Series: Dragonslayer #1.
Writer(s): Duncan M. Hamilton.
Publisher: Tor Books.
Format: Advance Review Copy.
Release Date: July 2nd 2019.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.
Who doesn’t enjoy a good story featuring dragons? These giant flying puppies with flamethrowing abilities are beautiful gems meant to be cherished for their mere existence. However, killing these creatures has also always been an act that poor heroes have been trusted with countless times. A task this huge isn’t exactly one that anyone could easily accomplish, however. Set in the same world as his previous two trilogies, the Society of the Sword and the Wolf of the North, Duncan M. Hamilton sets his eyes on releasing three new novels within twelves months. Focused on magic, knights, and dragons, this fast-paced, action-adventure fantasy story gives fans a twist on the classic stories of dragon-slaying and witch-hunting.
What is Dragonslayer about? In Mirabaya, the skies were free of dragons for over a millennium. While the Chevaliers of the Silver Circle have fought and slain the beasts for countless years, they are now embracing a life of debauchery and drunkenness with little heroism to highlight their days. Simultaneously, the great mages of the past were overthrown, leading the lands exempt of magic. It is the return of a lone dragon causing terror and chaos to countless villagers that the young king of Mirabaya sought the help of the last Chevalier of the Silver Circle to honor the knights of old and rid the land of this newly emerged flying creature.
What initially seemed like a straightforward and simple quest turned out to be an entertaining and captivating hunt with some political schemes as sub-plots. With a mysterious hero—who doesn’t exactly consider himself as one—guiding the reader on a death wish, Duncan M. Hamilton does a great job in keeping the reader hooked on the idea that the foreshadowed confrontation between man and dragon will most likely be epic in some shape or form. While dragon-slaying seems typical in some classic Arthurian tales or video games, the author gives this story an interesting edge by providing readers with the dragon’s point of view alongside that of the protagonist.
Witchhunts are also part of the narrative as magic is not well-seen within society after years of not having need of it. While hunting down witches is common, mages remain hidden and attempt to live their lives in secrecy. Duncan M. Hamilton brilliantly incorporates this angle without dwelling too long on its importance. While magic and dragons are crucial to this story, it remains to be noted that the world-building isn’t as impressive as it could’ve been, leaving plenty of room for the author to develop his world in the next book. This niggle could also be explained by the fact that this new trilogy is set in a universe that is already established by two other trilogies, that might also be worth checking out first but not mandatory at all.
Dragonslayer is an enchanting and fast-paced fantasy-adventure story where mankind confronts dragons within magical boundaries to attempt to achieve heroic feats.
Thank you to Raincoast Canada and Tor Books for sending me a copy for review!