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The Dragon Rises: An Epic Fantasy (The Triadine Saga) Paperback – February 10, 2015
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About the Author
I spent nearly 20 years deciding whether or not I wanted to be an author. My field is information technology, and I specialize on manufacturing systems. It's technical, challenging, and requires you to stay focused and current with changes in the industry. I started going to a fantasy world in my mind many years ago, and the adventures of Peter and Alexandra were my escape from the harsh technical world all around me. The twins were enthusiastic, energetic, eager to go out and explore their world, and willing to take on any challenge necessary. I have often said that I travel to the Upper Aren and come back and write about it, and I really do feel that way at times. My own eclectic interests fueled the twin's activities, as I have been done a little of everything in my life. I suspect it's because of my adult attention deficit disorder, and a need to try everything at least once. I am an American, and was born in Washington State, though I spent a number of years living in Penang, Malaysia and traveled the region on both business and pleasure regularly. I hope you enjoy the adventures of my characters and they become a part of your lives, as they have long been a part of mine.
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This Kindle e-book was approximately 394 printed pages and sold for $4.99 at time of writing this review.
Please Note: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
General Theme (minor spoilers)
This entire saga revolves around the twins, Peter and Alex(a)... also known to a select few as the 'Children of the Prophesy'. A prophesy that the siblings themselves are unaware of, and that vaguely states that they've been chosen as the only hope to save the world from the impending arrival of some unknown, evil presence.
With their real mother dying during their childbirth, they've been raised in secret by appointed guardians, and until now have been leading somewhat sheltered lives. However, as they approach adulthood, sinister elements begin to make moves to prevent them from discovering their true identity and fulfilling their mysterious destiny. Thus continues the convoluted tale of Peter and Alex.
Some thoughts on "The Dragon Rises"...
1.) a comprehensive summary of the major points of the first book, 'The Watcher's Keep', is found as part of early chapters in this book.
2.) a host of intriguing characters, both good and evil... many achieving some decent character development over the span of two novels.
3.) there were situations of intense intrigue, clandestine plotting, betrayals and even an element of young love.
4.) some great battles, between both individuals and large groups. The descriptive accounts of some of these encounters featured some of the best writing in the book.
There was an element of horror in a few torture scenes that were vividly described.
5.) lots of travel over diverse terrain that featured varied topography and several treks involved going through tunnel mazes.
6.) realistic in that important characters could be severely injured or killed.
1.) technically, there were several typos.
2.a) Adult fantasy in one section and then Young Adult (YA) in another. Where there were horrific scenes from battles, deaths and torture, then followed by sections of our young heroes making impetuous decisions or doing unlikely things without thinking them through.
2.b) there were several instances where a situation was saved by a chance discovery or someone turning up, (who just happened to be in the neighborhood) and saved the day. Really, to me, a typical YA novel ploy.
3.a) but my main concern was that this tale just jumped around too much. Our main characters would be here, there, everywhere... they were forever on the move. And they were frequently (and unexpectedly) running into each other in the wilderness. The tale followed so many 'quests' that after a while I became lost (geographically) as to where I was, and this was mostly because there were no...
3.b) maps... there were none. All the locales in this novel were revisited many times, but I never really understood geographically where I was. I think of all the things that took away some of the polish off this otherwise intriguing book, this was the one that stood out the most. Other readers may not care for maps or the information they add... but I do.
4.) some conversations had a stiff and contrived feel to them, especially in sections that featured less action.
5.) the only sub-tale I didn't connect with or understand the reason for its inclusion was Rendil's trek in the frozen north. Maybe this seemingly long diversion will be explained in the next book.
It has it everything needed for epic fantasy... a massive, ongoing struggle pitting the forces of good against the hordes of evil mignons and their despicable masters.
And while I liked the overall concept of this tale (and the one before, "The Watcher's Keep"), I came away with this underlying feeling that the author maybe tried to do too much. Too many 'quests', too many tangents, just too convoluted to the point it began to lose some of that all important sense of believability (believable within the context of the setting). And I think that this is why it took me so long to get through this book. I just found my interest waning because the tale just seemed to be overcomplicated... simply too 'busy'.
Also, because it appears (IMHO) to be intended for an older YA audience, I think lovers of serious adult-orientated fantasy might struggle with some of the material and characters found within these pages. N.B. the amazon.com product page doesn't not categorize this work as either Adult or YA.
So as a older YA novel... 4 Stars.
As an Adult/YA mix... 2 1/2 Stars.