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Full honesty here. I picked up "The Dragons of Dorcastle" because it had the word "dragon" in the name.
Stupid? Oh yeah. And If you pick this book expecting an epic tale about dragons, that's...not going to happen. Sorry.
But you will get a rather absorbing tale of two disparate people coming together in a way that has a surprising amount of payoff. The description of this book doesn't quite do the story justice, although it does give you a much better idea what the book is about than the title does. Kinda wish I had read it before I piked it up, but I'm not a big fan of romance in general. Even in stories where they're not the focus, I find them to be almost physically painful to read, and even worse to listen to because you can't "skim" sound. But the author managed to pull it off in such a way that it was believable, sweet, and really fascinating to watch unfold.
The story has a very well developed world, characters, and lore, and a lot of things are being set up here for the rest of the series,
If I had known that I was going to like this book as much as I did I wouldn't have picked it up. I know how that sounds, but I like to "binge read" series I enjoy. So when I devoured this audiobook in just over a day, (and it only took me that long because I've got finals and that means "shit I need my full attention to do") I wanted to throw my phone at the wall, because it will be at least another year before I can read the next part.
So now I'm off to start a different series by Jack Campbell so I can fill the void. Until at least 2015.
141 of 151 people found this review helpful
A Mage and a Magician, their kind have always been at odds
The Dragons of Dorcastle centers around 2 characters, Mari (the mechanic) and Alain (the mage) who are thrown together when the caravan they are traveling in is attacked with them the only survivors. As Alain was hired to protect the caravan he deems it his responsibility to see Mari safely to her destination even though their guilds are enemies. Both are the youngest in their respective guilds to reach the titles of Mechanic and Mage and also constantly struggle against the bias their own people have against them because of it.
What happens when two young people of opposing factions come together...
Sparks and Chemistry! At least that's the case here with Mari and Alain. They've been told their whole lives to hate people of the opposing guild and yet when circumstances force them to work together they develop a quickly growing respect for each other that then grows into feelings of companionship and perhaps more. It was a delight to read this relationship between the two progress. Even more so because all mages are taught to ignore their emotions and it was such fun watching how Alain's interactions with Mari begin to change him and make him remember what it is to feel. Mari on the other hand is a firework, full of bull headed stubbornness at times and its nice to see how she butts up against Alain who is always so cool and level headed.
A curious world with a mix of modern and magic
I really liked the subtle worldbuilding of their land, Dematr. I felt the information about it was delivered smoothly though at times I'd get a big chunk of it I was always fascinated. I'm guessing from the sound of things that it was/is a planet that was colonized by our world sometime hundreds of years ago because there is a reference a number of times from the two of them saying that the histories believe their people to have come from the stars. With the first cities not having any records of where the people lived before then. The technology is not modern as it would be in our time but instead how it would be in say the 1800's, with guns, trains, far-talkers (telephones) and other such devices in their earliest forms. But then you also have the magic that the mages posess. Such things as fireballs, creating magic construct creatures, invisibility and walking through walls. Mix these two things together and it was exactly my kind of book!
Don't be sad, but dragons are not what this book is about
So you saw that magic word Dragons in the title and you thought - oooo dragons, I love dragons! *snatch, grab, gimme* Yes, my dears so did I. But contrary to what the title will lead you to believe there is very little to do with dragons in this book. While they are mentioned and they are part of a mystery that takes place in the second half of the book - they are by no means what the book is about. Yes, they do make an appearance but it isn't until just about the end of the book. I think based on this books title and the title of the second book (The Hidden Masters of Marandur) that each book looks like it might be titled after some mystery that is featured in the book since the dragons of Dorcastle were a mystery that was plaguing the city of Dorcastle. But don't be disappointed it's still a great read even though dragons aren't a central theme behind the book.
Itchy twitchy to get my hands on more!
I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed The Dragons of Dorcastle. I didn't realize it would feature characters in a sort of coming of age tale (17/18) even with a very tiny splash of romance. I can already tell that Mari and Alain are going to be characters I'm going to have a good time following. It's interesting to note that this was written by the author specifically to be released in audiobook format only by Audible. I don't know if that will change in the future but I do have to say the narration was excellent. Alain has a suitably emotionless voice that doesn't sound like a drone and Mari's was blessedly full of the spit and fire her character depicts. I'm so eager to see where their story goes next!
34 of 36 people found this review helpful
the story is weak, the plotting is clunky. the narrator does what he can but overall this was not enjoyable.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Very slow beginning - with too much teenage angst for me- tale gets better as the book progresses
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed the listen well narrated and a light predictable story line. Not as good as the author's space adventures, but a pretty little story. I am purchasing book two, so it must have got my attention.
This was the first book I have read by Jack Campbell. It was very well read by MacLeod Andrews. Without too many spoilers, this world is dominated by the bitter enemies of the Mage Guild and the Mechanics Guild. The rest of the population is mistreated by the guilds, and unrest is developing. Two young people, one from each guild, are thrown together in an emergency. The plot is developing slowly as both explore a tentative friendship whilst trying to protect themselves from the political machinations of the two guilds. I quite enjoyed this book, and will get the next one just to see what happens.