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The Second Generation

by Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman

Other authors: Dezra Despain (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dragonlance: The Second Generation (1), Dragonlance - chronological {shared universe} ((Second Generation 1) 378 AC)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,330811,110 (3.31)7
Years have passed since the end of the War of the Lance. The people of Ansalon have rebuilt their lives, their houses, their families. The Companions of the Lance, too, have returned to their homes, raising children and putting the days of their heroic deeds behind them. But peace on Krynn comes at a price. The forces of darkness are ever vigilant, searching for ways to erode the balance of power and take control. When subtle changes begin to permeate the fragile peace, new lives are drawn into the web of fate woven around all the races. The time has come to pass the sword -- or the staff -- to the children of the Lance. They are the Second Generation.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Not as good as the Twins series, but still enjoyable. I like the new characters, though I do miss the old ones. ( )
  b_coli | Nov 25, 2020 |
I'm just a sucker for punishment, so I'm going to keep going down the Dragonlance rabbit-hole a few more books.

Unlike other recent reviews, this Dragonlance novel was new to me. It represented a return by Weis and Hickman to TSR in 1994, after the fairly successful 'Darksword' and 'Rose of the Prophet' trilogies and the still-in-print 'Death Gate Cycle' for Bantam-Spectra. Sidebar: 'Rose of the Prophet' had queer characters, which, despite other issues, made it ground-breaking and I have really fond memories of that trilogy that I won't ruin with a reread...yet.

Anyway, 'The Second Generation' is my first new Dragonlance in almost twenty years so I was a little too hopeful. My main problems with my other rereads have been the lack of depth to world-building and how the stories didn't seem to merit a second go-round.

Well, this first go-round wasn't that awesome. I had a lot of issues with how women are treated and the lack of depth to the stories in general. I've already read a little ways into 'Dragons of Summer Flame' and I'm not convinced that the insights into the characters provided here are necessary.

There's a little blurb in the front of the book warning readers that these stories may contradict other books they've read, but don't worry, its because the Heroes of the Lance are so legendary all sorts of things have been written/said about them. This is patent bull-shit. I'm sorry TSR, but you made decisions with those 80-odd books covering every single side character and their histories and you should stick to them. How did it feel to the fans who had bought and enjoyed those novels and discover they're no longer canon? Boooo!

So, these stories begin the over-writing and ret-conning of Dragonlance, for better or worse depending on your biases. I have strong feelings about it, obviously, but the real deciding factor is that these stories are just not that good. I don't think Weis and Hickman were feeling the characters the way they used to and the two new stories for this book dealing with Steel Brightblade and Gilthas Three-Quarter-Elven make women all the more insignificant in this universe. Where is the Weis that protested Hickman's decision that Laurana would betray millions to save her boyfriend?

We'll see if she turns up again.

Dragonlance

Next: 'Dragons of Summer Flame'

Previous: 'The Test of the Twins' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Aug 6, 2019 |
Dragons Of Summer Flame kicks in directly after The Second Generation and thus deals with the new generation of heroes. Those heroes are Palin Majere, Usha Majere and Steel Brightblade, who is a dark knight. Reorx made a graygem, a stone, to capture a bit of Chaos (the father of all and nothing), but in doing so Chaos entirely ended up in there. The stone arrives with the Irda, who are magicians and keep to themselves. There Usha grows up, but she's human, so gets treated as the ugly duckling. The graygem gets cracked by the Irda, but they never realized what it would unleash. And so Chaos, who doesn't like the world of Krynn and its races and all, can now destroy everything.

Usha has to flee to Palanthas, to the Tower Of High Sorcery, to inform Dalamar with a message from the Irda. She doesn't know anything about life, about economics and stuff, about social life. Logical then that she has to flee all the time. The weather is dry and temperatures remain very high, causing drought and alike. Steel and Palin will meet each other on many occasions, as Palin is a captive of Steel. But Steel vowed to return the bodies of Palin's brothers to Caramon and Tika, since Caramon and Tanis saved his life while they visited Sturm's tomb. And so the two cousins then venture towards the High Clerist's Tower to open the portal to the Abyss (ordered by the Nightlord), so Takhisis can come out and play again.

Steel dares not enter the room, gets excluded, has to return to his commander and face death, since he lost his prisoner. Meanwhile Tas and Usha have already has some adventuring, also ending up at Dalamar's place, who learns about Usha and what not. While in the Abyss, Tas and Palin find Raistlin, who has to return to the mortal plains somehow. Or rather, he's not let in again and loses his magical powers as well. Also, the three saw the gods quarrel about the dark happenings on Krynn and how to solve it. A unique experience for mortal beings. The dark knights prepare to attack and conquer the High Clerist's Tower, the best defense of the Solamnic Knights. During that battle, Tanis saves Steel's life (promise to Sturm), but gets lamely killed by a barbarian. Why was this necessary? Sure, Tanis was getting older, but dying like that is just a lame way of getting rid of a character in your story.

Usha is brought to safety by Dougan Redhammer (Reorx) with the Thieves' Guild. During Steel's trial, Tas, Usha and Palin are with Raistlin at the library of Astinus. And there Palin has to choose to go his way for the magic or save Steel's life, which he does. This also allows him to tell Lord Ariakan about the gods. The Nightlord wants Palin and Steel dead, but why? For the betterment of the knighthood, but I wouldn't see why. Because they're not both committed to the dark queen?

In the end, evil and good join forces to destroy/get rid off Chaos, otherwise they will all perish. Tas, Palin and Usha, and Reorx recapture the broken graygem, despite the shadow wights, who turn everyone into nothing and thus out of memory of the others. Steel still has the family battle, mother and father each convincing him to join either side. Meanwhile Chaos has unleashed his daemon warriors (warriors, dragons, ...) via a rift in the Turbidus ocean, which is also his weak point and offers an entry to the Abyss, from where knights are to wound Chaos, so blood can be captured in the graygem. This serves to destroy the artifact and put an end to all doom and gloom. And despite all attacks, it's Tas and his Rabbitslayer knife that deals the crucial blow to Chaos, and so Usha (yes, her) captures the required blood in the graygem. After that, it explodes. Palin and Usha survive, so do Caramon and co, apparently, though that's not explicitly mentioned. It all ends with Flint and Tas coming together again, having an (annoying for Flint) chat, etc...

Final, general words:
It was nice returning to Krynn, see the old heroes again, see how the new ones fit in. But the happenings themselves were far worse than what happened during the Cataclysm and War Of The Lance, which was already very bloody and awful. In addition, several of the old ones die and not even an honourable death at that. What the hell? The book itself is thick (a good 580 pages). It seems this was meant to be a trilogy, but TSR decided otherwise, so the story got truncated to be fit into one volume. And while the writing itself is well done, it does feel like a drag sometimes to read on. And you can indeed feel there is stuff left out just to quicken up the pace. Characterwise, Tas is himself, annoying and curious as ever. But also dies, while striking Chaos the fatal blow with Rabbitslayer. Palin is a good lad, though spoiled and thus never really been through hard times, despite the death of his two brothers. Still, you can sympathize with him. Usha is a nag, a tart. Damn, how she acts like a 15 year old teenager. She's so annoying. And she sort of saves the world. Seriously, what kind of ending is this? Oh yes, Steel also goes to the afterlife after being struck by Chaos.

So, all in all, a very dark story. Nothing much to look forward to. Thread with caution if you liked Chronicles and Legends. The gods are gone (or are they?), it's all up to the mortals now. ( )
  TechThing | Oct 2, 2013 |
This is actually a collection of short stories about the children of some of the Heroes of the Lance stories noted earlier. There are two about Caramon's three sons, two warriors who join the Solamnic Knights and their youngest brother Palin, an apprentice White mage. There is another about the legend of Raistlin's Daughter and also one about Tanis' sickly boy when he grows up. Being 1/4 human and 3/4 elf must be awkward no matter what happens. I enjoyed these short stories, but to someone who hasn't read the stories of the parents, they might seem a bit shallow or at least the reader might miss some nuances of character. ( )
  DirtPriest | Sep 13, 2010 |
This book is made up of five separate stories instead of the classic epic spanning a trilogy. It's non-essential for someone simply looking to continue with the story, but it fills in the exceptionally large gap between Test of the Twins and Dragons of Summer Flame. Each story focuses on the children of the Heroes of the Lance. They serve as little introductions to the new characters who take over the spotlight from their parents in the following books and fill in some backstory which some might consider essential to the full effect of the rest of the series.
I do have to say that at least one of these stories is misleading, because it's technically not true and you don't find that out until at least the next book or two. I only mention this because my boyfriend was reading it and was led astray by the story, so he decided to bother me with questions until he sorted it out. ( )
  samlives2 | Mar 5, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Margaret Weisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hickman, Tracymain authorall editionsconfirmed
Despain, DezraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dameron, NedIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stawicki, MattCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

Dragonlance - chronological {shared universe} ((Second Generation 1) 378 AC)

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Epigraph
Dedication
To everyone who wanted more.
First words
It is always the map of believing, / the white landscape / and the shrouded farms.
Prologue
A long time ago, a couple of doorknobs named Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman decided to leave their homes on Krynn and go out adventuring.
Foreword
At the edge of the world / the juggler wanders / sightless and pathless / trusting the venerable / breadth of his juggler's hands.
I
It was autumn on Ansalon, autumn in Solace.
Kitiara's Son
Caramon stood in a vast chamber carved of obsidian.
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Years have passed since the end of the War of the Lance. The people of Ansalon have rebuilt their lives, their houses, their families. The Companions of the Lance, too, have returned to their homes, raising children and putting the days of their heroic deeds behind them. But peace on Krynn comes at a price. The forces of darkness are ever vigilant, searching for ways to erode the balance of power and take control. When subtle changes begin to permeate the fragile peace, new lives are drawn into the web of fate woven around all the races. The time has come to pass the sword -- or the staff -- to the children of the Lance. They are the Second Generation.

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