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Dragon & Phoenix
Volume 2

 

 
 
 
   
  in brief
the last dragonlord
joanne bertin
the good: essentials are all here, and well executed. full of adventure, romance, politics, and characters with believable depth.
 
the bad: gullibility of the characters can be frustrating. there's some graphic violence in here, perhaps scripted a little too visually.
we say:
8.5
 
 
 
in depth

In the world of Joanne Bertin's 'The Last Dragonlord', the focus of the book is, strangely enough, the Dragonlords. Initially born as humans, they eventually become changelings, with the ability to transform into a dragon whenever they desire. There lives are long enough that they can be considered immortals, yet their numbers are few, and it is believed that no new Dragonlords will be born in the future. Historically, they have been given the task of mediating the five human kingdoms when an agreement cannot be reached without them. Even the mightiest of Kings bends knee to a Dragonlord.

Long extinct, the ancient enemy of the Dragonlords, the society called 'The Fellowship' has been resurrected. Leading the fellowship is a power-hungry mage, who's strength is derived from the bloody murders of children. His goal is to seize the throne of Cassori, one of the human kingdoms.

The current heir to the throne is a small boy whose fate rests on the decision of the Dragonlords. After his mother, the Queen, died in a mysterious accident, the regency is contested by two uncles. Three Dragonlords must hear all sides, and beset by magic, distrust, and hatred, they must choose a regent for the throne, lest civil break out in Cassori.

One of the three lords is Linden Raithan. Raithan was the last to become a Dragonlord, well over six hundred years ago. He is also the only Dragonlord without a soul twin. Soon, a human friend of many years arrives to take counsel with Raithan, transported on a ship captained by a woman named Maurynna. The beautiful Maurynna may be the only one who can help Raithan find the truth behind the queen's death, and avert civil war.

Throughout the novel, the protagonists are made into real people who can make mistakes, yet still succeed. The antagonists have human frailties and human consciences (well, at least most of them do), separating them from the inhuman villains which have graced all too many fantasy books. All of the personalities of the books characters, both main and minor, are clearly written, easy to remember, and remarkably well thought out.

The plot in general immerses the reader and doesn't let him/her put the book down until it's finished. The story is full of intrigue, action, romance, and everything else you're looking for in a good fantasy novel. It's got some innovative ideas, and is a welcome departure from your regular fantasy fare.

 

reviewed by dragonsworn staff
 
   
  in closing
a good book. you'll be pacing the room, waiting for the sequel, Dragon and Phoenix, to arrive. if you have the chance, pick this title up.