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30 review for A Dragon's Chains: An Epic Fantasy Saga

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    https://www.bookwormblues.net/2021/06... When I was first contacted to edit this five-book series (plus a novella), I was nervous. That’s a huge investment of time, especially if I end up not liking it. I knew I had to be careful. I had the author send me a sample bit, which I edited. I realized when I saw this sample portion, this wasn’t my typical fantasy book. The protagonist is… different than the norm, and his voice is equally unique. This, reader, is what made me say yes to this project. I https://www.bookwormblues.net/2021/06... When I was first contacted to edit this five-book series (plus a novella), I was nervous. That’s a huge investment of time, especially if I end up not liking it. I knew I had to be careful. I had the author send me a sample bit, which I edited. I realized when I saw this sample portion, this wasn’t my typical fantasy book. The protagonist is… different than the norm, and his voice is equally unique. This, reader, is what made me say yes to this project. I wanted to read more about Bayloo. I wanted to see how an author would tell a story from the perspective of an enslaved dragon. Maybe that’s why this series gripped me so hard, at least at first, until the story really swept me under (which didn’t take much time at all). In epic fantasy, we read stories as told from the perspectives of orcs, trolls, humans, elves, witches, warlocks, and whatever else, but there have been precious few books I’ve read told from the perspective of a dragon (I think I read another one by Jo Walton a few years ago). Furthermore, this isn’t just any dragon. Bayloo has spent his life enslaved (Robert Vane’s novella, which you get if you sign up to his newsletter, tells how the magic that allows this enslavement to transpire began). Bayloo has spent his life basically living at the whim and will of his ryders. And it doesn’t quite end there, because this particular form of enslavement takes all his personality and independence, thought and emotion, and subsumes it, so his only will is to please his ryder, and his only whim is to make them happy. When Bayloo accidentally frees himself from these bonds, everything changes, and it sets him on a course to not only get to know himself, but also steeps him in conflict that ends up getting bigger and bigger as the series progresses. You catch hints of it in this first book, but it isn’t until the second book and on when I realized how absolutely huge this story actually was. Here, in A Dragon’s Chains, the reader learns about Bayloo, enslaved by a fairly typical feeling fantasy kingdom (Meaning, European-esque). We learn about how he liberates his mind from bondage, and then… well, a lot more happens as well. In truth, this book never stops its forward momentum, and Vane drops in hints and clues along the way, things that, in book three, you’ll remember and be like, “Holy crap, this tiny detail from book one ended up being a pretty big deal!” The book itself moves forward at an incredible clip, never stopping, never relenting. Poor Bayloo really goes through it, and it is probably even more heartbreaking because while he is free, his kin very much are not, so in one way he’s shaking hands with himself for the first time ever, and in another, he’s mourning the loss of those around him who cannot seem to break free from their mental bondage in the same way he has. Of course, there are politics involved as well. Things are happening in his kingdom home, and things are happening abroad. Bayloo goes on a bit of an adventure and learns some surprising details from his past that both reformulate his present and open up a doorway into the wider series you’ll find past book one. A Dragon’s Chains ends with an incredible battle, as well. In fact, Vane has a knack for writing battles. They are visual and tense, and things don’t usually end the way I expect them to. A Dragon’s Chains is very much a setup to the rest of the series, and it is absolutely a wonderful book. Just a whole lot of fun, but there’s some really subtle artistry going on as well, which readers of the full series will truly appreciate. Vane lays down some groundwork here that is so cleverly done, you won’t even realize he’s doing it until you’re like three or four books into the series looking back on what you’ve already read and drawing connections and conclusions. Furthermore, Bayloo’s voice is second to none. Snarky and heartfelt, this dragon goes on one of the most remarkable character journeys I’ve read in a very long time, and yet no matter how much he grew and evolved, he never once lost his sarcasm and humor. He never lost his voice. This first book in the series is more character focused. It is establishing Bayloo as a presence in the world. It’s letting you get to know him, and his story, his fight for freedom and discovery of self. Around all of this, are political goings-on. Battles, and secrets, betrayal and mystery, and a world steeped in magic that is only just starting to be explored in this book. A Dragon’s Chains opens up the rest of the series, but where it truly shines, is its unique protagonist’s voice. Bayloo is unforgettable. So, where does that leave us? A Dragon’s Chains is an epic fantasy romp that is both fun and thought provoking, with a character who is equal parts snarky and thoughtful. Well-written with obvious passion, this book really blew me away, and kicks off a series that will forever be one of the delights of my editing career. Readers who love epic fantasy and might enjoy it with a bit of humor and levity to balance out the serious elements should look at this series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    Amazon randomly recommended me this book and I’m so glad I took a chance and bought it! I am big dragon fantasy novel lover. My favorite fantasy series is PERN. I really enjoy other dragon novels or intelligent animals (Watership Down, Temeraire, Pierce, Hobb, Dragon Champion, Pullman, etc.) The synopsis of the book intrigued me, as it features a dragon at odds with human society - dragons are drugged and made slaves to humanity via magic. Not your typical dragon trope! The main character frees h Amazon randomly recommended me this book and I’m so glad I took a chance and bought it! I am big dragon fantasy novel lover. My favorite fantasy series is PERN. I really enjoy other dragon novels or intelligent animals (Watership Down, Temeraire, Pierce, Hobb, Dragon Champion, Pullman, etc.) The synopsis of the book intrigued me, as it features a dragon at odds with human society - dragons are drugged and made slaves to humanity via magic. Not your typical dragon trope! The main character frees himself and pretty much embarks on a quest to free his fellow dragons, while attempting not to blow his cover as an obedient slave. He is in a fully fleshed out world with different kingdoms of humans, all with different magics or enslaved creatures. There are several different types of dragons that don’t get too trope-y. There are also a smattering of other different fantasy creatures - griffins, some dragon killing tunneling insect, strange manta creatures - all of which seem to be intelligent and enslaved as well. There are interactions with this that promises maybe some future slave vs enslaver comeuppance. The writing is humorous without the common modern trend of being too snarky that it jars you out of your immersion. The plus of having a non human POV is getting some funny takes on human behavior and their society - like the noises they make, their bloodlust, their alcohol… The humor doesn’t overtake the entire novel, though. There is also emotion, conniving and plotting, and action. The battle scenes are well written and fun to read, and it left me wanting more. I always read before bed and I know that a book is good when I just can’t put it down to go to sleep! Overall, I think this is a very refreshing take on dragons and I look forward to reading more. It reminds me of E. E. Knight but less prose and more action. It doesn't feel like it’s geared towards YA but its not too dark. It cleansed my palette from some heavier novels I had just finished and put me in a great “man, I love fantasy” mood! If you’re looking to scratch your dragon itch, don’t hesitate to pick it up!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lorac625

    A different kind of dragon Seeing dragons as slaves of humans was unexpected; although our history for enslaving creatures much stronger than we are should have been a clue. The main character is easy to like, but definitely not a perfect sweetie. The hints of underlying plot lines to come in future books are mysterious enough not to be blatantly identifiable yet clear enough to be enticing. I am very much looking forward to book 2. As usual with Amazon, I found 20 -30 errors that need to be clea A different kind of dragon Seeing dragons as slaves of humans was unexpected; although our history for enslaving creatures much stronger than we are should have been a clue. The main character is easy to like, but definitely not a perfect sweetie. The hints of underlying plot lines to come in future books are mysterious enough not to be blatantly identifiable yet clear enough to be enticing. I am very much looking forward to book 2. As usual with Amazon, I found 20 -30 errors that need to be cleaned up, but unlike some books they aren’t enough to completely ruin the book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Hall

    I loved this whole series when I was proofreading it. This first book introduces you to a super unique viewpoint, and SELLS you on it. The main character is truly the star. The worldbuilding is good and the characters in general are super solid, but it's the main character's growth and his relationships with others that kept me reading far later than I should have. There are certain themes and events in this book that made me uncomfortable to read it, and intentionally so. I was grateful for the I loved this whole series when I was proofreading it. This first book introduces you to a super unique viewpoint, and SELLS you on it. The main character is truly the star. The worldbuilding is good and the characters in general are super solid, but it's the main character's growth and his relationships with others that kept me reading far later than I should have. There are certain themes and events in this book that made me uncomfortable to read it, and intentionally so. I was grateful for the wonderful humor that the viewpoint provides, without ever losing sight of the stakes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Hill

    A good entertaining, fun story that is rife with grammatical errors. What could have been a 4+ rated book drops to 3. Me/I misused frequently, commas instead of apostrophes, incorrect word order, past tense missed, singular/plurals missed, missing words... Too much for a professional author. Even a basic grammar checker would have caught 90% of these issues. No book should be released with this quantity of poor English grammar. The author must realize that this reflects poor writing/editing skil A good entertaining, fun story that is rife with grammatical errors. What could have been a 4+ rated book drops to 3. Me/I misused frequently, commas instead of apostrophes, incorrect word order, past tense missed, singular/plurals missed, missing words... Too much for a professional author. Even a basic grammar checker would have caught 90% of these issues. No book should be released with this quantity of poor English grammar. The author must realize that this reflects poor writing/editing skills and is detrimental to him. Still a good read if you can live with the atrocious grammar. I have just finished book 2 and it has all the same issues.

  6. 4 out of 5

    J

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Decent work. Has some typos, but not enough to be bothersome. Two things that do bother me: 1) It makes no sense for Bayloo to try to remove the runes by destroying Lothar's chest. He's seen how runes are removed properly before and it makes far more sense to try that first. 2) Bayloo needs to have more time processing his actions. He forswears himself and becomes a slaver, and murders the kin he's fought so hard to free and he seems only mildly upset at both events. Decent work. Has some typos, but not enough to be bothersome. Two things that do bother me: 1) It makes no sense for Bayloo to try to remove the runes by destroying Lothar's chest. He's seen how runes are removed properly before and it makes far more sense to try that first. 2) Bayloo needs to have more time processing his actions. He forswears himself and becomes a slaver, and murders the kin he's fought so hard to free and he seems only mildly upset at both events.

  7. 5 out of 5

    susan feder

    Definitely not your typical dragon story I still can’t decide if J like or hate Bayloo. But it is an interesting tale and I look forward to the next t book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    JANE ODEGARD

    Never a dull moment. Poor Bayloo goes from one trouble to even bigger trouble as he try’s to be free. A very exciting journey,a great adventure

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cintha Nichols

    I started this book since I love fantasy and dragons. Never even finished 20 pages. I disliked this dragons character. I disliked his attitude. Sorry, just didn’t like it at all.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Autumn M.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Debra Love

  12. 4 out of 5

    MR J ROWE

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robert E

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gary L. Yocca

  15. 4 out of 5

    j.matthew cook

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jin

  17. 4 out of 5

    JOHN P BUCKLEY

  18. 5 out of 5

    Vodairo

  19. 4 out of 5

    eugene bray

  20. 4 out of 5

    Billy Stephens

  21. 4 out of 5

    Steve Watt

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sue Blevins

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dominique Hutches

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lora Ward

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kyrie

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sue C Dees

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dan Nickle

  28. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Clarke

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lance Ferguson

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shafeeq S Ladha

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