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What is Dragons of a Highlord Skies?

Experience the War of the Lance as you’ve never experienced it before—from evil’s point of view—in this thrilling retelling of the events seen in Dragonlance Chronicles
 
In the captial city of Neraka, Kitiara uth Matar and Emperor Ariakas hatch a plan to retrieve a dragon orb and thereby destroy Solamnia and the Companions in one fell swoop. But when the guardian of the dragon orb, Highlord Feal-Thas, disagrees with this plan, Kitiara must go to Ice Wall to force him to accept Ariakas’ will.
 
But her journey does not end there. Thrown out of favor, she conceives a daring plan to enlist the aid of the most feared beings on Krynn—Lord Soth and the Dark Queen. Meanwhile, Laurana and the Companions retrieve the dragon orb and take it back to Solamnia—not knowing that they bring their allies’ doom with them.
 
A fascinating retelling of the famed War of the Lance, The Lost Chronicles series is a marvelous complement to the original Chronicles trilogy as well as an exicting, accessible read for those new to the Dragonlance universe.

Reviews

DRAGONS OF THE HIGHLORD SKIES is the second of the Lost Histories trilogy for DRAGONLANCE. It is also a book based around my all-time favorite female character in fantasy: Kitiara uth Matar. She’s a villain the original Dragonlance Chronicles and antagonist for Dragonlance Legends. She was a rare character in fantasy when I was a boy in the Eighties, being a female warrior in charge of her own sexuality as well as ruthless in both her ambition as well as talent. It was hard not to root for her even though she was the primary general for the Queen of Darkness.

I always felt that Kitiara deserved better from both the fandom as well as the writing. Fans always want their dark and edgy antiheroes to have a redemption arc and that’s just not who Kitiara is. Part of the appeal of Kitiara is her punch clock attitude to her actions. Working for the forces evil is just a job and war is her profession. The Queen of Darkness is just another employer and conquest is what armies do in her time.

This book chronicles the period of Kitiara before the events of DRAGONS OF WINTER NIGHT where she crosses the proverbial moral event horizon by slaying one of the Heroes of the Lance. If you don’t know who I am referring to or have forgotten DRAGONLANCE CHRONICLES, you might want to re-read them or at least a summary before this because it ties in heavily with the past continuity of the books. We watch her play politics behind the scenes and try to avoid getting herself replaced by Emperor Ariakas.

Despite the fact that I am primarily focused on the Kitiara sections, the book is actually shared between her and Laurana. The elvish princess has her own story arc to go through as she reluctantly teams up with Sir Derek Crownguard in order to try and find the dragon orb that theoretically has the potential to turn the tide of battle against the Queen of Darkness’ forces. Unfortunately, for Laurana, Derek is an untrustworthy ally in the Boromir sense. He’s a good but flawed man who puts his country over the greater good of the world.

There’s a lot of good characters in this book with development for minor ones from the original stories. We get to know Black Robe Iolanthe, Ariakas’ newest mistress who is uncomfortably aware that while he’s attracted to strong women, he’ll never trust any of them. We also get a lot of development on the White Dragon Highlord Feal’thas who has the ambition of killing everyone on his island and being left alone. Which would be a pretty petty motivation for a Dark Lord if not for the fact it involves genocide.

In conclusion, this is an excellent novel and I’ll buy anything with Kitiara. However, the rest of the book is good for other classic characters and expanding the world of Krynn. Derek Crownguard is now a much more rounded and tragic character than the insufferable bore he was in the original trilogy. I also think we finally have some development for Ariakas, who was previously just a bigger and meaner version of Verminaard.

Available here

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