Book 2 of the The Chronicles of Caymin: The Dragonmage Saga, this book stands alone – so if you haven’t read Book 1 (and why not, its excellent) this is still a complete story with a well built ARC. And unlike “Book 1; Rising From the Ashes” which set the scene and was almost YA, this does have lesbian characters, and a definite teaser for more to come.
Caymin and Péist return to ancient Eire from their self imposed isolation and must seek allies, find friends and somehow help end a war… or possibly two. Between the old magic, the power of the dragons and the strength of the land they must find a way for one small girl and a young dragon to achieve what a whole array of Mage and Dragons have failed to do.
This is classic fantasy at its best. The world building is excellent, the incorporation of enough reality in the depiction of the lands and creatures grounds it in a history we can recognize, while sprinkling it with dragons, talking animals and portals to dream-worlds and time travel make it imaginary and unreal. Like many fantasy writers and fans the old days of Celtic and Druid has a built in attraction, calling to something in ourselves from a time both simpler and more complex.
The characters become friends; their trials and tribulations are emotional connections to us, the reader. They draw us in and stay in our minds, becoming a reality in the way of the great storytellers. Ash’s continual growth and the development of her bond with Péist may form the core, but other characters, particularly other young Mage on their own journey, have lessons to learn and trials and tribulations to survive. Among them we can see the beginnings of a powerful group, the future protectors of the forest and the old ways from the battles ahead.
Caren Werlinger is one of our best bards and with a writing style to match. Her words flow effortlessly from page to imagination in the way of the great fantasy writers. So many ‘Game of Throne’ fans out there and yet so few declare themselves fantasy readers… if you love fantasy this series is up there with Robin Hobb, Stephen R. Lawhead and Raymond E. Feist. If you havn’t tried it yet, then a great series written by one of our own, and with just a hit of a lesbian storyline in the minor plots, is an excellent place to start.
Did you know? If you purchase any of the books reviewed on the LRR from our Amazon shop or Amazon page links we receive a couple of cents per book which will help us support the Lesbian Reading Room GCLS Scholarship Fund.
(publisher review copy received)
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