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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Once Upon A Time: Bk. 1

Quest the First...
Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time II criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.

Book 1: Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (April 1, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0786930640

(I had to leave the photo of the book cover large so you could see the great artwork by Matt Stawicki)

Amazon's description: Lifelong friends, they went their separate ways. Now they are together again, though each holds secrets from the others in his heart. They speak of a world shadowed with rumors of war. They speak of tales of strange monsters, creatures of myth, creatures of legend. They do not speak of their secrets. Not then. Not until a chance encounter with a beautiful, sorrowful woman, who bears a magical crystal staff, draws the companions deeper into the shadows, forever changing their lives and shaping the fate of the world.
No one expects them to be heroes.

It's been waaaaaay toooooo looooong since I read this series!! I feel like I'm supposed to stand on the sofa and yell: They're Baaaaaaack !!
What a group of characters this group of books offers!! The book opens at the Inn of the Last Home in Solace where these wonderful characters meet up after 5 years of separation..
There's Tika, tending bar, a firey young redhead who grew up around the companions..
Tanis half-elf, in conflict with his own being. The elves see him as half human, and the humans see him as half elf.
Flint Fireforge, the old dwarf who is beginning to feel his age.
Tasslehoff Burrfoot, the kender. Knowing no fear and loyal friend.
the twins: Caramon and Raistlin. Caramon, big and brave brother of Raistlin, small and weak of body but becoming a very strong mage.
and Sturm of the Solamnic Knights. Wearing his fathers suit of armor, sullen and withdrawn, but a friend to the end.
Add in the strangers who quickly become part of the group of leading characters, Goldmoon and Riverwind and you have the companions for the first book from Dragonlance!
They aren't long at the Inn of the Last Home when trouble starts and the companions grab Goldmoon and Riverwind and escape, going to hide at Tika's home. When they are discovered they head out to help Goldmoon find out about the blue crystal staff Riverwind had brought to her.
With the help of new friends along the way the companions get to Xak Tsaroth where they are attacked by a black dragon who is guarding a very big secret concerning Goldmoons staff. Here they also find lizard-like men called draconians. (they be some of the bad guys)

Tanis fell silent. The dragon. It call came down to the dragon. The creature loomed large in everyone's thoughts. And how feeble the small group seemed against a monster who had sprung full grown fromKrynn's darkest legends. Why us? Tanis though bitterly. Was there ever a more unlikely group of heroes... bickering, grumbling, arguing... half of us not trusting the other half. "We were Chosen" That thought brought little comfort. Tanis remembered Raistlin's words: "Who chose us... and why!" The half-elf was beginning to wonder.

While searching for the disks of the healing gods they come across gully dwarfs, below ground, that are being used as slaves. After Raistlin enchants them, one named Bupu helps them find the dragons lair.
Upon returning to Solace, they find the town has been burned down by dragons and draconians and hobgoblins have taken over what little wasn't burned. The companions are captured and on their way to be given to Verminaard (isn't that a great evil name?! Vermin... aard.. gotta love it haha) for his army, when elves save them.

The cruelest form of torture one can inflict on a kender is to lock him up. Of course, it is also widely believed that the cruelest form of torture one can inflict on any other species is to lock them up with a kender. After three days of Tasslehoff's incessant chatter, pranks and practical jokes, the companions would have willingly traded the kender for a peaceful hour of being stretched on the rack... at least that's what Flint said.

On their own (sorta) they go to where Verminaard and his army are waiting to try to free human slaves and give time to the Elves to leave their homeland that Verminaard plans to burn down. They meet with a cleric named Elistan, who Goldmoon saves from death, and upon their escape Elistan the cleric, more or less leads the freed prisoners, and marries Goldmoon and Riverwind...
So ends book one ...
It's been much, much, much too long since I reread these books!! They are filled with memorable characters that you can't get enough of! Weis and Hickman make use of all of them, so that no one character is left behind.
This book is filled with adventure, good and evil (naturally) a new land, Krynn, and loyal friends. It's a win- win situation for a great read!


Blogger Debi said...

You really are off and running for Once Upon a Time II, aren't you? And that cover is beautiful!

9:34 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Absolutely love that cover and I'm afraid that I'm going to have to add yet another book..ahem, make that the wishlist thanks to you ;) Well, I'll add just the first book first!

12:36 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

debi: well I did save this group of 6 books to reread during this challenge, and I was more than ready to begin them lol..

Chris: When I think of the books I know you have read I'm not positive that this is your thing. Although I'd say it's in the line of LOTR and I know you liked that! These are out in masspaperback, should you decide to try them..... they're sure not "new" books ! heh.. pretty old actually. First publication of this was 1984.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Darla D said...

Deslily - I read and enjoyed these books so long ago - in the 80s, I think - and reading your review brought all those characters back to life in my mind! Now there's the sign of good characters, I'd say! I especially loved Tika. Sounds like a reread will be coming up in my future as well. :-)

1:59 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

That cover is amazing. I must read this series at some stage but not just yet... gotta finish a few of my own series first. As you know, I haven't got many on the go. lol! Wonderful review, Pat.

4:05 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

darla d: Oh has to be good when they stay with you over many years!

Cath: This is an old series Cath. It has survived the test of time.. it will be around when you are ready heck, there's never enough time for all we want to read!! It probably took me 2 years to work myself up to this year with many rereads in it.. they are books too good not to reread, and well... the older I get the less likely I'd get to them.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

I have to admit that before I started blogging I had some preconceptions about Weis & Hickman. But now too many people have told me they are good for me not to change my mind! And, like you said, they did survive the test of time. It sounds like a great series to turn to when I'm in the mood for some high fantasy.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

I also read these in the 80's when i was a kid. Loved them then. Glad to hear they are still as good as i remember.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

Sounds quite fun. And I love the perspective, the sense of depth, with the cover illustrations.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Wow! What a great review. My husband is a lover of fantasy series--Robert Jordan and Tad Williams are his favorites--along with LOTR. Do you know how these compare to Jordan and Williams?

6:43 PM  
Blogger Kailana said...

I am reading book three in this series right now! I am taking a break to blog-hop a little. Tas is one of my favourite literary characters. I need to visit with him from time to time.

4:54 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

kailana: coming close to finishing book 2 LOL.. love the scenes with Tas and Fizban!

4:56 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

Pat, I just picked this book (Dragons of Autumn Twilight) up in a charity shop today. Am thrilled to bits but is it the right place to start with the Dragonlance books?

7:43 PM  
Blogger Framed said...

What a great cover. I would be looking at it all the time I read the book. It sounds like a wonderful read.

1:09 PM  

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