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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Dragon Champion by E. E. Knight

Dragon Champion by E. E. Knight. New York: Roc, 2005. ISBN: 0-451-46047-2

This book is set in a world very much like J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, in that there are elves, dwarves, men, and, of course, intelligent dragons. But that's about as far as the similarity goes. There don't seem to be any orcs or trolls, although there is a race of hominids called blighters, that may be something like neanderthals.

The thing that makes this book more readable than the typical Tolkien knockoff is that it's told from the point of view of the dragon. And this particular dragon is a grey dragon. Different colors of dragons have different characteristics, somewhat like the dragons of Pern. Green ones are female, like Pernese dragons. But gray dragons have no scales, no armor to protect them, and this forces them to live by their wits.

Also, Knight's dragons take several years to grow their wings, so they are flightless at first. Much of our story follows out hero, the dragonet named Auron, as he struggles to stay alive long enough to help rescue his kind from extinction. Much as in Middle Earth, the age of man seems to be coming, with men rooting out the dragons and killing them, or turning them into servitude to men. A master wizard arises, the Wyrmmaster, a human, who hates the other races, and begins a war of ethnic cleansing, so to speak, assisted by a group of captive dragons who are forced into servitude against their will.

By this time, AuRon, (the capital letter in the middle of his name signifies that he is a fully mature, flying dragon), is in a position to intervene in the affairs of men and dragons, and naturally, does so, leading to a satisfactory conclusion. Nevertheless, this is only “Book One of The Age of Fire,” as stated on the cover. Book Two, titled Dragon Avenger, is due to hit the bookshelves in December, 2006.

An entertaining, well written story, despite the many derivative elements. Recommended for fantasy fans, especially fans of dragon stories.

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