Dragons of the Highlord Skies Review

I FINALLY finished [amazonify]0786948604::text::::Dragons of the Highlord[/amazonify] skies this week. Due to the increased schedule I’ve been running for the last seven or eight months, time just hasn’t been on my side for reading, which is unfortunately one of the first things that gets cut out of my schedule. So the fact that it has taken me eons to finish this book, is at no fault of the book itself realistically. That being said, the book itself isn’t exactly the best of books either. I do think that the middle book in this Lost Chronicles series posed the most difficult for Hickman & Weis to write largely because while there are stories to be told, they weren’t nearly as interesting as some of the other ones in the series. Yes we had to see how the heroes came upon the dragon orb from Icewall. But there was little else. The problem with the Icewall tale in the first place was how do we make an arctic adventure worth reading? This is a tough one and I think they didn’t do a good job of getting out of it in the least. To make the barren wastelands of where they were worse, Weis & Hickman decided to make the story primarily about three knights. Yes that’s right, three knights, the most boring characters in all of the Dragonlance saga… knights. [amazonify]0786948604:left[/amazonify]I do think that the writers had decent concepts with the knights, that just weren’t fleshed out very well. Here we had three childhood friends who had grown apart as they entered the Solamnic order and turned out to be three extraordinarily different people. It turned out to be how each one struggled with living as a Solamnic Knight which had its moments but in the end I think the writers fell short of their goal with the three. I never really felt the dynamic that could have been here through the three, especially with Aron. Aron seemed to be mostly along for the ride which is a shame because I know how much Tracy Hickman likes to play with threes, here we didn’t really get that. Likewise, I’ve never felt that Laurana was altogether that interesting of a character, even in the midst of her Golden General hay day. The thought that they put together a story about three knights and Laurana just didn’t work. Tas was around for the comedic relief from time to time, but I feel that Flint was left out almost completely and they really needed these two working together more to liven up the book. In theory, the story about Kitiara meeting up with Lord Soth on the other hand was great all the way around! Lord Soth has always been one of the more interesting characters in the Draganlance world and there really hasn’t been much in this setting that was said about him. In addition, Kitiara herself was fairly interesting as well… how could this plot line not work? The answer to this of course is if you don’t actually talk about it. This storyline was one of the main selling points of the book, and yet the actual Soth and Kitiara story line took all of about two dozen pages. The rest of the book was mostly about her pining after Tanis. I realize that part of the book was supposed to be to show how each of his women were coping with his absence, but still, it seemed very uncharacteristic of her. I don’t want to say it was all bad or anything though. the storyline of Feal-Thas was phenomenal. He was a truly original tragic part of this story and was used well. I didn’t particularly like his ending because with all his power he turned out to be a complete idiot but still. I’d also say that my biggest real complaint about him was that perhaps he was too powerful. I think he would have been a great character without the super power that he possessed. Overall, while I thought the story was more than a little disappointing and could have easily been done better. I can only hope that the delay of the next book in the Lost Chronicles series, Dragons of an Hour Glass Mage turns out to be a boon and a realization of a two mistakes in a row.  I give this book, however a solid D.