THE RING OF FIVE DRAGONS
by Eric Van Lustbader
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
576 pages; ISBN: 0312872356
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Over a century ago, the vicious V'ornn conquered the peaceful Kundala as the military superiority and the amoral ability to kill overwhelmed the more spiritual people. Brutally enslaved by their conquerors, the Kundala cannot understand why the Goddess Miina abandoned them. The younger Kundala are leaving the ancient beliefs for a new religion as the V'ornn force their culture on the losers with little counter absorption.
Unlike their drones, the V'ornn leadership covet whatever is hidden inside the Kundalan Storehouse where they expect all sorts of sorcery secrets to be found, including eternal life. However they need to find the RING OF FIVE DRAGONS to open the door to the mystical storehouse. If they succeed, will the V'ornn obtain their desires, will they set in motion a doomsday scenario destroying everyone, or will they inadvertently begin the fulfilling of a prophecy that forecasts a Kundalan freedom fighter leading a resistance?
When the RING OF FIVE DRAGONS concentrates on the social interactions and upheavals between the two distinct societies, the novel is a superior fantasy tale. That part of the story line is incredibly insightful as it feels like the German blitzkrieg of Europe, especially when the bellicose V'ornn impact the culture of the pastoral Kundalan. When the story line returns to traditional epic fantasy, it retains its high level of quality and remains a fun to read adventure, but the plot is not any different from some of the other well-written genre tales. Eric Van Lustbader has written a fabulous book that fantasy readers will find entertaining and insightful, but could have been a cultural milestone if it stayed the interrelationship course.
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