Dawn of the Reaper
by Paul F. McGowan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The evil dragon Firestorm was banished from Evernight after the defeat of his kin centuries ago. The last of his race, he’s returned to the realm in human disguise as the king’s trusted adviser with plans for revenge. When one man discover’s Firestorm’s secret as well as a way to defeat him, the dragon sets out to kill him and his family, unwittingly leaving a now orphaned boy in the hands of the kingdom’s most renowned wizard.
Ten years later, Rowan is your average fifteen-year-old, working in his guardian’s shop, training as a magical apprentice under the famous sorcerer, Archibald Scott, and knowing in his heart that his life is meant for more than sweeping and restocking shelves in their quiet village. But a trip to the Grand Fair reveals Rowan’s identity and survival to Firestorm, and suddenly his quiet little life becomes a thing of the past as Rowan and those he cares about are forced to run from the evil bent on destroying him once and for all. Soon his race for survival becomes a quest to find a legendary weapon forged to kill the evil dragon as Rowan learns his his true destiny. And it is so much more than even he could have ever imagined.
1) Only the one. So much happens in these 230 pages that I feel like we’re barely given time to register one plot twist before the next one comes along. I understand that it is already the first in a series, but this part of the story is so epic (in a good way) that I would have liked to see it fleshed out a bit more. Maybe see some more of what’s going through Rowan’s head through all of this because without it the story almost felt rushed. I could easily see this as a middle-grade/young-adult version of George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. So much happens in this one book, and I feel like we could have gotten a whole series out of these events alone.
1) All that being said, there is an obvious praise in here as well. This story really is EPIC. An entire world created with history and characters and so much potential for an amazing series. I want so many good things for these characters, and I can’t wait to see what happens to them. And knowing just how much happens in the first book, I’m almost scared to ask what all the author has in store for the rest of these books.
2) So many twists I didn’t see coming. And if you know me at all (which, granted, you probably don’t), you know how much I enjoy anticipating the shocks and surprises before they come. The fact that I didn’t see many of these twists and turns is high praise, in my humble opinion.
3) Like I said before, I think this story could have massive appeal as a more child/young adult friendly version of Game of Thrones. There’s magic, dragons and other mythical creatures, kings, wizards, fortune-tellers…the list goes on. I love when authors create fantastical worlds, and I’m so excited to learn more about Evernight and what’s in store for those who live there.
Kids and young teens who enjoy stories like Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, or who would like Game of Thrones (but hopefully don’t watch/read it because they are too young). Also not bad for adults like myself who like all the same things but don’t mind reading books with an intended audience of fifteen-year-old boys.
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