Revisiting The Legend of Huma

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s initial Dragonlance novels are not just regarded some of the greatest Dungeons & Dragons textbooks at any time published, but are some of the most beloved fantasy tales of all time. Richard A. Knaak’s The Legend of Huma is also a Dragonlance novel, but the similarities stop there.

Created in 1988, The Legend of Huma is not only a prequel to Weis and Hickman’s initial Chronicles trilogy, it is also the inaugural ebook in the six-part Heroes sequence, each individual of which emphasis on different characters. It’s also the 1st Dragonlance novel not written by the duo or starring any of their key people, which was a risk that paid off (see beneath). Probably it aided that Huma is the hero who 1st identified the weapons that give the D&D campaign location its identify, which are certainly lances meant to be wielded by persons driving dragons for the intended function of extra effectively murdering other dragons.

Now, for your “What Did Rob Recall About This D&D Book” standing update: Absolutely nothing. I know for sure I did not study Huma simply because right after I examine the Weis and Hickman publications I was not fascinated ample in Dragonlance to do any further more looking at. I really do not consider this is a knock on people textbooks, even though I guess I’ll know for specified when I get close to to looking through them. I’m quite confident I was usually a Overlooked Realms person at coronary heart. Now, whether that’s simply because I identified Dragonlance’s far more precise environment way too restrictive or I just favored the Realms’ extremely generic brand of fantasy to something far more absolutely realised is anybody’s guess.

Dungeons & Dragons & Novels: Revisiting Darkwalker on Moonshae

This initially e book in the Moonshae trilogy holds the excellent difference of remaining the pretty initially Dungeons & Dragons novel ever set in the Neglected Realms. It also retains the difference of owning the series’ raddest, most evocative title. Sadly, the story itself doesn’t evoke considerably of nearly anything — which,…

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Knaak’s story starts with Huma’s 1st mission as a Knight of Solamnia and ends with his banishment of the Takhisis, the goddess of evil, also identified as the Dragonqueen. It’s the sort of heroic journey that really requires an epic trilogy to be justified, but instead, there is a person novel that only usually takes put over a couple of months max. Nonetheless, I’m happy there weren’t any other publications because the very first 50 percent of The Legend of Huma was painfully dull.

The cover of The Legend of Huma re-release by Duane O. Myers. (Image: Wizards of the Coast)The address of The Legend of Huma re-release by Duane O. Myers. (Graphic: Wizards of the Coast)

Huma starts out as a fairly terrified amateur who is inexplicably hated by most of the other knights, which is good. The issue is that for that 1st 50 percent he’s totally reactionary. He’s just randomly swept absent, sometimes virtually, at times figuratively, by events. He’s attacked, he’s captured, he runs away, he’s requested to go locations, he bumps into primary figures like Kaz the minotaur and his most effective friend Magius, a renegade magic-consumer (which is a huge no-no in the planet of Dragonlance). The quest that will get him the Dragonlances is nonsense Magius tells him there’s a mountain somewhere that has one thing crucial for the ongoing war among the Knights of Solamnia and the forces of Takhisis. The vagueness robs the plot of any enjoyment or urgency, and I genuinely had to fight off sleep to retain reading through by way of the first 18 chapters.

Luckily, when Huma gets to the mountain — more specifically, the cave at the top of the mountain — issues decide on up immensely. Items get medieval when he’s forced to face 3 challenges to get the unnamed one thing: battling the Wymrfather, rooting out the traitor in the Knights of Solamnia, and resisting the ability of an evil sword. Right after profitable the lances (21 of them, to be precise) issues remain at a brisk clip for the relaxation of the novel. Huma fights Takhisis’ typically immortal common Crynus, has to quit the lances from by stolen by the Dragonqueen’s agents, fails to quit Magius from having kidnapped by exact, and then it’s the closing struggle, which Knaak nails practically as very well as R.A. Salvatore did in Streams of Silver.

The battle feels correctly epic. It’s rather substantially the complete previous quarter of the ebook, and things come to feel extensively hopeless for the hero. The Knights have had their armoured asses kicked throughout the story, and now they have to someway stand towards Takhisis’ legions of evil human beings, ogres, renegade mages, and hundreds on hundreds of evil pink, blue, inexperienced, white, and black dragons. There are some metallic dragons (a.k.a. the fantastic types) with them, but there are however less than two dozen lances to wield on them. Additionally, Huma ultimately has to combat the goddess herself, and he just manages to eke out a earn in a way that feels truly enjoyable.

A slightly tilted version of Jeff Easley's original cover art for the novel. It's nice, but Huma rides a silver dragon. (Image: Wizards of the Coast)A a bit tilted version of Jeff Easley’s authentic cover art for the novel. It truly is wonderful, but Huma rides a silver dragon. (Picture: Wizards of the Coast)

Alas, there’s still lots of unearned nonsense. The forces of excellent get far more Dragonlances when the probably immortal but nonetheless in some way spectacular blacksmith (who experienced been in the mystical cave for generations) quickly exhibits up out of nowhere to the Knights’ citadel and starts off churning them out. To defeat Takhisis’ mega-powerful wizard, Huma suddenly thinks of Magius’ abandoned magical personnel — something that is held no value to this position in the ebook, primarily to Huma, and not implied to have any particular powers in any condition — and is someway in a position to summon it out of nowhere, and then he throws the magic employees in its place of working with it like an genuine magic team to preserve the day. (Even far more bizarrely, the staff members can also decapitate gargoyles somehow.) Similarly, the expose of the traitor — who I’m not likely to spoil, though I really do not know why — isn’t an “A-ha!” instant as substantially of a “Wait, what?” moment.

No character other than Huma has anything at all approaching a story arc or emotional journey. People maintain telling Huma (eventually) that he’s the finest, most pious Knight to have at any time existed, but there is not seriously any proof of the former right up until he requires demand and kicks immense arse in the remaining battle other than believing in his god Paladine, I have no plan what the novel is referring to. I imagine there is a single woman character with dialogue of more than a handful of lines, and she spends 50 % of her time moonlighting as a dragon (who falls in like with Huma, of class). Talking of dialogue, there are some really significant conversations that Knaak tells us about in narration rather of letting the characters, you know, speak to each and every other.

Dungeons & Dragons & Novels: Revisiting Vampire of the Mists

Dungeons & Dragons & Novels: Revisiting Vampire of the Mists

Welcome to Ravenloft, boils and ghouls! The place it’s normally a dim and stormy night, where monsters are always less than your mattress, and your blood normally curdles in horror — right ahead of a vampire sucks it out. So what the hell is a gold elf from the Forgotten Realms doing in this article?…

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The Legend of Huma rolls an 8 on the ol’ 1d20, while as I type that I wonder if I’m overvaluing it a small for the reason that the back half seemed so fantastic when compared to the to start with section. That is the similar rating as Streams of Silver, which was equally aimless and (as talked about) a photocopy of Tolkien, but experienced greater figures and was additional enjoyable all round. But let’s bear in mind I may possibly just have some weird aversion to Dragonlance that may possibly be colouring my impression right after all, The Legend of Huma supposedly sold more copies than the Dragonlance game… though I cannot help but think Weis and Hickman did the weighty lifting with their novels. I guess I’ll see ultimately, even though I’m in no rush to uncover out.

Close-up of the cover of first issue of The Legend of Huma comic adaptation by Mike S. Miller. (Image: Wizards of the Coast/Devil’s Due)Close-up of the address of initial challenge of The Legend of Huma comic adaptation by Mike S. Miller. (Impression: Wizards of the Coastline/Devil’s Because of)

Assorted Musings:

  • All the Knights of Sidonia have lengthy, flowy mustaches. I’m not positive how I come to feel about this, while I suspect I would have disapproved in 1988, when mustache acceptance was decidedly on the wane.
  • I did not realise this till I begun checking the Dragonlance wiki, but Huma meets the god Paladine in disguise on his way to the cave. Paladine is mildly obnoxious, which would seem like a bizarre issue for the god of goodness to be.
  • The large wizard of Takhisis mainly tells Huma that his goddess will have sexual intercourse with him if he switches. Takhisis later on repeats the present. It’s also a minor unusual.
  • Apparently, Huma and Gwyneth, his section-time dragon like desire, have a son named Liam. If you have examine The Legend of Huma, you are going to know this is unbelievably strange and seemingly impossible. The kid only reveals up in the Dragons of Chaos short story assortment. But this was edited by Weis and Hickman, so… [shrug]
  • Subsequent month: Soon after hanging with Huma, I could use a thing I’m excited about. So let us locate out what Alias and Dragonbait are up to in the Azure Bonds sequel and up coming e-book in the Finder’s Stone trilogy, The Wyvern’s Spur!

About Antoinette G. Tucker

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