First in an all-new trilogy from long-time Dragonlance author Douglas Niles.
This title kicks off a key new Dragonlance trilogy from popular Dragonlance author Douglas Niles. This series will explore the post-war era in Solamnia, a central region of the Dragonlance world, continuing key story elements from the New York Times best-selling War of Souls series.
Douglas Niles is the author of over 20 fantasy novels, many of which were published with Wizards of the Coast, Inc. He is also an award-winning roleplaying game designer who was part of the original creation team for the Dragonlance setting two decades ago. His most recent books in the Dragonlance world include Wizards’ Conclave and the Icewall Trilogy.
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I didn't like the story at first, but since I had already paid for it, came back to it again. Glad I did. Great story and great reader.
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Regarding the story, it feels very difficult to get in to. The story spends a much larger time describing settings and politics in a stale and droning fashion than it does developing memorable characters. And the characters it does give us are poorly executed tropes with little about them to relate to or inspire thought. The story takes a long time giving the reader anything to really grab on to and relies almost exclusively on the reader's knowledge of Dragonlance lore to keep interest. The real problem with the latter is the flat and repetitive way it is delivered. Regarding the writing, I was a little surprised at how flat it was. Douglas Niles has produced much better work than this. It seems that Mr. Niles becomes bogged down with trying to make the writing sound intelligent by finding more impressive sounding words to describe simple things (i.e. epistle instead of letter, domicile instead of house, etc.) and it makes the story flow extremely labored. In many cases it also hurts the intended imagery. For instance, his use of the word domicile was often applied to a rich palace or large and highly furnished home. The word itself invokes exactly the opposite image, so its near constant use was a bit jarring. Regarding the narration, this was the strangest part for me. I like Chris Sorensen. I have enjoyed his narration many times on other titles. In this one, however, he seems to be doing his very best imitation of someone narrating a History Channel documentary. Extremely repetitive inflection and slow, almost savory attention to each word. It almost feels like Mr. Sorensen was unfamiliar with what he was reading and was just paying attention to each sentence for its own sake. One positive for me was his character voices. While not incredibly diverse, they do remind me of some anime voice-overs which help with a little nostalgia factor. But not enough for me to enjoy this title, I'm afraid. I gave the story two stars because, though the writing and story are extremely sub-par, it IS a Dragonlance title. I gave the narrator two stars because this performance HAS to be a fluke. So that second star is a star of hope and nostalgia. It is by no means a star that this title has earned from me.