I have to say this- I have not yet read a book by a Scottish author which would leave me high and dry. Michael had popped me a note to see whether I would like to have a go at The Dragon’s Blade and I immediately liked the cover. At the risk of being completely and utterly biased, when I noticed Michael is born and raised in Scotland I just knew! that I will want to read his book. Sorry, not sorry, but I love everything to do with Scotland (especially the accents) and the Scots have delivered a number books onto my shelves which I easily call some of my favorites.
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…
I loved this book. Simple as that. It was great. It truly was. When a book manages to make me ditch my responsibilities, such as having to cook for the Husband or getting the washing machine going- yeah, it’s a good book. Don’t worry, the man is fed and the clothes are washed. I might have done all my tasks while mumbling and grumbling under my breath, but I blame the book. I love to blame a book, which, again, means the book is good.
You probably wonder, after reading the title and the blurb, what does it mean that a king is reborn? Reborn how?
Ha, good question.. Well, without giving away too much of the story, Dranuir the Dragon Prince is a key element to a war that has been waging since his ‘first’ life and will continue to do so in his ‘second’ life. With assistance from a wizard who is lovingly called Brackers, Dranuir goes through the magical process of being ‘reborn’. Dranuir, after having grown up in a kingdom as a Prince will be reborn as a babe far from his home, to be raised by humans. To be honest, Dranuir was considered a bit of a meany in his first spell of life and yeah, while he was maybe grumpy and full of anger he didn’t come across pure evil.
The second spell of his life is interesting though- he grows up with humans and has no idea that he is, in fact, a Dragon Prince for quite some while. Which suits Brackers the wizard to a T because the wizard has high hopes that the second coming of Dranuir will change the Prince’s bad attitude. Through a shattering window and splintering wood the magical Dragon’s Blade flies into the new Dragon King’s hand. This can only mean that Dranuir’s father has fallen and Dranuir himself is left to deal with how to become the leader for the dragin race and with some confusion as to who he really is. He is a Dragon King now, yes, but he grew up with humans and living their way of life. Maybe that’s exactly what the doctor ordered to overcome the demonic war?!
I liked that the dragon race were really not dragons. Through Transformation dragons now looked more like regular people. I liked that little twist. Which leads me to the magical aspect of the whole story. I found it unique and interesting how magic in this particular fantasy was something dragons and wizards had to be careful around. Use too much magic and the consequences are rather uncomfortable. So, there’s no such thing as- ‘I have all the magic, therefore I win!’ The struggles and threats considering magic were of paramount importance and the war could not simply be ended by magicking some demon ass into the next realm.
So yes, the war. It’s the demons whose armies seem to never run out of bodies and with help from another wizard called Castallan they wreak havoc across the Tenalp lands with help from spectres.
What the hell are spectres?
Glad you asked. Spectres are kind of like demons as well I guess, except they have the power to move in the shadows. There’s a shadow? A spectre will jump into it and travel from A to B, from shadow to shadow. I’ve got to say, it gave some mighty mental images to back up the story. Bottom line though, I really felt for the human race because to live your whole life trying to fight back in a war is a sad existence indeed.
Now! Enter the fairy race and a particularly likeable frost troll. Yep, you got it. This book has all the fantastic characters and each of them cooler than the next. Truly? I enjoyed each and every one of them to my highest satisfaction. They were all well depicted, developed and enjoyable. Each also came with their own set of secrets, hardships and hopes. And what’s a book without a character that doesn’t get on your nerves? For me, that would be The Dragon Guardian. His old ways and beliefs reminded me of a religious fanatic. Can’t bloody stand them! Yet he was necessary and besides, his presence in the story gave way for some really neat and ‘up yours’ kind of push backs.
All in all, The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King, is a complex yet well-developed book. There wasn’t a single instance where I felt lost or had to scratch my noggin to understand what was going on. Throughout the whole book the writing was so giving and fulfilling that it was easy to follow and step into the world. The descriptions of places, scenes and characters were on point. At least for me. I could easily visualize it all. There were no info dumps, but rather everything and everyone was revealed when the time was just right. This, my friends, means that there was a strong steady pace throughout the 400+ page book. There were twists and surprises, magical elements but also real life, human problems.
Would I recommend it? Of course! Yes! Certainly!
The next book in the series? Yes, please. Give me!
My rating: 5 fantastic stars dripping of slayed demon blood!