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Bitterwood (Dragon Age) Mass Market Paperback – June 26, 2007

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Bitterwood (Dragon Age) + Dragonseed: A Novel of Dragon Age + Dragonforge: A Novel of the Dragon Age
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Product Details

  • Series: Dragon Age
  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Solaris; 1 edition (June 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184416487X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844164875
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.2 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #927,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In the distant future—year 1070 of the Dragon Age, to be exact—Earth has been commandeered by dragons, who subject their human inferiors to lives of misery and squalor, either as slaves or pets. Human Bant Bitterwood, consumed with thoughts of vengeance against the dragons he believes murdered his family, goes on a dragon-killing spree that makes him a folk hero among the oppressed human populace. When Bitterwood slays the dragons' crown prince, Bodiel, their king vows to exterminate humankind—the only way he can be certain of victory over Bitterwood. To that end, the king enlists his murderous brother Blasphiel to build a city that will serve as humanity's abattoir. Maxey's world is stunningly imaginative, a landscape both familiar and alien, and packed with thoughtful treats for readers. Skillfully examining themes of faith, martyrdom and heroism, Maxey maintains an unflagging believability even while borrowing some of the most generic elements from science fiction and fantasy. The dragons are wonderfully written, as is the tormented hero; it is almost a shame that the story is so self-contained, as many readers will pine for a whole series of Dragon Age titles. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

James Maxey is winner of the Phobos Writing Contest and author of Nobody Gets The Girl. He has attended Orson Scott Card's Literary Boot Camp, and studied under Harlan Ellison. He lives in Chapel Hill, NC

More About the Author

I live in Hillsborough, NC with my wife Cheryl. My work is known for fast paced action and humor, with each story built around a large moral question.

My works to date are:

His superhero novels:
Nobody Gets the Girl (2003): A tale on an invisible man and the women who dig him.
Burn Baby Burn (2011): A love story about two supervillians on a crime spree.
Coming in 2013: The Confessions of Cut-Up Girl!: A young girl with the power to create duplicates of herself by cutting off body parts gets swept up into a war between the Lawful Legion (the only superhero team authorized by the government) and Red Line, a team of super-powered vigilantes fighting to save a world that fears them.

My Dragon Age novels:
Bitterwood (2007): In a world where dragons rule over men, the mysterious hunter Bitterwood wages war against the beasts from the shadows.
Dragonforge (2008): When all out war breaks out between dragons and men, the human forces stage a daring attack on the heart of the dragons' military might--the fortress town of Dragon Forge.
Dragonseed (2009): As war takes its toll on both mankind and the dragons, disease and famine threaten to sweep the land. Does salvation lie in the talons of dragon claiming mystical healing powers, who feeds his followers the miraculous dragonseed?
Coming in 2013: The Complete Bitterwood. An ebook collection that collects the three core Dragon Age novels, plus the prequel short story "Tornado of Sparks," plus the previously unpublished novel "Empire of Angels," the book that laid the blueprint for the published novels that followed.

My Dragon Apocalypse novels:
A more lighthearted take on fantasy than my Dragon Age novels, the Dragon Apocalypse novels blend my love of epic fantasy and my love of superheroes. In each book, superpowered adventurers pit themselves against the primal dragons, elemental beings who are manifestations of aspects of nature.
Greatshadow (2012): Twelve superpowered adventurers band together to slay Greatshadow, the primal dragon of fire. But, before they fight the beast, can they first survive each other?
Hush (2012): When the warrior woman known as Infidel journeys to the frozen north in order to fulfil a promise made to a dying friend, she winds up swept into a plot by Hush, the primal dragon of cold, who plans to murder the sun and plunge the world into permanent winter.
Witchbreaker (2012): Centuries ago, the knight known as the Witchbreaker nearly wiped out the cult of witches. Now, a young witch named Sorrow seeks to launch a new golden age of witchcraft by seeking out the legendary queen of witches, Avaris. She's joined on her quest by an amnesiatic warrior who seems to have come from a different time. Could her new closest ally secretly be the long lost Witchbreaker?
Coming (hopefully) in 2014: Soulless, the sequel to Witchbreaker.

Short story collections:
There is No Wheel (2011): Ten critically acclaimed short stories collected from the pages of Asimov's, Intergalactic Medicine Show, and various anthologies. Dark, weird, funny, and truthful.

Customer Reviews

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All in all a good read that I would recommend to any fantasy/scifi fans.
Great writing, amazing characters, and a gripping story that touches on several different genres that just about anybody would enjoy.
Amazon Customer
I never found myself becoming confused about different characters and how they relate to the story line.
Detra Fitch

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By L. Farina on August 20, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a trilogy review, because I found that Bitterwood and Dragonforge did not end satisfactorily on their own. So, if you are going to read one, you should read all three books.

The Pros:
* The book is a fun read. I didn't want my life back when I finished. The prose is clear, easy to follow, and concise, but descriptive.
* The series concluded with an ending that wrapped things up.

The Cons:
* This series is preachy. By that, I mean that it takes an idea and rams it down your throat. It's very clear where Maxey stands in his beliefs because I felt like I'd been hit with an agenda hammer.
* Where other books added twists, this took wild turns. I found myself thinking, over and over again that the series jumped the shark.
* The characters are a bit 2-dimensional and often incredibly close-minded. This is a series about concepts, not about character growth.

I'm giving it a 3 out of 5 simply for how much I enjoyed the prose of this author, not for the story.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Media Man VINE VOICE on August 26, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bitterwood is book 1 in the "Bitterwood" series by James Maxey. The basic premise is humans are enslaved/ruled by a race of powerful dragon-men (whom I basically pictured as the Draconians from the Dragonlance series). The main character is a man named Bant Bitterwood who is striking out against the oppression by killing the dragon-men wherever and whenever he can. He's a ghostly and legendary figure among both the human and dragon races. Renknown for his ferocity, tenacity and cunning against the dragon race. Here are my thoughts on the book;

Pros <Contains Spoilers>

+ Plenty of interesting and likable characters, mostly the dragons however. Every dragon has their own unique personality and Maxey's writing is perfect at describing these characters. Favorites included Shandrazel (the king's scholarly son), Vendevorex (a wizard), Zanzeroth (a grizzled veteran hunter), and Blasphet (the king's murderous brother). I even enjoyed the character of Zeeky (a little girl) and her pet pig. I normally dislike children in fantasy books but her character had an enduring quality. I did also really enjoy Bitterwood's character however was a bit disappointed that he was nearing the end of his life. You want him to be the hero of the book but in actuality he's become nothing more than a bitter old man (pun intended).

+ Well written and fast paced combat scenes.

+ Well described world. Maxey writes the locales with great description making it very easy to picture the story. Although the world starts out rather small you learn through the story that there is much more beyond the boundaries of the initial story.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 23, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Maxey has an interesting idea for Fantasy. Dragons rule the planet and humans are they slaves. These dragons are not your average Fantasy dragons because they have formed a culture/community and are ruled by a kind. Not your typical fire-breathing, treasure hoarding dragon, right?

The premise for the book is good, but the writing just felt uneven. There were times when the characters felt too contrived and the storyline seemed to be out of control. Too many highs and lows.

Maxey does a good job of explaining events after they have happened, so that you get a larger perspective. I just didn't enjoy the character themselves very much. They just didn't seem to come alive for me because to often their reactions felt canned---like they had to do something a certain way because that's the type fo character they are.

It was not a bad book, but as Fantasy goes it's a medium level product.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jcat on April 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
in a Fantasy book that ends up as primarily Science Fiction. Which is OK with me, as I like both genres. I'd give this almost 3-1/2 stars.

This was the first book of a Trilogy, and the Author did a credible job laying the groundwork for the series. I liked the sci-fi aspect to this fantasy. I liked the character development in the Dragon characters. I liked the political intrigues and the action scenes.

I did not, though, find the human characters very developed or very appealing. And I was disappointed when the best Dragon character was killed off.

It did keep my interest, however, and I will probably continue the series.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rob on August 14, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I don't usually review products, but after seeing that Bitterwood only has 11 Amazon reviews, I thought I would chime in and give it some support.

Bitterwood is one of the best books I've read in a long time, and offers a great combination of interesting characters, exciting action, and a fascinating world to discover. The book offers new twists on familiar ideas, which I think is what makes it such a great read. Is it literally perfect? Maybe not, but it has a level of creativity that few books can match.

If you like science fiction and/or fantasy, you really should give Bitterwood a try!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matthew G. Septer on July 15, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm not going to write about the story of the book or give little bits about it, or even speak in perfect terms about 'the masterful works of the author' and 'breathtaking descriptions'. I'm going to keep it real for you folks. I'm 26 years old and have been reading Fantasy since THE CASTLE IN THE ATTIC. I love Fantasy books, but not Sci-Fi books. I suppose, until now. Maxey put the two together so well, it almost seams that they were meant to be together forever. I've read anything from Tolkien, to Jacques, to Jordan. Take this seriously, when I say it, James Maxey is up there with the best. When I found Paolini's, ERAGON and ELDEST, I was excited that there were new writers out there who really created a fantastical world that seemed to exist so many years ago. Well, as I looked through my local library, I came upon BITTERWOOD, read the first paragraph, and took it home. I read it in a week. Yea, that's not TOO fast, but I do work full-time, workout 5 days a week, and have a house, wife, and 4 pets to take care of. I couldn't put it down. And when I did, I wanted to pick it back up again.
I finished it only to be saddened that it was over. But, off I go onto the internet and find out that DRAGONFORGE is available. So the next day, I went to the bookstore to buy it. It has been just as intriguing as BITTERWOOD. I'm only about 50 pages in, but this morning, I didn't want to go to work because 'it was just getting good'.
Do yourself a favor, if you are reading this, I kid you not, buy them both right now. You will only be freaking out if you buy BITTERWOOD, finish it in 4 days, and then have to wait for DRAGONFORGE to hit your doorstep. Great book! You'll love it.
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