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The Golden Cord: Book One of the Iron Dragon Series Paperback – January 21, 2012
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About the Author
A toy castle is what sent fantasy author and editor Paul Genesse over the edge and into madness. Dragons and castles gave him reason to live from elementary school through college where he loved his English classes, but pursued his other passion by earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing science in 1996. He was a registered nurse on a cardiac unit in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he worked the night shift for 17 years keeping the forces of darkness away from his patients. Now he is a clinical analyst for the same healthcare company and is enjoying working during the day. His new schedule will hopefully allow him to get more writing done. Paul lives with his incredibly supportive wife, Tammy, and their collection of well-behaved frogs and moderately scary dragons. When he’s not hanging out with Tammy, or at the hospital working, Paul enjoys speaking at schools and conventions about writing. His new interest is interviewing celebrities at large media conventions such as Salt Lake Comic Con and Paul would love to become the nerd version of Jimmy Fallon. Writing short fiction is one of his passions and he is the author of several short stories and novelettes featured in Fellowship Fantastic, The Dimension Next Door, Furry Fantastic, Imaginary Friends, Catopolis, Terribly Twisted Tales, Pirates of the Blue Kingdoms featuring The Pirate Witch, Steampunk’d, Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters, and more. He is also the editor of the five volumes comprising the demon-themed Crimson Pact anthology series. His first book, The Golden Cord, Book One of the Iron Dragon Series has become the bestselling fantasy novel Five Star Books has ever had. Book two, The Dragon Hunters and book three, The Secret Empire are out now. Book four, The Crystal Eye; and the finale, The Iron Brotherhood are scheduled to arrive in 2015. For updates, please friend Paul on Facebook, and “Like” the Official Iron Dragon Series Page or follow him on Twitter. Learn more about the Iron Dragon Series, listen to podcasts, see original art, and watch videos including the amazing cinematic book trailer for The Golden Cord at paulgenesse.com.
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Top customer reviews
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Fantasy novels tend to fall into 2 categories- overly detailed (with a danger of getting bloated. See, Jordan, Robert) or, so threadbare that there is nary a description to be found (mostly narrative form characters point of view, extensive battle scenes, no real world building beyond perfunctory descriptions).
The Golden Cord (and its sequels) fall somewhere nicely in-between.
For the fantasy crowd, know there's a distinct lack of swords, and for a logical reason:instead of orcs/goblins, it's wildlife from the air. Need something to shoot them down with...and it's NOT a longbow, because not everyone can shoot a bow. And humans are a beaten species, with dwarves being the dominant two-legged species. There are reasons given why neither species is perfect, and there are logical elements to both.
This type of seemingly casual, yet well thought-out detail is found throughout the works.
My one quibble is that the romance between the lead character and his girlfriend kind of falls flat. It's a little too much "epic love," chaste yet sole matey, whatever. Didn't really work, and I didn't care for the girl character. Thankfully, she doesn't appear too much.
Mr. Genessee has paid attention to the detail and it results in the reader embracing the logic of this world he created. As an aside, I wonder if it's due to his experience as a editor of the wonderful Crimson Pact Anthology/Shared World/Flash Fiction series. I highly recommend you check them out, even if you don't think you're a fan of the genre! There is something for everyone in those volumes.
I don't give story synopsis as a review (no spoilers!), so, short version: this is money well spent, read and enjoy!
The protagonist is a conflicted, interesting character. However, the book stumbles when it comes to the prose: the writing gets constipated in scenes that could be done with exposition. For example, we're shown multiple drawn-out scenes meant to show that the protagonist will miss his girlfriend, which delays the main quest of the story for dozens of pages that could easily be trimmed. Issues like this make the book unnecessarily slow moving despite a setting, plot and main character that could have made for a fantastic book. It's unfortunate that the execution of the writing bogged down such an imaginative setting, but I'd certainly still recommend it as a worthwhile read.
The short review is The Golden Cord is a good read. There are strong characters in a unique world moving through a story providing originality and twists allowing the reader to be involved. The pace moves along and the reader becomes involved with the characters as they develop and learn more about the eventual dangers they will face. It is an appropriate read for young adults and older. There are a few descriptive passages dealing with the aftermath of battle and an attempted seduction some young readers may find rough.
I enjoyed The Golden Cord for a number of reasons, all of which tie back into the fact it is a good, solid story with the elements I look for in my reading: characters, setting, and storyline.
Drake is the lead character who is the protector of his village, by his own choice is placed in a position of needing to help two racial enemies. Two dwarfs (Drobin), Bellor and Thor, are on a sacred mission and they need a guide to find lost clansmen. They travel together along with Drake's two bullmastiff dogs, Jep and Temus. As expected, they eventually overcome the racial teachings and become friends in the end.
All of the characters, even those from a single scene, have depth. They have strengths and flaws, traits we see in people around us. I was able to relate to every one of them. The relatability of the characters allowed for a greater ability of suspending the disbelief of the fantasy aspects brought into the story. Even to the end of the book the characters don't break from the fundamental understanding of themselves we have been presented.
The world Genesse created is introduced at the beginning of the story. You find yourself in a harsh environment unlike anything we have experienced. Through the characters you are allowed to understand the world as a person who grew up with it. They are not "adapting" to the environment as though we have traveled from our world to theirs, but they are a part of it, living within it, and with it. The setting became a character of its own. I found myself anticipating what other wonders of the world were going to be shown to me. Though the world may not be sentient, every person and creature is part of the environment created.
Because the characters are a part of their world, the elements brought forth are believed by the characters and thus allow the reader the freedom to believe them. The story machinations flow together with the characters and the settings. Everything is presented along a path woven into the larger scenery allowing us to understand how the events could happen. The magic used in the story is justified and requires a price from the user. This shows there are limitations to what any of the characters can do. There is no sudden revelation, no sudden twist of magic that saves the day at the end. What there is an outcome that is logically presented within the facts of the world that has been built.
It is not a hidden fact this is the first book in a series of five. The foundation of the overarching story is established and the story of this book stands on its own. You don't have to have the next book, but I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.