After the initial Dragonlance series, most readers figured the story of Caramon and Raistlin was finished, said and done.
We were all taken by surprise and thrilled to discover these three novels that gave us an even stronger reading on the twins future story. Despite the wearisome Ax Norman narration, you will enjoy these at LEAST as good as the first four novels, and will be carried along on a journey of high magic, time travel, broad epic story lines, vast moral decisions impacting the world, and just simply good fantasy listening.
This first of the three will swallow you up into the Dragonlance realm, and when done, if you don't want more, I will be honestly SHOCKED. This is Weiss and Hickman at their prime.
Don't pass this series up. I liked it so much, I acquired all three in the series.
And don't worry, I don't always write glowing reviews. Look at my past reviews, and you'll see some extremely negative reviews. Don't worry, I have a few negative reviews to share soon.
For now, let's focus on the good stuff. And this, Audible listener, is the good stuff.
If you follow my reviews, you know that I like to roll the dice, to randomly buy a series on a whim, on the luck of the draw. Sometimes, it's a bust.
This time, it's a definite win, but if you go by how the series was created, you'd probably run in the opposite direction.
Here's one for the books: Jim Butcher is well-known for his "Dresden Files" series, created a fantastic fantasy series on a BET. Yep, a bet. Read on.
To quote the Codex Alera Wiki site, "the inspiration for the series came from a bet Jim was challenged to by a member of the Delray Online Writer’s Workshop. The challenger bet that Jim could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and Jim countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger’s choosing. The “lame” ideas given were “Lost Roman Legion", and “Pokémon”.
It DOES sound lame.
Well, Butcher makes it work. To the nines.
I've finished this first novel, and I'm enjoying this unique story line of humans with Roman similarities binding with elemental furies. Add unique races, backstabbing, politics, military battles, duels and an interwoven story line that pulls it all together, and you get a fantastic story that's simply put, a VERY VERY good listen.
The whole concept of fighting alongside elemental familiars used here is wonderfully executed. It's deep, well-thought magic-based partnership of man and magical creature is a pleasure to experience.
So, what about the writing?
Again, if you follow my reviews, you know that I love ENGAGING fantasy or scifi writing. Anything less won't do. And this is definitely engaging. There's great characters that plot, backstab, challenge, fight for their beliefs, devour their enemies, and celebrate their victories. You're taken on a great romp of a story, and in the end, isn't that what we all want in a good listen?
I know I do, and I so enjoyed this first audiobook in the series, that I bought the entire series. Yep. And I'm not disappointed with the decision.
Who knew that Lost Roman Legions and Pokemon could knock it out of the park?
Home run, Jim. Home run.
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