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Prisoner of Haven: The Age of Mortals [Mass Market Paperback]

Nancy Varian Berberick


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Book Description

June 1 2004 The Age of Mortals
The latest title in a series based on characters from the best-selling War of Souls trilogy.

This title is the next in a series that explores the lives of key characters from Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman's New York Times best-selling War of Souls trilogy. Prisoner of Haven describes events that directly overlap events during the War of Souls, and it features a character originally introduced in Dragons of Summer Flame. Author Berberick also wrote The Lioness, a previous title in this same series.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (June 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786933275
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786933273
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.5 x 17.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #595,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Nancy Varian Berberick is the author of nine fantasy novels, five in the Dragonlance world. Among those are Dalamar the Dark, Tears of the Night Sky (with Linda Baker), and The Lioness. Her most recent short story is "Hel's Daughter" in Legends of the Pendragon from Green Knight Press.

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First Sentence
Usha Majere breathed a sigh of relief when she saw the high granite wall surrounding Haven loom ahead. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars All the Major Problems and None of the Action of Dragonlance July 23 2004
By Richard Raley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the worst dragonlance book I've ever experienced, which is very strange, because it is probably the best Nancy Varian Berberick DL book I've read (not your fault this time NVB). This book shows everything that is wrong with modern dragonlance, all these faults coil around and brew into the horrible witch's brew that is "Prisoner of Haven", leaving a foul taste in any mouth seeking a story of glory or personal self-worth.

First, it destroys if not a great, but respected character. Usha Majere, our title character, is scum to me now. I don't care about the rationalization behind her actions, they were wrong, and she is now the first "weak" female dragonlance main character. Her husband is off saving the world, being tortured, and though she knows it not gave up magic for her, but that's not enough for her, he's never home and that makes it okay... Furthermore the whole idea is coped out at the end of the novel when Dez Majere slides in a one liner about sticking to whatever story Usha comes up with to tell people at home, so it can slip slide already set continuity of how they supposedly escaped from Have set up in WoS and make this mockery, and the money made from it, possible.

Second, it has a bad case of the horrible DL affliction, 300pageitis. Instead of working out a longer plot, or cutting out whole twists to make the story fit to 300 pages at a reasonable pace, we are left with the now often repeated but never duplicated last 50 page round up where characters are quickly killed off, nothing is resolved, plot points are left hanging, and one huge blast of action that is dry because it hasn't been properly set up right.

Third, weak villain(s). Dark Knights, worse they are really given no interesting character flaws or designs. They are brutal but we don't understand why. One, as I've already mentioned, was left hanging at the end while another never had a hashed upon character drive explained. Where have all the interesting villains gone?

Final, general errors. I'm kind of anal about it I know, but its not like I cross reference this stuff, it just pops into my head as something a DL writer/editor/fan should know. For example calling the Silvenesti elves, the Sylanesti elves more than once. Or a big pet peeve of mine, having dark knights ride black and red dragons when blue would make more sense, or even green since these are the Green Overlord, Beryl's, forces we are talking about here.

This has sadly been a very harsh review, but Usha's Betrayal (which would have been a better book title) simply sent me into a rant...

A Long Winded Final Thought: I'm sick of Fifth Age novels that follow this same formula. I'm sick of characters that are weak and set upon by larger forces, I'm sick of characters mopping around because there aren't any gods, I'm sick of characters that can't or won't fight back, and I'm sick of characters that do fight and get their butts kicked because "no gods were there to help them". People read DL books to see great legends, and great resolve like the characters in the first books and recently in Chris Pierson's (no relation) Kingpriest Trilogy. Stop with the sob stories already and get back to that route.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terribly Boring and Dreary July 20 2006
By Theresa A. Winter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First off I would like to salute Richard Pierson in his fatally accurate description of this book. I had orginally planned to write more but he expressed much of my dislike for this book already, so I will just add some additional points.

Over the years I have read many Dragonlance books, and by far this is the worst. From the very get go the plot was boring and predictable, a characteristic that did not improve over the course of the novel. The characters of Usha and Dezra are underdeveloped and down right annoying at times. Usha is an especially weak maincharacter throughout the entire book.

As others have said this book is a good example of recent DL books that have gone awry. Other minor descrepicies present themselves as well. One being spelling mistakes that should have been spotted in editing.

Of all the DL books I have read this is certainly the least appealing to me to recommend or re-read. Whiny, boring, and weak are the three most important words I can convey to you about this book. People that havent read alot of other DL books, enjoy little action, and annoying aristocrats might kinda like this book. If you are reading it because you want to complete the Age of Mortals series then I am truly sorry for you and hope that you can finish quickly.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Romance Novels dont belong in DragonLance. Feb. 16 2005
By A. Greunke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Unfortunately, Nancy Varian Berberick Ruins a book series about a world that i have come to love. Between this Soap Opera Style Romance of a book, and the "Inheritance" book she wrote that completly contradicts the whole Original history of the world. Her writing style is good and she is a good author i just dont feel that her writing belongs in the Fantasy/Sci-fi genre especially not DragonLance. Any dedicated DragonLance reader will find many flaws in this book. Usha was a TRAINED rogue, but now she is the most harmless of women. Very dissapointed.
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A realistic touch to fantasy...what a novel idea Oct. 13 2004
By Matt Lynch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First off, at the risk of starting a war of words, to Mr. Pierson, with all due respect, the point you bring up is a strictly chauvinistic one and makes it clear that you missed the whole point in Usha's "betrayal." While Palin may have been off saving the world, that's not the point. The point is that he was her husband and, in fantasy, that's as important a fact as it is in real life. He was being a poor husband and, in real life, when wives have husbands that are acting like, to use a polite term, jerks, it affects them. So, while you're crucifying a fictional character for having a real person reaction, maybe you should sit back and realize that it's one of the few time that people in these novels have acted like ::gasp:: real people!

I, for one, applaud Mrs. Berberick for having the courage to "taint" one of the series' more recognizable characters and will agree with the other two reviewers that this was an excellent novel. As far as continuity within the series, it never has been and never will be a mistake-free series. Weis and Hickman are as guilty as anyone else of breaking the "rules" and I have long since stopped caring if their precious little "vision" is changed now and again by an author trying to tell a good story. This was a good story and was, at times, very poignant. The villains didn't need anymore background than we were given, just as Usha and Dezra didn't need fleshing out beyond the simple synopses of their recent history. They're Dark Knights of the new age, thus they're evil and hardly representational of the honorable Knights of Dragons of a Summer Flame.

For a good story, you don't have to make the bad guys sympathetic...you just have to establish that they're bad. Hanging innocents and taking over a town qualifies pretty much as bad in my book, though I dunno about anyone else's. While this is far from the greatest DragonLance book ever penned, it's pretty damn good considering the small setting and content. Read away!
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mature & thought-provoking work Aug. 14 2004
By Bill Douglas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This latest offering from Nancy Varian Berberick presents a more mature and thought-provoking work than much of what passes for genre fare these days. In the book, Usha is a heroine confronted by very real difficulties in her marriage and makes choices that are all too easily dismissed as simple acts of betrayal. But these are choices faced by flesh-and-blood people, not hollow, shopworn idealizations. That doesn't mean what she chooses should be condoned, and indeed she bears the consequences of her actions, but that is what sets this work apart -- there are real-life decisions to be made and real-life consequences to be borne. All of which is dealt with in Ms. Berberick's beautifully crafted language. All in all, this is a work to be savored, to be relished, although it is not, perhaps, a work that will satisfy those who have yet to achieve a certain level of life experience.

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