Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dragonlance Reread: Dragons of Winter's Night: Prologue and Chapter One

I'm back. I didn't do a post for the end of Autumn Twilight. My basic overview of the last section was how rushed it was. So now we're moving on to the EMPIRE of the series: Dragons of Winter's Night. I am following along with again and here's my 2 cents about the book so far:

Autumn Twilight, when you think about it, was a small story. The entire story, despite the scope, really took place in a very small geographic corner of the world and, for such an epic story, really wasn’t all that epic, the elves leaving withstanding, as we know it. For the first time in the series we’re starting to get into a bigger world and it feels more epic right off the bat. We see the way two separate societies work in a short space, the human refugees and the dwarves. The politics of the Highseekers is fascinating, even after all that’s happened. It’s something I wish there was a little more of in this story. It makes me wonder if the Lost Chronicles books are worth it. (I can tell you I bought Highlord Skies because it looks like a vastly interesting story than the other LC books, but I’ll let you know.) Let me address that though….

The gap in the story bothered me as a kid and it bothers me more now. I get that they were probably under pressure to write a trilogy, but come on. Oh well, maybe I’ll read that Lost Chronicle some day. Oh, well, we all makes choices when we write.

It feels like Sturm and Tanis have become bigger dicks than they already were, but thinking about it, it’s actually not bad characterization. The cheap observation is that it’s all representative of the conflict they are both feeling inside. But there’s more going on. Sturm is desperate to be a hero, the bit with the dragonlance shows that and restore glory to his people in his family name. I get that and that’s kind of interesting, but we don’t get to see a lot of that yet. He’s also lied to his closest companions about what he is and still hasn’t come clean to them….AND STILL wants them to go north to fight in the war. That’s some stones. Sturm becomes a much more fascinating character in this book and this is the first insight into it.

I’ve also commented before on these reread posts about how fascinated I am my Solamnia and the Knights. One of my favorite parts is the kingfisher. I love that it is a symbol of the knighthood and the nation. Such a strange thing and I love it.

Tanis continues to be cool because he was emo before emo was cool. I’ll bet he listened to a lot of Smiths and Morrissey (I have a funny Morrissey story, but that’s not for here!). Anyway, he’s another one that is annoying because all of a sudden he has severe claustrophobia. Again, I know that this can be explained away, but it’s still sort of convenient for the story. He had no problem every other time they had to go underground, now all of a sudden he’d losing his shit over it. The cheap explanation is that he’s underground longer than those other times and the conditions are cramped, but as an supposedly experienced adventurer and sometimes sellsword, he’s not acting like one. This has been one of my complaints about the series reread as a whole. Now the more complex explanation might be that it isn’t the dwarven complex but the fact he is in a confined space with Laurana and he might be suffocating because of it.

The whole Tanis/Laurana relationship comes across as that couple in high school that was constantly fighting over stupid things. Actually, they remind me of some adult couples I know.

Let me also, quickly, talk about Raistlin. I get why he’s so popular. He’s the guy that all the nerds think they are/could be. (I loved me some Tanis when I read it, but good googly moogly, I’d kill to be Caramon.) Most aren’t. Raistlin’s a dick. I don’t care why, he’s just a jerk. I have no patience for it. I hated Catcher In The Rye because I always felt that Holden Caufield was just an asshole. Raistlin’s being a jackass to his FRIENDS. No wonder they thought he would betray them multiple times (and he kind of did, when you think about it, with the whole Xak Tsaroth affair).

By the end, we’re on the move again. And this time, there is something foreboding about it. 

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