DRAGONLANCE is a genre that, loosely based on the universe of Dungeons & Dragons, manages to siphon ideas from just about everyone. The universe itself is borderline sci-fi as the action takes place on a different planet, known as Krynn. DL borrows heavily from JRR Tolkein, Greek mythology, motifs from the Arthurian legend, Halloween archetypes and some other stuff.
Now, all of this is not to say DL is bad. Some of the best fantasy books out there are a part of the DL saga. As Leonard Bernstein once said, every musician steals from other musicians, at least some times. What differentiates the best composers is that they steal from the best. I think the same can be said for the fantasy genre of literature.
The present book is one of the better novels in the DL series. It takes place in the “early days” of Krynn – long before the brothers Majere come along. Huma, the hero of the story, is a brave and noble knight. Like all knights who become legends, he is sent on a quest. He even does knightly things such as jousting. The catch is, he does it while riding a dragon instead of a horse – a nice twist.
The book is certainly action-packed; there is no question on that. The presentation and development of the characters is also quite well done. The lone complaint I have is of the battle scenes. It’s not that they’re badly written, but rather that they’re too brief. Knaak only dedicates a paragraph to battles that one expects to go on for pages & pages. This makes some parts of the story a bit anti-climactic.
A friend of mine told me that since Knaak was under contract to TSR to write the book, it had to be a certain length. Hence the shortened battle scenes. If this be the case, it’s a real shame. Writing a novel should NEVER be like writing a sonnet. Placing artificial constraints on authors is beyond absurd.
That criticism aside, this book is well worth the read for fans of DL. Even if one isn’t into DL, or has not yet read any DL, this is a good place to start. The story is self contained, so there is no need to read the other two books in the series (unless you want to), nor is there any pre-requisite reading in other DL series that have come before. So, even if you never read any other DL books, I would still recommend this one.
I hate to point it out, but that poem that makes so many people dissappointed with this book is really not following the exact story of how Huma became the great hero who saved Krynn from Takhissis. It is a symbolic poem of what he went through. The book is actually supposed to be a written account of what Huma went through.
It follows his adventure from being a normal knight to being the greatest hero I have ever read about him. If you like books that have characters to look up to, this is your book.
Oh, and writers are allowed to change facts to suit the sellability of thier stories or plays or poems. William Shakespear did not follow history exactly with most of his historical plays. Therefore, the bard who wrote the huma poem might have changed the story to make it seem more heroic and supernatural. I know that the poem was written first, but its an explanation for the deviation
This is by far the best heroic tale ever told in a fiction-based story. Huma is the most idealic character ever and I just wish more people in today’s society were as honorable as he. This was the first Dragonlance book I ever read and the only one I read more than once. There are so many different “scenes” (I say it that way because anyone with the slightest hint of imagination can easily invision the events taking place). Each chapter is very well placed and leaves you at a turning point in the story. Huma has so many adventures so vividly described that it is impossible not to get involved in the storyline. I may be slightly biased because of the fact that my favorite period of history was the 1200’s and my all time “real” fiction character is King Arthur. I just want to believe that at some point in human history the belief in God and honor were paramount above all else. However, I do believe that any reader would have no choice but to honestly give this book a good rating simply because of the quality put into each page. I would give 6+ stars if I could 8=)
The Legend of Huma, by Richard Knaak is one of the best dragonlance books that has ever graced the pages of a Dragonlance novel. This book is filled with so much action and emotion that it is almost too much to handle. What i like about this book, is that Huma is not portrayed as a godlike character, he is just an average knight that wants to stop the hideous army of the Darkqueen as they demolish everything in their path.
Huma has a strong sense in faith and power as he builds his character throughout this story. Richard does a good job in portraying Huma’s growth throughout the book. Not only does he have to face what seems like a never ending stream of enemies, he must also face his love for a mysterious woman, who is more than she seems. This book does an amazing job in painting in vivid detail the battles that the knights must go through, and the enemies they must face.
But anyone who has read the Dragonlance chronicles, or any other book that has to do with the knighthood, know that Huma’s battles were more than just with the minions of Takhisis. He must also face the racism that the people are building towards the knights, he must help his friends, who are outcasts from the begining. Huma has a strong sense of loyalty towards Magius and Kaz in this book. He is strong of heart, and even though Magius has changed from the man he knew growing up, he is still willing to go along with his childhood friend, searching for anything that can end the war.
Kaz is also a character that is built well in this book. His interactions with Huma do a lot to build his character. Huma and him build a friendship that no one would have thought could be done between a Knight of the Crown, and a minotaur. But together, the face dangers worthy of godlike proportions.
All in all, Richard did a very good job in the story of Huma. The characters were built well, and the story was more than interesting enough to hold you the entire way through. It is emotional though, as all wars are, but this one takes the cake. Many people and dragons die in this book. But the most heartfelt story in this book, which Richard portrays very well, is what Huma and Gweneth must go through in order to save the world, forsaking their love for the good of the world.
If you are a fan of Dragonlance, this book is a must. Richard Knaak is one of the better Dragonlance writers out there, and this books puts another star to his name. Legend of Huma is action packed and emotional, a definate must.
How can Knaak write so good on his first novel? He smokes a story with a similar plot in one of the Tales books!
This is the book that got me hooked on Dragonlance. It’s all about how the Solamnic Knight, Huma(Duh!). Not too much I can say about it without laying out a summary of the book.
Here are a few things I liked about it:
1)Includes politics, but only just barely. Mostly arguments about who gets to rule the Knighthood.
2)Includes dragons to help develop the story line. That’s a must for me to rate it as a good book:).
3)Characters don’t sit around for fifty pages at a time, talking like all the other characters are severly mentally retarded.
4)Magic takes a place alongside chivalry, honor, and fighting.
5)None of the main characters are stupid or racist.
6)Even though he wrote this book after right after he dropped trying to be a chemist, Knaak doesn’t drag science into this book. Me, and probably every other pure fantasy fan who has read this book appreciates that.
If you only buy 7 or 8 Dragonlance books, make sure this book is one of them. I should know; I have just about every Dragonlance book ever written.