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4.3 out of 5 stars
Dragon Fire
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2012
It seems I must be the dissenting opinion. I read the other glowing reviews of this book and wonder. Maybe I have an earlier version (March 15th, 2012) and the reviews were written about a newly edited version that I haven't seen? Maybe there's something else I don't understand? If this was written by someone in early college or high school, it is an awesome book, but to take its place beside professional fantasy novels, it needs some attention from a talented editor experienced in content editing, line editing, and copy editing, and maybe even a little consistency checking.

The story is wonderful. The author's imagination is fresh and vibrant. The characters are done well. The plot and action are also done well with a few places that are truly fresh and surprising. I would never use the word "formula" to describe this fantasy book.

There are some passages that are truly beautifully written, but then there are lots of others that make my teeth grind, especially when the word choice is just plain discordant. That's when I put the book down and go read something else for a while. It's a beautiful story that would benefit from some general cleaning up that an editor's eye could bring to it.

I find myself very conflicted about my opinion of the book. On the one hand, I couldn't wait for it to be over so I would cease to come across those messed up passages, but on the other hand, I couldn't just stop reading because I had come to care about the characters and the land of Paraysia enough that I had to know how it ended.

All in all, it wasn't a very enjoyable reading experience, but the imagery and ideas were impressive.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2012
Pedro L. Alvarez has done a great job of holding the reader's attention throughout this amazing story. Dragon Fire is well written, has a spell binding plot and excellent characterization. The ambitious Delcan strives to become far more than just a farmer's son. He sets his sights high and in the process, falls in love with Princess Aria. The writer manages to weave a love story into a suspense novel and does so with strong characters and plotting. Well written, good story. I gave this one five stars.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2013
Let me disagree with those that say the characterization is well done. I thought the main character (Delcan) was pretty much worthless and found myself frustrated with him throughout most of the story. As far as a love story, the princess and Delcan seem to fall in love after talking once or twice without any real development in their relationship (felt very forced to me and not really believable). There is a prophecy that is spoken of often, but it doesn't really come to pass as you would expect, so you wonder why the author wasted so much time with it. There is talk of gods that once watched over the land, but this too seems to be a red herring and is never expanded upon. The whole key thing didn't really get explained very well at the end and was pointless in my opinion. This is a stand alone novel, maybe if it was a 2 or 3 book series, it could have been developed better, as a lot of plot threads were introduced but never completed. The author has potential, but I wouldn't recommend this book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2012
The book was very well-written and had a nice flow that didn't have the story getting bogged down in any one spot. The world-building could have used some work; you really don't know anything about the area outside the kingdom, how things came to be, or get any explanation regarding magic, religion, otherworldly creatures, etc. that crop up. But, all in all, it was a fast-paced adventure packed with treachery, rebellion, revenge, and all that good stuff.

The product description is a little misleading. Delcan is 'a' protagonist, but makes no worthwhile contribution to the story and is all around useless. It is clear after the half dozen times our 'hero' faints in the princess's arms that Aria is the one the author spent all his time on. If you like strong-willed female protagonists who overcome overwhelming odds, is calm, capable, and courageous and an apparent strategic military genius to boot (she's like Joan of Arc- but better), you'll like this book.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2012
This fantastic story flows seamlessly like a waterfall in paradise. It is colorful, refreshing, and every bit as powerful. The characters, places, and plot demand your attention in a world of make believe that leaves you entertained and fulfilled. With names and places like Delcan (of course he can) and Twilight crossing (one of my favorites) Alvarez takes you on a journey from which you will never want to come back. Rugged and sensitive, something here for both sexes. Once opened, this book reads itself to you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2013
A good first book. The fight scenes were a little sketchy but I loved the content. The back story was a plus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2012
Absolute wonder! In the company of Christopher Paolini and Terry Brooks. I loved this story of Kings, dragons, squires, knights, wizards and of course a prophecy. "Can a foolish squire, a dreaming princess and an old knight" reclaim a kingdom? Declan is a farmer's son who lives far away from the kindgom of Paraysia, but dreams of becoming a squire. So Declan and his best friend Sandrion start a journey to the kingdom for a competition that would allow them to become a "squire in training" under a powerful seasoned knight. Along comes the princess Aria and things begin to change. Deceite, rebellion, prophecy coming true? Wonderful story I really didn't want it to end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2012
Delcan wants nothing more than win the Flarian Festival and earn a place as a squire. His world suddenly gets turned upside down when he discovers his father's secret past. To top it off he falls in love with the princess, Aria.

This is a coming of age story with a little romance, some adventure, lots of fantasy (what a great new world Mr. Alvarez creates), action, magic and mystery. There are some interesting twists and in the end Dragon Fire is a fun fantasy read.

This copy of Dragon Fire was given to me by Goodreads Making Connections Group and Pedro L. Alvarez in exchange for an honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This book was okay in terms of plot. The prose is beautiful. I don't say that about a lot of books but it really is.
Basically, this is an old plot from most fantasy books - there's no "Ah ha" moment when something unexpected happens. A lot like Paolini. The info dumps are rampant as well. In this kind of fantasy though, they're going to happen. The side characters really carried the story. I liked them. Delcan can use some work. He seemed boring. I'd love to see more of his personality.
But, reading all of these other reviews I seem to be in the minority. Different tastes for different folks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2012
Fast-paced action. Thrilling fight scenes. Romance, dashing knights, pretty princesses, whispers of a dragon. This book has everything you'd expect from a fantasy tale, with none of the cliches. Alvarez matter-of-factly presents his world, painting a picture so clear it's impossible not to envision the neat fields near the farms, the looming menace of the castle, the cold dread inspired by the flashing steel of a sword. In one book he shows the reader the blush of first love, the harshness of a world where everyone is defined by their rank and gender, and the ugly way power can corrupt the soul. Healthy doses of mysticism are thrown in, blending perfectly with the rest of the tale. The characters are compelling and real, inspiring everything from pride to fury to grief.

In short, Dragon Fire is a beautifully-written, completely captivating novel. The strong characters and exciting plot would make it a fantastic book anywhere, not just within the fantasy genre. I'd recommend it to anyone!
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