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by Chris Bunch

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
416 pages; ISBN: 0451460308

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Chris Bunch
Roc, August 2005, $15.00, 416 pp.
ISBN 0451460308

On his way home Hal Kailas saw the lord’s son Nanpean torture a baby dragon; he punches the boy and takes the kit back to his mother. Hal’s family is in danger of losing their tavern for Hal’s actions so he leaves the village of Caerly in the Kingdom of Deraine. He becomes a vagabond, wandering from job to the job, never finding anything that interested him until he becomes the goferr for a traveling troupe that sells dragon rides.

Hal knows he wants to do something with dragons on his own. However, the Queen of Roche uses a land dispute to go to war with Deraine and Sagene. Hal t is conscripted and rises to the occasion to become a leader of men. When his troops are massacred, Hal enlists to be trained to fight on dragons in a new unit. His exploits and daring earn him the hearts and admiration of the populace but the war costs him that what he treasures most. When he is injured, instead of mustering out like the king expects him to, Hal volunteers to lead a new dragon unit as their Dragonmaster.

This book is filled with plenty of action and will appeal to readers who love military fantasy. The use of dragons and magicians to aid in the war effort is so much a part of the storyline that readers will find themselves believing that such things are really possible in wartime. As the hero matures, he and the audience observe the toll of war as humans and dragons die at an alarming rate. Chris Bunch is a talented storyteller who entertains his audience with a fantastic sword and sorcery epic.

Harriet Klausner


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