- File Size: 2762 KB
- Print Length: 732 pages
- Publication Date: January 4, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006U1NUS2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,562 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Song of Dragons: The Complete Trilogy Kindle Edition
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Blood of Requiem starts of on a bit of an off footing. We are swiftly introduced to Dies Irae who in the first few pages of the book manages to wipe out most of the Vir Requiem. Fast forward nearly two decades and the Vir Requiem are but a memory. We meet a young Kyrie Eleison who somehow survived the massacre. He has been in hiding ever since but his world is about to be destroyed yet again as Dies Irae has gotten wind of this one surviving dragon. Kyrie narrowly escapes and starts a journey to find the lost king of the Vir Requiem who is rumoured to survive to this day.
Daniel Arensons writing style is unforgiving. It becomes clear within pages they do not come much crueler then Dies Irae and Daniel does not soften the blow but bluntly details the cruelty that exists in this fantasy world. Our heros are flawed giving them a sense of reality and then there is this underlining argument that Dies Irae for a large part is a product of the Vir Requies ego in that they are superior to non dragon folk. For much of the book you are kept on the edge of your seat as our heros fall from one bad situation to another Dies Irae always seeming to be a step ahead of them. Eventually you learn too much and it lessens the surprise though it is a skill Daniel hones in later books.
Tears of Requiem starts where Blood of Requiem left you, Dies Irae has been defeated and the world looks bright but it is something that is not meant to last. Dies Irae is still around licking his wounds but it is his protege Gloriae that sets things into real motion when in a moment of, well, insanity she sets loose the nightshades. In the nightshades Daniel has created the ultimate nightmare, unstoppable creatures that leave nothing in their wake but this story brings forth some surprising twists not the least of which is the revelations Gloriae will go through.
Finally there is Light of Requiem, after the nightshades are finally defeated Dies Irae unleashes an even more twisted enemy, monstrous creations sewn together from animals and humans alike come to life by the magic of gems. They are made even more frightening as they take away the power of the Vir Requiem to shift into dragons. It leaves your rooting for our dragon hero's page after page while wondering how in heavens name they will survive.
The beginning of the description on Amazon states,"Song of Dragons, an epic fantasy trilogy, tells the story of Requiem -- a fallen, ancient land whose people could become dragons... and whose last survivors dream of flying again."
Since I read this trilogy as a 'single' book, that is how I shall review it. An entertaining series, this epic tale covers a span of decades, yet is mostly set within just a few consecutive years. Yet these few years are filled with a lifetime's worth of living.
There are several protagonists that appear throughout the story, but only one main antagonist. And like any good family, the original protagonist and antagonist are brothers. Not just any brothers, they are royalty. However the elder brother, Dies Irae, becomes the antagonist when he is passed over in favor of his younger brother, Prince Benedictus, to inherit the crown. The King considers Dies Irae to be his shame, simply because he does not have the requisite magic of the Vir Requis to shift and become a dragon - thus he can't possibly be considered as the next in line for king. This one decision eventually leads to patricide and ignites a war. Intended to be genocide of his own people, Dies Irae goes on to be the ultimate cause of the destruction of entire species.
The war is considered over as all the Vir Requis, or weredragons as Dies Irae names them, are supposed dead. Yet there is a rumor that King Benedictus the Black (due to his being a black dragon) lives on. And that rumor is what keeps one young Vir Requis from losing all hope, particularly when his home is no longer safe for him and he is on the run from Dies Irae himself.
A small band of surviving Vir Requis, including Benedictus, are chased from place to pace by Dies Irae and whatever army he builds. Somehow these four dragons manage to do what over a hundred thousand couldn't - they not only survive the armies of Dies Irea, but they go on to destroy them. Yet Dies Irae's insanity spurs him to continue to creates ever worse armies to throw at these dragons. Clearly much of the story is about battles and fighting, running and hiding - enough that Arenson manages to create a trilogy. One would think that all the warring and running would becoming boring well before the third book, yet he manages to infuse them with enough creativity to keep it from feel to repetitive.
He has created completely believable characters that are emotionally relatable. And they grow at the right pace, matching the action of the plot. You want to cheer for the good guys while still being able to see their flaws and, at times, want to hit them over the head with a golf club. And he makes the antagonist so repulsive that it can be difficult to read about him at times, yet you forget that tiny spark buried inside him that is the root of all his cruelty.
The world that Arenson has created is similar to others that are found in epic fantasies, yet has added his own distinctive mark. Never was there a time where the story was interrupted by a discrepancy in the world he crafted, or by a character stepping out of their role.
I enjoyed this trilogy enough that I was excited to learn that Mr. Arenson has more plans for to continue on in this world - but far enough into the future to hopefully avoid any redundancy in his storyline.
On a side note: I find myself compelled to comment on the names of the main characters, as there is a theme that is both intriguing and also slightly entertaining, as if he is testing the reader. For example, there is King Benedictus, Kyrie Eleison, Dies Irae, Gloriae, Agnus Dei, and Lacrimosa. And of course their relation to their homeland, Requiem. It seems clear that Arenson is specifically using the religious aspect of each name to tell another, more basic tale. The simplified version of good versus evil. It would seem that he is testing the reader's knowledge of the Requiem Mass. Either that or he is hugely inspired by it.
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I would not recommend this to anyone