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Amber and Blood: The Dark Disciple, Volume Three Mass Market Paperback – Nov 4 2008

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Frequently Bought Together

Amber and Blood: The Dark Disciple, Volume Three + Amber & Iron: The Dark Disciple, Volume II + Amber and Ashes: The Dark Disciple, Volume I
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; Reprint edition (Nov. 4 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786950668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786950669
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.3 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 118 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Margaret Weis is the author of numerous Dragonlance novels, many of them co-written with Tracy Hickman, including the New York Times bestselling War of Souls trilogy. She is also the author of the Star of the Guardian novels and the designer of many Dragonlance roleplaying products.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 45 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A disappointing conclusion to the story May 17 2008
By Andy Gray - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amber and Blood by Margaret Weis is the third, and final, novel in the Dark Disciple trilogy. The first book being Amber and Ashes (Dragonlance: The Dark Disciple, Vol. 1) and the second being Amber and Iron (Dragonlance: The Dark Disciple, Vol. 2). This trilogy follows the path of one of the characters from the Weis and Hickman War of Souls trilogy set in the Dragonlance Realm. Fans of the Dragonlance world know that Weis and Hickman are responsible for creating some of the most iconic characters in the fantasy genre, and I am, and always will be, a big fan of their Dragonlance Chronicles Special Edition (Dragonlance Chronicles). They were the first fantasy novels I ever read and launched me onto reading many more novels. This is an extremely difficult novel for me to rate and review, as I will explain below.

The plot of this book picks up right where book two left off. That being Mina's quest of self discovery, just who she is and what her role in the world is. Rhys and the kender Nightshade are given a task that will certainly test their resolve and abilities. In terms of subplots, aside from the appearance of many gods from the Krynn pantheon, there just really isn't much `meat' to the overall story. This book, much like the second book in this trilogy, is clearly character driven. This, in and of itself, isn't necessarily a bad thing, but as a big fan of Dragonlance novels and fantasy novels in general, this novel just seems to be lacking the enjoyment that I have come to expect and enjoy from a book. As I said in my review of the second novel, I was a fan of how the gods of Krynn used to interact with the people i.e. dreams, visions etc versus how they are in this trilogy appearing and interacting the way they do. To me, this comes across as contrived and against what twenty years of reading has established.

The characters in this book are for the most part, characters that we have seen in previous books. Rhys the monk, Nightshade, Mina, and Galdar. I was rather surprised at the lack of new characters. There seemed to be ample room to introduce a new character or two to add a subplot, yet that simply wasn't done. While I understand this book, and trilogy, is about Mina and her personal journey the absolute focus solely on her actually causes me to become apathetic to her and her plight. By fleshing out the characters around her and maybe adding a subplot or two, I may have cared more about her. As it is, I felt as though she was being shoved down the reader's throat with no other options. It feels odd for me to even say that, as I am a big fan of character driven novels, but this one for some reason just doesn't work for me.

A few criticisms I have about this novel are:

1 - I am deeply disappointed in Wizards of the Coast's editing department. From the middle of the book on there are numerous errors. Typos, missing words, repeated words, etc. Maybe, due to the situation regarding another novel they simply gave the second half of the book a glance. Who knows, but for a publisher to allow that many mistakes is uncalled for.

2 - I was a fan of Mina's in the first two books, yet the unbridled focus of her in this novel squashed any interest for her as a character I had. The adage too much of a good thing can ruin it, applies here. I think a better mix of characters and plot would have greatly benefited my overall enjoyment of this novel.

3 - How the gods were handled. When I finished this novel and reflected on it, I was left with the feeling that the gods were spoiled brats and not some supreme being responsible for everything in the world. I fully understand that each god has their own motivations and such, yet I just never felt that the gods acted as `gods' should act. The framework of the past twenty years of reading Dragonlance novels seemed to be tossed out the window.

Some things I particularly liked about this novel:

1 - I enjoyed the ending to Mina's story. Some things made sense, some things seemed to be a bit of a stretch, but overall it was an acceptable ending. She certainly had a great deal of character development.

2 - Ms. Weis' prose is, as always, solid and enjoyable to read. She has a certain flow that I have grown accustomed to over the years. I liked it to putting on your favorite pair of sneakers. You know exactly what you are going to get each and every time.

I really wanted to like this novel. After all, I have invested six novels worth of time reading about Mina and her adventures. Yet, in the end I am left with a sense of disappointment. Not for the final product, but what I think could have been better. I simply did not enjoy this novel anywhere near as much as I enjoyed the first two. Fans of the Dragonlance world, should definitely read this book and cap off the trilogy because the end `event' Is vitally important to the story and Krynn overall. For people looking at getting into the Dragonlance world, I would highly suggest starting with the Dragonlance Chronicles Trilogy Gift Set and reading out from there. This novel, and trilogy, is simply not a good place to start reading in this world. I, much like many other Dragonlance fans, sincerely hope this is not the last Dragonlance novel penned by Ms. Weis. I hope Wizards of the Coast allow her and Mr. Hickman to publish one more, if nothing else, for the fans who have invested countless years in the world.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Rather disappointing May 25 2008
By J. Porter - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As an avid fan of the Dragonlance Series, I loved the War of Souls Trilogy (where we first met Mina and followed her path as the One God's general), as well as the first two books in the Dark Disciple Series.

This one, however, left a sour taste in my mouth upon completion. Putting the numerous grammar errors aside (and just how did Paladine become unconscious again...?), reading this book was like watching Star Wars - the scene seemed to change every few pages. Whenever I read about the gods and the actions they were taking, it felt like I was watching a very poorly-written (aren't they all though) reality TV show, where the kids were allowed to run loose and not care about their actions. The enchantment they had in previous books was completely obliterated, a thought that I fear will always be in mind when reading future Books in the DL series. The ending was poorly-written, and seemed very rushed, as if MW didn't know how to end it and used the equivalent of the 'it was all a dream' (not the actual ending, so don't worry!) approach to piece something together.

Overall, I'm not so sure I'm glad I enjoyed reading this final chapter to the DD Trilogy. The first book was full of plot from the first chapter and the second one continued this, with an excellent cliff-hanger at it's conclusion. After the build-up and hype, Book 3 just seems out of place. I was eagerly anticipating it's release, but would have gladly waited another 8 months for something that felt more refined.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing May 14 2008
By Bobby C - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As an avid reader of Dragonlance books for a number of years, and having enjoyed the earlier two books in this trilogy, I must say that i was more than disappointed with this book. Short and riddled with obvious spelling errors, the book had the feel of a rush job more than the kind of smart and well thought out novels that the author usually produces. The story is compelling enough to keep you reading, but i do not think that it is because it is particularly good, rather you continue reading because of a mix of nostalgia and a hope that there will be a climax or some serious character development - ultimately, there isn't either. At the end of the book, you are left off no better than when you began - in fact, I ended up being very frustrated because of the opportunities for a great story that the author wasted.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A review of Amber and Blood Sept. 4 2008
By Bonnie Svitavsky - Published on
Format: Hardcover
So after the cliff-hanger ending of the last book, I was really looking forward to learning Mina's history and what would happen with the pantheon of gods in Krynn. I've read several reviews that were disappointed with how this book was handled. We don't spend time with the Mina we've seen in the rest of the series, or even the Mina of the War of Souls. Instead, she reverts to a child. And the gods who had been so active in the other books take a step back here and pledge to leave Mina to make her own decision without influence. Of course, if you've read any of the other DL books, you know that it's pretty much impossible for them NOT to meddle. But still, the majority of this book is Mina's time with the wandering monk of Majere, Rhys, his dog Atta, and the nightstalker kender, Nightshade.

Yes, this book is a means to an end... it's the third book in a trilogy. I enjoyed reading it, but once I got to the end and thought back on what had happened, there wasn't a lot of action. The majority of it is travel from one city to the next, with Rhys and Nightshade trying to help Mina as she struggles with memories that she's blotted out. I would've liked to see more of Mina's different aspects as they tried to grapple with her past, but this book was about resolution, and that's what happens. I wasn't expecting the ending, but I found it all very fitting. Mina reminds me very much of Neil Gaiman's character Delirium... it's hard to not feel sad when you read about it, though I think that Mina exercises a greater sort of control over herself. I also liked learning more about Valthonis.

In the War of Souls trilogy, and again in this series, I liked the interaction between mortals and immortals. The gods are not as all-knowing as they'd like their followers to think. They're petty and emotional and go beyond their stereotypes. I never thought I'd like Zeboim, but if this series did anything, it made me love her... she's such a bitch! I also enjoyed seeing Gerard and Galdar (*sigh*) again, particularly with their continued disdain for all things holy. It's an interesting time on Krynn, and I'm looking forward to more.

Oh, my one gripe is the ridiculous amount of typos. It made me weep... there were spelling errors and missing words galore. To make matters worse, paragraphs were repeated, lines of action were missing (Valthonis goes from standing and staring at Mina to suddenly knocked unconcious without any mention of her hitting him?), and fights scenes with random weapon changes. I know it sounds nit-picky... but it's been a long time since I've read a book where the typos ruined the mood so much. Since this was coming from an author I enjoy and she's not new to writing/publishing, I was a bit surprised. Now here's hoping I don't have awful typos in my review. :)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not her best. April 25 2010
By P. Harrington - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Please note: this is more of a review of the whole set of books and not just this particular book.

I'd like start start out by saying that this series is not Ms. Weis' best work.

In the first book there is the standard introduction of characters and obstacles to be overcome. But it is also in the first book that the first trouble I have with the series is shown: there seems to be a shift in how the power of the gods are used. Before there were instances of gods using their power but it was grander in scope. I know there is a struggle with the gods but it seems like all conventions previously used have been tossed aside for the sake of the plot.

The second book starts a theme that carries through the book and the next. There are a bunch of times I feel that the Deus Ex Machina technique was used. For instance the group needs to go somewhere and then on the next page, they're there. Other times they need to find something and think they'll never find it and then they do. I can understand if this was used if the space to write the book was limited or to hurry the plot but the frequency makes the story seem disjointed and lacking a good sense of flow.

The third book is quite lacking. First its quite hurried and then it also introduces a character(The Walking God) in his entirety in one book while also making him crucial. This is more of a preference but if the character is so important, why spend little time going over his life and works? This is also use of the aforementioned Deux Ex technique and the great cop-out that was the ending. It seems that when we get to the end of the story that there is indecision on what to do with Mina. Then she makes her choice and that choice itself is really a letdown.

During the story other continents that weren't mentioned much(if at all)before are mentioned(why?), other sets of gods(once, again, why?) and other dimensions(once, why?). All of this just adds to a crammed and rushed story. I don't know why the set tried to cover so much ground and cover it such a disjointed and flow-lacking way.

Oh and my main gripe(as if there aren't enough already): if you're going to make the story about Mina, make sure she's the most interesting and integral character! At times she's neither. Maybe Tracy Hickman was needed in this one but maybe not.

Positives: The idea behind the set: extending the story of Mina.

Negatives: The pacing, plot devices and uneven depth.

Overall: Buy it if you see it used or in a collection. If you can't, try not to.