Dragon Fate (4 star) is the debut novel from fantasy author J D Hallowell. This heroic fantasy begins with the ex-soldier Delno assisting a pregnant dragon, neither a safe nor easy task. Set in a vivid world where Dragon Riders are revered, if mysterious, Delno suddenly find the quiet life he wanted turned upside down by the baby dragon to whom he is bonded and suddenly he is embroiled in intrigue, politics, murder and even a fight to save himself and the dragons. He is also gifted with a Dragon Blade by the dying dragon he helps, a rare and powerful item indeed.
There is a lot of info, but I found the relationship between the dragons and the riders enchanting. It is complex, each complementing the other, it is also very close, so much so that one cannot live without the other. The first half of the book at least is the building of the relationships, the well described and well thought out maturing of Geneva, the dragon, even to dragon anatomy.
The actual adventure, which leads into book 2 (Dragon Blades) doesn’t really start in earnest until the later part of book 1 but as a set up for the world, the characters and the complexities it is really very good. There is also the burgeoning relationship between Delno and the fiesty female Rider Rita, which certainly is not an easy one in many ways.
There were a few technical issues, but for me they did not detract overmuch from the story.
Dragon Blades (5 stars!)is the second installment and this one I really couldn’t put down, I actually stayed up very late trying to finish as the adventure was so enthralling.
Delno and his friends must convince other Riders and even wild dragons to unite to thwart the machinations which will lead to war.
The battle scenes in both books I found exciting and entertaining and certainly there was a good deal of both death and danger.
I am not sure if it was the author’s intention but I found a distinct environmental message within the story about use of the land and resources and the danger of greed and bad land management. This is well done and provoked thought and reflection.