16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
- 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.