Dragons of a Lost Star by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance)

The War of Souls #2

The second volume in Weis & Hickman's newest pure Dragonlance trilogy, The War of Souls, finds us deep in Silvanesti, Qualinesti, the Citadel and Solanthus as we follow the four plot threads. By the end more and more reader suspicions are clarified as the authors begin let us understand what is truly happening here and it comes as no surprise to find the hand of Takhisis amongst it all.

The novel focuses on Tasslehoff and Palin's fleeing of the green dragon's, Beryl, sack of the Citadel and rescue by Dalamar who has literally uprooted the Tower of High Sorcery and transplanted it in Lord Soth's old residence. There it stands, surrounded by a forest inhabited by the souls of the dead who crave magic. Magic, in return for release to the next life as promised by the The One God, so naively championed by Mina, Goldmoon's foster daughter.

Meanwhile in Qualinesti the besotted General Medan converts truly to the elven cause, in no small part due to his love for Laurana and sets about organising the fleeing of the Qualinesti elves through the dwarven kingdom of Thorbardin. This they achieve after a titanic battle with Beryl, but the cost is high - the destruction of Qualinost and Laurana has her own sun shattered on a parapet with a dragonlance.

Over in Silvanesti, with Cyan Bloodbane dead, the shield gone, Mina enters the capital, eagerly welcomed by the besotted Silvanoshei and is `murdered' by the framed king only to arise again with a Death dragon-like phoenix from the ashes as she appears to be one of the few able to wield magic in a world that is absent of it.
With Silvanesti under attack the plot gathers inexorable pace as Mina storms Solanthus, ably defended by the luckless Gerard and his new partner, Odila (who brings fresh breath of character life whilst all around are dying), Tasslehoff escapes the Tower after thinking Dalamar and Palin want to kill him but then returns with Goldmoon in tow for her confrontation with Mina in front of the portal to the Abyss - the same portal that Weis and Hickman return to so often as it really is the key to all knowledge.

By the end we have a denouement of sorts as the truth behind the One God comes out (but not to the parties that really need to know) and more established characters are removed from the board, leaving Tasselhoff as the key to it all.

It is difficult to praise Weis and Hickman in a manner that they haven't rightly heard before. Over the last twenty years Dragonlance has become a huge phenomenon with lots of spin offs and development of the world of Krynn on a scale that is truly exhilarating. However, one thing that is noticeable is that, amongst all the necessary surrounding dragonlance novels, a book from the pens of the creators stands head and shoulders above the rest and it is perhaps right that it should do so. Dragonlance has defined a generation of fantasy fans and any book produced by this peerless duo deserves six stars and beyond.

9/10 Dragonlance has defined a generation of fantasy fans.

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