Book Cover
Title The Soulforge
Author Margaret Weis
Cover Art ---
Publisher ---
First Printing 1998
Book Cover
Title Brother in Arms
Author Margaret Weis & Don Perrin
Cover Art Daniel Horne
Publisher Wizards of the Coast - 2010
First Printing 1999
Category Epic Fantasy
Warnings None
Main Characters Raistlin, Caramon, Kitiara, Scrounger, Sturm, Tanis, Tasslehoff, Flint
Main Elements Dragons, Elves, Wizards, Kenders, Dwarves, Knights
Website Dragonlance Nexus - Unofficial - Unofficial

Click to read the summaryThe Soulforge

Click to read the summaryBrothers in Arms

Raistlin is one of my all time favorite characters, mysterious, dark, conflict and evil...yet not, always showing a softer side at the most unlikely moments. Frail of body but sharp of mind, golden skin with hourglass eyes. So I really looked forward to reading this omnibus of two novels specifically about him and his brother, taking place before the Chronicles, about his childhood and how he became a mage. And of course, what exactly *did* happen during the Test?

However, I discovered that while dark and mysterious was fascinating through the eyes of another character, being inside his head wasn't quite the same thing. He's cruel, and yet not, he hates the world, yet risks his life to save it, he despises his dependency on his brother yet, though he may not admit it to himself, does in fact love him. A reader would very quickly get sick and tired of reading about a truly evil character from his point of view (and Raistlin never was truly evil, black robes not withstanding). But its hard to root for him when he's busy hating everyone around him. Plus that "mysterious" part? We'll again, you're inside his head, no mystery there at all. And at times he was just so frustratingly negative and arrogant about everything, to his own detriment. You'd think he'd be, well, smarter than that.

On the other hand, it was still interesting to go back to see everyone, not just the twins, a decade before before the war even started. To see how they met, how they became what they became before they all met up again at the inn in Solace only to be sent out on a journey to save the world. And also the foreshadowings and hints of things to come. Nor did I know that the Staff of Magius was itself a character in its own right.

In fact, while I never bothered to give Kitiara a second thought in the Chronicles, I quite enjoyed reading her back story here. And her having to baby-sit an irate dragon was a lot of fun. And the kender...I think I'd go nuts having to live around someone like that, let alone having one as a friend, but never fails to lighten the mood, and for what its worth, they don't have an evil bone in their pickpocketing bodies. They are just perpetually exasperating, and yet, if only we could all live like them, we'd all be a lot happier. And Scrounger, a half human/kender hybrid was equally fun to have around. I wonder if he shows up in any of the other books.

I know look forward to reading Legends, to see what happens to the twins after the war.

Posted: January 2016


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