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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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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 setting is what intrigued me. I've often wanted read a good book about a world like this and Mr. Genesse has done a very fine job of it. I do highly recommend it for older teens and adults who enjoy dragons and dwarves.
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