Kindred Spirits takes readers and fans of the critically acclaimed Dragonlance Chronicles series to the beginning and shows us how Tanis Half-Elven and Flint Fireforge.
Thanks to my mom, I have always been a tremendous man of Dragonlance. I can’t remember exactly how old I was when she first gave me Dragonlance Chronicles when it was adapted for young readers. After that, I was in love.
You would have thought I would have read all the Dragonlance books by now, but there are a few that I haven’t. Kindred Spirits is one of them. Honestly, I don’t know why it took me so long to read this novel; I think part of my hesitation is that I didn’t want to touch it because it is a first edition copy from 1991. It is in excellent condition but should something happen to it, I am positive my mother will kill me.
But thankfully, it was adapted into an audiobook that I was able to listen to with great pleasure.
Authors Mark Anthony and Ellen Porath did an incredible job presenting readers with a beautiful origin story of how these two met. Tanis Half-Elven has always been the outsider looking in on his people. Born of a tragic union between a human and an elf, he has often been the victim of ridicule, treated as an outsider among the elves, including those who would consider him family.
Anyone who has ever read Dragons of Autumn Twilight knows that he has often struggled to find his place. His place has always been with his friends, loved ones who respect him and love him above all else, most of them anyway. Fans know whom I am talking about.
But to see where it all came from gives new depth to the relationship between Flint and Tanis. The story is told through Flint’s perspective, an old dwarf who longed to see the Elven Kingdom of Qualinesti. When his craftsmanship catches the eye of the Speaker of the Sun, he is brought to the city of Qualinost.
Full of Depth
In Qualinost, he meets Tanis first as a child, then continues to watch him become a strong, formidable, considerate, empathetic, and honorable young man. These traits are important because they make Tanis an incredible leader. The authors captured the heart of the character in such a brilliant. Tanis has always been a remarkable character because he has always felt out of place, and until the War of the Lance, he always felt as though he had to choose to be human or be elven. As Porthios says often enough, he’s both but neither.
Anytime I see a character straddle two worlds, it makes me think of how relatable that pain he is going through is so anyone who is part of two different cultures. And in Kindred Spirits, we as readers see just how poorly he is treated by the elves and their prejudices and racism. Of course, they think they’re better than everyone, but I think they are on equal footing to every other race.
Flint’s perspective highlights that. As a Dwarf, he is thought to be lesser-than, but he has a calm reserve. It makes him wise, and he is. As a wise man, he shrugs off those prejudices and instead uses his role as friend to the Speaker of the Sun to fight for his voice and Tanis’s voice to be heard. He constantly shows the reader and Tanis how wrong the elves are to believe they are better than everyone else.
Is this even a review anymore? I feel I have to stop now, but there were many good things about Kindred Spirits. Anthony and Porath did a fantastic job capturing the love between these two friends. There are also so many nods and references to events in the Chronicles trilogy that makes the reader appreciate the level of detail that went into the storytelling.
And while the storytelling captures the passage of time wonderfully and thoughtfully, the best part here is the characterization. These authors understood Tanis and Flint and the depths of their relationship established in Chronicles. They lace in the humor, the heart, and beauty of their friendship that will warm the heart of any reader out there, new fan or old.
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|Pub Date: April 1, 1991||Page Count: 320pp||Age Range: 16 & Over|
|ISBN: 978-1-5607-6069-6||Publisher: Wizards of the Coast||List Price: $7.99|