The sixth and final title in a series of recovers of the classic Preludes series. First launched over a decade ago, the Preludes series has continued to prove popular with Dragonlance fans. This rerelease of Tanis: The Shadow Years showcases a new look that is also reflected in the other recovers of this series. The title features cover art from lead Dragonlance saga artist Matt Stawicki.
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The story seems like it was written for a completely different series and shoe-horned into Dragonlance. It makes absolutely no sense for Tanis, fills in no background about him, doesn't fit with the Chronicles, and only explains a few days out of the 5 year period it is supposed to explain.
The authors apparently never read any of the material surrounding Dragonlance before launching into this book. Tanis's father is never explain in any detail, the whole premise of the book. Tanis was in love with Kit, and suddenly starts falling in love with the total stranger he just met, out of the clear blue sky. Tanis's personality is just... off, the whole way through the book.
Some other issues: A half-elven Red-robe not driven out of town. Fire breathing Silver dragon (Silver breath ice/cold). In the beginning of the Chronicles Tanis has a beard because he's been in lands not friendly to Elves, this is an Elven village. The whole story takes place of the course of a week - but then the next year is filled in with Tanis carvin stone monuments. As is par for the course, D&D magic doesn't work the way it's described in the book, none of the spells. There's many points where characters make inane decisions, or suddenly change their minds, with no better reasoning than to advance the plot.
The whole "death" thing is just horrible on every level. Dragonlance afterlife is well described in many other DL books, but these authors have never read any of those. Fisty isn't dead, or in the afterlife, and would have known his interaction with Tanis simply would have killed Tanis.
Boehmer sounds like a William Shatner Robot trying to do different voices. You get used it him. I thought he was terrible until I heard the true horror of Ax Norman (who voices the Legends and other series).
All of them. None of them were really likable.
There are enough authors of DL novels that you get used to conflicts and deviations. This book is so beyond "deviation" that it should never have been published. Compound that with unlikable characters, a plot that comes absolutely off the rails half-way through, and I have no idea how it ever got published. Skip skip skip.
- Chris S