The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King.
5 stars out of 5.
The book blurb:
Dragons once soared in the skies, but that was before the Transformation, before they took human form. Now, demonic forces stand to obliterate them. When left mortally wounded, Darnuir, the Prince of Dragons, can only be saved through a dangerous rebirthing spell. He is left as a babe in human hands.
Twenty years later, Darnuir is of age to wield the Dragon’s Blade. As the last member of his bloodline, he is the only one who can. He is plunged into a role he is not prepared for, to lead a people he does not know. Shadowy demons ravage his new home and the alliance between humans, dragons and fairies has fractured.
Time is short, for new threats and deadlier enemies are emerging…
Before I start the review, I would first like to thank the author Michael R.Miller as he reached out to me through this blog enquiring if I’d be interested in reviewing his book, I accepted and when I received the actual book in the post he had even taken the time to personalise and sign the book, it was a really nice gesture from him and I thank him for that.
Onto the formalities, I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, this has in no way influenced my review or how much I enjoyed the book.
Before I review the actual book, I’d like to take the time to mention the cover as I think it really is stunning looking. There’s alot of fantasy books out there all vying for your attention, some have covers that don’t fit the tone of the book, some are very generic looking while others have covers with quality aesthetics and imagery that really fit the book. This cover is one of them, the art direction is outstanding, it looks really smart and stands out. Praise goes to the designer for creating a cracking good cover that fits the book perfectly.
This is a character driven book with a largish cast of diverse characters who are all well written, ranging from the smaller bit part characters (e.g: Lira, Ochnic and Kasselle) upto the main characters (e.g: Darnuir, Cosmo, Brackendon). Alot happens in the book, but for me this is Darnuir’s tale, he is the reborn King of the title, who after being mortally wounded is rebirthed as a child in human hands-not a spoiler as it’s written in the blurb on the back of the book and I really felt that his journey and struggle to becoming King was the core of the story. The books pacing is good, I was never bored or found it hard to get through and the story moves along quickly while giving you all the information you need, the slower parts focusing on developing the characters and the story are informative and the fights brutal. I guessed most of the plot twists but not all and a couple really surprised me.
The author easily adds emotion and humour into the story, though I would personally have liked to have seen slightly more humour in the book, it wouldn’t have felt right coming from the Dragon’s who are portrayed as being slightly arrogant and thinking themselves better than others but from the Human characters it would have been a nice addition.
The actual writing is of an easy to read style that doesn’t get over bogged down in useless clutter enabling the story to move forward at a quick pace, it’s of a high standard and works really well with some high quality passages showing the authors talent and way with words throughout, one of my favourites being:
“Oh, but Darnuir, memory is the heaviest of all things,” Blaine began solemnly. “Even the strongest shoulders will be hunched by it in time. Nothing weighs upon us more, nor for longer, than memory.”
The book has all the standard fantasy races, Human’s, Demon’s, Wizard’s, Dragon’s (in Human form), Troll’s and Fairies, all are well developed and none come across as the stereotypical type often seen in fantasy books, you can tell the author has really thought how to make them individual. The world building also deserves a mention as it is of an exceptional standard, the author has created what feels like a vast world rich in history, lore and mythology.
The magic (Cascade energy) system is both well thought out and in depth. The idea that if a Wizard’s staff tree is destroyed then their use of magic is limited and the use of both the Wizard’s staff’s and the Dragon’s swords (the Dragon Blade and Guardian Blade) to channel the energy allowing more to be used are great ideas and comes across well on the pages. I also liked that there is a cost for using to much Cascade energy, alot of fantasy books just seem to throw magic usage in with no effects to the users and for me it adds an extra element to the system and story knowing there is a risk involved and a price to pay for the use.
The only negative I can find about the book is that, there’s a few grammatical errors, the characters thoughts are normally italicised but on occasion aren’t, a few spelling errors also occur and there’s times where words are sometimes misplaced but I’ve read alot of fantasy books and it seems to be a common occurrence happening more often than not in most of them. I’ve felt the need to write about the errors in the book as I’m writing a honest review, however I need to point out that the errors DID NOT detract from the story being told or ruin my enjoyment of the book at all.
The book comes in at 408 pages in length, still quite long but a fair bit shorter than alot of fantasy books out there that are upwards of 650+ pages, that’s not to take anything away from the book though as the author does a great job filling the shorter page count with everything you want in epic fantasy, the pages fly by with a set of diverse characters, a good story and a decent ending to, that for me as the reader after finishing, felt like it was the right way to end the book while opening up the world and story to expand in the next book and I’m really looking forward to finding out how the story continues.
Michael R.Miller is a great storyteller who has crafted what was to me a cracking good page turner of a book, The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King is fantasy at it’s fast paced finest, a high quality read.
On a side note, it probably says alot for both my geekiness and how much I read fantasy books but along with wanting to be a Bridgeburner from the Malazan Book Of The Fallen series and own a Wolven from The Banished Lands in The Faithful and The Fallen series, my fantasy weapon of choice is now the Dragon’s Blade Sword of this book, it sounds awesome and I really want one!