I have mixed feelings about this book. Theres parts I thoroughly enjoyed and parts that didn't interest me as much as I would have liked. The plot was definitely an interesting one. An old warrior is called out of retirement to slay a dragon. It felt like a classic tale with its own unique twist. The pacing was fast and furious with enough action and politics to keep the reader interested. Although I did find the last 10% to be a bit rushed which kind of threw me. The world building was pretty average. At the start we are shown a huge map which got me excited for some adventure, but we only really see one major city and two small villages. Not a lot happened in these locations enough to spark my interest. I'm hoping we get to see more of the world in the next book.
The characters were the strong point of the book. I liked all the characters and enjoyed following their journeys. The book is split between three main characters, Guillot, Sorene and Alpheratz. The story of Alpheratz the dragon was really interesting and something I've never encountered before. I found myself pitying him and cheering him when he decided to wreak havoc on the countryside. I would have liked to have seen more to Alpharetz' history or even the history of dragons in general. Guillot and Sorene's paths cross when he saves her from being burned at the stake. They go on to form a powerful bond that's more father and daughter than romantic. Guillot was once the most famous warrior of his time. The last remaining member of the Chevaliers if the silver circle and champion of the kingdom. Now he spends most of his day drinking to numb the pain of losing his family. I found myself rooting for him throughout the book and enjoyed the development of his character. Sorene has magic that she has little understanding or control over, causing her to bounce from town to town in escape from actions. I really liked her at first but I cant help but feel she dropped out of character towards the end. Dont get me wrong, I'm all for character development and progression. But she went from a timid young woman who was excited to learn magic to someone who resembled professor McGonagall, strict, bold and busting with confidence. This would have been great if it didn't happen overnight. It made the ending seem a bit rushed.
Overall I enjoyed this book and I'm definitely intrigued to find out what happens next.
Although there was a lot of unanswered questions. I felt the story was still pretty solid and a good start to a promising series. I enjoyed Hamilton writing style and I'm excited to read his other work.