Series: The Dragon’s Blade #1
Publisher: Acorn Independent Press (November 10, 2016)
Length: 408 pages
My Rating: 3 stars
The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King is the debut from author Michael R. Miller. A sweeping epic fantasy focusing on a world terrorized by hordes of demons; it is a place torn by continual warfare. An alliance between all the races (dragons, humans, and fairies) the only defense to the limitless hordes of their otherworldly foes. But now one of the alliance’s most powerful wizards has turned traitor and a new enemy leader has arisen, even the mighty dragons forced to give ground before their hated foes. A state of affairs which the Crown Prince of the Dragons cannot accept . . . will not accept!
As heir to the dragon peoples (In this world, dragons do not soar the skies in bestial form anymore, but have slowly transformed into earthbound humanoids.), Prince Darnuir is the second most influential individual in the kingdom; his opinion openly voiced in all high council matters. And with his frustration about the war and especially the leadership of his father mounting, he believes (as most youth’s do) that his ideas are superior to his father’s, that his leadership would be better than his father’s. But when the demons launch their attack on the dragon capital, the prince’s plans turn to dust, leaving him on the edge of death. The only way to save his life to perform the dangerous rebirthing spell, which will leave Darnuir as a mere babe in human hands!
In my opinion, fantasy books can be categorized according to their main focus. Some are action and adventure tales, where the thrills and chills come often and the characters are only developed enough to give you someone to rout for and against. Other novels are serious books with real life issues developed and dealt with in a fairy tale setting; the action and adventure only enough to enliven the serious narrative. And then there are character driven stories, where one person is carefully crafted, molded from inexperienced youth to good or evil adult; the numerous events and plots revolving around this character’s life like a hurricane around its eye. And The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King is definitely the latter type of novel.
Here the story is Darnuir’s tale. He is the fallen heir of the dragons, reborn and reared by surrogate parents; the narrative tied to his journey from prince to unknowing child then back again; his destiny to someday take up the Dragon’s Blade, magical sword of the Dragon Kings, and drive back the demons. Along his path, many people walk with him at different points, helping to mold him into the dragon he becomes, but he is the eye of this hurricane; all others drawn to him, responding to his irresistible pull.
As for the world around Darnuir, Mr. Miller has put together a fairly standard fantasy setting with familiar faces: humans, demons, dragons, trolls, fairies, and wizards, to name a few. All these races are well developed, lovingly created by an author who definitely puts his own twists on each. (Dragons are humanoids with magical powers; fairies are not tiny Tinker Bells.) The magic filling the world is well thought out, as there is a price for it and its use; magic swords, magical jewels and other magical artifacts being tools to allow the use of more magic or to store memories or for other tasks. And this place is vast with an ancient history, mysterious lore, and engaging mythology.
My favorite part of the book was seeing the proud, self-assured Darnuir reduced to a babe then grow up in another setting. Guess I’m just a sucker for this type of story, but it was interesting to witness how a different environment, different parents, and different upbringing could change so many things about the Dragon Prince yet not affect other qualities at all.
As for my least favorite element of the story, it would be the romantic plots. As a grumpy, old man (Not really, I’m only around forty-years-old and still have small kids who keep me young at heart!), all the YA romance can get fairly eye-rolling at times. Sure, I remember falling madly in love with someone whom I had seen only once, but I also recall how every one of those love-at-first-sight romances turned out. So whenever that sort of thing happens in novels, I tend to start skimming pages, not because the writing is poor but because I just do not wish to go there again. And in The Dragon’s Blade, we have several romantic interludes for old Darnuir which I personally could have done without. Not saying others might not enjoy them however.
Quick paced, surprise packed, and filled with fantasy goodness, this debut by Michael R. Miller showcases his talent for crafting a candy-coated, page turner. It really is just good, old-fashioned fun, which mixes in enough mysteries and unresolved plots to beg the question: “When does the next book come out?”
I received this book for free from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.