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REVIEW: Wrath of Dragons – Scott King

Wrath of Dragons - Scott King

Genre: Fantasy

Reviewer: Scott

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About The Book

DRAGONS ARE RAVAGING THE LAND! 

Centuries have passed since the lost races vanished. Now the dragons have returned to bathe the world in fire.

Towns burn. Cities fall. War rages.

A magician’s ward sees his chance to be a hero.

A runaway princess seeks a way to save her people.

A rogue dragon wants to be left alone.

They are misfits bound together by fate’s cruel touch and pursued by a shape-shifting assassin who wants to tear them apart.

WRATH OF DRAGONS is the first book in an epic fantasy series packed with unforgettable characters, twisted creatures, and fast-paced action.

Stop the darkness and start your adventure!

The Review

I just finished Wrath of Dragons by Scott King. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I started it (except, well, dragons). What I discovered was a boy wizard, a warrior princess, and a grumpy, overweight dragon-turned-human.

About that last one – from the afterword: 

“I wrote a short script called “Doug the Obese Dragon” for one of my media classes. It was horrible. But it was in that story that Doug was born. His personality was pretty much there from the start. He was cranky. He didn’t like other dragons, and he wanted to be left alone.”

Doug is one of my favorite characters in the story. Doug is brash, annoying and endlessly annoyed, especially by human smells, and packing a full dragon in a human frame. He and the boy wizard Carter have sort of a slow-burn bromance over the course of the book, as Doug the Dragon warms to Carter and his human ways. And Alex, the princess who starts out a little flat, comes into her own over the course of the story too.

There are villains aplenty as well, from the old Sorceress Cooke and a man from Alex’s past named Medrayt, to the endlessly fascinating, basically indestructible shapeshifter Kale.

And then there are the Sisters, also called the Oracles, the architects of many of the interwoven plot lines in the story as they plot to save the Elderealm from a great threat that’s coming later in the series.

Where this book shines are the action scenes. The one with the shoel – creepy flammable worms with razor-sharp teeth – was particularly gruesome and exciting, but there are a few other near-escapes that kick the action of the story into high gear.

My only quibble with the book is the sometimes too-modern language King employed with his characters, which sometimes took me out of the fantasy mindset.

That said, what attracted me to the story was the ultimate hopefulness in the tale. I’m a big proponent of hopeful spec fic, and it was good to hear King affirm that he is too, in his afterword:

“I’m alright with characters dying. I’m alright with them suffering or having terrible things to face, I’m not alright with the lack of hope.”

If you’re looking for a hopeful fantasy adventure that’s not afraid to go a little dark, with a great cast and the promise of much more to come, give Wrath of Dragons and the Elderealm series a try. It’s a crazy ride through a magical realm with just the right amount of angst and tension.

The Reviewer

Scott is the founder of Queer Sci Fi, and a fantasy and sci fi writer in his own right, with more than 30 published short stories, novellas and novels to his credit, including two trilogies.  

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