What is Dragons of Fate about?
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.
I am a lifelong fan of Dragonlance and a story heavily focused on the history of the setting as well as how a bunch of time-travelers may muck it up is squarely in my wheelhouse. So, I was very excited about this book after finishing the previous DRAGONS OF DECEIT. While I had come issues with the first book, mostly its excessive humor, I have to say this book compensates for it as well as makes use of two of my favorite characters: Sturm and Raistlin.
The premise is Sturm, Raistlin, Tasslehoff, and Destina have found themselves in Solamnia during the Era of Huma Dragonbane. They have the Graygem of Gargath and it is leaking Chaos into the world. It’s not a great situation and despite our heroes attempts not to change anything, things start adding up as their moralities as well as confusion over what to do with their circumstance keep making little alterations to the timeline.
If you’re not familiar with Huma or the War of the Lance, this book probably won’t hit you as hard as it should. This is definitely a book for longtime fans of the series and the more you know about what a High Clerist’s Tower is or why the Blue Lady showing up on a certain day is a very bad thing, the more you will enjoy the book. Fans with a more passing familiarity will still enjoy the book, though, and the strength of the characters shines through.
I complained about Destina’s characterization last book as she seemed, bluntly, a bit on the thick side mentally. Here, she’s much improved by being more realistic about her actions as well as the potential consequences for her failure. I’m a bit saddened that she and Tasslehoff don’t continue their romance, though, since that was an unexpected twist I really enjoyed in the previous book. It may have been under false pretenses but I think she couldn’t do better than a Hero of the Lance. Tasslehoff has saved the world, after all. Three times!
The real star of the book is Raistlin Majere, though, and I have to say it’s fascinating to see him post-Legends. While stripped of about 90% of his magic, Raistlin is still a cunning adversary but he’s also learned a valuable lesson in humility. We also realize that Fistandantilus was influencing our hero the entire time that he was having his misadventures. This doesn’t make Raistlin innocent but it calls into question just what sort of person he might have been if not for that dark influence. It’s interesting to see Sturm and Raistlin start to develop a friendship under their strange new circumstances.
Supporting characters like Human Dragonbane, Magius, Gwyneth, and others all make the book quite entertaining. Seeing our protagonists play off what were only figures of legend to them is interesting. I also appreciated the fact we finally got to see the difference between Sturm and Huma. It turns out that, compared to Huma, Sturm is a bit of a wet blanket. Magius also indicates that Raistlin really may have just needed another wizard in the party.
This is only the second book in a trilogy and obviously ends in a cliffhanger. I will say that I am very excited about this series and am anxious to see how the setting will be changed by the final results. Definitely check this out if you’re a longtime Dragonlance fan. If you’re not, I think you’ll still enjoy it if you liked Dragons of Deceit (or even if you didn’t).