Dragons: Worlds Afire consists of four dragon-related short stories reminiscent of Dragon Magazine, the Forgotten Realms books Realms of Dragons and Realms of Infamy, and the Dragonlance Dragons series.
If Ever They Happened Upon My Lair is the first and by far the best of the four.
R.A. Salvatore does a great job of providing an excellent supplement to the Bloodstone Lands saga (which at some point should be novelized and make the transition from the first edition H-series Bloodstone modules to novels and why not some day the big screen). In addition, the author's portrayal of the chaotic evil alignment and his description of dragon fear are superb.
Moreover, R.A. Salvatore provides for great dramatic effect with quotes such as:
1) "Nordwinnil's words caught in his throat as he turned to regard the pond and Ringo- or the two partial legs, knee-to-foot, standing in Ringo's boots where Ringo had just been. Nordwinnil's eyes widened and his jaws hung open as one of those legs tipped over, falling outward to plop into the mud," (p.10)
2) "They screamed. They burned. They melted together so completely that anyone who happened upon the scene would never know where Nordwinnil ended and Pergiss began," (p.11)
3) "Urshula clamped down, and the knight's lower torso dropped to the floor." (p.29)
4) "Biting out, his jaws covered her so that her head, feet, and one flailing arm fell free from her body," (p.33) and stealing the show...
5) "...few ever leave Urshula except scattered in piles of excrement." (p.20)
The only question mark was in regards to referring to the dragon as "Urshula" when it a male dragon.
In conclusion, R.A. Salvatore provides an accurate and realistic description of what goes through the minds of dwarves, liches, and dragons. 5 Stars
Here Be Dragons is a mini adventure involving Tasslehoff. It is a good short story albeit for the rather unrealistic ending. Moreover, "George" is not a name one encounters in the world of Krynn! Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, the creators of Krynn of all people, should know that. Nevertheless, the authors do provide valuable insight into the psyche of kender e.g. "Caves draw kender like flames draw moths," (p.43) and "Besides being extremely curious, kender are utterly fearless..." (p.44)
The third story, Keith Baker's Principles of Fire, is set in a world that I am not familiar with nor am I a fan of: Eberron. I do not particularly enjoy the hybrid magical/technological world/environment; nevertheless, the plot was interesting enough to read it through. In the end it did not do anything for me. 2 Stars
I tried reading this final story, Unnatural Predator, five times (!) and failed every single time. Set in the world of Magic: The Gathering the story utterly failed to catch my attention and I just gave up trying. 1 Star
In short, although a must-buy for the D&D fan and collector, the product (i.e. the hardcover version of it) is ridiculously overpriced at $29.95. Total: 3 Stars
- Paperback: 143 pages
- Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; Reprint edition (1 July 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786949767
- ISBN-13: 978-0786949762
- Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 0.7 x 25.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 340 g
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