Dragons of Autumn Twilight (Dragonlance Chronicles, Book 1)
Dragons of Winter Night (Dragonlance Chronicles, Book 2)
Dragons of Spring Dawning (Dragonlance Chronicles, Book 3)
By: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
My Rating: Three out of Five Stars
Best for: 12 and up
Ah, junior high! I remember the Dragonlance books with early-teenage fondness, and I’ve been wanting to reconnect with them for years. So…did my grown-up reading experience live up to my happy childhood memories?
Meh. Not really.
As an exercise in visiting the past, I enjoyed myself. The audiobook was an especially effective time warp as the audio performance by Paul Boehmer sounds like it was recorded fresh off the line in 1984–even though the audio was produced in 2013! Imagine the dialogue in The Last Unicorn and you’ll get the idea.
As an exercise in literature though, I found all three books lacking. The plot was formulaic, with flat-as-a-pancake stereotypes instead of characters who I felt no attachment to, the pace slogged, the ending was lame, and the world building and peril felt straight out of a game of D&D. Everything about Dragonlance screams “I was written in 1984” all over it, which is actually kind of charming. Kind of.
If you’re not familiar, the Dragonlance series is based on Dungeons and Dragons gameplay. For many in the 80’s and 90’s, the Dragonlance books became a gateway into the world of fantasy, even more than The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings because of their comparative simplicity.
Should you read Dragonlance? If you enjoy fantasy as a genre and at any point in your life you were a fan of D&D, you probably should! They remain excellent for specific readers young and old and will likely entertain 14 year old’s today just as well as they did 30 years ago. Don’t enjoy fantasy? Roll your eyes at D&D? I suspect you’d probably get bored with Dragonlance. There’s just not quite enough 80’s charm to attract anyone but the nerdiest nerds of all.
No content concerns. Fantasy violence. No onscreen sex, although there is some heavy longing (think descriptions Fabio on a book cover). No language. Best for 12 and up.