I have wanted to read a book by Michael Meyerhofer for quite some time, specifically his Dragonkin Trilogy.
I had the opportunity to review this new series - which follows the Dragonkin trilogy - thanks to Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. The expectations were high and it did not disappoint! I really was happy to go through this book!
Now, to provide some context, this was such a fast paced book that I ended up reading it in 3 working days, I was surprised about it myself! And I was concerned about my lack of knowledge about this world and the first trilogy but I was not hindered at all! I enjoyed it so much!
The writing is there, the story is addictive and the characters are a variety, diverse and interesting twists. Also, did I mention there is magic? I love magic! Specifically I loved two aspects about the magic conceptualized in this world: On one side, magic is associated with a specific race (Shel'ai) - and there is not other way to see it! - and the color associated with it, always purple!
About the world and conceptualization of it, I loved the use of several races - some of them are clearly identifiable visually. I truly enjoyed it! Another element I love is the diversity - to some extent connected to the use and interaction of many different races but also connected to LGBTQ+ characters, especially since some of the main characters, Maddoc and Sang Wei, are gay! And you know that I am a fan of diversity!
The use of the world is quite limited though - provided that I did not have a map available, I had a difficult time to visualize the movement only by reading the book (but I always do and for a very long time I was never too interested into maps, until a couple of years ago!) and it felt that the world could have been used to a greater extent!
The story itself might be more of a foundation book - the end of it really opens a whole new world, there is a reason why the name of the trilogy refers to gods! - but it is genuinely a start with the boom, it does not lack of anything, the amount of action, battles, (swords fights present but to some extent are a bit hidden), violence (utter violence really), war, extreme sacrifices. I truly enjoyed all of it, the story is really interesting, the twists and turns are there!
When it comes to characters, Locke and Igrid are solid characters and they seem to have some depth.I truly enjoyed also the full extent of use of female characters, especially when there was a full party of women roaming around the world. It was so unexpected and I genuinely enjoyed! An Iron Sister, a mage and a ranger. I cannot stop praising this choice because it was something I look forward in modern fantasy, it is a world that provides for women to be as strong and powerful as men.
Unfortunately, the other characters seemed a bit rushed; don't get me wrong, it is visually clear the trauma the characters went through but it felt like there was not enough development on the characters. Now, it is a shorter book than what I have been reading lately but I really missed some character depth there. I was just hoping that Zeia and Keswen had more development, I believe these are the kind of characters I really start to have a longing for! It might also be that the characters - provided that in the prior series they really go through really utter violence and survive - were better focused in the prior series yet, it was a bit of a missed opportunity from my perspective!
The second reason why the book does not have a full 4 star, is that even the story seems to cut corners. It is clear and straightforward, don't get me wrong, it is a strong fantasy story, yet it misses something especially the "intervals" between more important scenes are not there.
In essence, I think this is a book that might have benefit from a slightly longer plot and character development but it might also be that this is Michael Meyerhofer's style and I missed some references (because I did not read the other trilogy!).
Totally recommended for fantasy lovers!