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I got this book via audiobook boom. The narrator was very good. the story had lots of twists and turns and sometimes just gave too much information. The description of the king took almost two minutes. Those are the things I am talking about. The story was developed and it was interesting how Daniur's character took over the story and made his way to being the one who could control the dragon blade. Nice fantasy just a little long for me.
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Enter a world of fairies, humans and dragons (and wizards!!!) and their war against Rectar, the lord of the demons and his army of... well, demons. :D I know what some of you are thinking. Same ol' Good vs Evil fantasy book, right? Not so fast! While this story embraces the traditional good vs. evil trope, it breaks the mold. It does it differently. A couple of tropes common to fantasy fit here. Farmboy prince fits as well, but this one is implemented in such a way that it almost feels like Miller is saying 'yeah, but in his defense, he was the prince first.' It touches on the traditional, but is refreshingly different.
I love some humanoid dragons, or dragons that can become humanoid. It makes them a bit more relatable (and it opens things up for some sweet, sweet dragon/not dragon roooomance - I AM WITHOUT SHAME). Dragons in this particular case, seem to be mostly dicks to anyone who isn't also a dragon, despite the situation of sort of needing to team up against the greater enemy. Darnuir starts this story as the sort of pompous, arrogant, know-it-all heir to the king of the dragons (whose name is Draconis, because of course the king of the dragons is named Draconis). His father doesn't trust him to wield the Dragon's Blade, a very powerful flying sword that only the royal line of dragons can wield. He says that Darnuir isn't ready for it, which of course pisses off Darnuir because he thinks he is ready for it! He couldn't be more ready for it!
Darnuir is mortally wounded and the only thing that can save him is the dragon king's resident court wizard, Brackindon (I probably spelled that wrong. Audiobook.), who does the only thing that he can do to save Darnuir. He performs a rebirthing spell that more or less rewinds Darnuir's life and turns him into an infant, and then he leaves him in the care of a group of hunters, of which the more or less leader is a friend of his. 'I'll be back in six months!' he says. Fast forward to twenty years later, and Darnuir has come of age to wield the Blade, and while there have been many years of radio silence from them, the demons are now redoubling their efforts.
We get some of the early parts of Darnuir's new life from his point of view, which was actually pretty interestingly thought out. The entire growing up again montage is summed up well, doesn't seem intrusive on the overall flow of the story, and is yet informative on what sort of (second) childhood that he has. Darnuir is raised as a human the second time around. He has no idea what he is, but his abnormally brute strength is noticeable to more than one person in his life, including himself at least once. It's kind of a wonder that nobody figured it out sooner. This simple life humbles him, though. He comes from a more humble upbringing this time around and that is the key to wielding the Blade the way his father would have wanted. Brackindon comes back (20 years late, but as we all know, a wizard is never late but arrives precisely when he means to) with the Dragon's Blade in tow and all is revealed.
Darnuir is a cool character who I started off not liking because he wasn't very likable, but I ended up cheering for him, because when his old, arrogant personality starts to try and break through, he tries his very hardest to not be that person, and tries to restrain himself. Where Blaine and the other dragons tend to continue the tradition of being dicks to humans (and women of all races), Darnuir brings his human upbringing into play to smooth things out.
My favorite characters are more or less in the background though. First is Dukuna (am I close? This one was a tough guess on spelling ^_^), one of Rectar's underlings and the first character we get introduced to. A demon lord's underling who is in a position that he doesn't want to be in. We see some of the book from his POV. He hates Rectar and considers himself a prisoner. He even has other demons that he sympathizes with. It's pretty neat. I actually cheered for him the most. The second is Lyra, the lady dragon who isn't taking any of Blaine's crap about lady dragons not being allowed to be warriors. You go girl.
The action/battle scenes were well written and made it easy to imagine the action that was taking place. I was transported into the world of this book quite easily. The magic system is described as a cascade and I thought that was quite an interesting way to think of magic. Like a waterfall, kind of. The plot takes a couple of turns that you don't see coming, and it doesn't plod along. I thought it was quite well written and plotted out quite nicely. It wasn't overly complex, but it was complex enough that I was immersed quite thoroughly.
The narrator totally nailed it. Dave Cruse's narration of this book is more than slightly reminiscent of Simon Vance. Dave Cruse gave each character an appropriate voice and tone and told the story very well! Some pretty brilliant accents were peppered throughout, and I quite enjoyed the listen! My only criticism here is that when characters are having an inner monologue moment, which they do from time to time, a better way to differentiate that would be awesome. As it stands, it just seems like the same character speaks but... a little muffled. When they're inner monologuing in the middle of a spoken conversation, this can be confusing.
What a great debut! The best part was watching a character that I didn't really start out liking turn himself into a character that I liked rather a lot. I did really dig this story, and really enjoyed my time with this listen! I'm excited to read (or hopefully listen!) to the next book in the series!
I was given a free review copy of this audiobook by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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I have really enjoyed this audio book, I have fallen out of love with this genre of story over the last year or so but both this and the Half-Orc Series have changed that.<br/><br/>The story itself was intriguing with a varied selection of characters, interesting dialogue and fast paced action. At times it did make me think of Lord of the rings with swords replacing rings and dragons and fairies in place of elves and dwarfs. <br/><br/>Even though I was provided this audio book free of charge to provide an unbiased review I can honestly say that this series is now on my wish list and I will be purchasing the next instalment when it is available. Seriously give it a go.
If the blurb didn't forewarn, I'd have expecting leathery wings and gargantuan reptiles. This series, however, puts a new spin on the beasts of legend. In human form for generations, the dragons and their human and fairy allies face demonic foes in a protracted war on all fronts.
The focus of the story revolves around the rebirth of a dragon Prince. I wasn't a fan of this character, due to his arrogance and attitude towards others, although it was clear this was the point of him, so it certainly did the trick. I'm happy to say that he does develop throughout the story and that development is set to continue on through the series, from what I can see, intriguing me more.
The narration was hesitant at times, but improved as the story was told. I look forward to seeing how the performance improves through the second book, which I will be listening to soon.
There's plenty of action and intrigue, twists and turns in this fantasy story. Magic and monsters, betrayals and alliances. A well rounded world building that promises more of the same in the following books.
I give the narration 3-4 (start to end), and the story a solid 4. Some of the supporting characters won me over, which led to some emotional lows as well as mirth filled highs.
Check this beginning to an epic tale out, and explore dragons in a more vulnerable form.