Dragons of Deceit: Dragonlance Destinies: Volume 1
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Publisher: Random House Worlds
Release Date: August 2, 2022
Nostalgia is a fickle thing. I have fond recollections of reading the Dragonlance series as they were released starting with the very first one in the mid-1980s. I consumed everything authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman released along with everyone else who wrote pretty much anything about Krynn. Therefore, it should surprise no one that I was excited to review their newest novel, Dragons of Deceit, set as you can guess in the world of Dragonlance. This was a roller coaster of emotions for me as I made my way through this first book in a new series from two of my favorite authors of all time, though I did not love Dragons Of Deceit in its entirety.
When I say I was an avid fan of the series, I really cannot emphasize that enough. I was in full throttle Dungeons & Dragons mode back in those days, though to be fair, it was Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in those days, now commonly referred to as D&D 1e. We played through the modules and tried to emulate our favorite characters from the books whilst playing. Keith, Steve, Jason, Jimmy, and I played religiously every chance we got, many of those weekends were marathon sessions. But I digress, we are here to talk about this newest release that brings us full speed backward to a time known as the War of the Lance. This book skirts the original tales slightly by giving us an outsider’s view of the war.
Destina Rosethorn is the daughter of a well respected knight of Solamnia, Lord Gregory Rosethorn. Lord Rosethorn and his family lived and breathed the Solamnic Code, “Est Solarus oth Mithas” which means “My honor is my life.” Taught the ways of the Measure as well, Destina was a dutiful young woman who was being groomed to one day take over the family estate. But fate can be mercurial and things will not always turn out the way you expect them. Through a tragic series of events, our protagonist finds herself without a true home and alone in a world that shows no pity. Seeking a way to restore her family to what it once was, she proceeds on a dangerous path to find two lost artifacts that should remain lost or risk destroying everything as we know it. Along the way, the reader is given the chance to revisit old locales and a multitude of beloved (and despised) characters from those original books decades ago. We even get to meet some who were thought long lost. But no spoilers here, I will leave that surprise for you to find on your own. But suffice to say that we will see the Tower of High Sorcery, the Great Library of Palanthas, and, as always, we will wonder what those fried potatoes at the Inn of the Last Home taste like.
Now, I must remind you that this is but the first in a series and leaves a lot open at the end of the book. However, I would be remiss if I did not mention that much of the first hundred pages is merely build up and almost turned me off the story altogether. The next hundred pages were good, but still lacking that emotional connection to grab me and hold me enthralled. In fact, it was not until the last fifty or so pages that I found myself lost in the tale, unable to put the book down. I must admit that I had some terribly high expectations going into the story and they might, just might, have been too high. In the end, I did like the book, but I think that a lot of it was off-putting at the start. Maybe that information will be important later in the series, but it was initially a little slow and boring for me. No offense to the authors, though. I might have just been impatient to see how Caramon and Tika are doing. Oh, wait. Did I say that out loud? Sorry about that. I guess we all have a little Fizban in us, you know?
Now, I will say this. If you love all things Dragonlance, please read this book. If this might be your first visit to Krynn, then I suggest the Dragonlance Chronicles, at the very least, prior to this series. But honestly, read the Tales, Legends, Heroes, Meetings Sextet, and Preludes series to really get a grasp of the adventures and scope of Krynn. I anxiously await the next book in the Destinies series because I am most definitely hooked. It was amazing what my mind unlocked while reading this book. Things I have not thought about in a couple of decades came crashing back in and my emotional connection to this setting and its peoples was invigorating. But I still do not feel connected to the main character, but perhaps her actions are what turned me off of her in the first place. Luckily, we have Tasslehoff Burrfoot to save the day, as usual. As Tas says: everyone else is the hero, he was just there to keep them out of trouble.
Pride goeth before the fall, unless you’re a kender!
Destina Rosethorn—as her name implies—believes herself to be a favored child of destiny. But when her father dies in the War of the Lance, she watches her carefully constructed world come crashing down. She loses not only her beloved father but also the legacy he has left her: the family lands and castle. To save her father, she hatches a bold plan—to go back in time and prevent his death.
First, she has to secure the Device of Time Journeying, last known to be in the possession of the spirited kender Tasslehoff Burrfoot. But to change time, she’ll need another magical artifact—the most powerful and dangerous artifact ever created. Destina’s quest takes her from the dwarven kingdom of Thorbardin to the town of Solace and beyond, setting in motion a chain of disastrous events that threaten to divert the course of the River of Time, alter the past, and forever change the future.