10:31:21 PM Sep 22nd 2012
All in all I loved these books, and thought they got better from book to book as the authors explored the world of Krynn, increasing the scope of each trilogy (notice how Autumn Twilight takes place over a tiny geographical location compared to the massive, continent-spanning events of the Chaos trilogy). To say I enjoyed these books is a huge compliment, too, considering that I'm reading them on the heels of a Song of Ice and Fire, and I'm traditionally a person who doesn't read fantasy. However, did anyone else really dislike Tasslehoff's character? He was fine in the first trilogy, where he had this really nice theme about him of "sometimes a little thing can make a big difference", then I felt he was shoehorned into the Legends Trilogy, and after that it seemed mandatory to have him in every book following. He wasn't even the main character in the first trilogy! The books are very inconsistent on when he shows fear (spoilers ahead). To my memory, he shows fear (in chronological order): When seeing the Shoikan Grove in Winter Night, when meeting Lord Soth in Spring Dawning, when going to the Abyss and meeting Takhisis in War of the Twins, again when seeing Lord Soth/Shoikan Grove in Test of the Twins, when seeing Chaos in Summer Flame, when seeing Beryl in Fallen Sun and when seeing his ghost self in lost Star. And yet, each time he's scared the books talk about how "he's never felt this way before". I find this to be a massive waste of potential for a character with so rare a trait as "immune to fear". I get the impression that Weis and Hickman don't know how to handle such a character, especially when they put the story in his POV for at least half the time. However, I read the Dragonlance forums to see if anyone agrees with me, but it turns out that the reception to Tasslehoff is almost overwhelmingly positive. Since the forums are 6 years old now, I figured I'd put my perspective here and see if anyone agreed.
12:49:55 AM Feb 3rd 2013
Gods of Krynn, I never thought I'd see the day - someone who actually disagrees with the canon handling of Tasslehoff! I liked him fine in Chronicles, but by the time Fallen Sun rolled around I was almost cheering for him to die. It's hard to actively dislike a character meant to be so childlike and innocent, but by Sargas did they make it easier! I thought it was especially bothersome when he had his 'epiphany' of how he's not like other kender anymore, because he's felt fear and they haven't and that sets them apart, and it was actually kind of a deep, emotional moment... and then ten minutes later it's the first time he's felt fear again. ARGH! No wonder most people don't like kender! I think if they wanted to move forward with character development for him, one way might have been to have him be more aware of fear and such, but consciously choose to overcome it. You know, /act/ childlike and innocent and not let the fear get to him, but still acknowledge that it's there and it's something he feels just like a normal person now. The way they did it, it's like he's got an emotional development reset button - every book they push the button, and he's wide-eyed and innocent and frickin' annoying all over again.