Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Deathsworn Arc: The Last Dragon Slayer

From the Publisher: There is rumored to be a noble dragon, an almost mythical beast, long thought to be extinct in Torea –terrorizing a village in the north, at the foot of the Sky Cleaver Mountains. Saul Karza, Emissary to the Empress and licensed magic user, has been ordered by the Empress to assemble a band of warriors to investigate, and if the rumors are true, to vanquish it.

Having failed to assemble the band of hardened warriors he’d hoped for, Saul enters the town of Trest with a homeless dwarf, and two would-be sell-swords from the barbarian northlands, who've grown weary of working as laborers at the dock.

Seeking a fabled dragon slayer, the last known living soul to prevail in battle against a noble dragon, seems logical, even though he may not turn out to be all they expected. When the companions set out from Trest, they find simply getting to the Sky Cleavers proves to be a challenge and by the time they are ready to confront the beast, their party has changed dramatically and includes individuals from some of the rarest races in Torea.

As the gravity of their grim task becomes apparent, the warriors begin to realize their chances of success are not good, and even if they can prevail against the odds, it seems unlikely they will all survive the encounter.

Only when the quest is done, is the true nature of the Empress's mission revealed. What is not revealed however, is the mysterious 'Truth', which Brael continually alludes to but is unable to talk about. Nobody can foresee the devastating consequences that the emergence of this ‘truth’ will unleash, and the impact its unveiling will have on their lives.

My Review: I am not one to read fantasy so when I started this one, I was skeptical to say the least. I mean, the thought of reading about dragons and slaying said dragon is not on top of my "do to" list. However, once I started reading, I was impressed! Here, we have a story of a man named Saul who is ordered by the Empress to kill a dragon. He sets out and finds some men to help. He finds Harald and Korhan, two men who had the misfortune of losing what they had and ended up working as laborers at the docks. And Saul also found Vortex. Vortex is a dwarf. They are very rare to see out and he is met with a lot of curious glances and ridicule from strangers along the way. But, he can hold his own which is what Saul wants! With these three men, they set out to seek the rumored dragon slayer, Silus. Not only will they try to recruit him, but also pick his brain on any insight he might could give them.

They find Silus in the town of Trest. He is in a bar drinking his life away. When they approach and tell him their quest, Silus laughs and basically tells them they're idiots for seeking the dragon! He proceeds to tell them of the time when he killed a dragon. He had many men with him and they were all either burned to death on the spot or killed in some way by the dragon. Not sounding too good for them is it? They ask Silus to join them and, of course, he refuses. He barely escaped with his life the first time. Why would he want to tempt fate again? But in the end, he decides to join them. The next morning before leaving town, they notice an execution of five men about to take place. One of them is a dark elf, or gravian as some call them. They are extremely rare and he is only being executed because of what he is. In other words, just for the enjoyment of seeing him die. Saul, Harald, Korhan and especially Vortex do not like this and they intend on trying to free the elf. Saul talks to the Barger of Trest and tries to talk him into giving the gravian over to him but it's no use. With nothing more to do, Saul tells his men they need to leave and keep to the task at hand. Korhan will not hear of it and tells them to mount their horses and head towards the gate as fast as they can. He'll catch up with them...any guesses as to what he will do? You got it! He Frees the gravian just before he has his head cut off. He throws him on his horse and makes his way to the gate of the city. He escapes just in time. The five of them are on the run from the Berger and his men. They need to get to a safe place and lie low for a while. During this time they find out the dark elf's name. Brael. He is in debt to Korhan for saving his life and will not leave until his debt has been repaid.

They trudge through the thick forest and find a stream and it's there where the men from Trest catch up with them. Just when you think all is lost, a figure leaps from out of nowhere and threatens to cut the Barger's throat if his men don't leave. They do as they are told and then this person whispers something in the Barger's ear to make him act oblivious and lose his memory. He gallops off not sure of which way to go. Who is this person? Her name is Vashni. She is an elf. Elf's are also mystical creatures with magical powers and cannot be trusted. But, one brave warrior is captivated by her...Korhan. There is something about her that draws him to her. So he asks her to teach him how to guard his mind from "whispers." That's something she, and other elf's, use to persuade people to do what they want...among other things. She agrees and this starts a series of events that the other men do not agree with. It seems that Korhan is becoming her slave and will do things that are degrading. But he puts up with it because she is also helping him to be a better warrior! If he learns to guard his mind, he will be able to go into battle even more prepared against the enemy.

As their journey comes to an end, Korhan is getting better in the ways of what Vashni has been teaching him. Everyone is preparing for the battle. Saul comes up with a potion to put on the end of the swords to make the blade penetrate the skin easier. They'll need it since dragons have layers of iron like scales! We learn the dragon's name is Thrax. Lord Thrax to be exact. He has manipulated the people who live near his den that he is to be worshiped. The people who worship him believe that it is an honor to be eaten by him. They will volunteer themselves in belief that their sacrifice will secure riches for their family. Of course, this is ridiculous and the others can see it so when there is a young girl awaiting to be eaten by this dragon, Korhan knocks her out and the others move her from danger.

The time has come for them to enter the dragons den. Will they conquer the dragon or will Thrax end up being victorious? If they do somehow kill the beast, why did the Empress order that to be done? What is it about the dragon that she had to have it killed? You have to get the book to find out! Click here to purchase part one in this three part series, Deathsworn Arc: The Last Dragon Slayer on Amazon.

I really did enjoy this book! There were some grammatical errors but they weren't bad enough for me to stop reading. Also, there was no bad language which was nice. Some scenes involved alcohol and when they are in the dragon's den, there are a couple of graphic scenes but not too bad. All in all, if you want your tween/teenage son/daughter to read this, I say it's pretty safe. But of course, I always urge the  parent(s) to read something first :)

                                                                         ****4 Stars

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