Hope's Reviews > Dragons of Autumn Twilight

Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis
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's review
Jan 20, 08

Read in January, 2008

** spoiler alert ** I must confess, I only rated this as high as I did out of nostalgia. I first read Dragonlance as a child, and was wildly impressed then. As a more mature reader, and one who has read Tolkien, the book's flaws are pretty obvious.

If you loved Lord of the Rings, you might not be able to read this book without screaming. The authors may not have realized how much they plagarized Tolkien, but they really, really did. As I read it, every little while I'd take a break to tell my roommate just what bits of Lord of the Rings had been copied thus far.

Being a Trek fan, and primarily an Original Series fan, Tanis' mixed-heritage dilemma looked stolen whole cloth from Star Trek, but done a bit more emo. It's another place to seems to be aimed at young teens, really. They dramatize his need to fulfill two different cultural heritages, by having him get emo over two different girls. I find myself wanting to explain to him the joys of polyamory.

For all that, it is a fun fantasy story, but it's probably more enjoyable for younger readers, who haven't read or aren't attached to Tolkien. The books are long, and I'm not sure I'm actually going to slog through the other two volumes. A friend has the annotated versions - sort of the director's cut with commentary. I may very well wait until I can borrow those. There's only so much of my reading time I'm willing to devote to nostalgia alone.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Angel Haha, I feel better not being the only one who wanted to explain to Tanis the joys of polyamory. That was pretty much what I was thinking: dude, you know, you could have both if you play things right.

I did notice they have an annotated edition now. I bought my copies dirt cheap used. Would be curious to see what they put in the enhanced edition. I have read Tolkien. I think overall, if you look at these books as light reading, you are pretty much ok. Best.

Hope Thanks :) The annotated version's got some potential - it might be fun to see what references they mention.

message 3: by Marcus (new)

Marcus Loved them as a kid, now that I look back on them, they're horrible. I completely agree that they plagiarized Lord of the Rings. They couldn't even come up with original characters! Raistlin...Gandalf, Gimli...Flint, Tanis...Legolas, Aragorn...Sturm, I could name a bunch of other similarities. And yeah, Spok from star trek was half human, half vulcan. These authors have absolutely nothing in their books that hasn't been stolen and twisted so it doesn't look exactly the same. It's like copying and pasting an essay off the internet for a school assignment, but changing a few words so that you can say it's yours. Good review.

Bluelily3 You know what? It's a FANTASY, get over it! ALL fantasy has elves, dwarves and other creatures that Tolkien wrote about, but that doesn't mean it's plagiarized! Newsflash, elves and other fantasy creatures were around in Norse Mythology long before Tolkien ever thought about writing about them. That's what fantasy novels are about. Terry Brooks and R.A. Salvatore didn't rip off Tolkien either. They just wrote fantasy, so what?

Robert Brina I have to agree with Bluelily, although I do have to admit that I did think of Spock with Tanis, I have always thought of elves as the same as Vulcans in a whole. I can't even imagine Raistlin being compared with Gandalf. First, I couldn't imagine Gandalf ever being or even thinking of being Evil. Second, again Bluelily is right, fantasy and wizards go hand in hand, every fantasy story I have ever read has a wizard whether they be good or Evil or one of each. Third, I actually liked Raistlin's character. Dwarves as a whole are always surly, grumpy, mostly taciturn characters, again in every story I've read. It's hard to make any of them anything else, so therefore every fantasy could be construed as being plagiarized. Not to mention that every writer got their inspiration and ideas from an author and/or story/characters that they fell in love with themselves. So, although some authors may go to the extreme of copying other authors' characters, most of them can be compared to other characters in other stories somewhere.

message 6: by Jonesy (new)

Jonesy @Bluelily3: Where do I even start. How about I start with a list of fantasy stories that don't dig their setting out of the same few feet of Tolkein's garden populated by elves, dwarves, and hobbits (or, since using that term in any other work is akin to begging to being eaten by the copyright monster, halflings). Let's start with the vast majority of stories that make up the many fantasy subgenres such as Urban Fantasy (American Gods, Highlander, Sandman, etc.), which looks at myth in the backdrop of a more modern/industrialized age, Weird West (The Dark Tower), and Science Fantasy (Star Wars). Then there are the numerous stories that most closely adhere to the tropes of Tolkein (and those who inspired him, although it is worth remembering that Tolkein is responsible for the roles those races assume in modern writing, such as elves being good with bows and communing with the trees), which make up the subgenre of High Fantasy whose settings have neither dwarves, elves, nor any number of things lifted from Tolkein, such as A Song of Ice and Fire, The Chronicles of Narnia, His Dark Materials, and Harry Potter just to name a few.

Given that a work falling into the genre of Fantasy (disregarding subgenre) is not determined by elves or dwarves being present and being portrayed exactly as they were by Tolkein, I think that one is well within their right to call bullshit on a story that contains all of those in the context of the same tale of Good against Evil (except this time with Alignment acting as an objective manifestation of objective morality to remove any and all moral complexity that may have once existed).

@Robert Brina: I refer you to my above post, and in turn point out American Gods, Highlander, The Dark Tower, and His Dark Materials to refute that Fantasy need involve a certain element (in this case, wizards, or, if we are referring to wizards in the high fantasy sense, wizards who are effectual in their given setting, which Low Magic settings do not have in stories such as Conan, Theive's World, or A Song of Ice and Fire)

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