[ Books ] Time of the Twins

kingpriest-jeff-easley

“Throne of Istar” by Jeff Easley

As I continue my journey with Caramon, Crysania, and Tasslehoff we move backward in time to just prior to the Cataclysm that changed the face of Krynn as we know it.  I’ve come to the jeweled city of Istar when the power of the Last Kingpriest of Istar is at its height.  Yet, early on you can see that there are cracks in the pristine facade that the Kingpriest puts on, as seen through the eyes of Denubis one of the Temple’s many disciples.

Denubis humanizes the Kingpriest in such a way that he feels guilty about it, because a man so holy should not seem so… normal.    Through this view, we see the inherent flaws in the Temple and the cracks in the Kingpriest’s faith that ultimately leads to the downfall of the world. Also through Denubis’ point of view, we get our first glimpses of Fistandantilus, the powerful (and inherently evil) archmage.  Up until now (if you’ve only read Chronicles up to this point), Fistandantilus has only been spoken of briefly, but even those brief bits are enough to make you wary.  Yet, again, Denubis humanizes this iconically evil character, making him seem almost misunderstood.  As a character, Denubis might not seem like much at this point, but he’s powerful in his own right because he challenges all the perceptions about Good and Evil, Right and Wrong in Istar as we’ve seen it so far.

“Who among us is truly innocent” is a phrase that gets repeated early on, which ties all the characters together with a neat little bow.  The truth is, no one in the story is innocent, all of them tie into what’s happening with varied levels of guilt.  It’s certainly enough to make you wonder, like Denubis, who is truly in the right and who is truly in the wrong.

I think that’s why I enjoy the Legends trilogy, in particular, when it comes to the Dragonlance Saga.  It takes all the preconceived notions of Good and Evil in fantasy and turns them upside down, so that you find yourself actually rooting for the “bad guy” and thinking the “good guys” are stuck up zealots that need to be taken down a peg or two.

I’ve got more to read, though, so I’ll post again soon!

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