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Dragonlance Heroes vol. 1: The Legend of Huma is my favourite fantasy novel of all time.
That's a hell of a statement to make about a prequel spin-off to a massive multi-author fantasy franchise, one not even written by the acclaimed original masters Weiss and Hickman, but I stand by it. I love The Legend of Huma more than The Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, or any other fantasy story you'd care to name. The epic story of Huma's rise from a lowly Knight of the Crown to the hero who saves Krynn from the Queen of Darkness is a masterwork example of the hero's journey. Huma is no Marty Stu: he doubts, he fears, he faces temptation, he hesitates, but he stands strong in his faith, he keeps his courage and his compassion and you can see how he could be the man who could literally fight a god to save the world. He's introspective and you spend almost the entire book inside his headspace, and it fleshes out the world and story to an incredible level. He's one of the greatest fictional heroes I've ever come across, brilliantly brought to life by Richard Knaak.
The story is incredibly rich and filled with twists and deep characters. Kaz, Huma's minotaur sidekick, is one of the most endearing badasses I've ever read about, but there are also characters like Rennard, Magius, Buoron, Bennett, Guy Avondale and Lord Oswal. And then there's Gywneth... you might fear her relationship with Huma would be Strangled by the Red String but it actually really works and her tragic death brings tears to the eyes, even if you knew about it from the original trilogy. Huma's adventures cross the world as he battles the Cult of Morgion and Galan Dracos' Black Guard, faces The Three Trials (including single combat with the father of dragons), duels the warlord Crynus and goes on to challenge Takhisis herself. So many great action scenes, so much good writing filling out the spaces in between, so much good characterisation... I'm gushing, I know, but it's impossible for me not to. This book is just so good.
I really can't emphasis how much I love this story any better. Maybe you wouldn't like it as much as I do, maybe there are things that you can't overlook that I can't even see, but I stand by my claim: The Legend of Huma is a masterpiece.
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