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Guest Book Review: Dragon Wing – The Death Gate Cycle Volume 1

Today’s Book Review Tuesday post is a guest review from Paul Taylor.

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Book Review: Dragon Wing – The Death Gate Cycle Volume 1

Margret Weis and Tracy Hickman are best known for creating the seminal Dragonlance RPG setting in the early 1980’s. These books helped to introduce several generations to the fantasy genre, inspiring many modern fantasy authors. In late 1980’s, Weis and Hickman started work on an epic series that would rival their earlier efforts. This setting came to be known as the Death Gate Cycle, a series of seven books chronicling five distinct worlds. The first book is called Dragon Wing and is set in Arianus, the world of air.

Assassin, Intellectual, and Spy
Dragon Wing combines the tale of several different men. The first is that of the assassin Hugh the Hand, who has a dark and varied past. The second is that of a dwarf known as Limbeck, who chooses to defy what is known for the sake of knowledge. The third is the interloper known only as Haplo, a man who has survived a deadly maze and is sowing discord in the world of Arianus. The book introduces all three near the beginning as the assassin is tasked with killing a boy, the intellectual is imprisoned for his thoughts, and the spy crash lands on an island. All three men eventually come together and find that they know more about the world than anyone expects.

A breeze to read with a fact paced style
The writing style is simple and fast paced. There is no deliberate complexity to the book, instead it is filled with easy to read sentences that keep the story and action flowing. The writing isn’t bad but it also isn’t flowery or overly descriptive. The writers say what is needed and move on to the next part of the story. Some will find this blue-collar writing style wanting; however, the style fits the tone of the book well. Dragon Wing tends to be dialogue heavy a well, using characters conversations to move the plot forward. The book is an easy read that can be a good distraction for those that love fantasy.

On the Wings of Dragons
This book doesn’t break new ground when it comes to fantasy, but it tells a compelling and competent story. As the beginning of a seven book series, not all the questions brought up in Dragon Wing are answered by the end of the novel. This doesn’t mean the novel feels incomplete. On the contrary, the story of Arianus is brought to a close in a compelling fashion. Just remember that hooks are in place to help the reader continue on to the next book in the series. Weis and Hickman do well in continuing their legacy as top-notch writers of fantasy.

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Paul Taylor and his wife Julie both spend quite a bit of time coming up with ideas, blogging, and researching all things related to childcare through “babysittingjobs.com/”.

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