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Dragon's Winter by [Lynn, Elizabeth A.]
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Dragon's Winter Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Karadur and Tenjiro are twin sons of Kojiro Antani, the dragon lord of Ippa. But only Karadur, whose name means "fire-bringer," bears the blood of the dragon in his veins. His younger brother, Tenjiro or "Heaven's hope," was second out of the womb and is the weakest and smallest of the two. As the twins grow to maturity, Karadur is anxious to attain the promise of his blood and transform into the dragon he is capable of becoming. But Tenjiro, who bears the scars of Karadur's claws, resents his older brother and, on the eve of Karadur's transformation, steals the talisman that makes the change possible. That same night he disappears, fleeing to a distant, icy realm where he will reemerge as a powerful wizard bent on destroying his older brother. But Karadur, lord of Dragon Keep, is prepared to go to war against Tenjiro, and it's likely only one will survive. --Craig Engler

From Publishers Weekly

Utterly engrossing, Lynn's first novel in 13 years demonstrates the command of her genre that has earned her two World Fantasy Awards. Of the twin sons, Karadur and Tenjiro, born to the shapechanging Dragon King Kojiro Atani of Ippa, only one inherits the dragon nature. Tenjiro, bitterly envious of his brother's supernatural abilities, masters an evil lore long thought vanquished. He perverts the affection of Karadur's lover, the musician Azil, and steals the magic talisman that enables Karadur to take dragon form. Standouts among the sensitively drawn supporting figures who accompany Karadur on his avenging path are three shapechangers: Hawk, who's a woman warrior and bow-maker; Wolf, her martyred comrade; and Bear, as formidable an ally as he is ferocious a foe. Lynn's painstaking creations of Ippan life from castle to cottage and her deft, profoundly convincing characterizations match her skill at conveying the intricacies of hand-to-hand combat in a world where what matters most is a man or woman's bravery in leaving it. Like Lynn's Chronicles of Tornor (Watchtower, etc.), this is a fantasy that readers will cherish?and there's a promised sequel to look forward to, as well.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 745 KB
  • Print Length: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (April 1, 2014)
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J3EU388
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,378 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
well, let's say it bluntly: i am fed up with ms lynn's shortcomings.

she is a distinguished writer, i would give nearly anything to be half as good as she is, but she goes on casting her pearls to swines; she has done it in all her previous novels and she keeps on doing it.

the plot is inconsistent, sometimes slow, sometimes rash and superficial. jealousy between brothers is to say the least trite and she does nothing to develop the issue in a convincing way.

many reviewers have complained about the crude violence spattered throughout the book: i do not mind bloodshedding (i do not like it either, especially if it involves the main characters), but i DO mind other things:

- the evil brother is absurdly commonplace, he lacks any depth and his being possessed by an ancient entity is too easy a device.

- the dragon brother has good potential as a character, but ms lynn wastes any opportunity to make him such: he just looks like a tyrannical brat you cannot smack on the nose because he can set you on fire at will.

- there is no character throughout the book one feels satisfied about: the two decent (not distinguished, just tolerable) ones die after much description but before any real action.

- plot twists are to say the least contrived and absurd. after the death of the evil brother we have an episode with brigands which makes no sense at all and tops an incredible amount of imbecilities.

- last but not least ms lynn keeps on indulging in a most peculiar idea of homosexuality: she tries to convince us that the dragon brother, after years of passionate love for the court musician (another potentially great character totally wasted) can not only discard this love but also discard men entirely. an irritating notion indeed especially because she forgets to give us not only a plausible but any reason at all about why he should find the popped up woman of the last pages attractive.
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Format: Hardcover
I thought this was a dreadful book, and am surprised at the good reviews it's gotten. First, the characterization of the main (not the minor) characters seems half hearted. Wolf and Thea don't say or do much--their development occurred before the story in the past perfect. (The same goes for Hawk and, to some extent, Bear.) Dragon has a little more action and much more potential, but he is likewise inactive. (His three battle scenes are cursory.) When an author describes a character not by his actions or his words, but rather by reference to past events, innuendo, and the reactions of other characters, the reader has to work hard to create the character. In this case, too hard. I expect Lynn means to use the characters in subsequent books. To my regret, I do not care about any of them.
(As a minor point, the dialog of Shem, the toddler, seems to have been contrived by an author who hasn't been around baby boys in a while. For example, his phrase "Shem get down" seems anomalous when compared to the rest of his lines. ("Shem get down" comprises 40% of Shem's contribution to the book; "Boof!"; "Boppy"; "Shem go home?"; "Dragon coming"; "Shem sure"; "Dragon come"; "Shem warm"; "Dragon gone"; and "Where dragon go?" account for the rest) I have never met a child who, after mastering at least one subject/predicate combination, still had a vocabulary of less than 10 words, as Shem has. Perhaps my experience is not typical.)
Second, the structure of the story is disjointed; it has no sense of direction.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have long thought that there is a dearth of lyrical writers such as Patricia McKillip and Robin McKinley in the fantasy genre. It was with delight, then, that I discovered Elizabeth Lynn's _Dragon's Winter_.
Her style of writing is beautiful and smooth, letting you flow from one page to the next. And although elements of the plot are familiar to any veteran reader--betrayal, shapechangers, kingship--they are pieced together in a compelling fashion.
Characterization is subtle but definitely present. The major character, Karadur Atani, is a reserved man with a temper, yet it is easy to sympathize with his tragedy and urge him toward victory. Lynn devotes time to other characters, even the minor ones, as well, crafting them with an elegance that makes you mourn them when they pass out of sight. My main complaint here would be about the antagonist. There is only a pretense at offering a full-fledged motive for him, and all of the villains turn out flat.
The other lack in this novel would be in the world-buildling. There are some details that are oversimplified, especially in contrast to the richness Lynn displays in other parts. Although the intensity of the latter is more than welcome, it seems to have drained careful consideration from some areas.
Still, it's a worthwhile read. It's best to let the words wash over you, in the manner of music, and concentrate on enjoying what you can and overlooking what you can't. The ending may disappoint some, but a little thought can yield satisfaction with the conclusion.
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