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Monday, August 16, 2021

Dragonlance Review: Dragons of Spring Dawning

 The Dragon Highlords and their armies still dominate the land, but some free people’s stand resolute not to surrender to their tyranny. Palanthas has been giving a respite with the cost of the lives of hundreds of Knights of Solamnia. Will help come? Will the dragon orbs be mastered? Will the goodly metallic dragons come to face their ancient enemy? Released in 1985, this is the third and final novel of the Dragonlance Chronicles. Read my thoughts on the first novel and second novel in the series. 

The story starts off with Berem, the mysterious man with the gem in his chest that’s gotten a little attention in the first two books but is still largely a mystery. He reminds me some of Sméagol from The Lord of the Rings. As you can imagine, in this finale we start getting lots of answers as secrets are uncovered and revealed. 

Part one takes us back to Tanis, Caramon, Raistlin, Tika, Goldmoon, and Riverwind in Flotsam on the Blood Sea of Istar. I was very impressed with how atmospheric it starts, it immersed me quickly in the story, faster and more deeply than the first two books. 

Tanis makes his escape from the clutches of Kitiara, who is away in the west, having just slain Sturm Brightblade at the end of Dragons of Winter Night. Tanis struggles with his role of leadership since he feels he betrayed his friends by staying with Kitiara for a few days. 

Kitiara is such an interesting character. Her reveal was the biggest shock to me in Dragons of Winter Night, and the fact that she has a former lover, acquaintances, and brothers on the opposing side made for an interesting dynamic. 

Raistlin becomes a lot more enjoyable and interesting in this book. He was certainly getting there in book two, but in this one, every time we had a chapter from his Point of view, my eyes were glued to the page. 

A few chapters into part one, we head back to the characters in the west. She started down a path I really loved near the end of book two, but Laurana continues to shine in Dragons of Spring Dawning. She grows into her own, and is regal, wise, and loving way. But she is also burdened and scarred by her experiences, and the responsibilities put on her. Though in some ways I was disappointed with her arc, it kinda fizzled for me.

Big plus, Flint and Tas are back together and they’re banter is so fun to read
Of new characters introduced in part one, Astinus was my favorite, he’s oddly immortal and is tasked it seems to record all events, or at least important ones, in history. I’d like to see more of him in stories that take place before or after this.

We also get to finally see Palanthas, which is the grandest city to be explored in the series, considering it survived the Cataclysm unlike Tarsis. 

“I don’t believe any of us were sitting around praying for a war, but war has come, and now you must do what you can to win it.”

Part one ends with things getting going. The forces against Takhisis finally rally some and seem to be able to stand somewhat of a chance.

Part two has some going into danger and others escaping from it. Some of this didn’t sit well with me, as it’s passed off as love but seems more like stupidity. This part tries to be more poetic and those two things didn’t work for me. Because it seems like it tries but isn’t succeeding. I can see why this could be popular with younger audiences. Don’t get me wrong, the progression of the war is finally coming to its climax and I was excited to finish.

Part three brings us back to a character that I didn’t discuss in my Dragons of Winter Night video because he was thought dead by the end of Dragons of Autumn Twilight. I can happily say that Fizban, Dragonlance’s Gandalf, does make an appearance in his own hilarious fashion that kicks off part three to a great start. 

Then we get lots of development, be prepared to be sad, to feel loss, but to feel joy. I will honestly say that this story is pretty good, but I had a few things spoiled before reading and that did dampen the fun. There are a few threads of adventure left at the end though, and I’m curious to follow them.

That being said this series did disappoint me some, and I think it’s largely because I didn’t find it lived up to the hype. Which of course overrating and underrating a book can make the level of enjoyment fluctuate drastically, at least for me. I generally try to go in with neutral feelings but I’m not always successful. Oddly the first book was my favorite, I think I’m in the minority with that opinion. 

This book also had flat writing, which really wasn’t engaging, but the story and humor make up for it. Most characters, even after the whole series of development are still cliché. With the reluctant leader, brooding Warrior, and so forth. With this conclusion, the book is Acceptable. Sadly at this point, I was just sick of the writing and almost went into a reading slump with it.


You can track my current progress here.

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