Dragonlance Week: Side Quest (My Favorite “Side” Novels)

Logo Credit: Wizards of the Coast
Image Credit: Larry Elmore
Banner Credit: Fantasy Book Nerd

This week I’m celebrating the brilliant fantasy series Dragonlance on my blog. I’m being joined by some amazing book bloggers, authors, and YouTubers. The Dragonlance series isn’t just brilliant, it’s huge. I’ve shared my suggested reading order, which you can find here: Dragonlance Books- Where on Krynn Should You Start? You’ll notice, though, that I stuck to the main storyline when discussing reading order. That’s because, aside from that main storyline, a good chunk of the books can be read in different orders. Here are a few of my favorite side novels, ones that don’t necessarily add to the main storyline, but are still fantastic novels.

Other posts you may have missed:
Dragonlance Week: A Celebration and Giveaway
Dragonlance Week: The Art of Dragonlance
Dragonlance Week: An Interview with Author Margaret Weis

The Legend of Huma (Heroes Volume 1) by Richard A. Knaak:

“To the west Huma rode, to the High Clerist’s Tower, on the back of the silver dragon. And the path of their flight crossed over a desolate country where the dead walked only, mouthing the names of dragons.” (blurb on back of book)

I love this book because it takes what was a legend only mentioned in the Chronicles, and weaves it into a full story, rich and nuanced. Richard A. Knaak is a pretty stinking good writer, too!

Kindred Spirits (Meetings Sextet Volume 1) by Mark Anthony and Ellen Porath:

When Flint Fireforge, dwarf and metalsmith, receives a wondrous summons from the Speaker of the Sun, he journeys to the fabled elven city of Qualinost. There he meets Tanis, a thoughtful youth born of a tragic union between elf and man. Tanis and Flint, each a misfit in his own way, find themselves unlikely friends.
But a pompous elf lord is mysteriously slain, and another elf soon meets the same fate. Tanis stands accused, and if his innocence cannot be proven, the half-elf will be banished forever. Solving the mystery will be a perilous task. Time is on the murder’s side, and he is not finished yet. (taken from Amazon)

This was one of the very first books I read after the Chronicles and Legends. I really love seeing the genesis of Flint and Tanis’ relationship. If I hadn’t already been a huge fan of Flint, this book would ensured that I became one.

Flint the King by Mary Kirchoff and Douglas Niles:

Before the War of the Lance
The peaceful life of Flint Fireforge is disturbed when he is forced to leave Solace and return to his dwarven homeland to investigate his brother’s murder. As he delves into the mystery, unexpected allies and unseen enemies join the fight of truth against treachery.
Flint soon discovers that to bring his brother’s killer to justice, he must either die or become king. He’s not sure which choice might be worse. (taken from Amazon)

At the beginning of the Chronicles, the reader learns that each of the main characters is meeting up again after a five year separation where they each went their own way. This is the story of what happened during Flint’s five years before the events of the Chronicles. It’s a fun adventure, but also a sweet and touching story. You’ll notice that this is the fifth Preludes book. These don’t have to be read in order since each book follows a different character prior to the events of the Chronicles. They’re all worth reading, though.

The Doom Brigade and Draconian Measures (Kang’s Regiment 1 and 2) by Margaret Weis and Don Perrin:

War can get a fellow killed.
The fearless draconians of the War of the Lance have retired from the field of battle to a pleasant valley in the Kharolis Mountains. Well, it would be pleasant, if it weren’t for some dwarves, whose irritating feuding prevents the draconians from realizing their greatest hope – the ability to continue their doomed race. When the dwarves discover a map leading to a fortune buried in the dwarven kingdom of Thorbardin, the draconians are swept up in a feverish race for treasure.
Little do both sides realize that they are part of the strange and terrible destiny descending upon Krynn during the Summer of Flame. A desinty that includes the children of Chaos…the fire dragons! (taken from Amazon)

Both of these books are so much fun! I love the idea of telling a story from the point of view of the villains, and these books are great. The rollicking fun and adventure doesn’t stop from start to finish. I won’t post anything about the second book for fear of spoilers, but it continues in the same vein.

The Soulforge by Margaret Weis and Brothers in Arms by Margaret Weis and Don Perrin (The Raistlin Chronicles):

A mage’s soul is forged in the crucible of magic. Raistlin Majere is six years old when he is introduced to the archmage who enrolls him in a school for the study of magic. There the gifted and talented but tormented boy comes to see magic as his salvation. Mages in the magical Tower of High Sorcery watch him in secret, for they see shadows darkening over Raistlin even as the same shadows lengthen over all Ansalon.
Finally, Raistlin draws near his goal of becoming a wizard. But first he must take the drea Test in the Tower of High Sorcery. It will change his life forever – if he survives. (taken from Amazon)
No spoilers given.

First, let’s just all ooh and ahh over that fantastic art on Brothers in Arms, done by Daniel R. Horne. Wow! The Soulforge is absolutely genius, and the follow up is just as great. You really can’t go wrong with any book bearing Margaret Weis’ name on it. I love seeing more about what makes Raistlin tick.

The Dragons of Krynn, The Dragons at War, and The Dragons of Chaos (the Dragon Anthologies) edited by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman:

Three anthologies of Dragonlance lore: highlighting the familiar and beloved characters (and creatures), while filling in some intriguing gaps of lost Dragonlance history. (taken from Amazon)

I’m always a little iffy about short story collections, but the majority of the stories in the Dragon Anthologies are really good and help to flesh out this already well developed world.

There are many, many excellent side novels (for lack of a better term). Go explore! Tell me which ones you enjoy!