The world is falling to the burning shadow of the Possessed and only the power of a battle mage can save it. But the ancient bond with dragonkind is failing. Of those that answer a summoning too many are black. Black dragons are the enemy of humankind. Black dragons are mad.
Falco Dante is a weakling in a world of warriors, but worse than this, he is the son of a madman. Driven by grief, Falco makes a decision that will drive him to the brink of despair. As he tries to come to terms with his actions Falco follows his friends to the Academy of War, an elite training school dedicated to martial excellence. But while his friends make progress he struggles to overcome his doubts and insecurity. Even Queen Catherine of Wrath has her doubts about Falco’s training.
While the Queen tries to unite the Kingdoms against the Possessed, Falco struggles to overcome his fears. Will he unlock the power trapped inside him or will he succumb to madness and murder like his father?
A very solid 4 and a half stars.
I’m quite picky when it comes to the fantasy genre as it’s far too easy for them to be cheesy and quite often the writing isn’t very good. So I was pleasantly surprised at how well written this is and how engrossed I became with the story line. It’s a long book – 858 pages! – and yet I didn’t get bored and when I had finished reading it didn’t feel as though it had been that long.
What I liked: good writing, character development, world building, and it being a stand-alone book with enough depth and length to be able to immerse myself into.
There were a couple of things that gave me pause, such as when the queen’s counsellor (described as a very difficult man to deal with and her very loyal servant) discussed her personal life with people he had met minutes earlier, but they were such small slips and unimportant in the grand scheme of things, and did not detract from the book.
I will look for other books by this author.