Title: Dragon Wing (Death Gate Cycle book 1)
Authors: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Length: 417 pages
Plot Basics: Hugh the Hand, an assassin, is saved from an execution by the King who offers him a job. Hugh accepts and ends up in a motley company of a creepy child wizard, his bumbling castellan, a group of dwarves and a mysterious man and his dog. Hugh and company end up on a journey that takes them throughout their airy world, flying on dragon ships and working to stop a terrible plot.
Banter Points: Word Nerd isn't really satisfied with her description of the plot, but this first book in the series has lots of twists that set up the rest of the series and there just wasn't a good way around those. Some of the surprises need to be surprises or the book wouldn't be any fun.
Bummer Points: This is definitely a book for readers steeped in the fantasy tradition. Weis and Hickman leave holes, use footnotes and an appendix to fill in how their world works. This is not good starter material for somebody new to the genre because it relies a bit too heavily on conventions.
Word Nerd Recommendation: This is Word Nerd's second trip through this series. It's a light read and she'll keep going with the next books in the series.