on May 25, 2004
(Review based on the trilogy) It took me a few chapters to become hooked, perhaps more than most books seasoned with thick prose. The language of the author was very eloquent, but almost different. Without being hyperbolic, it was a bit like reading Shakespear in that you must find the rhythm of the writer, but when you do it comes to you in a natural and pleasant fashion.
The characters, especially Mina, are multi-faceted and well-developed throughout the trilogy. I mention Mina because it is tempting to see her initially as flat and unidimensional. But she is not. To demonstrate this, most readers will find themselves rooting for her and fearing her simultaneously. By the end of the trilogy you're concept of her will take another, quite unexpected turn - sympathy or pity. (You'll have to find out why).
I bought this compulsively from a HB bargain bin and it sat on my shelf for more than a year and finally read it when I got bored. I missed out. This has become one of my favorite series and I am willing to try other series from Weis.
This was well worth the purchase and serious fantasy fans should try it.
on February 4, 2004
The final part of the War of Souls trilogy finds Tas and Conundrum escaping the clutches of Mina and discovering that there is a past.
It finds Gilthas undergoing his own soul searching and deciding to lead his people to Silvanesti via the Plains of Dust.
It finds Silvanoshei continuing his inexprable march to doom.
It finds Gerard and Odila desperately trying to find a way out of the darkness.
It finds Palin and Dalamar working from beyond death.
It finds Malys, Razor and Mirror deciding the fate of dragonkind.
It finds the Gods back in Krynn for a titanic battle.
And, above all, it finds us a conclusion fitting to this epic world.
The fourth Age builds to its tremendous climax as elves, ogres, minotaurs, dragons, humans, gods and the souls of the dead all gather at Sanction for a final terrible battle where the balance is restored and the Book of Judgement of Gilean finally gives us the solution to Takhisis' attempt to rule Krynn once and for all.
The final volume in the fourth age of Krynn, the final volume before the Age of Mortals can begin, is a rich tapestry of love and war, heroes and villains set against a wonderful struggling backdrop of life and death, of magic and mortaility woven in a truly breathless manner by the undisputed current masters of fantasy, Weis and Hickman.
This book, this trilogy, the entire world of Krynn and its heroes that has been created deserves six stars and beyond and any fan of the fantasy genre must have this on their bookshelves.
on April 26, 2003
I have been a fan of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman since I was in the third grade. I discovered them one day in the middle of a family party-- I didn't care for large crowds, so I hid in my cousin's room... and in exploring his room, I came upon one of their legendary masterpieces: Dragons of Autumn Twilight. In the matter of an entire afternoon, I became enlightened and transformed. Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman introduced me to a world of magic and wonder that I had never dreamed of until then.
Dragons of a Vanished Moon is no different. Once again, it takes you on an amazing adventure in a faraway land, where the troubles afflicting the people parallel that of our own. Weis and Hickman are able to guide the reader through a journey full of moral and ethical challenges through the eyes of a wide array of characters who face internal battles of their own.
In a time of darkness, a deity known as the "One God" deceives a world of people who, deserted by their own gods, are desperate for someone to save them. Driving the people of this world into despair through death and destruction, this "One God" builds a false foundation of faith through deception masked by miracles and love.
In a time of darkness, without the aid of the gods they once worshipped, the people must find their own strength and trust their own hearts in order to defeat this "One God." But can mere mortals defeat this "One God" on their own? What sacrifices must be made for all of life to redeem itself?
on July 12, 2002
As an avid Dragonlance fan, I was considerably disappointed by the drastic changes created by Summer Flame. It completely transformed Krynn into a world that I really did not want to venture into. Then Fallen Sun was released and I became fascinated with Mina. Lost Star continued Weis and Hickman's exploration of the neo-Krynn with some old elements. Vanished Moon, the dramatic conclusion of this exceptional trilogy, brings closure and explanation to why the authors changed this world so drastically. The writing style, granted, is "more readable" than any other work by Weis and Hickman up to this point, yet I don't think that we should fault the authors for this. This book answers a lot of questions, and it provides solutions designed to usher in the new age of Dragonlance and the various other novels that accompany any of Weis and Hickman's works. The ending is incredibly surprising, in fact it left me awestruck. Truly, Dragons of a Vanished Moon is a must read for any Dragonlance fan, and those who are angry with the development of the work represent a stuffy circle of readers who have issues with changes in a world they are too familiar with.
on July 1, 2002
Book three of the War of the Souls Trilogy has finally arrived and it has lived up to my expectations. It has been a long time since I have read a Dragonlance book that I did not want to put down. Granted this book (series) did not have the same character development as "legends" or "chronicles," it still made for an excellent read.
While the story line is indeed interesting, thoughout the book I felt as if Weis and Hickman were attempting to accomplish something else with the Dragonlance setting as a whole - a type of revitalization. Interviews with the authors also seem to prove that the 5th Age may not have been to Weis and Hickman's liking. The purpose of my digression at this point is to say that my only problem with this book is filling in of gaps and obvious patchwork that was done to explain events from the 5th Age. This all becomes most obvious in the last chapter on the history of creation. With this in mind, however, if this small shortcoming leads readers to a return of the Krynn of old, then I can without a doubt overlook it.
on June 21, 2002
What happens in this book? If you know Takhisis, you can guess -- she tries to take over the world, as usual. Lots of insights are revealed, such as where the dragon overlords originated and why they came to Krynn. Additionally, insight is given as to precise events that led up to the current setting. And, as in the end of any book or trilogy, the story comes to a conclusion. I cannot write this book review without including some spoilers in here, so if you would rather not read on I will leave you with the thought that it would not be a wise thing to miss out on the adventure that you might experience by reading this book -- so buy it.
This book reminded me a lot of my all time favorite DL book, Dragons of Summer Flame, because of its philosophical insights and lessons on life.
In this book, Mina looses it. Some of the main characters begin to really start talking trash about the One God, about how she's simply trying to enslave the world and how that's bad. Odila, acting as a spy, is eventually so convinced in believing in Takhisis that she becomes a priestess second to Mina. Gerard tries repeatedly to bring her back to her senses, which never happens until Takhisis finnally reveals her true nature at the end of the book.
Gilthas is forced to make hard decisions for his people and lead them through the Plains of Dust, and then finnaly decide whether or not to have the Qualinesti and Silvanesti fight the Dark Knights in Silvanesti or march on Sanction.
The climax of this book is that, despite all the talk among the characters and speculation that the One God's purpose is to enslave the world, Takhisis becomes so powerful that it seemed as though that's exactly what she was going to do. The elves and Solamniacs could march on Sanction, but at what cost? Could they defeat Mina, Takhisis and, additionally, not succumb to the terror induced by the souls -- without the aid of the gods? It leaves the reader concluding that it would be more smart for them to simply run and hide.
In the end, however, Raistlin's soul discovers the world, and leads the gods back to Krynn (which means he's saved the world at least four times). All the while Mina, under Takhisis's direction, defeats Malys with a stolen dragonlance. Eventually, Tasselholf is suddenly given the idea that he has the power to bring the Dragons of Good back to Krynn, at which point everything falls into place. The dragons rescue the elves from a surprise ogre attack, and then bring them to Sanction, sacking it. At the same time Mirror, with the aid of Palin's soul, destroys the totem Takhisis had stolen from Malys and used to give herself more power. Finnaly, the gods arrive just when Takhisis is about to enter the world, and Paladine, the brother of Takhisis, sacrifices his immortality to take away that of Takhisis, and she is renedered mortal. In anger, and love for Mina, Silvanoshie, who is present, pierces the mortal Takhisis with the part of the broken Dragonlance, annihilating the Dark Queen utterly. Paladine, although mortal, still remains and the world of Krynn goes back to the state in which it was in before the gods left, which means that the White, Red and Black robed wizards are given their power back, including Dalamar and Palin (who are brought back to life by the magical gods at the request of Raistlin). There is also an appendix at the end of the book which explains the nature of the gods, creation, immortality and so forth, questions that I'm sure Dragonlance fans are sure to want to have answered.
All in all, it is a good book and I recommend it (start with Chronicles if you've never read Dragonlance) to anyone with a taste for fantasy. It is an opportunity not to be missed.
As for credentials, I've read at least 80 fantasy novels.
Dragonlance fans might not like the idea that two of their favorite characters died in this book (and that more may have, I can't remember), but it's so intense that I seriously doubt it would really have a negative effect on the book as a whole..... Besides, they are brought back to life anyway :) I guess Weis and Hickman took heed to their complaints before!
on June 19, 2002
Once again Weis and Hickman bring my imagination to new heights in this exciting conclusion to The War of Souls Trilogy. I bought this book the day it came out and finished it in the very next day before I left work. The quality of the story and of the characters are what I have come to expect from the authors, in one word 'Awesome'. We see old favorites shining bright in the darkness of the world and we see new characters develope into heros and villians that rival those found in the original Chronicles Trilogy. My personal favorite returns for a small time but that small time is enough to make that return of vital importance to Krynn and the people and races that inhabit it. I urge anyone who reads this book to not skip to the end as it will take away from the middle, Krynn will be forever changed by the events of this trilogy and I look foward to reading more books that continue to show us the unfolding of the Age of Mortals. I sincerely hope that Weis and Hickman find continued inspiration in telling the story of a world they created that so many have the fortune of getting to immerse themselves in from time to time.
on June 19, 2002
I knew, before even finishing 'Vanished Moon', how I would review it. Not the star rating, mind you, in that I would be fair and give the book my undivided attention. Now that I have, twice in fact, I can be honest in my review. Which is this, the Krynn as I grew up reading mired in until way past lights out, is gone. No more did I feel the sorrow as with Sturm and his noble stand. No more was there an elation like that which I felt when the heroes find the disk in that place that sounds like 'throw-up' as Bupu said in the Tower, trembling in front of the council of mages. Gone, all gone. Tas, the best character of the series in my opinion, is no longer that irrepressible 'handler'. In its place is a world where only one god exists, or so it appears. And where the three orders of magic, which is what kept me turning page after page of fourth age reading, is nonexistent. Once again, only for a while. I applauded Weis and Hickman all the way until the last page. They have turned the stagnant Dragonlance world on its ear once again. The result is an undeniably fun adventure. One I would recommend to any fan of fantasy reading. But be warn, if you loved reading Chronicles and Legends, as I did, that this is not the same world as you'll remember. I barely got a chill even at Raistlin's return. Then I reread it as a book away from the War of Lance era. Let's just say that my tremors went rampant. Pick it up Vanished Moon. You'll scream at the authors for messing with a perfectly fun formula. Then you'll praise them for doing something different. Trust me, you'll love the journey all the while.
on June 19, 2002
Go and get this book now. This is with out a doubt the best DL novel yet (Opinion). So here is my review as spoiler free as I can make it.
(IF you have not read the first 2 books in the series do not continue, it will spoiler them for you.)
Tasslehoff Burrfoot, the kender continues his journey in the 5th age of krynn. Complete with the Magical Time Traveling Device. Becoming a thorn in THE ONE GOD'S backside. Conundrum the gnome continues his attempt to repair the device. (Just like it was repaired by a gnome in the LEGENDS TRILOGY.
The elves of Qualinesti continue their dangerous journey toward the land of their cousins the Silvanesti. But they do not yet know it has fallen to the one god (We now know to be Takhisis)and the knight of nereka (formerly knights of Takhisis).
Gerard and the Knights of Solamnia plan their next move to attempt to thwart the army of souls led by Mina in the name of the one god.
What happened to the rest of the gods of Krynn?
Who was the man on the boat?
The return of somebody long departed...
And the begining of a fresh new Krynn, which leaves it open for many more great stories to come.
All in all it had a great Story, great characters, great battles, and some great surprised (as well as some saddening losses) Margarette Weis and Tracy Hickman do it again in the conclusion to the War of the Souls!
P.S. I am the first Customer Reviewer...YAY! (06-18-02)
on March 17, 2003
After reading the first two books in this series, I was really anitcipating this latest addition. I was not dissapointed. In the first two, the world was all but captured by the mysterious "Mina" and the "One God".
The king of the elves, (Whom is a few fries short of a happy-meal in my opinion) had fallen in love with Mina, (Like a dumbass), and in the end of the second novel had dissapeared.
Qualinesti had turned into a lake, and the dragonlords had been killed, all but Malys. The Shield over Silvanesti had fallen, and Cyan Bloodbane was dead.
Tas is still a irritant to the "One God", and the rest of the panthenon of gods.. are deciding on what to do about the world.
Thats all Im going to tell you. Read this novel! It made me cry near the end. For 2 reasons actually. (No! Im not going to tell you why)
I hope W@H follow this series! Now I'm off to Start the "Bridges of Time" series!