The Great White Wyrm by Peter Archer is the third book in a series of stand alone novels titled The Champions. The first book is Saving Solace by Douglas W. Clark and the second is Alien Sea by Lucien Soulban. Each novel in this series can be read in any order and no previous knowledge of the Dragonlance setting is needed. Of course, if you have previous knowledge then there are some things in this book that will be little nuggets for you. If you are looking to see if the Dragonlance universe is of any interest to you, this Champions series may be a good test run.
The plot of this book, at last on the surface, is rather linear and fairly one dimensional. It's a story of a group of adventurers who have been hunting a White Dragon for years and the story of how their determination pays off and the consequences of that hunt. However, after finishing the novel I have come to realize that this book is not as simplistic as it is first made out to be, in fact I think Mr. Archer put a great deal of thought into what he wanted to accomplish. The story is also about determination, revenge, and how having a single eye on something and thinking of little else can, in the end, be a detriment and hinder other choices. With all things considered, this book has a different `feel' than most Dragonlance books. There are still elves, dwarfs, dragons etc., but rarely do you read about this level of revenge and other things within the pages. I would go into more detail, but I fear that would create spoilers - and I would hate to do that. Suffice to say, this is a very solid plot and much deeper than I expected.
The characters in this book are a little different than traditional Dragonlance characters. There is a dwarf, Ayshe, who is not the cliché ridden dwarf. Meaning, he is not a crass, ale drinking character who hates the world. There are also elves that do not follow the traditional clichés either. In fact, the entire boat is run mostly by elves. To my knowledge, there are not many sea faring elves. There are a couple elves that are developed in this book, as well as the dwarf and a human. All members of the boat and the quest to hunt the White Wyrm. The character development in this book does not seem to be the most pressing issue for the author. While there is some, the amount of it doesn't seem to do the characters justice. In fact, the development in this book is really just revealing of motives and reasons not real progression of the characters. However, that fits with the feel of this book and seems right. Yet, if you are looking for a character driven book - this may not be the right one for you.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It had an easy flow to it and had a good solid plot. If I had to say one thing I would have changed it would be adding a little more depth to the characters. Developing them just a little more. While this book is set in the Dragonlance universe, it could easily be set in any number of fantasy settings and be equally as good. I think fans of Dragonlance and fantasy in general will enjoy this book. It's one I would not hesitate to recommend.