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The Universes of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

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Three and one half moon gifHarper Prism ISBN 0-06-105239-6
Did you ever find yourself in one of those discussions? You know, you're sitting around with a group of co-workers, enjoying a friendly drink or two, and someone asks if anyone managed to get their hands on the newest Weis and Hickman.

Book: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, Realms of DragonsIn no time at all, names like Sturm Brightblade, Highlord Bakaris, Sheyhk Majiid al Fakhar, and Broderick Ellerby start spinning around the table. The personnel guy next to you gets into an argument with the ditzy blonde from the secretarial pool over whether hungry Chaodyn kick butt better than irate Solamnic Knights. And then, of course, it happens. A wiseguy from accounting turns to you and says, "So, what's your favorite Weis and Hickman book?"

If you number among thousands of fans around the world, you'll give him a knowing smile and launch into a detailed rant on why Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman rock. If you feel abashed by your coworkers rabid passion and mastery of Weis/Hickman esoterica, or just want to learn more about them, then you might want to pull up Amazon.com one lunchtime and order Realms of Dragons: The Universes of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

Serious (or not so serious) fans of the vast and varied worlds of Weis's and Hickman's imaginations will find Realms of Dragons provides information on just about every aspect of the books the two authors wrote together. The book covers The Deathgate Cycle, the Dragonlance novels, the Rose of the Prophet Cycle, the Darksword Trilogy and the Starshield series in loving and complete detail, right down to characters only mentioned by other characters.

Book: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, Well of DarknessEven the rather nepotistic interview of the two authors by friend and Weis assistant Janet Pack provides an interesting look into the lives of two very disparate writers. How a Morman theater manager from Utah and a game editor from Missouri somehow come together to write best-selling books for a gaming company in Wisconsin makes for fascinating reading.

However, I would urge everyone (even people who never read any Weis and Hickman books) to buy Realms of Dragons for one reason -- the artwork. Page after page of vivid illustrations of ravaging dragons, militant elves, beautiful heroines, stalwart heroes and, naturally, mischievous Kender make this compendium worth every cent. Luscious, luminous art by Larry Elmore, Clarette, Daniel R. Horn, Tony Szczudlo, Clyde Caldwell, Keith Parkinson, Jeff Easley and two of my most favorite artists, the brothers Steve and Paul Youll, dazzle the eye.

The book includes over 40 full-color illustrations, five concordances listing characters, places, spells, and creatures -- and childhood pictures of Weis and Hickman. What fan could ask for more?

Teri Smith (nee Dohmen)

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