It’s been a very long time since I’ve last read the Chronicles trilogy. It was in middle school that I first learned about it, likely from my friend “Chip” who also introduced me to RPGs. What’s the connection? The Chronicles trilogy takes place in the Dragonlance universe (created by the book’s co-author Tracy Hickman with his wife Laura, and expanded with the help of the book’s other co-author Margaret Weis), used by TSR (and later Wizards of the Coast) as a setting for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons as well as a multitude of books. Regarding the latter, I’m pretty sure the Chronicles trilogy was by far the most popular. I remember reading quite a few other Dragonlance novels, but I can’t recall which ones, let alone what they were about.
Awhile ago I re-purchased the original paperbacks off of eBay, meaning to re-read them at some point. That time finally came a few weeks ago, when I sat down with the first book, opened it, and came to a horrible realization: the text was too small! Getting old sucks, yes, but seriously it’s really small. I guess for the paperback size it had to be that small in order to come in at a decent page-count. So, I set the books aside in my “to donate” stack, went on Amazon, and purchased the first book for my Kindle. While I still hate using PDFs/tablets/etc. for RPG material, for reading a book it’s just too nice using a Kindle: no holding a book open or page flipping, long battery life on the Kindle’s e-ink screen, and I can even read on my phone or online if I want to.
ANYWAYS, how was my impression of re-reading the book after so long? After all, I had tried to re-read a Forgotten Realms book years ago, and oh the pain! In contrast, I think Dragons of Autumn Twilight holds up fairly well, even though it’s still clear in spots that the writers were still fairly green at the time, and a better editing job could have greatly helped. While we get some insight into each of the main characters, we don’t get much about the main villain. He’s just there, described as the bad guy with the evil queen’s support, and then at the end is a quick fight.
I wanted more backstory for Tanis, and I wanted more development between him and Laurana. I wanted more backstory for all of the characters, honestly, to give them more motivation for their actions now. From what I can remember I think Dragons of Winter Night does go more into that. I did enjoy re-reading Dragons of Autumn Twilight more than I anticipated, so I know it won’t be too long before I pick up the next two.