- Adventures In Reading
- Beauty In Ruins
- Best Fantasy Books HQ
- Bitten By Books
- Bookworm Blues
- Charlotte's Library
- Civilian Reader
- Critical Mass
- Curated Fantasy Books
- Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews
- Edi's Book Lighthouse
- Everything is Nice
- Falcata Times
- Fantasy & SciFi Lovin' News & Reviews
- Fantasy Cafe
- Fantasy Literature
- Far Beyond Reality
- Genre Reader
- Jeff VanderMeer
- King of the Nerds
- Layers of Thought
- Neth Space
- Only The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy
- Pat's Fantasy Hotlist
- Rob's Blog O' Stuff
- Smorgasbord Fantasia
- Speculative Book Review
- Stainless Steel Droppings
- Tez Says
- The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
- The Bibliosanctum
- The Book Smugglers
- The Nocturnal Library
- The OF Blog
- The Speculative Scotsman
- The Vinciolo Journal
- The Wertzone
- Tip the Wink
- Val's Random Comments
- Voyager Books
- Walker of Worlds
- ► 2016 (140)
- ► 2015 (136)
- ► 2014 (155)
- ► 2013 (260)
- ► 2012 (287)
- ► 2011 (317)
- "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet" by David M...
- "The Invisible Bridge" by Julie Orringer (reviewed...
- The Mind Behind The Empire of Moghul: An Interview...
- "PS Showcase 8 - The Library of Forgotten Books" b...
- Iain M. Banks Returns to the Culture Universe in O...
- "Sisters Red" by Jackson Pearce (Reviewed by Cindy...
- "Storm From the Shadows/Mission of Honor" by David...
- "The Map of All Things" by Kevin J. Anderson (Revi...
- "Raiders from the North: Empire of the Moghul" by ...
- Author Guest Blog: Stephen Zimmer, Author of Risin...
- Another Upcoming Novel That I Cannot Stop Talking ...
- Spotlight on William Barton - Dark, Explicit 90's ...
- "Maze Runner: Book One in Maze Runner Trilogy" by ...
- "The Office of Shadow" by Matthew Sturges (reviewe...
- GIVEAWAY: Win a Copy of Kelly Link's Pretty Monste...
- Guest Author Blog Post: Kelly Link Author of Prett...
- "Lord of The Changing Winds: The Griffin Mage Book...
- "Naamah's Curse" by Jacqueline Carey (Reviewed by ...
- "Dragon Soul" by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett ...
- "New Brighton Acheological Society: Book One The C...
- "Ship Breaker" by Paolo Bacigalupi (Reviewed by Ci...
- Interview with Tad Williams
- Top Five SF Novel of the 00's - At All Costs by Da...
- "Fever Dream" by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child...
- "Rhone" by John A. Karr (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo...
- "The Pyramid of Souls: Magickeepers Book 2" by Eri...
- "Absorption" by John Meaney (Reviewed by Liviu Suc...
- "The Ninth Avatar" by Todd Newton (Reviewed by Cin...
- Interview with JC Marino, Author of Dante's Journe...
- "Dante's Journey" by JC Marino (Reviewed by Mihir ...
- An Invitation to David Weber's Honorverse (by Liv...
- ▼ June (31)
- ► 2009 (466)
- ► 2008 (376)
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Official Jones&Bennett Website
Order Dragon Soul HERE
Read FBC Review of Havemercy HERE
Read FBC review of Shadow Magic HERE
INTRODUCTION: After taking a bit of a (successful) gamble in following "Havemercy" with "Shadow Magic" that kept the four narrator structure but changed all narrators, the location from Volstov to Ke Han, the theme from metal dragons and war to diplomacy and treachery and alternated the perspective of the "good guys" from the series debut with the one of their long time enemies, the authors return to the magical dragons and the odd duo of Thom and Rook from Havemercy, so Dragon Soul can be looked at as a direct sequel to it also.
As the other series novels, Dragon Soul was a book that once I opened, it just took me in and I could not stop reading it until the end. There is something "magical" about these books, so despite their switching theme, location, narrators - and all the 10 narrators so far when adding the two new ones from Dragon Soul have quite distinctive voices - I need only to browse them to be entranced again and again...
FORMAT/CLASSIFICATION: Dragon Soul stands at 400 pages divided into seventeen numbered chapters and keeping the series structure of alternating four narrators. This time in addition to the aforementioned two, there are two women pov's which are the first such in the series as it happens.
Malahide is a young magician and secret agent of the Esar of Volkov who traded her voice for an enhanced magical sense of smell that she uses to track her "prey".
Madoka is a Ke-Han scavenger/treasure hunter from an impoverished village who finds an unexpected magical artifact that may turn to be her downfall.
When remnants of the famous war dragons of Volkov - who were assumed destroyed at the end of the war while being banned to be reconstructed by the peace treaty that followed - turn out on the black market and rumors that a true "dragon soul" has also been found, Malahide is provided with an artificial voice box by the Esar and sent to investigate, while of course Rook will drag Thom anywhere to achieve closure with his beloved Havemercy.
Dragon Soul is adventure fantasy on the border with epic fantasy and it reads as a standalone with a definite ending.
ANALYSIS: While reading "Havemercy" will give you a grounding into its world, as well as getting you acquainted with Thom and Rook on their home turf, "Dragon Soul" does not need the previous volumes in an essential way and it can be read as an introduction to the authors' wonderful universe.
On the other hand keeping the same structure, the same narrative style and the authors' approach to storytelling means that your degree of enjoyment of "Dragon Soul" will strongly correlate to the other two.
Malahide and Rook are clearly the movers and shakers pov's and their actions power the novel, but Madoka's story adds a necessary piece of the puzzle as well as providing a complementary view from the Ke Han perspective. Thom plays more the role of an observer and he even tries to write down his "adventures" with Rook, to the disgust of the latter. On the other hand I thought that structurally Thom is the most important pov since his narration serves as an authorial voice that grounds the rest of the story.
Geographically Dragon Soul leaves the familiar territory of the two empires which are nominally at peace now and ventures into the southern desert, home of supposedly savage tribes, but also of treasure hunters and exile place of powerful magicians that annoyed the Esar. This "universe expansion" is another wonderful feature of the book and the world building is as good as in the previous volumes, while being quite distinct too.
There is new magic of the desert, while several more powerful characters appear of which the tribal leader Kalim is the most impressive; his first encounter with Rook is one for the ages.
If there is a niggle, the ending is a bit rushed like in the previous volumes for that matter with lots of things happening suddenly in the last 15-20 pages.
Overall Dragon Soul (strong A) by expanding the universe of the series beyond Volstov and Ke-Han and introducing quite a few more fascinating characters while keeping the "magic" of the earlier volumes is a superb addition to a series that I hope will keep going since I want to read more about its universe.
12:01 AM | Posted by Liviu | | Edit Post