Lifelong friends, they went their separate ways. Now they are together again, though each holds secrets from the others in his heart. They speak of a world shadowed with rumors of war. They speak of tales of strange monsters, creatures of myth, creatures of legend. They do not speak of their secrets. Not then. Not until a chance encounter with a beautiful, sorrowful woman, who bears a magical crystal staff, draws the companions deeper into the shadows, forever changing their lives and shaping the fate of the world.
No one expected them to be heroes.
Least of all, them.
Dragons of the Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, 4.5/5
Published by Wizards of the Coast in 1984
I have read Margaret Weis before, back in the days when I used to read science fiction predominately I read her Stars of the Guardian quartet. Well, that's a lie. I bought the first three and was not aware until recently that their was a fourth. This was the days before Amazon and things to search and see that I missed a book. One of these days I will see if I can track the quartet down and read it in its entirety.
I know lots of people that are big fans of the Dragonlance series. There are people that collect the whole set, buying them second-hand every chance that they have. I have always wanted to read Dragonlance, but it is a big under-taking. When you start a series you feel like you should read all of them at some point and time, and there are a lot of books in this series. But, Weis is the author of the month for June, so I thought I would finally give these books a try. The reason that I read this in non-June is because I am really bad with reading the same author in a row.
Anyways, on to the book. It is amazing how many times I have been told to read these books over the years. Even people that do not really read all that often told me to read this quartet, and I just kept putting it off. That was bad of me because in all honesty, I loved this book. I needed a good fantasy story, and this really rewarded me for taking the time to read it. It's Tolkeinish. There are dwarves, elves, humans, and other creatures. There is a quest that they have to complete in order to overcome the "bad" people. There are also dragons, fire-breathing ones. But, really, it is hard to come up with original ideas anymore, it is just up to the authors to make the story their own.
The characters in this book are great. There was none that I disliked (of the good people). There is Tanis, the apparent leader of the group. To the humans, he is a half-elf. To the elves, he is half-human. He is also the bit of ill-fated hero. He was kicked out of his home, in a manner of speaking, because of some complications. He is also the tormented lover, but I think that will be dealt with more in the later books. An interesting characteristic for this fine hero is that he does not like to fight. That is the characteristic of most elves in this book, though.
Then, we have Sturm Brightblade. He is your typical knight in shining armour. He is all about honour and protecting the damsel in distress (or just women in general). He takes his vows very seriously and he always keeps his word. He can be a bit annoying at times, especially for those that are not big fans of the damsel in distress scenerio. Moving on, we have Goldmoon. She is the female main character in this book, but thankfully does not fall subject to the roles that women sometimes takes in fantasy. She is very empowering and she plays a special role in this book. She suffers a lot in this book and has one of heart-breaking scenes in the book. Riverwind is her boyfriend of sorts. It is a long story, but it is because of a quest that he goes on to win the hand of Riverwind that starts the group on their adventure.
There is also Raistlin, a magic-user. He is a dark character and you are never really sure of him, but he balances out the characters nicely. There is also his twin brother Caramon, who is the exact opposite of his brother. I feel bad for him a lot during the book because he is very protective of Raistlin and I do not find that he appreciates it very much. He is the warrior of the group. Then, there is Flint, who is funny. He does not mean to be, but he gets himself into some interesting situations because he is very stubborn. He is also the oldest member of the group, but not always the wisest. Lastly we have Tasslehoff Burrfoot who is a kender (handler). I love him, he was really my favourite character. He is incapable of fear and he has a tendency to "borrow" interesting things. He is just great! So funny and he really gets himself into the most interesting situations.
They really are an unlikely group of heroes and a heroine. I enjoyed every page of this book. It has quite the overview of emotions in it, and it is very promising for the other three books in this series.