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VOYAThe Dragonlance series of fantasy novels are something of an industry. There are more than one hundred novels set in the world of Krynn, all concerning the sword-and-sorcery goings on there. Dragonlance books tend to be for adults or at least older teens, but this new series set in this world is written for a younger audience. Drangonlance, the New Adventures is meant to be an introduction to the world of Dragonlance and is clearly written for upper elementary or lower middle school readers. The first five books in this new series tell the story of five teens who band together in a series of adventures that really could have been neatly tied up in one book. Nearra is a young lady who has lost her memory. She has been put under a spell by an evil wizard who wants to force something called "the Emergence" on her. This event will release the spirit of an evil sorceress imprisoned within Nearra. The wizard's minions try throughout the novels to menace Nearra and her friends to make this "Emergence" happen. Knight-in-training Catriona and her friend, the trickster/thief Sindri, agree to protect Nearra and try to help get her memories back. Ranger Davyn and elf Elidor join in these adventures for purposes of their own. The five travel together and in the course of their adventures, they meet, fight, bond, and learn from minotaurs, dragons, wizards, goblins, woodsmen, knights, healers, and manticores, among other things. It is all very much like a Dungeons & Dragons game. If one has ever played a role playing game, this book will seem familiar; it is much like hearing someone recount a game session. In fact, Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis, the authors who created the first Dragonlance novels,have said their books are based on their role-playing sessions. There is a lot of action in the books, but although the fights are plentiful and recounted in great detail, there is no tension in them because there is no real danger to the characters-ever. These young adventurers always get the better of their adversaries, even mighty dragons. The writing is poor, with every character speaking in exposition. The story is predictable with one-dimensional characters such as the loyal knight, the comic-relief thief, and the smug, sly elf. It reminded this reviewer of a B movie from the 1950s, complete with cheesy dialogue: "'Never,' Madoc hissed, 'Under penalty of a lingering, painful death, you are to keep knowledge of the Emergence from them. . . . They must never suspect our true purpose.'" No doubt Dragonlance fans (and their younger siblings) will demand these books, but there are certainly better fantasies out there. Give your young patrons T. A. Barron, Jane Yolen, or Kathryn Lasky instead. VOYA CODES: 2Q 3P M (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2004, Wizards of the Coast, 242p., pb. Ages 11 to 14.