Dragons of Spring Dawning by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Leader of the group, Tanis Half-Elven has returned to Raistlin, Caramon and the others later than usual with the story he was captured by a dragon Highlord, and had only managed to get away that morning, but the truth is far different from that, and they only learn later on that Tanis had been in bed with Kitiara, a dragon Highlord herself,and also Raistlin and Caramon's sister. Annoyed at the news, they feel they can no longer trust him any more, yet need him to keep the other members from leaving, but not before Raistlin does, and with a mysterious dragon orb he thinks can help him. Caramon is distraught by his leaving, and realizes he never needed his aid once he got the immense surge of powers from the Tower of High Sorcery. The vision he had of Raistlin killing him in a possible test scenario scarred him for life. Now that he is gone, he thinks he will never see his beloved brother again. Tika Waylan is there to keep his spirits up, though and his mind is taken off his brother's betrayal with him and the other shaving to deal with dragon Highlords and Draconian guards.
I have read the original novel this story is based on, and as this is the graphic novel version and for the most part they have kept the story as it was in the novel by Weis and Hickman with a few different flourishes from Andrew Dablo. The pencillers have captured the likenesses of Flint, Tas and Kitiara, Lord Soth and Tanis, as they are remarkably close to the characters fans of the Dragonlance saga have fondly remembered. However, some are not as good as the originals; Caramon should have been a lot bulkier as he is supposed to be Raistlin's opposite; he is strong in a Herculean way, and Raistlin also doesn't look like he should in the face, and to be honest I could only recognize him from his golden complexion and his robes. Despite that, the art is detailed and filled with action in parts, and the story is similar to that of the original novel. The main focus being on Raistlin and Caramon's relationship; these are two brothers who have a colourful history together. Caramon acts as his unfailing carer, while his brother hurls abuse at him, and otherwise hides a caring personality. They are two opposites; one robust in heath, strong and with a hearty attitude to women, while the other is sickly, coughs up blood, and is unhappy with his lot. Raistlin is the other half who wanted to have Caramon's power, and had to learn to use his magic skills to get him out of dangerous situations. Yet through his weakness, he became one of the most experienced mages ever, one many thought would try and use his power to rule the world.
For those who would like to read the Dragonlance Legends 1, 2, and 3 they will have to understand that Raistlin isn't as bad as others imagine him to be. Since the test in the tower his skin has changed to a golden hue, while his pupils have turned to hourglasses to remind him of his humility. For him it is a curse as he can see how short a time people live, but this only applies to humans, not elves. Caramon doesn't see he wants to be independent, and refuses to let him from his side. It's a tragedy for his brother to come to terms with, but he has to face him leaving, and also the knowledge that he will never be the same again.
Other characters are shown as having two sides too. Tanis always gives everyone the impression that he is a good man who leads the group but he has two loves in his life, and was prepared to betray Laurana for a night with the seductive Kitiara, and it also doesn't help matters that she is Raislin's sister.
In Dragons of Spring Dawning readers will get to find out Lord Soth's life story as to why he turned to evil, and why Lord Ariakas can't just enter a ladies bedroom without knocking first and Tika can finally be told of why Caramon is so intense about his brother. There are some scenes involving dragon fights that look impressive and well drafted, and some other events that will impress the reader more so. And before the story is continued in Part 2, there is a gallery of art from the comic covers illustrated by Steve Kurth, Nei Ruffino,Tyler Walpole, Volta/Slawornir Maniak, Jeremy Roberts and Julius M.Gopez.
This Dragons of Spring Dawning book review was written by Sandra Scholes
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