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Reviews of 'Dragons of Chaos'

Dragons of Chaos

by Don Perrin, Douglas Niles, Linda P. Baker, Margaret Weis, Janet Pack, Chris Pierson, Nick O'Donohoe, Richard A. Knaak, Tracy Hickman, Jean Rabe, Mark Anthony, Teri McLaren, Sue Weinlein Cook, Roger E. Moore, Adam Lesh
Dragon Anthologies, Volume 3

Reviews of 'Dragons of Chaos'

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Reviewer: Morten Brattbakk

Rating: Stars

Sue Cook's Eyes of Chaos about a dragon imbued with the blood of Chaos was quite cool. So was Mark Anthony's story about a Knight of Solamnia and a Knight of Takhsis climbing a mountain together to encounter a dragon.

Linda P. Baker's Lessons of the Land was an enchanting story set in Qualinesti during the Summer of Chaos. Easily one of the best stories in the anthology.

Then came what was a sad and disappointing surprise from Richrd Knaak. The Son of Huma just didn't do it for me. The idea of Huma and Heart having a son after their death who went to Krynn and fought in the Chaos War was in my opinion not a clever idea. On the contrary, I found it contrived and it seems to me that Richard went out of his way to connect a Chaos War story to characters he had written about before. And beyond that idea, the story didn't have much to offer besides a clichéd story about a man who is laughed at but sacrifices himself saving someone, a town in this case.

Kevin Stein's Personal was rather boring and didn't have anything to offer. But Adam Lesh's short story about a Chaos spawn bounty hunter in Palanthas was quite good and exciting. Teri McLarens Dragonfear was also boring, and could have been put in any fantasy world with dragons in it.

Jean Rabe contributed Tavern Tales, which to me was a huge dissapointment. First off, Maquesta Kar-Thon and her crew are sailing the Perechon on the Blood Sea more than 30 years after the ship was destroyed (and the crew presumably killed) as if nothing had happened. I know Rabe co-wrote "Maquesta Kar-Thon" but is it really a matter of life and death to bring back characters you have written about before? Second, the story can be summarized as such: The Perechon is cought in a very violent storm at the eve of the final battle with Chaos. And that's it.

Janet Pack's The Dragon's Well fits into the below-average ranks of the stories of Knaak, McLaren, Rabe, Grubb and Niles, except that it does have some emotional impact that rises it a little above them.

Nick O'Donohoe's story was very enjoyable. But after that one came a story which really kicked butt: There is Another Shore... by Roger Moore. The main character is flung into an alternative world where the Cataclysm never happened, and the Kingpriest became a god and cast down all the true gods. A horrifying thought, and well described. With all due respect, this should have been a novel, so that the rule of the Godking and its impact on Krynn could have been explored upon!

The First Gully Dwarf Resistance also kicked butt. I laughed out loud lots of times as I read it. In my opinon it was much funnier than Dan Parkinsons gully dwarf stories. Really good work.

Grubb's "The Star-Shard just wasn't a story that caught me. But Master Tall and Master Small was. How Weis & Perrin managed to make a short story about a game of chess so interesting and exciting is beyond me. The story didn't quite reach the heights of Baker, Moore and Pierson, but it was still very good.

The anthology ended with a rather tame story by Douglas Niles. There was, of course, the fun of figuring out which mistake he did this time (now he had changed the sex of Fleet, in addition to his trademark Sanction error). But stories from a dragon's point of view, where a dragon wakes up and senses the world around him, and then spends a couple of pages hunting for game, doesn't capture my imagination very much. The rest of the story is about a man enslaving the protagonist white dragon, until the dragon finally kills him and escapes. Big deal.

Well, all in all the anthology was a bit disappointing. I had hoped there wouldn't be as many below-average stories as there was. But with all its variety it was at least a better anthology then The Dragons of Krynn which in addition to weak stories also had stories which were very alike, but it falls short of The Dragons at War, which was both varied and had a lot of great stories.

Review made Monday March 30th, 1998 on the newsgroup

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