This month’s book is The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham. I’ll start with the good. The prologue was amazing. It pulled me in quickly and didn’t let me go. The last line got me super excited about the book. The world in this novel is fascinating. It is set after the fall of the dragons, which I certainly want to know more about! There are many races of humans and a lot of political intrigue. The settings are vivid and clear. The book is bursting with potential.
Unfortunately I don’t feel like that potential was realized. Five hundred fifty-five pages is too long for a prologue, which is what the entire book came across as. It seemed more to hint at the plot than reveal it. I understand that this is merely book one of four, but I wanted more. Instead of making me desperately want to read book two, it made me disappointed that I wasn’t as drawn in as I should have been.
There were several things that caused this. First and foremost, I didn’t like most of the characters and I should have. I couldn’t really relate. I apologize for the vagueness that will follow but I want this review to be spoiler free.
- Cithrin – Orphan, ward of the bank. I had trouble seeing any depth in this character, although I hope that changes in the next book. It sounds horrible to say but I find that I want something terrible to happen to her so that she’s forced to evolve.
- Marcus – Ex-military type with a sad past. I don’t dislike this guy but I didn’t love him either. He’s a little too broody and always seems to be right, even if he doesn’t always act on it. In short he’s the most predictable character of them all and I could be wrong but I think I’m supposed to like him best at this point
- Geder – I felt sorry for this guy, until I didn’t. This is the guy that gets used by everyone, all the time, even when he thinks he’s in control. There was no real growth. However, there were hints of it for the rest of the books.
- Dawson – The only things I can really tell you about him is that I like one of his sons and his wife, and he’s kind of an elitist jerk, but means well.
- The Apostate – Seems good, at least wants to be good. He’s pretty interesting.
This is about all I have to say about the characters because I don’t know them better, and I wish I did. I suspect they will each become utterly fascinating, as I’ve heard the story picks up in the next two books but I want to be intrigued now.
I want to go back to some back-story here. There are a lot of different races in this world, although they all started from firstbloods, aka human. They were changed by the long dead dragons. I would describe them for you here, but I can’t. There was little description and nothing really stood out to me. I feel like this is a missed opportunity. I would love to know more about each race. Why were they changed? How? When? Was each race considered a success?
Another thing I want to know is what happened to the dragons. This is also something only hinted at, which is good in this case. I do hope to learn more though.
Earlier I mentioned political intrigue. The Dragon’s Path has plenty of that. The only problem is I didn’t care who came out on top. From all the scenes dealing with that, the only thing that stood out to me was a creepy banker guy. Now that is one character that is well written. He’s meant to be mysterious and scary and he is!
Overall I thought the book dragged on a bit. It wasn’t uninteresting, but it wasn’t compelling.
Does this review seem a little all over the place? That’s how the book was for me, so it seems appropriate. I guess this boils down to a question. Will I buy the next book and see if the story picks up? Probably. I am curious to see what happens. Book two will help me decide if I’m curious enough to see how it ends. I would give it 3 out of 5 stars.
In all fairness we need a little disclosure here. I am more into books with a lot of action, epic battles, magic, and emotional intensity. Since this is a series, it could end up with all of those things. I’ll let you know.
Next month’s book will be: Joe Abercrombie – The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One
For the full list of books I intend to read and review for this series, and my reasons for wanting to, click here.
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Sidenote: I’m sorry for this review being so late. I hope to have the next one ready for the middle of next month. However my priority needs to be on my own writing so I’ll also apologize in advance if the next one is late too!
One more sidenote: I bought The Dragon’s Path used from Amazon early last year but didn’t get to read it until this month. To my surprise and disgust, when I started reading it, in the first 25 pages, every time the word blood appeared (about 10 times), the previous owner literally covered the word with what looked like blood. GROSS!