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Two Solid Tales Better on Character Than Plot
on May 22, 2010
With the Dragonlance novels continuing to be put in omnibus collections, "The Raistlin Chronicles" gathers "The Soulforge" and "Brothers in Arms" by Margaret Weis and Don Perrin in a single collection. The works cover the youth of Raistlin Majere, the antihero at the heart of the Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends collections. Fans of these books will have nothing to worry about-Weiss and Perrin do little to damage the stories and characters that Weis and Tracy Hickman fleshed out in those works. But if these prequels do no harm to the series, they do not do much good either. Weis is excellent with nurturing characters but she is not as strong when it comes to crafting a plot-"Brothers in Arms" especially drags and the end is anti-climatic. Raistlin is the main character with his twin brother Caramon (who really could have been better development in these books) and sister Kitiara (who is fleshed out quite well) in supporting roles. Other "heroes of the lance" appear in "The Soulforge" to a lesser extent but the only one of them who really emerges well is Flint Fireforge. Despite the plot dragging in "Brothers in Arms," this is a fun return to Raistlin and the world of Krynn. I would not recommend this work to readers unfamiliar with the Dragonlance books-it really serves better as a coda after Chronicles and Legends than as an introduction to them. One other sour note. These books have been out for more than a decade. Somehow in that time, not all typos were caught. It's annoying to say the least.