Someone said in conversation recently: "How many times do you really reread a book?" Well, I'm going on 16 times for one in particular. For 16 years, I've mentioned that: "it's that time again"! As Autumn rushes in with piles of cumulus fractus to cumulus mediocris clouds making flame colored tree leaves stand out stark against their blue gray masses, and cold, dry winds from the north make the change of season rains colder, and the scents more crisp, it's time to read Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight.
First, Dragonlance fans will immediately know that 16 years is off. It's been around 27 years. The book's first printing was in 1984. So where was I? Slow on the uptake of course.
But why? 16 years, every year, the same book? Because it's THE definitive piece of 80's high fantasy literature? Because it's way easier and just as emotionally fulfilling as reading Tolkien's Lord of the Rings? Yes and yes, and more besides. Reading the book, you can tell two things: This was an early effort by the authors -- which in no way detracts from the tale told, and the absolute "life" of the characters within. The neat part about that is these characters were born from play-testing the game modules, and it shows. Not as a summary or best-of of an AD&D play session, but as storytelling born from a great time roleplaying the game! It immediately rounds out and animates Tanis, Sturm, Goldmoon & Riverwind, the Majere Brothers, Tasselhoff, Laurana, Tika, Fizban and all the rest in a way that is immediately effective without loads of flowery description. Dragons of Autumn Twilight is a fun, tense, satisfying read and I never get tired of it. It's a great way for fantasy readers or even just book/ereader fans in general to see in the change of seasons.
I'd like to convey a massive, heartfelt recommnedation to read this book, and ultimately the Chronicles Trilogy which it begins.(I'll admit here I have not yet read the Lost Chronicles Trilogy, also by Weis and Hickman that takes places within the time frame of the original trilogy and I'm not sure that I want to. Like Forgotten Realms or the Star Wars EU, I look at the Lost Chronicles with trepidation. Every last blade of grass and every time a character breaks wind doesn't need to be cataloged, honestly. Some mystery is good.)