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Book Review: Dragons of Fate: Dragonlance Destinies: Volume 2
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Dragons of Fate
Dragonlance Destinies Volume 2
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Publisher: Random House Worlds
Release Date: August 1, 2023

It has been almost four decades since I was fourteen and I read the very first Dragonlance novel from bestselling authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman; don’t do the math as it stings a little to see that number has grown so large. But when I dove into Dragons of Fate, the second volume in the Dragonlance Destines series, it was like going home again. Please join me while I try not to spoil anything, but do my best to explain what you are missing out if you do not reading this novel.

You may remember, or maybe not, that I reviewed the very first book in this series, which you can read here, if you like. Now, I will admit that I had mixed feelings on that first one, primarily focused around the slow start and what felt like a sluggish plot. Do not get wrong, I still thoroughly enjoyed it, but I believe it was mainly driven by nostalgia. But, and this is a big but (cue Sir Mix-a-Lot), this second book felt like pure comfort while reading it. The characters came alive again, the plot was fast paced and focused with everything that appealed to me in those earlier books from our beloved scribes. Was it perfect? No. But perhaps that was a huge part of why I loved it so much. I was intent on discovering the differences, the nuances in the storytelling that may have changed.

This novel takes place in two different times, such is the fate (no pun intended) when dealing with time travel, you know. In one timeline we have Dalamar, who is perhaps my favorite elf, attempting to correct mistakes in the present before anything goes awry. But the biggest issue is with the group trapped in the past: Destina, Raistlin, Sturm, and (Paladine help us) Tasslehoff. These companions find themselves farther in the past than expected. In fact, they are dropped right into the final few days of the Third Dragon War, just days before the deeds that inspired the entire world, when Huma uses the dragonlance to end the tyranny of Takhisis and her invasion of Krynn. But while our heroes try to find a way home before the accursed and chaotic Graygem of Gargath alters time as we know it, they are thrown into battles and war with none other than Huma and Magius! You know what they say, you should never meet your heroes. Or should you?

The story runs quickly, making the 365 pages in the hardback just fly by. There are so many small things that happen in here that make up one of the best stories in the franchise. I will admit that the Raistlin we read here seems different, less driven at times. Sturm feels a little more rigid, but that could be the proximity of his red-robed companion. Tasslehoff is, well, Tasslehoff. Kender do not seem to change much, but these events and his compounded memories seem to create a very slightly solemn feel for our hoopak-carrying friend. Probably my favorite part is that this is less centric with regards to Destina who I, for some reason, still do not really care for regardless of how much she seems to have matured. That said, a friend of mine absolutely adores her character, so maybe it is just me.

Unlike most sequels, you could easily pick this up and read it without feeling lost. Does the first book help? Sure. But it is slow to start and is more about reintroduction than world building. I liked the first one, but I freaking loved this one. Hands down the best book I have read in a couple of months and I read at least four books a week. This book fills in huge gaps of this time frame that were only eluded to in previous works. It deepens our understanding of what drives heroes and why the world needs them. I recommend this book with no reservations.

One last thing, pay attention to the plot twist as it is a doozy!

A courageous heroine trapped in the distant past is determined to return to her own time—without changing the shape of the world forever—as the New York Times bestselling Dragonlance series continues in this thrilling sequel to Dragons of Deceit.

A clash of powerful magical forces sets off the Graygem of Gargath, sending Destina Rosethorn and her companions deeper into the past than she intended—to the age of Huma Dragonsbane and the Third Dragon War. Now, with the Device of Time Journeying shattered, they must find another way back to their own era before the Graygem irrevocably alters history and the Third Dragon War ends in defeat for the forces of good. While the battle rages on, Destina tries desperately to make amends and prevent disaster. Raistlin and Sturm encounter their heroes Huma and Magius, and must reconcile the myths with the men. And Tasslehoff, shocked that the Knights of Solamnia have never heard of dragonlances, sets out to find the famed weapons. But as the forces of the Dark Queen close in on the High Clerist’s Tower, Destina’s party must return to their own timeline together—or not at all.

Hardcover: ?384 pages; Dimensions: 6.45 x 1.27 x 9.51 inches

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