Dragons of Spring Dawning, Dragonlance Chronicles #3 by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Dragons of Spring Dawning - Tracy Hickman, Margaret Weis

After the defeat of the Dragonarmies at the High Clerist's tower Laurana is named as the General of the armies of Solamnia and, by default, Palanthas. Her leadership and her brother Gilthanas' persuading the good dragons to join the fight against evil means a quick turnaround of the war, the battles mostly being skipped in favor of character development.

 

Meanwhile, Tanis and the other Companions with him have discovered that the mysterious "gem man" who has been sighted several times through their adventures is the key to defeating the Dark Queen. Tanis must outrace Kitiara, revealed as a Dragon High Lord in the last book, to secure the gem man. There are rifts growing between some of the Companions, however, and they are not destined to stay together.

 

The Dark is not going to be defeated easily and on top of betrayals and death there are more surprising revelations in store.

 

This is still a solid fantasy. There are still too many main characters, but Weis and Hickman continue to improve on their skills of separating our heroes and villains into manageable groups. The one sour note in the text is something I'm glad the authors acknowledge as a mistake in the annotated editions of the book: This is Laurana risking her life and, essentially, the world so she can save her boyfriend.

 

This plot point takes back a lot of character development, and is not only lazy, but stupid. Both authors regret it now (or in 2004 when the commentary was written), which is something, I guess.

 

That aside, the book has a nice, epic conclusion that suits the tone of the series, eases readers into future Dragonlance titles (see below), and one death in particular still moved me. This was fun, I might have to read more.

 

Dragonlance Chronicles

 

Next: 'Dragons of Summer Flame'

 

Previously: 'Dragons of Winter Night'

 

or, traditionally, next would be Dragonlance Legends 'The Time of the Twins'

 

or, Any of a dozen prequels, midquels and story collections. A lot branches off from here depending on which character you like best.