Publisher: Tor Books
Author: Duncan M. Hamilton
Released: July 2nd, 2019
I received a copy of Dragonslayer through BookishFirst in exchange for a fair and honest review.
This is one of those rare times when you can judge a book by its cover. Dragonslayer is everything you would expect, upon seeing an angry looking dragon on a dramatic book cover. It’s a perfect example of an epic fantasy, with the journey just beginning.
Dragonslayer is the first novel in a new series of the same name by Duncan M. Hamilton. As you can guess, from both the cover and the title, this book is about hunting a great dragon. But there’s more to it than that, naturally. The real highlights of this novel are the characters.
This series follows Guillot dal Villevauvais, aka Gill, as well as several others, on their quest to deal with the big bad dragon of the world. Gill is a classic fantasy character. He’s been through his fair share of hardships, but he’ll always step up and do the right thing when he’s needed.
Dragonslayer is perhaps the best example of epic fantasy to come out in 2019. It’s everything I’ve grown up expecting and hoping for, when it comes to dragon hunting series. It’s tense and dark, with brooding lead characters, and a strong set of supporting characters.
Admittedly, I don’t always go for the novels where it’s clear that dragon hunting will be done. I usually tend to lean in the opposite direction, with my dragon preference. However, every now and then I’ll indulge. And I’m so glad I picked Dragonslayer to be that exception for me.
This novel was one that slowly built up. It never rushed, and it didn’t really need to. We had plenty of time to get to know the world, the characters, and even the antagonist (the dragon) himself. And there was more than one plan or type of thinking, when it came to the humans. The added politics here was very much appreciated.
I’ll admit I was both interested and surprised to see some of the tale told from the dragon’s eyes. I hadn’t expected that. But it was a nice twist. Antagonists are almost always better when you can understand their motivations.
It did take me a little while to start liking the main hero of this tale; Gill. Though it was actually kind of fascinating to have a hero introduced in such a non-heroic way. I suppose it made his actions seem all the more impressive; that he stepped up to deal with this threat, despite his downward spiral.
There are plenty of other characters in this novel as well. Two are more important than the rest, but their development is so integral to the plot, I’m almost tempted to leave it there and say no more about them. I will say that I did have a favorite, and that she appears much later in the novel.
I’m honestly curious to see where the next part of this trilogy is going to go. I have a few ideas, but obviously nothing concrete. Once Duncan Hamilton releases a title, we’ll probably have a better idea of what we’re in for. But I’m looking forward to finding out.