Monday, January 13, 2014

Books on my shelf: The Annotated Chronicles

For "Books on my shelf" I'm just going to grab a book and write about it for 15 minutes or so.

"Dragonlance: The Annotated Chronicles" by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

Dragonlance wasn't the first Fantasy series I read, but I must have been junior high or previous, so early.  I still remember meeting Tanis and Flint on the road so many years ago, and being impressed by these two old comrades taking up a position back to back to ward themselves from dangers.  Recognizing Raistlin's sleep spell (and that it signified he wasn't all that powerful), and the shock of draconian a who turned to stone and then slid into dust.

Later the adventures with the green dragon, the poem of the rescue from the White dragon, Sturm on the wall, and Raistlin's terrifying power.  The books slipped away at some point , so I snatched up Weis and Hickman's Annotated Chronicles hoping to rediscover some of the magic.

And while I did, I also discovered what happens when the curtain is pulled back.  Their laughter at the company all beginning in the bar together, in particular, took a bit of the shine off the Chronicles, but I think it also made me a more critical reader.

Page 50:
The companions are in the bar, their adventure incited, and Sturm the paladin does not wish to flee this growing mob.  Margaret Weis points out one if her favorite lines. "Run? From this rabble?"  Tracy point out the Tanis' solution was cribbed from a Paladin he used to run in a campaign: we must flee to protect the lady!

Would I recommend it?
Maybe. If you're a Dragonlance fan.  Otherwise there's almost certainly something better than this to read in the Fantasy genre.  It's not even really a good example of "how to make a novel out of your campaign" (though it's clearly AN example), but as I also say of Walt Whitman, there's some virtue to having done something first.

Will it stay on my shelf?
Oh yes.  The shelf's already been purged a lot by various moves, so most books here have earned a spot, but the Annotated Chronicles aren't going anywhere.  I have a lot of nostalgic attachment to this book.

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