cover image The Second Generation

The Second Generation

Margaret Weis. TSR, $19.95 (306pp) ISBN 978-1-56076-822-7

Poor grammar, weak imagery and rickety old plots dressed up as Matters of Import doom this series of novellas, a continuation of Weis and Hickman's popular Dragon Lance series. As before, the protagonists are heroic; the revelation here is that the evil forces (who lost the War of the Lance some 20 years ago) are now organizing themselves into The Knights of Takhisis and employing the tactics once used to defeat them. They will be led, or not, by Steel Brightblade (the son of Kitiara, a disciple of evil in the last war) and Sturm (the hero in the last war). Action focuses on uninspired tales of Caramon Majere's son Palin's quest to be a wizard and political unrest among the Elves, which threatens the possibility of hegemony. There's hardly any suspense since contrivances make it clear that the eventual victory will be by authorial fiat. Descriptions are repeated three or four times, often within paragraphs of each other--and little of it deserves close attention. For Dragon Lance game players, there is, of course, an appendix with game statistics and the like. (Feb.)