Thursday, September 13, 2007

Review - Dragonvarld Trilogy by Margaret Weis

Set in a world known as Dragonvarld, well that's what the dragons call it, the trilogy follows the lives of both humans and dragons as they fight for survival and dominance.

Setting: In the stories we only see a small portion of the whole of Dragonvarld. The story takes place primarily in three nations of a presumably larger world. As is the case with most short trilogies the world itself is not fully fleshed out. It is not a world building series and it doesn't need to be. One trend in fantasy has been huge world building epics involves thousands of pages of text and decades of time to create. I still find books in the 300-400 page range to be just as enjoyable. In fact *gasp* I even enjoy short stories and novellas. We see enough of the world to make the story work and that's all that is needed. Some parts of the of the setting I found a bit too modern, or too real for a good fantasy setting. The religion of the human nation comes to mind.

Characters: The main characters were well developed in my mind though many were not particularly likable. There is an attempt at moral ambiguity in a lot of the characters, but it seemed to miss the mark in some cases. I found myself not liking a lot of characters in the story and at least one I kept hoping would somehow get killed off.

Plot: The story itself I found pretty enjoyable. It moved at a good pace , and was not so overly complicated that I thought I was missing stuff by listening to it in small sessions in the car as opposed to longer stretches which I generally do when reading a novel. There were at least a few times when I sat in my car for a few extra minutes because I really wanted to know how a scene ended.

Other: This is not necessarily a book for younger readers. There is a certain amount of sexuality involved and at least one rape. While none of it is overly gratuitous and some is essential to the plot it is something that may make some readers (or their parents) uncomfortable. The ending also seems as though it may leave itself open to a sequel (almost demands one). I'll try and ask Margaret Weis and see what she says about follow ups.

Overall: Overall I generally enjoyed the story. I would recommend it to others, especially those who I already know enjoy the genre. That said it is not for everyone and there are others I would recommend before this one.

Rating: 7.2/10

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