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    Review of DRAGONS OF THE HOURGLASS MAGE by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman


    Wizards of the Coast, August 2009

    Raistlin Majere doesn't care much for others' ideas of right and wrong. He's interested in serving himself. Sure, he feels a little guilty for deserting his brother and allies when he used his magic to carry him from their sinking ship, but he couldn't be sure he could save them, and trying might have cost him his own safety. Now, it's time for him to make a move...and the move he decides to make is to ally himself with the Dark Queen.

    In Neraka, though, Raistlin learns that Takhisis isn't much interested in wizards. She has her own plans for the future and Raistlin is destined to play only a trivial role. Once again, Raistlin rebels. Running out of allies, he pursues his own agenda...against that of the dread queen.

    Authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman continue their exploration of the War of the Lance. Takhisis's armies have been halted, the metallic dragon, learning of Takhisis's treachery, are flooding into the land to oppose her own dragon armies. Yet, Takhisis is still close to victory. If she can only get her hands on the missing jewel from the altar, she'll be able to fully enter the world. Once she does that, even the gods will be powerless to stop her conquests. And all of her mighty energy is centered on that one goal. And Takhisis has an ally...the undead wizard whose soul shares Raistlin's body and vies with him for control.

    Raistlin makes for an intriguing anti-hero. He tells himself he cares only for himself, and he's even partially convincing in this role. Because he is willing to betray his friends, his brother, his half-sister, his teacher, he's hardly the traditional fantasy hero. Yet, jaded fantasy readers tire of iron-thewed heroes with their noble honor and selfless sense of sacrifice. We are, after all, fallible, self-interested, less than heroic. How intriguing to see a protagonist much like ourselves rather than like our self-dellusional dreams. On the other hand, we get to see ourselves every day...we don't need fantasy to bring this to us.

    Tracy and Hickman definitely bit off a lot with this story. I think their reach exceeded their grasp by a bit, but not by a whole lot. DRAGONS OF THE HOURGLASS MAGE is an interesting read and definitely worth the time for those interested in this series.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 11/03/09

    Buy Dragons of the Hourglass Mage: The Lost Chronicles, Volume Three from Amazon

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