Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of Winter Night – Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

Recently, I shared my love for the first book in the Dragonlance Chronicles series. Well, re-reading that novel for my article awoke something in me. Suddenly, I was reminded of the magical world of Kyrnn and all of the memorable characters that were a part of its history. I found myself unable to resist the urge to revisit the second novel in the series. So, as you might expect, I’m here to share my thoughts on that book now. Allow me to introduce, Dragons of Winter Night.

It’s important to note that the write up I’ve included below assumes that you are familiar with the contents of the first book. With that in mind, let’s get to it…

The events of this book take place shortly after the end of the previous novel. But it’s important to note that it’s not set immediately after… In fact, it seems that the companions have had a whole other adventure that we are only hearing bits and pieces about. When I was younger, this fact annoyed me greatly. But now, I am able to appreciate how this “missing time” actually stokes the imagination. This book begins with the companions and the refugees of Pax Tharkas seeking refuge in the Dwarven Kingdom of Thorbardin. However, their stay is only temporary. Before long, the companions must find a permanent home for the refugees. This mission takes them to the legendary city of Tarsis – a seaside metropolis that no one from the mainland has visited since before that cataclysm. During their journey they meet up with people and cultures that have been long-forgotten by most, and also manage to recover a number of powerful artifacts that may very well turn the tide of the War of the Lance…

Compared with the first book, this entry in the series is a major change in tone. Whereas the first novel was charming and, at times, almost fun – this one is somewhat serious and even foreboding. This time around we learn more about the world of Krynn and the various people and kingdoms that populate to continent of Ansalon. We are introduced to a new race of Elves and even get our first glimpse at the Knights of Solamnia. Of course, not everyone we meet is friendly. Sadly, the pall of war has darkened the moods of nearly everyone. Infighting has fractured friendships and institutions that should be banding together in these times of trouble. And it’s up to the companions to do what they can to rally everyone together before the evil Dragonarmies complete their conquest.

When I was young, this book was my least favorite of the trilogy. I credit this to both its dark tone as well as the fact that one of my favorite characters does not survive. Regardless of how upset I might have been with this fact, the end of this book also contains a major cliffhanger that made it impossible for me to skip the next entry in the series… You’ve been warned!

Story: Slow to start, but picks up momentum quick. Further develops the character relationships laid out in the first book and provides a bigger glimpse at the world of Kyrnn. An excellent follow up, but one that tugs at your heartstrings…

Recommended: For fans of the first novel and readers with an interest in sword and sorcery tales.

Old Game Hermit

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