Dragon Weather by Lawrence Watt-Evans review
I found this book on the BookCrossing shelf at my university. It seemed interesting enough, even though the title and covers did not do much to impress me. Now that I finally got around to reading it, I cannot say that I regret picking it up.
It was slow going at first, but the further I read, the more this novel grew on me, plot and world and all. In hindsight I can even forgive the protagonist's tendency to be wishy-washy when it comes to important decisions; rough as his life has been, he is still young and naïve, and there are difficult choices to be made at every turn. There are shades of grey in this novel, which is something I very much approve of in a work of literature — especially fantasy. (Mind, based on this book alone the dragons are pure evil. All of them. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that; then again, I suppose that's just personal preference.)
While I gradually came to appreciate, if not like, most of the characters, I think I can safely say that Black (main character Arlian's best friend and sort-of father figure) was my favourite almost from the instance he appeared on page. Still, the wonderful thing is that the author manages to make even the main human villain ever so slightly sympathetic. You feel for them, just that little bit.
Watt-Evans has some original ideas about dragons, which in my book earns him definite bonus points. Furthermore, perhaps the most important plot point hinges on these ideas, which is part of what makes the story fascinating.
Cleverer readers than I will probably figure out a few plot twists much earlier on; as for myself, I can only say that I'm proud I had a tentative inkling (based on foreshadowing and hints) which turned out to be correct.
has its faults, indubitably — at times I questioned the narrative choices and the editing, and still have misgivings about certain aspects of the plot — but I found it enjoyable and engaging nonetheless. That, and the originality of concept mentioned above, were enough to bump it from three stars to four. If you're a friend of fantasy, I would suggest giving the book a go.
The novel is, of course, the first in a trilogy — a fact I only found out after registering it here on Goodreads. However, the story is left off at such a point that I don't feel an imperative need to get my hands on the next parts. This may or may not also say something about the quality, but that's neither here nor there; my point is that while I am curious about what becomes of Arlian, I can be reasonably content with what I have now should the sequels not be easily obtainable.
/ Lami's Reading List 2013
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