In this fantasy world, two twins Ruskya and Duskya are chosen to be Dragon Riders – a respectable and rare profession. But, they find out that they weren’t just selected out of the blue – there’s more family history there. As they battle to keep their villagers and dragons alike safe from dangerous intruders, they also learn more about their family’s past. This is a traditional fantasy with dragons, courage and honor, and it’s a good start to the series.
To start off, the story was a little bit hard to get into. I didn’t enjoy the fact that literally pretty much a few pages in, the children just BAM and grow up. Suddenly they’re, what, 20? 25? Last time I checked, they were ten. I don’t like jumpiness like that, especially when there’s nothing to fill the gap. Those decades could have been at least briefly summarized. However, after this first mishap, the story is quite enjoyable. There are a lot of characters, and almost all are pleasant and nice, although none too fleshed out. They’re quite archetypical, but it works well in a traditional fantasy story. The story is easy to follow, has good morals and, come on – dragons!
So it would make sense to also talk about the dragons. I’m not expert, as I haven’t read many dragon stories (remember the whole “I don’t read a lot of fantasy” bit?), but I felt that the dragons were a wonderful thing in this book. They were smart, sentient, they could talk (telepathically), and they were generally honorable and wise. And beautiful as well! The dragons and the riders shared a specific bond that was generally not replaceable, and if a rider died, so could the dragon. One more thing – the dragons chose their own riders. They were not chosen.
Unfortunately, as much as I liked the story and the dragons, I found the setting incredibly lacking. Okay, so maybe I don’t read fantasy too often – but I’ve read my share of good fantasy (think The Fifth Season), and there’s one thing those books have, and this one didn’t. There was no setting, WHATSOEVER. No back stories about where the dragons came from, no traditions of the world the people live in. Not even a single hint on the time frame or how their society functions. Nothing about lore at all! Good fantasy always has lore – Tolkien even wrote poems! I may not be a fan of his, but we must all agree that it is history and lore that truly make a good fantasy novel. I found nothing of the sort here. We are just to assume what the general store of the village looks like. Or what the herbalist’s job is. Because it’s like that in every generic fantasy story. Well? NO. I am reading THIS story. I don’t want to “have to know”. Please take me into this world, and please build this world for me – your reader. Otherwise, I do not see how I could possibly give the book more than 3 stars?
Yes, I did enjoy the story! Despite the lack of world-building, it was an alright read. Will I want to read the sequel though? I don’t know. Maybe I would consider it. But as an MG story, it is definitely enjoyable, has a natural tone, a good story progression and wonderful virtues. So I couldn’t point out anything negative, apart from the fact that it didn’t immerse me in the story the way I would have wanted it to. Maybe it was just not a story for me! But it could be for you.
Other Books You Might Like
Since I don’t read a lot of traditional fantasy, it was quite hard to find similar books – and here’s just the one. But I really did enjoy Lud-in-the-Mist, and although it sadly lacks dragons, it is also quite a classical tale of fantasy in a traditional fantasy setting.
I thank the author and Aurora Publicity for giving me a copy of the book in exchange to my honest opinion. You can buy the book here at Book Depository and buying using this link supports the blog.
Have you read Dragon’s Future? Do you read a lot of fantasy novels? And do many of them have dragons?