Friday, May 26, 2023

It's too damn hot

Much as I remember hating Dragons of Summer Flame by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman the one and only time I read it previously, it wasn't nearly as bad the second time around. This doesn't mean I liked it that much, but , much like the previous rereads of other RPG fiction that once annoyed me, it didn't fill me with bitterness this time around. Mostly.

 So, we open on the Drak Paladin order, the Knights of Takhisis, setting ground on the island of the Irda, a long lost race that in prior times were cursed to become Ogres. The Irda are exceptionally xenophobic, and decide to crack the legendary Greygem open to power a shield over their island. (Background here. In game materials, the Dwarven god, Reorx,  was tricked into containing Chaos, father of the Gods in a gem. It managed to to create chaos in its wake, before vanishing into history.) Needless to say, this is a really bad idea, as Chaos is freed and begins his threat to destroy the world of his children. 

Which brings us to some of the Children of the Heroes of the Lance, particularly Palin, son of Tika and Caramon; Steel Brightblade, son of Sturm and Kitiara; and Usha, supposedly the half Irda daughter of Raistlin. Steel is a Knight, Palin is a White Robe wizard. They end up running through the world together after Palin is captured by the Knights. They end up being joined by Tasslehoff and Usha as the book goes on. 

We get minor updates on other surviving Heroes of the Lance, and the return of a supposedly dead Hero, last seen sleeping in the Abyss. 

And, by the end, alomst everyone is dead, Chaos is banished, and Krynn enters a new age without Gods. 

So, I remember half the reason I hated this had to do with the chump death of a fan favorite. It's still annoying. However, I can say with the amount of crap going on in here, it probably would have worked better as a trilogy, rather than as one big long epic, bouncing around between characters we barely get to know and some major plot points we don't get to see.While I understand it was written to revise the ruleset for the setting (the game itself had undergone a few class revisions that were not present in the setting; they also made a whole new system specifically for the so called 5th Age that as near as I can tell flopped like a lead balloon), I also can't help but remember the next trilogy in the setting pretty much retcons the heck out of this book. 

Yeah, for what it is, it's an ok read, but honestly, it has no real audience, since people who don't read fantasy or know about DragonLance won't read it, and most fans of the series will hate it.

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