Dragon Fate by J.D. Hallowell follows the exploits of Delno Okonan, an army lieutenant looking for something more in life. Trying to escape the political pressures of the city, Delno climbs a nearby mountain and finds himself face to face with a dragon. Fate intervenes and intertwines Delno’s life with that of the young dragon hatchling Geneva. The bulk of this book revolves around Delno adjusting to having a dragon around and to being able to use magic since magic is frowned upon in the northern kingdoms.
Dragon Fate is a new take on the dragon rider fantasy stories. Not as gritty as say Bazil Broketail but more enjoyable (in my opinion) than Pern (before you fuss at me, know that I love Anne McCaffery. I just didn’t particularly like her Pern books. I enjoyed her Tower and Hive books much more.).The interplay between Delno and Geneva is truly what drives this book and keeps it from dragging.
This is a fantasy that is centered around the growth of the main characters. The external conflicts serve to foster and illustrate that growth. I found all the characters to be engaging and surprisingly not predictable. I have to admit to being completely sure that one of the first characters that you met that is central to Delno was going to betray him at some point because isn’t that what happens in every fantasy book ever? I was pleasantly surprised when he didn’t betray the main character but have a sneaky suspicion that the author is just setting you up for a greater betrayal in later books.
The characters are written in such a way that you truly do care for them (even the villain…okay maybe not the villain but definitely his dragon). The plot twist toward the end of the book shouldn’t have surprised me but it did. I was too busy being interested in Delno learning about his dragon to catch the gingerbread trail of clues that the author was leaving.
My biggest gripe (and it isn’t really a huge one) is the overuse of ‘dear heart’ and ‘dear one’ in conversations between Delno and Geneva. I understand the closeness of their relationship and it is very well written. However there were a couple of times that I wanted to punch someone if I read ‘dear heart’ one more time. Other than a couple of minor formatting issues (which I suspect might be exclusive to the epub edition), it was an easy read.
I definitely look forward to the other books in the series. I want to see what the author has in store not only for Delno and Geneva but also for Nat and other supporting characters.
The Bookworm gives this book 4.5 Stars out of 5.
You can visit J.D. Hallowell’s blog by clicking here. On deck next is The Northern Star by Mike Gullickson.