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Reviews of 'The Soulforge'

The Soulforge

by Margaret Weis
Raistlin Chronicles, Volume 1

Reviews of 'The Soulforge'

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Reviewer: Dustin Brinnon

Rating: Stars

There aren't many words to describe how amazing this book is. It is a perfect background for Raistlin and Caramon. It also shows how they met Tanis, Flint, Tasslehoff, and Sturm. It also tells how Raistlin got his hourglass eyes and golden skin, not to mention the Test he took. I suggest all Dragonlance fans read this book. Margaret Weis really put effort into it and made it great.

Reviewer: Dustin Brinnon

Rating: Stars

There are many ways to explain this book. One way I can explain it is that it is perfect for Raistlin admirers. I am not much of a Raistlin fan myself, but when I had the chance to find out about the grueling Test and his childhood I jumped at the chance.

I have been a long standing DragonLance fan ever since I stumbled upon the collector's edition of the Twin's Saga. I started to read it but stopped when I found it was telling me nothing of any previous events in the lives of Raistlin and Caramon Majere. I had to find out more.

So a good two years passed and I finally found what I was looking for; the story to the infamous Raistlin Majere. I found the book in a public library here in my home city and checked it out.

It took me only two days to read, and when I read it I felt it wasn't enough. But the book gave me the most vivid description of what happened in their young lives. It told all about how they met their friends (Tanis, Flint, and Tas),about Raistlin learning in the field of magic, and about the infamous Test in the Tower of Wayreth.

In closing, this book should be read by any Raistlin fan. I guarantee this book will please you.

Reviewer: E-man

Rating: Stars

When I was 11, 12 maybe, I started reading DragonLance Chronicles with some friends. But because I live in Denmark the books were written in danish, but I had no other choice (I have the books in english now, and they are much better).

From the beginning I had my eyes on Raistlin, wondering all the time when it was his turn to look down upon his so called "friends". I was the only one amongst my friends that that liked Raistlin, had some understanding. Maybe because I like the idea of being frail, being that myself, but still have the capability of defending or attacking (etc.) far more physically strong beings, if one has the intelligence, wisdom and commitment. We went through Legends, and I shed tears when he "died", because I wanted him to live forever at the time. I knew though, that he had to "die", that he had gone too far. All he ever wanted, in my oppinion, was respect from people, instead of pity. Just a shame he had to make people fear him to obtain that respect. That said, I do love the idea of people fearing one so much, that they "respect" you. In Chronicles and Legends, you never saw much of Raistlin's thoughts and feelings. Why he did what he did. And I can understand why many readers loathed him, because of his way of treating his brother, and always doing things that Raistlin knew would benefit him in the end. But I saw it from Raistlin's point of view, in a way. I have no patience for ignorance either, and I hate pity too. Caramon tried to help Raistlin day in and day out, without Raistlin's concent. "If I want help, I'll ask for it", that's MY philosophy.

I believe I understood Raistlin (maybe I don't only Weis knows I guess), and that was before The Soulforge was made. But I still wanted to hear the story of his youth. Why he changed so much. I also wanted the tale of his trials in the dredded Test. I then heard of the release of The Soulforge, and it just blew my mind. I had it ordered in hardcover, read it, and felt intoxicated for every line, every page. I must say that it is the best book I have ever read. And people I know, that read DragonLance and loathed Raistlin from the very beginning. They had their blindfolds taken off. They actually could see that Raistlin wasn't all that bad. He was chosen. They still pity him though, but they have some respect for him now. With all this I just wanted to say, thank you Margaret Weis, for the best book experience I have ever had. And to all DragonLance readers. The Soulforge is a must-have whether you are a fan of Raistlin or not.

Reviewer: God of Awesome

Rating: Stars

The Soulforge provides us with an excellent insight into the early life of Raistlin Majere, one of the greatest characters in the Dragonlance saga. It starts with a character named Antimodes, a white robed mage. Antimodes meets a young woman who talks to him about her younger brother. This younger brother is frail yet shows a tremendous amount of talent when it comes to the magical arts. The mage says he will meet the boy and figures he will just be another little fraud, who enjoys performing dime a dozen tricks.

This mage is in for a tremendous surprise though. This young boy is none other then Raistlin. Antimodes is vastly surprised because Raistlin seems more like an adult then some kids twice his age. Indeed Raistlin is much more mature then most adults. Antimodes is surprised though when he asks Raistlin "why do you want to become a mage", and Raistlin replies "because I like the feel of the magic inside me, and someday fat innkeepers will bow to me". This is definitely the Raistlin we all know and love.

When Raistlin goes to mage school he meets Master Theobald. Master Theobald is not a pleasant person. As a matter of fact, he smells funny and stupid. If not for his mistreatment of Raistlin, Raistlin might have never become so angry and sardonic. The books continues to around when Raistlin takes his test. The Soulforge is one of the best books in the Dragonlance Saga. It is only surpassed by the Weis and Hickman collaboration books.

Reviewer: Golden-Eyed Girl

Rating: Stars

Being the Raistlin fan that I am, I have to say that this is Margaret Weis's best yet. She cleverly portrays Raistlin in a way that makes even those who loath him feel sympathy and understanding. It seems that Caramon always suceeds where Raistlin fails, and his hatred for his brother is understandable. It is also brought to light why Raisltin has given up on loving and why he wanted to become a mage in the first place. His mysterious relationship with his mother is revealed as well as Kitiara's past, along with all his other...friends. This book is sure to make you laugh, cry, smoke at the ears, and all around feel the sympathy for, in my opinion, the greatest character in Dragonlance books. If there are any hard-core Raistlin fans out there, this is the book for you.

Reviewer: Lord Sivart

Rating: Stars

Raistlin's history is shadowed in mystery. If you pick up the book and expect everything to become clear to you, you are going to be dissapointed. The book gives a much greater/better sense of what Raistlin went through as a child but leaves much room for elaboration. Soulforge concontrates on giving the reader an understanding of what Raistlin had to deal within his mother and in his brother (who got slightly in the way of Raistlin's first love). I enjoyed how Raistlin is portrayed as the victim. The elaboration on the early relationship between Tanis and Kit was welcome and really showed Kit's early dark side well. The second book, Brothers in Arms goes deeper into Kitiara's personality so interested readers will certainly enjoy the sequel.

Although I wouldn't advise it, this book could be read before the Chronicles or Legends trilogies. As Raistlin grows up and comes to defend all those that are weak it really emphasizes the point that was made with Bupu. All the characters were portrayed with their usual attitude, wich may dissapoint some who expected the companions to be different in their youth, or it may be a nice constant in the ever-changing Dragonlance world. I personally enjoyed the quotes that began each part of the novel.

I cannot say much on the subject as to do so would ruin the story, but Raistlin's Test is done wonderfully! The book has great movement and it only has one part that gets a little tedious, but after a few more pages that is quickly forgotten. At the end of Soulforge you'll race to the library/bookstore to get the sequel. The book is heart breaking and if you feel a bond with Raistlin it will have you feeling his pain immediatly.

The Soulforge is defenitely a must read. The novel is a true gem I think that is Weis's best solo book. I am honored if any have actually read this far and I wish you only the best in your adventure through Krynn!

Reviewer: Neva Soleil

Rating: Stars

If you are one of the ones who is certain that Raistlin Majere is the most exciting, mysterious, and powerful character on of Krynn, then novel is a must read!

The Soulforge takes the reader through the fascinating early years in the life of the archmage. It provides some answers to questions that plague Raistlin fans; the origin of his bitterness, his disdain for romantic love, his indomitable will and sporadic acts of kindness.

The story traces Raistlin's life from the age of six to the taking of his Test. It follows his family life, schooling, and the growth and development of his magical abilities. Along the way you will meet old friends including Flint, Tanis and Tasselhoff, together of course, with Caramon and Kitiara.

Whether you are a Raistlin fan or not, The Soulforge will wrap you up in the struggles and triumphs of the future archmage's early life.

Read The Soulforge but be warned, the words, "I Magus" will burn in your gut forever after.

Reviewer: Tirinel

Rating: Stars

When I first picked this book up and started reading, it changed my life completely.

Raistlin, with his lust for power, with him being tormented by bullies, and facing the death of his mother and father, proved to be one of the most fascinating and in-depth characters i had ever read of.

From the start, the way Margaret portrays him is stylish, dramatic, and very emotional. From the start of the book to the end, you feel him. You feel his pain, and you feel his innermost thoughts, and you ponder on them. Margaret is a writer who makes her readers think about what she writes, and those things that they read almost every time change the view on life for them.

We start off when the boy is in his younger years, living with a father, mother, brother, and sister. He is a very deprived boy, and is dirty, neglected, and trodden on and not cared about. The next few words change the whole of the Dragonlance world, with a second. His words, said from a mouth that is just twelve summers, will continue to echo through your mind as you continue reading Dragonlance. Why? Because of the amazing storyline and plot. The Soulforge never gets boring in its 400 pages. Each page is filled with laughs, tears, emotions and thoughts. Raistlin presents a character that is so ultra-dimensional and audaciously good and evil at the same time. His emotions with his brother, his anger, his spite, his jealousy and wishing would all connect to everyone, even if you would like it or not.

The last major thing about the Soulforge is his magic. From the start of his enrolling at Master Theobald's school, you begin to understand that this boy is special but is also dark and full of evil and spite. The magic is his only salvation, and a barrier between his emotions and his inner-most thoughts. He uses the magic as a tool to fight and constantly think about his future, and about his continued lack of love for his brother at times.

Many people think that Raistlin is an evil character that doesn't like anything good and despises his brother. But not many of those who say this have had to suffer what he has had to suffer, has had to see what he has had to see in his life. All youngsters have a period in their life where girls, sex, money, drink and friends are the only thing in the world that is important. Raist couldn't think like that; his magic willed him not to. He couldn't enjoy the pleasures of life, of love, of joy and happiness, when his brother was the one who was always in the spotlight, always taking what he wanted, without even knowing. He hated it, and that hatred, instead of going, continued to burn.

As the book unfurls, you see the brothers' intimate relationship between each other unravel like new-made leaves in the summer; suddenly, something comes clear to you, and suddenly, Raist says something nice to Caramon, laughs, or looks at his brother in tenderness. These rare moments lead you to believe that Raistlin, inside, is really a human being, but is tormented by demons that never stop gnawing at him. Caramon's foolish nature makes Raistlin become annoyed, and lack of patience turns to argument, and anger turns to spite. They are both, in a startling way, alike to each other, and you will find that bond, however shady, resonate through the pages as you read.

The Soulforge tells of the lives of two boys, unfortunate in life, who become something neither of them would have thought they would. The pages of the Soulforge forever burn a mark on every Dragonlance book in the 25 year old series, knowing that even if he has passed away, not all hope of his return is lost.

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