Finished the Taladas Trilogy!

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Finished the Taladas Trilogy!

Postby Dragonhelm » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:46 am

So I have just finished the Taladas Trilogy by Chris Pierson, and I absolutely loved it. I couldn't put the book down for the last several chapters.

So, various thoughts...

First, I have to say that this is probably the darkest Dragonlance series I have ever read. Pierson holds no punches. The series is a great way to be introduced to a portion of Taladas, meet its people, and then after you start caring for them, Pierson crushes them.

Is it Dragonlance? Although a very different continent, it is absolutely Dragonlance. However, it's a more brutal and savage Dragonlance. Taladas is a land that has been scarred, far worse than Ansalon. The heart is a great lava sea. There are lands of glass that are being sailed upon (absolutely cool visual). There are elves that are familiar, and some totally barbaric. The kender are kender, but more cautious - just to be sure. The minoi gnomes of Taladas, with their great vessels that can travel upon the Burning Sea - magnificent.

I'm also a huge fan of how magic is portrayed. Solis, Lunis, and Nuvis are great names for the moons. I love the idea of drawing from all moons, but the one you are connected to the most provides the majority of your power. Maybe they didn't all wear robes, but the moons were a part of how the magic of the world worked. I think this is something that has kind of been lost somewhat with ambient magic in the Fifth Age.

I love the Imperial League. The idea that this minotaur empire includes humans as second-class citizens makes it very interesting indeed. Of all of Taladas' nations, the Imperial League will remain strong.

I loved all the characters, but not a one left the story unscathed. I can only imagine the nightmares that Barreth Forlo and Essana will have for the rest of their lives. I would like to think that they try again for another child and get the happiness they deserve. Shedara was pretty cool, and I loved the idea of a moon-thief. That's something you don't see on Ansalon. Hult was one of my favorite characters, having his world view shattered and discovering so much more than he could possibly imagine.

All in all, a solid series. I am so glad that this story was told. I have learned so much about Dragonlance in the process. After not reading regularly for so long, this was a great starting point.

I am certain that there are many gaming topics to be had, though that would be served better in another thread.
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Re: Finished the Taladas Trilogy!

Postby Cthulhudrew » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:59 am

Interesting. I didn't even realize there had ever been any official Taladas novels. The only stories I've read about Taladas was Time of the Dragon (and I only gave that a cursory read), and some of the Dragonlance comics (a sizable chunk of the series took place there). I always thought it seemed kind of interesting- still a bit too much of the one-dimensionality of some of the races that was the least impressive part of Ansalon ("All kender are paranoid!" vs. "All kender are wide-eyed children!" and such), but overall it struck me as being a little bit more interesting a place than its more "generic medieval" counterpart.

I think I will purchase the first of these for my new Kindle and see if I like it or not.

[EDIT: Scratch that. Looks like there isn't a kindle version available. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled the next time I visit a used bookstore.]
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Re: Finished the Taladas Trilogy!

Postby Big Mac » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:04 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:[EDIT: Scratch that. Looks like there isn't a kindle version available. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled the next time I visit a used bookstore.]


Amazon have secondhand paperbacks available for Blades of the Tiger, Trail of the Black Wyrm and Shadow of the Flame.

The first two are currently available for $0.01 + shipping. The third one is going for more than the original cover price. I would recommend you check the quality of the first two books and buy them now. Then look out for the third one dropping in price.

The second and third books are available on Kindle, and the first has a "Listen" button, so I'm guessing that there was a Kindle version at one point. If you really don't like dead-tree novels (and are happy to pay more for Kindle versions) you might want to contact Amazon's customer services about Blades of the Tiger.
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Re: Finished the Taladas Trilogy!

Postby Big Mac » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:51 pm

Dragonhelm wrote:So I have just finished the Taladas Trilogy by Chris Pierson, and I absolutely loved it. I couldn't put the book down for the last several chapters.


I really enjoyed it too. I've been waiting for you to finish it, so I could talk to you about Taladas. But it's been so long that I've forgotten some of what is in the books.

Dragonhelm wrote:So, various thoughts...

First, I have to say that this is probably the darkest Dragonlance series I have ever read. Pierson holds no punches. The series is a great way to be introduced to a portion of Taladas, meet its people, and then after you start caring for them, Pierson crushes them.


These are very grim books. I thought there was a bit too much destruction in some cases. It makes me wonder how you are supposed to use the Taladas gaming products in Chris Pierson's era.

Dragonhelm wrote:Is it Dragonlance? Although a very different continent, it is absolutely Dragonlance. However, it's a more brutal and savage Dragonlance. Taladas is a land that has been scarred, far worse than Ansalon. The heart is a great lava sea. There are lands of glass that are being sailed upon (absolutely cool visual). There are elves that are familiar, and some totally barbaric. The kender are kender, but more cautious - just to be sure. The minoi gnomes of Taladas, with their great vessels that can travel upon the Burning Sea - magnificent.


Taladas is a bizarre collection of incompatable dangerous environments. Chris Pierson does a good job of showing how people can explore regions of the continent that they are not prepared for.

Dragonhelm wrote:I'm also a huge fan of how magic is portrayed. Solis, Lunis, and Nuvis are great names for the moons. I love the idea of drawing from all moons, but the one you are connected to the most provides the majority of your power. Maybe they didn't all wear robes, but the moons were a part of how the magic of the world worked. I think this is something that has kind of been lost somewhat with ambient magic in the Fifth Age.


I'm trying to work out more how Moon Magic works in Taladas. This is a pure Moon Magic, without the cultural baggage imposed by the Wizards of High Sorcery.

Dragonhelm wrote:I love the Imperial League. The idea that this minotaur empire includes humans as second-class citizens makes it very interesting indeed. Of all of Taladas' nations, the Imperial League will remain strong.


I think that the Imperial League is one of the best nations on Taladas. It's by no means perfect, but there are so many "if you come here you will die" effects on Taladas, that the Imperial League seems safe in comparison.

Dragonhelm wrote:I loved all the characters, but not a one left the story unscathed. I can only imagine the nightmares that Barreth Forlo and Essana will have for the rest of their lives. I would like to think that they try again for another child and get the happiness they deserve. Shedara was pretty cool, and I loved the idea of a moon-thief. That's something you don't see on Ansalon. Hult was one of my favorite characters, having his world view shattered and discovering so much more than he could possibly imagine.


I've forgotten Shedara and Hult. I might have to read these books again.

Were moon-thieves tied into Moon Magic? I don't remember seeing them in Time of the Dragon.

Dragonhelm wrote:All in all, a solid series. I am so glad that this story was told. I have learned so much about Dragonlance in the process. After not reading regularly for so long, this was a great starting point.


Next up: Exile on Taladas. ;)

Dragonhelm wrote:I am certain that there are many gaming topics to be had, though that would be served better in another thread.


A thread? Only one? ;)
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Re: Finished the Taladas Trilogy!

Postby Cthulhudrew » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:11 pm

Big Mac wrote:The second and third books are available on Kindle, and the first has a "Listen" button, so I'm guessing that there was a Kindle version at one point. If you really don't like dead-tree novels (and are happy to pay more for Kindle versions) you might want to contact Amazon's customer services about Blades of the Tiger.


Thanks for the info- I'll look into these.

I actually do prefer physical books to ebooks; I just have so many real books now, that I finally broke down and bought a Kindle so that I could minimize the space I use in my place. My intent is to buy books that I will probably only read once (or might not like at all) on my Kindle, while reserving home space for the books that I read more than once, or use for research, or just hold special meaning to me. If I like the first Taladas novel, I'll probably buy the actual physical trilogy.

It looks like there is an audio version of the first book, but I think I'll try and find one of those inexpensive used ones instead. Never have gotten into audio books.
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Re: Finished the Taladas Trilogy!

Postby Big Mac » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:58 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:It looks like there is an audio version of the first book, but I think I'll try and find one of those inexpensive used ones instead.


I think you will like it, but it has a very different feel to a normal Dragonlance book. Taladas doesn't seem much like part of the same world as Ansalon to me. There are obviously identical "laws of nature" there, but with the big iconic organisations of Ansalon all missing, the culture is totally different.

But what these books do well is give you a super-quick overview of how the local culture works. You don't have to read a dozen other novels to see what's going on in the area.

Cthulhudrew wrote:Never have gotten into audio books.


Me neither. I've got friends who say they are better, but I get hung up on the voices or how they say certain words. And it's a bit harder to go back and read something again, if you missed something.
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Re: Finished the Taladas Trilogy!

Postby Havard » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:43 pm

Great summary of the novels. Thanks!

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