Rage of the Dragon

Image courtesy of TOR

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have tag teamed so many novels of the years that they have become a household name to fantasy readers.  Rage of the Dragon is the third installment in their latest series, the Dragonships of Vindras.  Here is a blurb from the inside flap of the cover.

Skylan Ivorson is the gods-chosen Chief of all Vindras clans. But the gods from whom the Vindrasi draw their earthdwelling power are besieged by a new generation of gods who are challenging them for the powers of creation. The only way to stop these brash interlopers lies within the Five Bones of the Vektia Dragon—the primal dragon forged during the creation of the world—which have been lost for generations.

With the Gods of the New Dawn amassing a vast army, Skylan finds allies in former enemies. Calling upon the ogres to fight their common foes, the Vindrasi soon find themselves in the middle of an even larger war. Skylan and his Vindrasi clan must sail the Sea of Tears into the heart of the Forbidden Empire of the Cyclops, to implement a cunning yet delicate plan that risks his life and leadership at every corner. But a new enemy lies deep in the sea, one who draws upon powers never harnessed by land dwellers.

For me just seeing the names Weis and Hickman on the cover is enough for me to want to read it.  When you add in gods going to war and dragons I can’t turn the pages fast enough.

It is becoming quite typical of series written by this duo to start off rather slow, almost ponderously trudging along.    What really makes Weis and Hickman good at what they do though is that there is always payoff for your patience.  They take their time building the story, introducing you to the characters.  Perhaps we have become a cultural too inundated with technology and instant gratification that we cannot wait for the action to start.  Well, you have to wait with a good book.  I will tell you this much, when the action starts, it gets your heart beating. It is in conflict that Weis and Hickman truly shine. The battle scenes in this book are thrilling and so well conceived and written that it is easy to visualize yourself standing there at Skylan’s side.

I enjoyed this book, though it does meander a bit.  This is good, fun, fantasy.  If you haven’t started this series yet, do so, and know that you need to have a little patience, let the story grow and you will be rewarded.  I’ll be honest though, this isn’t the pair’s best work.  They have yet to repeat what they achieved with the Death Gate Cycle, though for me and nostalgia’s sake their best work will always be the Dragonlance Chronicles.  However, that being said, this is still a great story that is well written and most assuredly worthy of a read.

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