Ten Recommended Dragonlance Novels

dragonlance legends

Awhile ago, I wrote an article that proved popular called TEN RECOMMENDED CLASSIC DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS NOVELS. Being a lifelong Dungeons and Dragons fan of a certain age, I have read hundreds of novels across most of the campaign settings. For a long time, the novels were as much a source of revenue for the TSR/WOTC company as the actual product they were producing.

However, if I were to list where my heart lay, I would have to say it was Dragonlance. I fell in love with the setting after reading Dragonlance Chronicles for the first time as well as Dragonlance Legends. As such, I’ve decided to share my favorite ten books in the franchise. A lot of these are by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, because no one does it better than the creators, but not all of them.

10. Chosen of the Gods by Chris Pierson

Blurb: The first book in the historical Kingpriest trilogy, which chronicles the origins and development of a noted figure from the Dragonlance Legends trilogy, linking this new series to one of the most popular trilogies in the entire Dragonlance saga.

The Kingpriests have reigned for centuries in the name of Paladine, the supreme god of good. But danger lurks in the empire’s heart. The Kingpriest has foreseen his own death, and dark forces converge on the Temple, vying to control the throne.

Following a prophetic dream, a high priestess of Paladine sets forth in search of a worker of miracles, one who can lead the way to the triumph of light over darkness: the Lightbringer, the true chosen of the gods.

Review: The destruction of Istar is one of the most seminal events in the Dragonlance universe. The end of the corrupt theocracy was the subject of the second Legends book but how it got to be as horrible as it was at the end is something that was never chronicled, until these books. Part of what I like is the protagonist is a likable enough fellow that keeps making what he thinks are the right decisions but, in fact, facilitate fanatics.

Part of what I enjoy about this is Fistandantilus, rather than Raistlin impersonating Fistandantilus, plays a significant role in the novel. We also get a sense of the Kingpriest’s personality beyond being the guy who wrecked the world with his immense hubris. You may argue with whether the gods of Krynn should have smote the theocratic tyranny or not but at least you get a sense of who these people were before the mountain fell.

9. Dragons of Dwarven Depths by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Blurb: Join Tanis, Flint, Tasslehoff, and other classic Dragonlance characters on a new adventure, in this series kick-off set after Dragons of Autumn Twilight

The Companions are back—and facing new challenges together and alone. While Tanis and Flint seek out a haven in the dwarven kingdom of Thorbardin, Raistlin is strangely drawn to the haunted fortress known as Skullcap. Elsewhere, Sturm seeks the legendary Hammer of Kharas, and Tika embarks on a perilous journey to rescue those she loves from certain death.

But it is the dwarf, Flint Fireforge, who faces the most crucial test. The heroes race against time to save the lives of those dependent on them, forcing Flint to make a difficult choice—one on which the future of mankind may rest.

The original Dragonlance Chronicles was a adaptation of a series of adventure modules originally. One of the ones that wasn’t adapted was the quest for the Hammer of Kharas. This is an interquel as a result, set between Dragons of Autumn Twilight and Dragons of Winter Night. Our heroes are frozen in their characterization at this point in time but reading about them is like spending time with an old friend.

I think my favorite part of the book is that it helps expand on the much-overlooked character of Flint Foreforge. While there’s plenty of Raistlin Majere books, with good reason, there’s little developing the Hill dwarf who served as the “Team Dad” for the War of the Lance.


8. The Soulforge by Margaret Weis

Blurb: Join Tanis, Flint, Tasslehoff, and other classic Dragonlance characters on a new adventure, in this series kick-off set after Dragons of Autumn Twilight

The Companions are back—and facing new challenges together and alone. While Tanis and Flint seek out a haven in the dwarven kingdom of Thorbardin, Raistlin is strangely drawn to the haunted fortress known as Skullcap. Elsewhere, Sturm seeks the legendary Hammer of Kharas, and Tika embarks on a perilous journey to rescue those she loves from certain death.

But it is the dwarf, Flint Fireforge, who faces the most crucial test. The heroes race against time to save the lives of those dependent on them, forcing Flint to make a difficult choice—one on which the future of mankind may rest.

Review: The Soulforge is a fascinating story about the origins of the aforementioned and much alluded to, Raistlin Majere. How did Krynn’s greatest wizard get someone to tutor him? What were his early struggles and what helped him become the embittered misanthrope that wanted to become a god? The character of Raistlin is one that has fascinated generations of Dragonlance readers.

Raistlin is a character who appeals to the dark self-centered sides of ourselves but the authors never forget that most of the problems that he encounters are entirely the result of his own self-sabotage. Raistlin thinks women hate him, people look down on him, and that everyone is envious of his powers as well as intelligence. He is also insanely jealous of his brother. In truth, most people dislike him because he’s such a jerk.

7. Lord Toade by Jeff Grubb

Blurb: Fewmaster Toede, a vain, pompous, and unreliable slavemaster and Dragon Highlord, becomes an unwitting hero as he walks a narrow and perilous path among competing evil forces that would make him their pawn

Review: Hobgoblins are an undervalued antagonist in Dungeons and Dragons. Basically, if you’re going to use monster mooks then you either use the more iconic goblins or orcs. However, Hobgoblins are the classic fascist “intelligent Dark Lord worshiping” Lord of the Rings goblinoids. So I’ve always had a fondness for killing them. What could make a book about a hobgoblin scheming weasel better?

Make it a comedy explicitly based on Blackadder. Toade gets a massive intelligence boost for this story as well as charisma versus his Chronicles appearance but you know what? It works. It works great. Fewmaster Toade wants to regain his position as Dragon Highlord, despite never technically having held it, and that requires dealing with everyone who is willing to backstab him for power. Which turns out to be both the forces of darkness AS WELL AS the forces of good.

Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be available in ebook form.

6. Lord Soth by Edo Van Belkom

Blurb: The Dragonlance Warriors series continues with the tale of Soth, once a mighty warrior, whose jealous passions and neglect of duty has caused him to lose all that is dear to him – his love, his life and his very spirit. His is the tale of a descent into evil and darkness.

Review: This is going to be an odd choice and I almost put The Doom Brigade here instead. However, I think Lord Soth is my favorite of the various books devoted to villains. The Chronicles and Legends version of Soth is one that is a truly good man brought by lust as well as jealousy ala Othello. This one is shown to be an even worse person as we’re introduced to having his father’s bastards killed to secure his succession. Nevertheless, Soth remains powerfully charismatic despite the constant and never-ending awful things he does to the women he supposedly loves. It makes me think, oddly enough, of Joe from You.  Now that’s a weird piece of fantasy casting if I’ve ever heard one.

I think Lord Soth is my second favorite Dragonlance character, no, wait third after Kitiara. He’s a delightful reflection on the self-hating fallen knight. He’s also incredibly entertaining in how few cares he has for what the gods or other beings can do to him. The book also takes elements from Knight of the Black Rose, one of my favorite Ravenloft books, and canonizes them in Krynn.

5. Dragons of Summer Flame by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Blurb: The Dragonlance Chronicles enter a new era in this thrilling installment starring the descendants of the Heroes of the Lance
The War of the Lance is long over. The seasons come and go as the pendulum of the world swings. Now it is summer—a hot, parched summer during which the uneasy balance of light and dark begins to shift.
The Dark Queen has found new champions in the Knights of Takhisis. Among them is dark paladin Steel Brightblade, the son of the heroic Sturm Brightblade and the infamous Kitiara Uth Matar. He rides to attack the high Clerist’s Tower, the fortress his father died defending . . .
Elsewhere, other descendants of the Companions embark on their own journeys: Distraught by a grievous loss, the young Palin Majere seeks to enter the Abyss in search of his lost uncle, the archmage Raistlin. And in Palanthas, a human girl named Usha comes forward with claims that she is Raistlin’s lost daughter. She has fled her home among the Irda, who have unwittingly unleashed the god Chaos upon the world in their desperation to thwart the Knights of Takhisis.
The summer will be deadly. But for whom, only the swing of the pendulum will tell.

Dragons of Summer Flame is the fourth book in the Dragonlance Chronicles and the first installment that follows the Second Generation.

Review: Dragons of Summer Flame is a controversial book to me because it is both an excellent high-stakes sequel to the War of the Lance and Legends but also what effectively ended the Dragonlance line as a story. There’s also the urban legend that the reason the books ended the way they did was because the authors were attempting to “torch the franchise and run” due to TSR taking it away from its creators. I don’t believe that but it did make sequels to the setting nearly impossible and required a lot of retcons to fix the changes.

On the other hand, it is a truly fantastic story with Palin Majere and Usha the human girl raised by the Irda. Chaos works very well as a Morgoth figure against the evils of Takhasis’ Sauron. I especually liked the Appendix that established a counterpoint to the idea of all three Alignments being equal among the gods.

4. The Second Generation by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Blurb: Years have passed since the end of the War of the Lance. The people of Ansalon have rebuilt their lives, their houses, their families. The Companions of the Lance, too, have returned to their homes, raising children and putting the days of their heroic deeds behind them.

But peace on Krynn comes at a price. The forces of darkness are ever vigilant, searching for ways to erode the balance of power and take control. When subtle changes begin to permeate the fragile peace, new lives are drawn into the web of fate woven around all the races. The time has come to pass the sword — or the staff — to the children of the Lance.

They are the Second Generation.

Review: The War of the Lance period makes fantastic stories but there’s always been something of a question of “what to do next after the Queen of Darkness is defeated”? This book doesn’t really answer it but provides a wonderful collection of stories that give a good idea how to do Dragonlance adventures without the War of the Lance looming over everything. Palin Majere, Steel Brightblade, and other characters are all fascinating individuals with a bunch of entertaining tales. It sets up Dragons of Summer Flame pretty well but is a lot lighter as well as “funner” than the much darker story listed as No. #5.

I highly recommend people who want to read the entirety of the Dragonlance Saga but without getting sidetracked go Chronicles, Legends, Second Generation, and then Dragons of Summer Flame. Everything else is just gravy.

3. The Legend of Huma by Richard Knaak

Blurb: When word spreads that goblins are roaming nearby, Huma Dragonbane, a Knight of the Crown, is sent to patrol the woods and fend off chaos. It is there that he stumbles upon a tortured minotaur, Kaz, who he swiftly frees from vicious goblin captors. So beings an unlikely but powerful friendship—one that will plunge Huma and Kaz into a deadly battle against the treacherous Knights of Solamnia and the dark goddess Takhisis. Even with the power of the legendary Silver Dragon at their side, Huma and Kaz face overwhelming odds . . .

Only fragments of the account of Huma survived the Cataclysm that broke the world of Krynn. His story has never been fully told—until now.

Review: The most famous knight in Krynnish history is Huma Dragonbane who managed to defeat the Queen of Darkness with the aid of the Silver Dragon that he fell in love with. Condensing an entire war against the Dark Queen from three books into one book is a big chore but Richard Knaak pulls it off. One of the reasons why is because it’s all from Huma’s perspective and thus we get a much more intimate look into his thinking process than if he had to share events from an entire Heroes of the Lance-esque adventuring party. The book also introduces Kaz the Minotaur that helped develop the underdeveloped culture of Krynn’s most unusual life.

2. Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Blurb: This Dungeons & Dragons-inspired fantasy adventure is the first installment in the beloved Dragonlance Chronicles, set in the magical world of Krynn.

Once merely creatures of legend, the dragons have returned to Krynn. But with their arrival comes the departure of the old gods—and all healing magic. As war threatens to engulf the land, lifelong friends reunite for an adventure that will change their lives and shape their world forever . . . 
When Tanis, Sturm, Caramon, Raistlin, Flint, and Tasslehoff see a woman use a blue crystal staff to heal a villager, they wonder if it’s a sign the gods have not abandoned them after all. Fueled by this glimmer of hope, the Companions band together to uncover the truth behind the gods’ absence—though they aren’t the only ones with an interest in the staff. The Seekers want the artifact for their own ends, believing it will help them replace the gods and overtake the continent of Ansalon. Now, the Companions must assume the unlikely roles of heroes if they hope to prevent the staff from falling into the hands of darkness.

Dragons of Autumn Twilight is the first book in the Dragonlance Chronicles.

Review: The book that began it all, Dragons of Autumn Twilight isn’t my favorite of the novels but it is a book that introduces the fantastic world of Krynn. I recommend it as a good “introductory” book for anyone who wants to get into the genre for the first time. Tanis Half-Elven, Sturm Brightblade, Raistlin (again), Goldmoon, Tika, and so many other fantastic characters are introduced. They may be archypes but that doesn’t mean they’re not people you fall in love with. The book also has something of a Dungeons and Dragons game-esque feel with lots of encounters, magical items, and a big bad with the detestable Verminaard.


1. Time of the Twins by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Blurb: Sequestered in the blackness of the dreaded Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas, and surrounded by nameless creatures of evil, archmage Raistlin Majere weaves a plan to conquer the darkness—to bring it under his control.

Two people alone can stop him. One is Crysania, a beautiful and devoted cleric of Paladine, who tries to use her faith to lead Raistlin from the darkness. She is blind to his shadowed designs, and he draws her slowly into his neatly woven trap.

The other is Raistlin’s twin, Caramon. Made aware of his brother’s plan, a distraught Caramon travels back in time to the doomed city of Istar in the days before the Cataclysm. There, together with the ever-present kender Tasslehoff, Caramon will make his stand to save Raistlin’s soul.

Review: Raistlin Majere is, by far, the most popular character of Dragonlance and up there with Drizzt Do’Urden in terms of name recognition. So, it was inevitable that he would get his own trilogy. He ended up getting multiple books of his own actually. However, this is the “main” sequel to Chronicles and deals with the mage’s attempts to become a god. Most of all, the story benefits from exploring Raistlin’s toxic relationships with his brother Caramon as well as his attempts to manipulate Crysania. Raistlin is not someone to be redeemed by the power of love but that someone could love him is something that shakes him to the core.


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