I read this as a sort of fluff book, a time-filler. Mainly because I like Star Wars in general, and the other Luceno book I read was decent. (Actually...moreI read this as a sort of fluff book, a time-filler. Mainly because I like Star Wars in general, and the other Luceno book I read was decent. (Actually, I listened to the audiobook, on which a typically masterful job was done by reader Daniel Davis, whose skilled work with voices and tone was complemented by low-key sound effects and background noises.) But I was pleased to find that it really is a pretty solid book, detailing the time from the death of Plagueis' Sith master up to Palpatine's rise to the Chancellor's seat. The book mentions so many plotlines and elements from other vital stories throughout the Star Wars universe and EU that it almost begins to boggle a bit -- Eriadu, Alaris Prime, Naboo, Jorus C'Baoth, San Hill, Gardulla the Hutt, the Black Sun, Anakin's creation in the force, on and on. Though it sometimes verged on being overtly referential, this was my favorite thing about this book: It ties so many elements together all in one place, and provides a meaty core in the form of a deeper understanding of Palpatine's machinations, motivations, and how it all unfolded. Some explanations and sources were a bit pat, and the final resolution seemed a bit glib to me, but overall I enjoyed it quite a bit, and intend to do it the honor of including it in my selective and very limited collection of Star Wars materials, to which many Star Wars books don't make the cut.(less)
I don't think I've ever read a drinks-book more snobby and superficial than this one. Even the Mr. Boston one, which is like talking with your rich gr...moreI don't think I've ever read a drinks-book more snobby and superficial than this one. Even the Mr. Boston one, which is like talking with your rich great-uncle Howard about drinking. I hadn't gotten ten pages in and I was already reading for the twentieth time how careful I have to be that I don't end up at a bar drinking one of the many, MANY drinks that Esquire and/or David Wondrich feel are not cool enough or not manly enough to drink. They didn't even want to discuss the possibility of a Romulan Ale or what might go into it, because god forbid anyone notice and think you might be (gasp) a nerd. Any color other than goldish or brownish or clearish obviously means you're a juvenile and callow youth who's emotionally still in kindergarten obsessed with the color wheel. And if it doesn't have some hip, swanky story about Hemingway or Sinatra or someone, then they'll leave that drink out, too, or make a hip swanky story up. I guess maybe this snobbery goes over better with their target audience, but if so, then I thank the powers that be that I'm not in that audience. I seriously just closed it and stopped reading after the hundredth time they warned me about a drink that "will not impress people". I've read better drinks-commentary on menus at dive bars.(less)
Not much to say about this one that I didn't already say about the first book. I really liked it, same as the first one; it maintained much the same t...moreNot much to say about this one that I didn't already say about the first book. I really liked it, same as the first one; it maintained much the same tone and pace for the most part, and was a similar experience to the reading of the first book.
Once again, don't expect it to be the messiah savior of books, the best thing ever written or whatever. But if you like this genre and are patient enough to get through the density and details, you'll probably like it at least moderately.(less)
First of all, I'm astounded that this book was written in 1996 and I never heard anything at all about it until 2012. That's ridiculous. It's exactly...moreFirst of all, I'm astounded that this book was written in 1996 and I never heard anything at all about it until 2012. That's ridiculous. It's exactly the sort of thing I was reading (in the 90s especially). Seriously, never heard a word about it, ever, for 16 years? And then the only reason I hear about it (I'm a little ashamed to say) is because it was getting all hyped up at the library while the first season of the TV adaptation was showing on HBO. Is that a marketing failure, a random bizarre twist of fate, or what?
Anyway. I liked this book. A lot, really. Interesting, exciting, detailed, thought-provoking. I'm a sucker for detail, and particularly for heraldry, so there's that. The premise of some long-past environmental change that left the world with seasons that can last decades was interesting. The characters were solid, and interesting, and even the loathsome ones were loathsome in a way that made me relish loathing them. I liked how it builds the mythology and history of the setting bit by bit as it goes. I liked this book a lot.
That's really about all I have to say. Don't expect it to be the best book you ever read, or some sublime life-changing masterpiece, as some of the more surly reviewers seem to have done. And yeah, it's pretty ponderous and detailed, that should be obvious from the page-count and the number of volumes. If you're unsure, try the HBO adaptation and see if you like that -- if so, you might give the book a try. But be aware that it's dark and violent, and there's a lot of detail given to the setting and backstory and such.(less)
This was the first Dragonlance book I ever hated. So very disappointing. I had been reading Dragonlance books since the first three books had come out...moreThis was the first Dragonlance book I ever hated. So very disappointing. I had been reading Dragonlance books since the first three books had come out, had followed the Chronicles and the Legends, the Tales and the Heroes. Had even followed the second Tales and the second Heroes. And then I picked this one up. Cool amethyst cover. A story from the days before the Chronicles began. Sounded good to me.
It was terrible. Sorry, Paul, but really. Not only did it completely lack the Krynn / Dragonlance feel, but the subject matter was ludicrous and annoying. At one point, if I remember correctly, Tasslehoff travels on a gnome spaceship and lands on the red moon Lunitari and has some adventures there. Seriously. The fricking moon.
The first in a LONG, much too long series of Dragonlance disappointments. I stopped even trying almost ten books later. I was aghast to hear recently that the series has grown to more than 200 books -- I shudder to imagine how bad it's gotten. I keep hearing talk about the Companions' kids, Knights of Solamnia becoming allies with some dark Knights of Takhisis, some cheesy One True God that throws the whole cosmology of Krynn retroactively on its head, and something called Taladas... glad I stopped when I did.(less)