Dragonslayer reveals a kingdom waking from a long slumber free of magic and dragons. When a forgotten foe emerges from his cavern, it’s up to the most unlikely of heroes to save the day. What ensues is the oftentimes hilarious story of a knight well past his prime and his attempts to regain some of the glory he lost decades ago. It’s action-packed, filled with intrigue and betrayals, surprises and ferocious magic. Most importantly, it’s entertaining from start to finish.
The book provides a rare break from stock fantasy characters, giving us an unlikely hero, a sorceress without any formal training, and a dragon whose perspective we get to experience. The hero provides a hilarious focal point. He’s the antithesis of a revered knight, fallen from grace amidst an endless blur of drink and laziness. His past successes have caught up with him and, though he knows he’s no match for a dragon in his later years, he takes on the task without blinking an eye. He doesn’t take anyones crap, making him one of the most interesting people in this otherwise typical medieval kingdom. Mobs, highwaymen, villains – all of them seem to fall to his sheer lack of fear. With Solene, we get an introduction into the magic that was once a great force in the kingdom. She quickly grows from an unsure amateur hiding among distant villages to an extremely powerful mage whose abilities become terrifying.
The most interesting perspective comes from the dragon as he awakens from a centuries-long slumber. It’s a rare thought process to follow, showing humans as the villains who have forced these once majestic creatures to fight back viciously. There’s a deep sadness throughout when you realize he’s the last of his kind. He’s misunderstood as so many dragons are, making the central task of his slaying bittersweet.
Overall, Dragonslayer is a break from the norm. We get to follow these characters as they journey into the unknown, vowing to protect the kingdom from a foe pulled straight out of legend. In addition to well-written fights and skirmishes, a rich mythology is revealed from the kingdom’s earliest days, promising a fascinating continuation as the series progresses. I look forward to seeing what awaits our unlikely hero and the powerful sorceress in the books to come.
By Duncan M. Hamilton
Published by Tor Books
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.