The Dragonlance novels, by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

One of the used bookstores near me has a couple carts outside where they put $1 books. One buck. There’s pretty much no book that’s not worth a buck. So every time I walk by there, and scan the cart to see if there’s anything that catches my eye. One day there was. The first six Dragonlance novels, the Chronicles trilogy and the Legends trilogy. For those of you who weren’t nerds in the eighties, the Dragonlance books were basically a straight-up extension of Dungeons and Dragons into novel-writing. The novels play out as a role-playing adventure and, in fact, are based in large part on the role-playing games of the authors. So you’ve got your group of adventurers (a half-elf, a kender (aka halfling) thief, a mage and fighter set of twin brothers, a cleric) at a local inn, and a wacky event happens – in this case, a barbarian man and woman get arrested. Off you go on your adventure!

But Weis and Hickman do a good job of developing characters that we care about, and of developing the world to make it interesting. So interesting, in fact, that a whole slew of other novels have been based in the same world. Anyway, so when I saw these books for a buck at that store, I had to buy them as a remnant of my childhood. I didn’t even mean to read them particularly. But I was bored last week, and picked up the first one, and was drawn right back in, and ended up re-reading all six. Good solid fun.