Not many in-print Dragonlance books are on the race of subterranean dwelling dwarves, and Dark Thane is the latest. The half-blooded king Tarn Bellowgranite gains a new political and personal enemy, surprisingly the Hylar thane. Contrary to all preconceptions of the Hylar, this disfigured, exceedingly ambitious, and more than a little neurotic usurper, plans on slaying Tarn and taking the throne for himself.
The flow of the book is generally pretty smooth, but there were a few unfinished storylines that may leave a reader unsatisfied. The ending was also a bit unconclusive, either a way of enticing a reader to buy a sequel, if there is one, or just plain, poor writing.
If you are into mystery and intrigue, Dark Thane is definitely for you, as it is chock full of political unrest, backstabbing and assassinations, and manipulation. There are few hack and slash battles, especially considering that we are dealing with a bunch of disgruntled dwarven leaders bent on wiping out entire clans.
There were a few inconsistencies in the book that a reader might find strange. First of all was for the Hylar thane, supposedly leader of the dwarves of light, to so readily turn to darkness for power. Another thing was the final decision that Tarn made, a choice between his people and something precious to him, and rather choose his people in the classic self-sacrificing Dragonlance spirit, he selfishly thought only of himself and chose the object important to him.
Readers new to the world of Dragonlance might want to try the Chronicles and Chaos War series first, as this book may leave him or her confused with its numerous historic references. If you liked Leaves from the Inn of the Last Home, you will like this book with its insightful look to dwarven festivities, culture, and traditions. To the connoisseur, especially if he or she enjoyed The Last Thane or Conundrum, this is also must have. Jeff Crook once again uses a powerful dark tone to narrate the turmoil that takes place underground in Krynn, making perhaps his most masterful piece yet.