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on 29 October 2006
Cheesy as it sounds, these books changed my life. I picked up a copy of Dragons of Autumn Twilight at school and was hooked. Ten years on, I'm a fantasy writer myself. Yes, the writing style is unexceptional, but who cares when the characters sweep you up and take you away with them. Alright, Laurana and Goldmoon are entirely too beautiful, and Sturm a bit too perfect, but Tika,Tas, Fizban and Flint are great. As for my favourite, Raistlin, I defy anyone to read the books and not be rooting for him. Some people say the story is too simplistic, the issues too black-and-white, but to me they're missing the point. It's the charm of the characters, the youth and humour and innocence, the sense that you're traveling right along with them, that makes the book.
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on 31 May 2012
The Dragonlance series is one of my favourites when I was a teen - and Chronicles is what made me an avid reader.

The story is set in a high fantasy world were the long forgotten gods are re-emerging. The evil gods are gathering their armies to take over, the good gods are finding champions to re-establish a balance. The main story arc follows a band of adventurers who inadvertently get caught up in the whole affair, and are tasked with helping a woman find a lost relic of the old good gods to. So it essentially begins with the old overused Quest storyline, but from there it evolves as the characters go forth on their own, splinter into groups, meeting up again, go off in new groups etc and partake in various roles within the overall war. Basically you never really know where the story is going, and it has many turns and twists.

The characters are interesting and each is different, although they are fantasy archetypes and so most never truly break away from some of clichés (e.g. the gruff dwarf, the honour bound knight etc). Tas offers humour and the trials of other characters offers tragedy and heartbreak. Raistlin is without doubt one of the greatest characters of all time. The imagination in bringing him to life and his story arc alone is genius, and he deserves to be listed with Gandalf as an icon fantasy character - except he's nothing like Gandalf; Gandalf defined the archetype mould for wizards, Raistlin looked at the mould, laughed at it, blew it up and decided to become the single most epic depiction of a wizard put to paper.

The book's relatively short compared to some other fantasies (Wheel or Time, Game of Thrones etc), and not as difficult to read as say Lord of the Rings. Therefore its an easy, enjoyable read. Although this is only when you consider the original Chronicles trilogy, as there are hundreds of books in the Dragonlance franchise, including prequels, sequels, midquels, side stories. Its amazing how many of the minor characters in this book actually have their own spin off novels. You don't have to read them however to enjoy Chronicles.

I did first read this series 15 years ago, and tend to read them every five or so years and I will admit they aren't as quite as good as I remember. Many of the characters are rather more cliché now that I've read other fantasy series, and sometimes I think there is far to much telling not showing. For example, one character later becomes the Golden General and we are told his/her soldiers will follow him/her even to death.... why? What inspired such loyalty. Seriously, one chapter the character is named General and the next has the unquestioning allegiance of an army? Why not develop it? Show the character earning their loyalty through leading them to some amazing victory.

Anyway, despite its flaws I still love it, its a good series and still one of my favourites. High Fantasy fans should read it.

If you liked it I would highly recommend Dragon Wing (The Death Gate cycle) by the same authors.
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After reading this book, I suddenly found myself thrown into the world of dungeons and dragons.The character's seem to have more personality than I do, and if your not rooting for Raistlin by then end,something is wrong. A fine thread of adventure,romance,mystery and magic, with a tanker full of bizzare twists and unforgettable moments.
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on 7 December 2006
I read these when they were first released in the 80's, I found them very riveting, couldn't put the books down, due to some misfortune whilst moving a few eyars ago, my whole collection was stolen. So I boguht the Chronicle collectors edition a few eyars ago and it still had the same impact.

Once you really get to know and undersatnd what drives the characters, you begin to feel for them, know their pain, like any good story really, but this was so different, I had the lumps in my throat when certain character met an untimely end, you feel the sadness and sorrow that thye other characters feel.

I am a professional film director and writer and find these books so inspirational for my own work. these are not as heavy going as ther Lord of the Rings, not that LOTR is bad, on the contrary, but they can be a bit overwhelming when so many chapters focus on a specific plot and it seems to take forever to read it, but that is not the case with Chronicles or Legends.
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on 16 April 2000
So much has been written about the Dragonlance Chronicles that it is difficult to write more. These are the books that first started me on my journey into the realm of fantasy novels. Perhaps, as argued, the plots are not as complex as more modern fantasy novels, or the characters as developed (or angst-ridden!) but what remains important, for me, is that they are immensely readable, enjoyable, and provide what we are all looking for - that sense of escapism. Good people die too - it's not all about triumph and glory. I will always have a soft spot for the characters in the novel - especially Raistlin, for all his faults. Go read these - you could do a lot worse.
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on 20 June 2014
A lovely book that brought back very happy memories of my days playing D&D. Luckily I couldn't remember everything that happened anyway so it was great to read it and then for the memory of it to hit me again a few moments later. Being gently reminded of epic fun evenings playing Dungeons & Dragons with epically good friends, battling monsters with magic and swords.

It has great characters and anyone familiar with Dungeons and Dragons will love it and recognise everything immediately. I don't think it's on par with Lord of the Rings probably but it's getting there in terms of depth of characters, breadth and detail of the world in which its based etc. And praise doesn't come much higher that that.

The book itself is well made, if of course a little on the large size. Personally I like that and I did buy the combined books 1 to 3 but you can get them individually if you wish.

All in all a classic and I am loving it as much if not more so this second time around. If either you played D&D, love Lord of the Rings or indeed any similar fantasy then I don't think you will be disappointed.
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on 25 January 2010
These were some of the first fantasy books I read, and while they are not as deep or atmospheric as many I have read since they do tell a great and charming adventure. The books do not take ages following a kitchen boy to greatness, the follow an ensemble cast through the adventure revealling the characters pasts as it progresses.
The characters are not the most rounded creations ever, far from it but they do all have a certain charm. I keep using that word, charm or charming and that is precisely what the books are. They are lightweight reading, easy going and likeable. A place to escape to that doesn't remind us of reality. Thats said for all the lightness and charm there is still enough of a sense of danger to lend the story the drama it needs.
Some have accused the books of lacking detail, maybe but just becasue they do not spell everything out to the smallest detail doesn't make them bad, they describe things simply and evocatively.
To sum up if you want a light hearted fun read give these a go, if you are knee deep in fantasy dipped in realism and want more of the same best avoid them.
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on 23 October 2011
A book for those who love Fantasy. A story about friends that meet and go on an adventure. Being apart for a while, they have to get to know each other again. All changed, some for better, some for worse. Can they trust one another? Each character carries its burden, an inner struggle that must rest aside while the battle against Evil goes on. A war between gods, good Vs. evil, a quest for truth, belief, and freedom. A story about heroism, deception, romance and more...
Once you start reading, there's no stopping... as if you left your body and entered a world of Fantasy, walking among Elves, Dwarves, Magicians, Knights, Dragons and old Gods. You'll learn to love, Admire and sometimes even feel sorry for the Characters, and you will stay with them up to the end and find yourselves wanting more.
This book is a classic!
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on 17 December 2013
I started reading the Dragon Lance novels over ten years ago and immediately loved them! Full of adventure, fun, emotion, fantastical beasts and magic - all great for escapism, perfect! I loved all the novels by Weis and Hickman and thusly I wasn't quite sure where to write this review so I chose this compendium to cover a few :).

I tend to think of the Dragon Lance novels as a mix between epic fantasy (like Tolkien) and Terry Pratchett because for me the books are funny (but not as funny as Terry Pratchett, nor meant to be) but serious and moving as well. I like the big array of different characters in these novels too.

Great fun, well worth a read if you like adventure fantasy. Currently looking forward to reading Dragons of the High Lord Skies.

Thanks, Weis & Hickman :)

J*
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on 19 February 2010
Read these books initially over 20 years ago when I borrowed them off a mate. My wife got them for me for christmas and I have to admit that I have been quite disappointed.
After years of reading Bernard Cornwell, David Gemmell, Stephen Pressfield amongst others, these books now come across as simplistic and childish. They say never go back, and to be honest I wish I hadn't read these again and just basked in my memories. They'll be good for my son though in a few years time.
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