the death and destruction caused by her selfish actions. I wanted to like Destina, but she did act like a spoiled brat who didn't care about the impact of her actions on history until it was too late.

A few things still bother me. The shattered, one-of-a-kind time travel device is resolved with surprising ease. The time travel plot device feels like an excuse to bring back from the dead (well, another timeline) fan favorite characters to do a remix of events Dragonlance fans already know. Seeing a less driven Raistlin helps as does an epic love story for anothet set of characters. And Tas' side trip is amusing as intended.

But this is the second book of a trilogy so you can guess the sort of tone it'll end on. Whether it wraps up well or not, we'll discover next year.

To Be Continued​

The hardcover version is pretty with a map of Ansalon as the endpapers by Philip Ulrich. Cover design by David G. Stevenson.

If you prefer audiobooks, DDoF is again narrated by Kristen Potter, who does an excelent job creating the character voices. It's a fairly hefty novel, clocking in at more than 13 hours unabridged.

While I still think my tastes have changed since I originally read the first Dragonlance trilogy, I did enjoy this book more than the last one. But unclouded by nostalgia, that still translates Dragonlance: Dragons of Fate to a B. If you liked the first book better than I did, you'll probably like this one too.
 
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Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels


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wizard71

Explorer
I'll give this one a chance, but I'll be honest. I despised the first book. The first half was filled with nothing but bloated exposition and one of the whiniest and most selfish characters ever written that just reaks of being a Fan Fiction insert character, and the second half just felt like key jangling in an attempt to milk the franchise for nostalgia dollars. I like Weis and Hickman but frankly the last good book they've written of any series was the War of Souls trilogy. They are simply not in their prime anymore and it shows.

And that is before we even get to what is likely the entire purpose of this trilogy: to retcon out the Age of Mortals in it's entirety. As I've said many times on these forums, the Age of Mortals was objectively good for the setting and progressed it forward for the modern gaming systems. Frankly the best decision they ever made was to kill off Takhisis. She's had her time, let the other gods get their chance in the spotlight. Bringing her back is only going to stifle the setting, not enhance it.
I have to disagree. The Age of Mortals was terrible. I did not like that 40 years after the War of the Lance the Gods of Krynn have the attention span of a gnat and abandon the world. I also disliked Takhissis being slain by Silvanoshei. I understand that they need to flush out the other gods more and reduce the influence of Paladine, Gilean & Takhissis. I felt Margaret Weis did this very well in the Dark Disciple trilogy. I was very dissapointed in how that trilogy ended.
 

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