This is the second part of the Raistlin Chronicles follows the life of the twins just after they leave the Tower of Wayreth, dealing with their first job in a mercenary army. Caramon and Raistlin gain experience by joining the mercenary army of Baron Ivor Langtree, and we get to meet some great characters such as the Mad Baron, Horkin the War Wizard in Baron army who's a drinking buddy of "Old Luni" (Lunitari, the goddess of neutral magic), the half kender Scrounger, and an ancient dragon named Immolatus from the time of Huma. We get introduced to vibrant characters who most certainly would have been around during the War of the Lance, and yet we never hear from them again. Raistlin is still typically Raistlin. His growth in magical power is obvious towards the end of the story, with his teacher Horkin giving him the respect he deserves. Even the mercenaries respect him after he worked in the hospital tent with the wounded. An interesting feature is how Raistlin's fragility seems to disappear with the exercise and work he puts in with the army. Half of the book is covered through the growth of Raistlin's half-sister Kitiara uth Matar and her introduction to Ariakas and the Dragonarmies. The part of the tale about her rise to power within the Dragonarmies under General Ariakas has long range impact in the Dragonlance world.
The writing and storyline of the novel is well done, the characters are vibrant and fun to read about. The Dragonarmies converging on a little known town called Hope's End on the basis that they have openly revolted against the king of the area. The Mad Baron's crack mercenaries, who are as honorable as knights, have also been hired to quell the helpless town, but have to decide where they stand once they discover who their "allies"are. Meanwhile Kitiara uses the battle as a distraction to go with an ancient dragon in human form to find the eggs of the good dragons. With that being said, it is a story of a time in Raistlin’s life and that the story is of little overall importance to the overall Dragaonlance Arc, and it is very enjoyable to me.