The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

Rage of Dragons is a book that follows well-trodden fantasy traditions but does it in its way. And it works! I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any fans of the genre.

While Rage of Dragons does have dragons in it, they form a background – pulled out from time to time like the ‘big guns’ during battles. It would be impossible for me to discuss their exact role without providing a major spoiler.

The book’s hero, Tau, follows the story arc many fans of fantasy would recognise. He is of a lower class background, destined to be little more than battle-fodder, but when he suffers a significant loss, he sets out to change all that. The fight scenes are numerous, never dull and relevant to Tau’s journey. I also think there is a clever twist to in the form of Tau training strategy, and how it might enable him to become like no fighter in his caste, or outside of it. 

The plot includes the individual agendas of different characters and how these impact on Tau, who finds that his simple mission of revenge isn’t always that straightforward. I think the way the different elements of the story come together is skilfully achieved, and let’s all the characters shine. Tau’s actions often frustrated me but I that didn’t stop me from finding him compelling.

The world-building offers something different despite being a familiar fantasy world that is comprised of a caste system society, has an exhausted group underdogs, includes dragons, epic battles and magic. Despite tipping it’s hat to traditional fantasy this book manages to offer something refreshingly different. The magic system, the setting, the pace and everything else about this book kept me hooked from start to finish.

The author, Evan Winter, describes the world of Rage of Dragons as not being tightly held to any real-world culture, army, or history, though, takes influence from African culture. He’s given an interesting interview at https://www.tor.com/2019/07/22/evan-winter-explains-how-his-self-published-book-was-picked-up-by-orbit-books/ 

Self-published initially on Amazon the four-book series was picked up by publishers Orbit. The second book in the series, The Fires of Vengeance, is due out in the UK later this year, in November and I’m very much looking forward to continuing the journey.

This book also inspired me to make my first ever ‘vlog’ (gulp!)

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