Dragons of the Highlord Skies by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman | Book Review
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The Lost Chronicles is an interesting approach to writing a trilogy. Instead of creating three stories that flow into one another, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have created stories to take place in between the original Chronicles. In this way, they allow readers the chance to see what happens to side characters involved in the war. Dragons of the Highlord Skies takes place between books one and two, telling the stories of Kitiara and Derek Crownguard.
Kitiara, the confident cruel woman readers have come to know in The Chronicles, is seen in a different light in this novel. While Kit is known as the Blue Lady, she wasn’t always an ally of Lord Soth and her rise to power is one strewn with many mishaps. Kit is tasked to set in motion a string of events that will lead to the downfall of Solamnia. She will have to travel to Icereach and work with the Highlord Feal-Thas. And though they may both be Highlords, there is no loyalty between them. Feal-Thas is loath to give up his dragon orb, even if it means the end of Solamnia. Never one to be told no, Kitiara does everything within her power to see that the plan is successful. And makes new enemies along the way.
As Kitiara’s story unfolds, readers are shown the emotional side of the Highlord. While she seems cool and confident as a secondary character, being allowed inside her mind opens readers up to a whole new Kitiara. I enjoyed witnessing her internal struggles and the mistakes she made as emotions overruled common sense. It brought a level of humanity to Kitara’s character that wasn’t present in the original novels. Seeing her vulnerability and the betrayal that leads her to Lord Soth explains how she can perform her later deeds in the Chronicles without remorse.
Derek Crownguard journeys to Icereach in search of the dragon orb. With it, he believes the Solamnic Knights will be able to gain an edge against the chromatic dragons. But his path is plagued by ambition and ego. Derek is a hard character to follow, as his skewed beliefs and prejudice do not make him a likable character. But he is an example of how the Oath and the Measure can be twisted. And as Sturm enters the picture when their paths inevitably cross, the vast difference between the characters is easily recognizable. While both claim to uphold the rules and morals of the Solamnic Knights, one is certainly more honorable than the other. And even Derek’s friends comment on how Derrick has changed due to the ongoing war. Moving farther and farther away from the person they once knew.
War and hardship take their toll on people in different ways. Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have captured this concept throughout Dragons of the Highlord Skies with both Kitiara and Derek’s storylines. As a long-time fan of Dragonlance, it’s great hearing about the in-between tales. And while they may not focus on the original companions, they are still providing vital information about what’s been happening in the background.
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