The White Dragon was meant to be a sequel to In Legend Born (1998), but the manuscript grew so long that Tor had to divide and release it as one novel in two volumes.
With In Legend Born, Resnick abandoned the romance novel (eleven published as Laura Leone) for epic historical fantasy, which is much like giving up Cheerios for boiled oats—a heartier dish in the same food group. Various conquerors have crushed the people of the mountainous island of Sileria, a folk forever engaged in internecine quarrels. Now the murderous, genocidal Valdani Empire rules, but a Guardian and outcast sorceress named Mirabar arises, a figure who works fire magic and can talk with the dead in the spirit world and is told by the Beckoner that a liberator is coming. This is visionary swordmaster Tansen, who is joined by the rebellious peasant Firebringer Josarian to raise an army and, eventually, with waterlord wizard Kiloran (with whom Tansen has long feuded) and several other Silerian factions, to overthrow the Valdani. Though successful, all Silerians still have their bloody grouches, while shifting loyalties make for densely Byzantine plotting and a tintinnabulation of similar-sounding names. But for all their infighting, Silerians are spurred on by the active and volcanic Dar, the Destroyer Goddess who chooses Sileria as her home and herself is behind Josarian’s death by Kiloran’s white ice-dragon, while the Honored Society of waterwizards offers a worse future to Sileria than do the Valdani. Though the Silerians are free, civil war rules, and Tansen is up against not only vengeful enemies but also old allies. Dar alone knows why Tansen doesn’t kill the seductress Elelar, whose betrayal brought about Josarian’s death. Questions: Will Tansen, who killed his own father, be overthrown by his son Zarien? Will Elelar and Tansen bond?
Tune in later this year for The Destroyer Goddess: In Fire Forged, Part Two.