Hello again Jared,
Ok, this took longer to finish than I thought it would. I might be reaching my limit for Dragonlance, so after the next one I’ll be taking a break for a couple of months.
Title: Dragons of the Highlord Skies
Series: Dragonlance Lost Chronicles; Vol. 2
Author: Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
ROTS Setting: UU, Medieval, Higher Magic, Dragons
Synopsis: The story starts in Neraka, where Kitiara uth Matar and Emperor Ariakas hatch a plan to retrieve a dragon orb and thereby destroy Solamnia and the Companions in one fell swoop. But the guardian of the dragon orb, Highlord Feal-Thas, disagrees with this plan. Kitiara must go to Ice Wall to force him to accept Ariakas’ will, but her journey does not end there. Thrown out of favor, she conceives a daring plan to enlist the aid of the most feared beings on Krynn–Lord Soth and the Dark Queen. Meanwhile, Laurana and the Companions retrieve the dragon orb and take it back to Solamnia–not knowing that they bring their allies’ doom with them.
Recommendation: Adult, maybe late teens. Any admirer of high fantasy should be familiar with this series.
Kitiara was the focus of this book, with at least two thirds being from her point of view. It starts out before the beginning of the Chronicles second book, Dragons of Winter Night, and carries on into the first part of that book. In addition to Kitiara, we also get a tiny bit of when Laurana and company go to Icereach while Tanis and company end up in Silvanesti. Getting that part of the story was nice, but it was a bit too small for me.
Kitiara, as a character, has always intrigued me. Part of that is how mysterious she seems, mostly due to the lack of time spent with her. She always seem to be darting in and out of the plot so getting almost an entire book with her was a highlight of the experience. However, we spent a lot of time with her in the beginning but the end was mostly dominated by Laurana. This left me a little unsatisfied with how her personal arc ends in this book.
Derek Crownguard would be the next most important character of the book. He did nothing for me other than to continue and add backstory to what ends up happening in Dragons of Winter Night. What was much more powerful were the other two Solamnic Knights who traveled with him. I found them to be complex and engaging……exactly the opposite of Crownguard.
Laurana is also somewhat significant in this book……barely. The change in her has already long since started but it’s in this book that she begins a conscious effort to become the person she’ll end up being. It’s nice to see but again, some of the things barely hinted at in the main trilogy are stated openly here. It’s a mild gripe but still there.
The plot was a bit weak as a whole. It meandered a bit. The beginning of Kitiara’s plot was by far the best. Crownguard dragged, and just when it was picking up it merged with Laurana’s. Laurana’s own plot was perfectly adequate, but also brief. I wish her plot had eased in a bit more and that Kitiara’s had finished stronger. I’m just not satisfied with any of the characters……even Tas just felt tacked on.
As a whole I enjoyed the details it conveyed but it’s more just the bits and pieces that can be inserted into the main trilogy and not a standalone adventure. I almost wish there was a single unified book combining the main trilogy and this one so that everything is paced properly and consistent. It’s a tall order that will never happen so I’ll just have to take it as it is.
In summary it’s a welcomed addition, but does not standalone….at all.
- Dragonlance on ROTS
- Margaret Weis Official Website
- Tracy Hickman’s Official Website
- Dragonlance Nexus – Unofficial Dragonlance Website
Dragons of the Hourglass Mage; Vol.3 >>