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Tracy Hickman

Tracy Hickman fantasy authorTracy Hickman is best known as Margaret Weis’s coauthor for most of her works, including the Dragonlance Chronicles. You can see all of these works on the page for Margaret Weis. Tracy Hickman and his wife Laura have been designing role-playing games for over 25 years. Learn more at the Hickman website.

The DragonLance Chronicles: Who can forget?

THE DRAGONLANCE CHRONICLES by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

Dragons of Autumn Twilight, a classic work of high fantasy, marks the beginning of a remarkable 6-book tale (the Chronicles Trilogy, followed by the even more magnificent Legends Trilogy), which greatly increased the interest in the Dungeons & Dragons game throughout the 1980's. It certainly does contain more than a few stock fantasy elements (e.g. dragons, elves, dwarves, an unlikely group of friends somehow being chosen to stop the conquest of Evil...). However, the straightforward, simple way in which the tale is told and, even more so, the distinct, "real" nature of most of its characters set it apart from the paperback fantasy pack.

Another wonderful aspect of the trilogy is the title s... Read More

Dragon Wing: Not very good

Dragon Wing by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

The Margaret Weis/Tracy Hickman novels make up one of those corners of the Fantasy genre that you either enjoyed in your teens (and remember fondly)... or you didn’t. I have to admit that I’m of the latter camp, and while I strongly suspect that there was a time when I could have greatly enjoyed Dragon Wing, that time has passed me by. These days, I’m a little too jaded and I’ve read a few too many works in a very similar vein. Dragon Wing isn’t bad, necessarily, but I’d be lying if I said I particularly like it.

It starts well, mind you, as master assassin Hugh the Hand is employed by the king for that most politicall... Read More

Elven Star: Second verse; same as the first

Elven Star by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

Elven Star, second novel in THE DEATHGATE CYCLE, is almost exactly the same as book one, save that the progression of the plot’s quality is inverted. That sounds confusing, I’m sure, but I will explain. In case the reader didn't look at my review of Dragon Wing, my thoughts were more or less as follows: fun YA premise, good world-building, somewhat simplistic characters, and it all came crashing down into rushed nonsense right at the end. Elven Star has the same fun YA premise, similarly decent world-building, and even more simplistic characters. The only difference is that it starts as rushed nonsense and evens out to something more focused and enjoyable right at the end. All in all, I can't say that there's been much quali... Read More

Fire Sea: THE DEATHGATE CYCLE finds its footing

Fire Sea by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

In Fire Sea, the third novel of the seven-book DEATHGATE CYCLE, authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman finally seem to find their footing. Where the plots of the first two novels often felt haphazard and clunky, Fire Sea has a relatively streamlined sequence of events that not only makes sense but takes care to involve its setting and characters. What's more, the clichéd fantasy archetypes from the first two are largely set by the wayside. In fact, there aren't any elves or dwarves at all in this one, and Haplo — the only truly interesting character from the first two books — at long last takes over as formal protagonist.

What's... Read More

Serpent Mage: Fair to middling

Serpent Mage by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

Serpent Mage, book four of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's DEATH GATE CYCLE, is not as good as its immediate predecessor but also manages to be significantly superior to the first two installments in the series. For the most part, the focus on Alfred and Haplo continues to be a good move and the tension is certainly ratcheting up as we get closer to the endgame, but on the other hand this one just didn't feel as tightly constructed as the more gripping Fire Sea.

Following our cliffhanger ending last time, Haplo's master has discovered that his disciple is lying to ... Read More

Well of Darkness: Should have left it in the bargain bin

Well of Darkness by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

I bought Well of Darkness in hardcover years ago in the bargain bin. I should have left it there. I have tried starting it three or four times, and I, for the life of me, cannot get past the second chapter. It is totally boring and un-engaging, and I instantly disliked the characters I was reading about. Therefore, I really can’t say much more about the book. I rarely get so turned off so early in a book, and Weis and Hickman have written some pretty entertaining stuff (Dragonlance), if not high literature. I loved Dragonlance back in the 1980's when it came out, but I couldn’t stand this thing.

So, my view is, don’t read Well of Darkness. Mine is finally ... Read More

Song of the Dragon: Good audio can’t make up for cheesy dialog

Song of the Dragon by Tracy Hickman

Song of the Dragon is the first book of the Annals of Drakis, a new series by Tracy Hickman, an author who most fans will remember for his work with Margaret Weis writing the Dragonlance books. This solo effort left me feeling like he shouldn’t have been let out on his own.

The story starts with Drakis, a human warrior-slave, deep underground with his brother-soldiers, an odd conglomeration of warriors from the slave races — chimera, goblins, manticores — fighting against the last of the dwarven kings for their elven masters. Organized into small groups as part of the elves’ imperial army, Drakis and his allies are heedlessly thrown against th... Read More

More books by Tracy Hickman

The Bronze Canticles — (2004-2006) Publisher: The Bronze Canticles are an expansive new saga chronicling the world-altering changes that take place in three connected universes that are slowly drawing together — the human world, the goblin world, and the faerie world. The story of Book 1 will mostly focus on the changes to the human world, which will be influenced by catastrophic events taking place in the other two worlds. Young Galen Arvad has a beautiful new wife, Berkita, and a thriving job as an iron craftsman with his dwarf friend, Cephas, in the small town of Leeside. But Arvad guards the ugly secret of his own magical ability. The community views magic powers as a sign of lunacy, and at a yearly ritual they offer up their local crazies to the Dragon Priests, who take them away to the city. This year, Berkita and Cephas are devastated to see Arvad being hauled away with the other “insane” and vow to follow and rescue him. Arvad, meanwhile, arrives at a camp for the outside the city where he learns all the new draftees are to be trained in the arts of war. But Arvad soon realizes that the “war” is a sham-the Dragon Kings have genocidal plans for their magical subjects.

Tracy and Laura Hickman The Bronze Canticles 1. Mystic Warrior 2. Mystic Quest 3. Mystic Empiremystic questmystic empire tracy and laura hickman


Stand-alones:

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsThe Immortals — (1996) Publisher: It is the year 2010, and the United States is ravaged by disease and stiffled by martial law. With whole cities succumbing to a lethal virus known as V-CIDS, the panicked authorities take the drastic action of hearding the infected into specially designed internment camps. Into one of these prisons stumbles Michael Barris, a wealthy interactive-television mogul with a controversial past. He is searching for his sick son, spending his fortune and his future for answers. What he finds is a carefully guarded nightmare — one that he helped create. As Barris struggles to survive in this shadowy world, he comes to aunderstand that reaching his son is not his only battle. For the camps have a far more sinister agenda than the military is willing to admit — an agenda which threatens not only life, but the very spark of human spirit.


fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsSwept Up by the Sea — (2013) Publisher: Determined to seek his fortune, Percival Taylor leaves behind his sleepy hometown and sets out to become a legendary pirate — only no one at the roguish seaport of Blackshore will allow him anywhere near a ship! Percival must find other means to win the heart of the beautiful Tuppence Magrathia-Paddock, who has mistaken him for a pirate rogue out of one of her romantic tales. She is entirely willing to swoon into his arms if he can prove his buccaneer soul — and she is willing to arrange her own kidnapping to prove it. Percival eventually finds himself captain of a broken-down ship, complete with a crew of pirates who make their living selling fake treasure maps, a jilted fiancee, a reclusive Master Shipwright, and an old professor with a secret that could kill them all. It’s Pirates of Penzance meets Princess Bride as this motley group of characters sets sail for treasure and romance.


CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPECULATIVE FICTION BY TRACY HICKMAN.


More books by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Darksword — (1987-1997) Publisher: Born without magical abilities in a magic world, Joram flees to the Outlands after being exiled from his village, and joins the scholar Saryon, practitioner of the outlawed arts of science and creator of the Darksword.

Weis Hickman Darksword: Forging the Darksword, Doom of the Darksword, Triumph of the Darksword, Legacy of the DarkswordWeis Hickman Darksword: Forging the Darksword, Doom of the Darksword, Triumph of the Darksword, Legacy of the DarkswordWeis Hickman Darksword: Forging the Darksword, Doom of the Darksword, Triumph of the Darksword, Legacy of the DarkswordWeis Hickman Darksword: Forging the Darksword, Doom of the Darksword, Triumph of the Darksword, Legacy of the Darksword


Starshield — (1995-1996) With Tracy Hickman. Publisher: Created by the bestselling team of Weis & Hickman, Starshield introduces their newest fantastic universe with an unforgettable, magical, grand adventure! Rebellion threatens to rock the very foundation of civilization.  If the wrong side wins, the people will be at the mercy of minds with no conscience or humanity. The only hope for freedom lies with the Mantle of Kendis-dai, a relic reputed to hold the power of absolute Truth. But the Mantle of Kendis-dai is long lost in the mists of myth and time… if it ever really existed at all. Merinda Neskat, dedicated to the pursuit of Truth above all, is determined to find the legendary Mantle. The key to her quest is a group of lost Earthpeople, led by the feckless Jeremy Griffiths, who holds knowledge he shouldn’t have — and doesn’t understand. Together, Merinda, Jeremy, and his companions set off on a dangerous race against time and deadly enemy forces, seeking a mysterious world that holds the secret that can save them — or destroy the path of civilization forever.

Weis and Hickman 1. The Mantle of Kendis-Dai aka Sentinels 2. Nightsword Weis and Hickman 1. The Mantle of Kendis-Dai aka Sentinels 2. Nightsword


Margaret Weis Tracy Hickman The Rose of the Prophet: The Will of the Wanderer, The Paladin of the Night, The Prophet of Akhran

Rose of the Prophet — (1988-1999) This omnibus edition contains all three of the original novels: The Will of the Wanderer, The Paladin of the Night, The Prophet of Akhran. Publisher: Since time began, twenty Gods have ruled the universe. Though each god possessed different abilities, each was all-powerful within his realm. Now one of the Gods has upset the balance of power, leaving the others scrambling for control in the new order… Here is the epic tale of the Great War of the Gods — and the proud people upon whom the fate of the world depends. When the God of the desert, Akhran the Wanderer, declares that two clans must band together despite their centuries-old rivalry, their first response is outrage. But they are a devout people and so reluctantly bow to his bidding. Enemies from birth, the headstrong Prince Khardan and impetuous Princess Zohra must unite in marriage to stop Quar, the God of Reality, Greed, and Law, from enslaving their people. But can Khardan and Zohra keep from betraying each other? Can their two peoples maintain their fragile alliance until the long-awaited flowering of the legendary Rose of the Prophet? Against the powerful legions of the evil Amir, Khardan and Zohra fight to save the desert people — a fight unexpectedly joined by an exiled wizard named Matthew and the mysterious powers of his alien land.


Dragonships of Vindras — (2008-2012) Publisher: Skylan Ivorson is a sea-raider of the Vindras, an undefeated champion of the Torgun clan, and eventually the Chief of Chiefs of all Vindras clans, an honor he truly feels he deserves as one who has been blessed by Skoval, the god of war. But sometimes a blessing is a curse in disguise. Skoval and the other ancient gods are under siege from a new generation of gods who are challenging them for the powers of creation… and the only way to stop these brash interlopers lies within the mysterious and hidden Five Bones of the Vektan Dragons. It will be up to the Vindras, the dragon-goddess’s champion, to undertake the quest to recover all Five. The fate of the Old Gods and the Vindras’ people rests on their recovery, for this is not only a quest to save the world — it is also a quest for redemption. Filled with heroes and heroines young and old (as well as human and non) spanning locales of exotic adventure in a magic-forged world, this is a series that fully illustrates the mastery of world-building and storytelling that has made Weis and Hickman into the bestselling fantasy co-authors of all time.
Bones of the Dragon Weis Hickman Dragonships of Vindras 2. Secret of the DragonBones of the Dragon Weis Hickman Dragonships of Vindras 2. Secret of the DragonBones of the Dragon Weis Hickman Dragonships of Vindras 2. Secret of the Dragon 3. Rage of the Dragon


CLICK HERE FOR MORE BOOKS BY MARGARET WEIS & TRACY HICKMAN.


Justin reports on Gen Con 2013

Gen Con, which I attend nearly every year, is the largest RPG/Gaming convention in the world. For the last few years I have gone primarily as the eyes and ears of FantasyLiterature.com. The fantasy genre and game playing have been hand in hand since the 70's, and maybe even further back if you count the various forms of story-based play acting and parlor games that have been played over the centuries. Gen Con is the culmination of all things Fantasy and game related. There are bigger conventions out there, such as Dragon Con and Comic-Con, but neither of those is as singularly focused on one element of the genre.

My goal when attending Gen Con for FanLit is to capture some images of crazy costumes, find out about upcoming Fantasy games, and meet cool Fantasy enthusiasts. This year I was only able to at... Read More