Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Top Five Book Series - #2

#2 - Dragonlance Series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Whilst at high school I wasn't particularly interested in reading. The books we had to read for English Literature class were boring (To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, etc) and the school library's collection was lacking. Then, when I was around 15 years old or so, whilst in the local computer game shop I spotted a book that caught my eye. The shop had a small corner devoted to RPGs and board games and the book I saw was the Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Weis and Hickman. I'd seen ads for this in magazines saying it was a fantasy book based on AD&D gaming sessions (which turned out to be something of an urban myth). It sounded interesting - and the wonderful cover art by Larry Elmore didn't hurt either - so I bought it.

And my love of fantasy books and reading in general was shocked back into life.

Sure, I'd read the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and perhaps one or two other fantasy books before then, but I never really found them that interesting. LotR has always been a tough read for me. Conversely, Dragons of Autumn Twilight was wonderfully fresh and easy to read. It's full of adventure, magic, combat, dragons (etc) and reads like a dramatised account of an actual gaming campaign (even if it wasn't). It was like a breath of fresh air amongst the stuffy, cloying atmosphere of the other novels I was reading.

Since then I've read the Chronicles, Legends, War of Souls, and Lost Chronicles trilogies (ah, fantasy novels and their trilogies!). I've read some of the short story collections and other bits and pieces. But, it should be stressed, only the stuff by Weis and Hickman; the other Dragonlance authors never seemed to do much for me.

I've also read some of the others non-DL works by Weis and Hickman like the Deaths Gate Cycle, Rose of the Prophet, and Darksword series but they were never quite as good as Dragonlance. Tanis, Sturm, Caramon, Flint, Tasslehoff, Goldmoon, Riverwind, Raistlin and the rest will always be my favourite group of typical fantasy characters - and it's amazing how they got us to 'care' for an evil character like Raistlin!

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