Okay, boy and girls, first thing’s first – I will try to keep spoilers at a minimum. That being said, it is difficult to write about my take on something without accidentally spilling the beans, so fair warning: possible spoilers ahead. Now, let us examine the work Knaak put into the series.
Richard A. Knaak didn’t start the Dragonlance series. Dragonlance actually came to be from three other people – Laura Hickman, her husband Tracy, and his writing partner Margaret Weis. I am going to allow myself to geek out for a moment to appreciate the fact that is all came together after a few D&D adventures were played between them and a few others. It was then that the first trilogy of the series was born – the Chronicles.
Knaak’s work comes a few years later, in the Heroes, Minotaur Wars, and Ogre Titans, with eleven books in total. The Dragonlance series is so vast that different authors were gathered to fill the different sections of the story and the setting. It is beyond colossal and separate series, novels, and even short stories are the reason an average lover of anything fantasy and RPG related will need some time to read them all.
The fictional world of the series is called Krynn. The novels talk about five separate ages, in which the relationships between races, wars, civilizations, and the sheer population are drastically different. The amazing thing about this series is that involves gods, as well as mortals. Another thing is the existence of weapons that are the series’ namesakes – the dragonlances. They are rare, difficult to make, and they are the only weapon a non-magic user can wield to kill a dragon. They were designed with the intention of killing the evil dragons, though, without spoiling anything, you can guess what lesser dragonlances were used for.
As mentioned before, the series came to be from a Dungeons & Dragons game, so it is natural to find the creatures in the realms behaving similarly as they would in the game – for example, chromatic dragons are evil and metallic dragons are good. There are also the typical fantasy races like dwarves and elves. Clerics pray to their gods in order to get magical powers – the usual.
The Legend of Huma is the first book in Dragonlance written by Knaak. It is also the first one that doesn’t deal with the usual cast of Raistlin, Sturm, Tanis, and others and it is a prequel to the original trilogy. Instead, this book deals with a new hero – Huma Dragonbane and another one, Kaz the Minotaur. Kaz will later earn his own book with his own name, the first book of Heroes II. Finally, we should also mention the third book where we can find Kaz – Land of the Minotaurs in the Lost History series (told you this was massive). I think it is safe to say that Knaak is responsible for the majority of the stories surrounding the minotaurs.
In 1999, a separate book emerged following the minotaurs during a turbulent era – the Chaos Wars. For those that are not familiar, Chaos is not just a concept here – it is an entity, and a god-hating one at that. The story follows the adventures of a minotaur warrior Aryx. One year later, we got the Citadel, a classic novel in a classic setting.
Richard was also responsible for the entire Minotaur Wars series, as well the entire Ogre Titans series, each containing three books. If you haven’t read them, now’s the time.