So, back in high school, I briefly had a column where I reviewed science fiction and fantasy books in our school paper. I’ll try to do that some here. Here’s my review of Dragonlance- The Lost Chronicles Volume 1, “Dragons of Dwarven Depths”. Originally posted on my Goodreads account.
Finished “Dragons of Dwarven Depths”. It’s not horrible. I’m not sure if my tastes have changed over the years, though, or if Weis and Hickman had some off days working on this one, but it wasn’t as good as I remember Chronicles, Legends, Second Chronicles, or any of the other Dragonlance novels I’ve read in the past. Not a waste of money or time, but still, not quite as good.
One thing that was interesting was the way it seemed to explore the characters a bit. Not quite a character study masquerading as a fantasy novel, but that side was more prominent than I expected and was interesting. This is probably the high point- especially with regards to Sturm and Flint.
The main downside is that treatment of female characters was not very good. Things are constrained a bit given that they had to work with a largely established cast, but still. Tika was worthless, her entire driving purpose was to get Caramon to choose her over his brother. A girl tries to make me do that, I’m done with her even if I was about to do so voluntarily. Something does happen that might drive some character development, but it has some potentially troubling implications, especially considering how female character development in general is treated.
Laurana wasn’t treated much better, to whatever extent she was I’m thinking she just had fewer pages devoted to her so less time to do stupid stuff with the character.
Goldmoon, the one you’d expect to most be defined by her love interest given that she’s married to him, is the strongest, most independent female character in the book. To whatever extent she’s defined by her love for Riverwind, he is defined to the same extent by his love for her. There’s actual balance here.
On the other hand, having single female characters being total messes of people, and the only one that’s a full character in her own right is the married one, that has some troubling implications. The men can be single and full characters, or single and a mess, or whatever else, but women are either single and a mess of a person or married and solid. I really don’t like this. Did I miss these trends when I was younger or is this one actually worse than previous Dragonlance books on this count?