Fifth book of the commute, rounding out the "Legends" trilogy. Really not much to add that hasn't already been covered in my review of the first two v...moreFifth book of the commute, rounding out the "Legends" trilogy. Really not much to add that hasn't already been covered in my review of the first two volumes. The trilogy finishes with a bang, a satisfying but bittersweet conclusion. Again, it's the characterization of Caramon and Raistlin and the dynamics of their brotherly relationship that sets this book a notch above most others in the genre.(less)
This is the third book I read once I started my new commute in June '07. It's the second book in a trilogy, but I broke up the Dragonlance stuff with...moreThis is the third book I read once I started my new commute in June '07. It's the second book in a trilogy, but I broke up the Dragonlance stuff with a memoir and some non-fiction.
Pretty much everything from my review of Time of the Twins applies to War of the Twins as well. It's good, geeky fun done very well, and the more likely you are to enjoy this kind of hard-core niche genre, the more likely you are to enjoy this particular example. Of the three books in the trilogy, this once concerns itself the most with notions of free will and pre-destination, and whether history is guided by outstanding individuals or larger, invisible forces. Raistlin and Caramon spend most of the book conducting a military campaign in the past, one with which they are familiar because of its historical fame. Armed with future knowledge, both brothers try to change the past, and both fail. The book has its own satisfying finale and also sets up the conclusion of the trilogy.(less)
This was the first book I read when I started my new bus/train commute. But, this was not the first Dragonlance book I've ever read. It was the tenth....moreThis was the first book I read when I started my new bus/train commute. But, this was not the first Dragonlance book I've ever read. It was the tenth. Dragonlance is a gigantic moneymaking franchise that runs off the insatiable appetites of geeks, among which I count myself. It's almost besides the point for me to review the book at all, because it's so niche. Either you "get it" or you don't. But, shoot, I'll give it a try.
The original Dragonlance trilogy (which I read in high school) was about a group of friends living in a fantasy world in which a medievalesque society exists alongside magic, gods, monsters, etc. The friends become unlikely heroes who play a central part in saving the world. Time of the Twins is the first book of a follow-on trilogy that focuses on the further adventures of two (and a half) of the original adventurers: twin brothers Caramon and Raistlin. These two characters will always have a soft spot in my heart. Big-hearted, simple-minded, strong and tough Caramon; frail, sickly, brilliant, manipulative Raistlin. Caramon is one of the world's greatest fighters, and Raistlin one of it's most potent wizards. They love each other and they hate each other. In every pair of brothers, or even friends, one is usually the Raistlin and one is the Caramon. I've been both.
The "and a half" is the pint-sized thief Tasslehoff. He's a recurring character who is supposed to be comic relief, and he's hit or miss. Sometimes he's annoyng as crap, and sometimes he makes me laugh.
But mostly the story is about Caramon and Raistlin, as they begin a new adventure. They end up going back in time, where Raistlin learns the secrets of a legendary wizard and Caramon becomes an infamous gladiator (and Tasslehoff causes general mischief), just before a Cataclysm is sent by the gods to punish a prideful humanity. And set the scene for book 2! Like I said, if you're a geek, this stuff is GREAT - all action and imagination. If that's not your cup of tea, it probably all seems silly and/or needlessly complicated. I eat this stuff up.
There really is some good character development between the brothers, you just have to wade through a lot of genre tropes to get to it. But that characterization elevates the twins' story above your usual sword-n-sorcery hackwork. There's a general consensus among Dragonlance fans that "Legends" (as this trilogy about Caramon & Raistlin is known) is the best among the literally hundreds of other Dragonlance volumes, and that's probably true.(less)