Dragonlord of Mystara Paperback – Jul 1994
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Top Customer Reviews
The three books, Dragonlord of Mystara, Dragonking of Mystara and Dragonlord of Mystara make up the 'Dragonlord Chronicles'. I should have been suspicious from the start given the obvious play upon the immensely popular and infinitely better concieved 'Dragonlance Chronicles' from the same publisher.
These books are set within the Dungeons and Dragons world of Mystara and chart the course of the cliched farm boy orphan of unknown parentage on his meteroic rise to his righteous destiny among the stars.
It could be reviewed in one of two ways, as a fantasy novel in its own right, or as a piece of the Mystara universe. Neither would be flattering. For a fan of the Mystara universe this book is an abomination, totally disregarding the world's established fan base and re-writing the history past, present and future of a much loved world. It adds nothing, nor appears to be derived from much resembling the world the fans know and love.
As a fantasy novel it relies greatly on cliche, we have the stoic Dwarf Fighter, the independant Amazon, the Wise Old Mentor and the Impressionable Do-No-Wrong Orphan Hero-Boy. That is about as far as the characterization goes. After ploughing through the entire trilogy I could tell you little else about the main characters. I could mention that they all 'talk' for the author, the unsurprising advancements of plot are simply revealed all too often in unbelieavable dialogue rather than revealed by events and actions. Likewise the character's thoughts and motivations are never revealed through action but always in a very clumsy monologue fashion.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
However, if you 1) like intelligent dragons as important characters (particularly in books 2 and 3), 2) don't mind some standard fantasy cliches (not especially bad here, really), and 3) are willing to let the books stand on their own (rather than as part of the Mystara mythos), then you'll probably like this series a lot. The plot relies on standard fantasy tropes, but the story actually goes in some fairly unexpected directions as the trilogy progresses. The series is considerably less derivative than it initially appears.
Regarding other reviewers' complaints:
-The main character's invincibility: Yes, the armor of the dragon lord does make the main character ridiculously powerful. However, that's kind of the point. The armor is built up in the story as granting incredible powers to fight dragons. Whether the main character gives up that awesome power is pivotal to the plot: he doesn't want to be vulnerable, but he doesn't want all dragons to fear him unreasonably, either. Also, in later books, he faces much higher odds, and comes close to death multiple times.
-Dragons' "personal space" issues: this trait is not handled as inconsistently as another reviewer said. This trait was very much a "personal space" (very close proximity) issue more than unthinking territoriality between dragons. On the whole, the author did a great job establishing dragons as intelligent beings, while still differentiating them from humans.
Overall, I've read a lot of fantasy novels, and while I wouldn't put this trilogy at the very top of the list, it was still quite good and completely worth my time. If you like fantasy novels about dragons, you could do a whole lot worse than the Dragonlord Chronicles.