I was always enchanted by libraries as a kid, but it wasn’t until I was in Year 6 at school (way back in 1987) that I discovered the books that changed my life forever. You see I came across a copy of The Dragons of Autumn Twilight’ by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman in the school library, the first book n the Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy. These books opened a whole new world for me, introducing me to tales of dragons and wizards (mages), warriors and knights, gods and monsters and the epic battles of Good vs Evil.
The tales of King Arthur had never inspired me (although I have memories of watching Excalibur, and seeing The Black Cauldron by Disney – though I did not know it was based on a series of novels – I even remember The Secret of Nimh with the amazing wizard-like character of Nicodemus). And though I know it was around at the time, The Lord of the Rings (novels) wasn’t something I looked at until much later.
My start in self-motivated reading, and my love of fantasy fiction, began with Weis & Hickman, and the Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy and it’s sequel the Dragonlance Legends.
This series also gave me the first fictional character I ever connected with. The mage Raistlin Majere. His struggles to fit into society and his alienation from those around him – whether real or imagined – spoke to me on so many levels. He became my hero, and though his path was dark, his intelligence, his discipline and the sacrifices he made to achieve his goals inspired me and – on some level – gave me hope.
The greater world of DL, or the stories that came after, didn’t hold quite the same enchantment for me, and to be honest I wasn’t a fan of how the Dragonlance universe changed. But horses for course, the original two trilogies will always hold a special place in my heart and on my bookshelf.
How about you? Have you read these books? What started your reading life?