Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Joanne Bertin - The Last Dragonlord

Dragonlord Linden Rathan, last-born of a race of immortal weredragons, has spent six hundred years alone, searching for his soultwin while his fellow Dragonlords watch over humanity's Five Kingdoms.
When the Queen of Cassori dies mysteriously, Linden and the other Dragonlords are called upon to prevent civil war as two human claimants vie for the regency.
As the battle for Cassori rule escalates, Linden becomes the target of the Fellowship, a secret society of true-humans who could actually destroy his immortal life.
Then he meets a beautiful young ship captain named Maurynna who may be the only one who can help Linden bring Cassori back from the brink of chaos.

Comment: According to my personal notes, I got this book in 2011, at a book exchange through the BookMooch site. While I still browse the site , it can be complicated to get some books but I got this book by author Joanne Bertin, as well as the sequel, Dragon and Phoenix, through the bookmooch community. However, other things got int he way and the books have been in the pile ever since until I finally decided to start the first this month.

This is a fantasy book featuring dragons. The main character is Linden Rathan, a dragonlord, which means he is half human, half dragon and both parts of him live in his human body, a body that can also change into a fierce dragon. Although both personalities are different, they live together and with the same purpose.
The thing Linden wants the most is to find his soultwin, the other halves of his souls (the human and the dragon's) so he can be finally complete. He has been waiting for six centuries and since then no other dragonlords were born (meaning, a human changing into a dragon) and Linden is tired and only wants to spend time doing what he likes the best.
So, when a problem in the human society happens, Linden and two other dragonloards are tasked with judging and giving a sentence, because they ae mediators. What Linden didn't count on was to face a much more dangerous situation and finding his soultwin in the process too...

There was a time I was very dedicated to fantasy novels. I still like them but as with everything, one's tastes change with time. Now, I'm more interested in romantic fantasy, meaning I like fantasy novels but they need to have romantic elements minimally, for me to enjoy it more. This was probably what made me as interested back in 2011 when I stumbled on the title and later on got the book.
I had high expectations for this story in all levels and I was quite glad with it, all things considered.

The fantasy elements in this story are very interesting.  I liked the version on dragons the author has imagined, how they are one with the human side and vice-versa, I liked how dragons are a sort of genetic add on to that individual, and we can "see" them as two parts of an identity that will eventually meet the other half of each personality in a different person, the soultwin, which is to say a mate, a companion. I think I'd have liked to see more focus on this aspect of the novel, the details surrounding dragons were compelling but not as explained as I would have liked. I wonder if the next book will expand on the subject... int his book the main focus was clearly the plot and while I found it intriguing - I didn't want to stop reading - the romantic in me wanted more scenes with Linden and his newfound soultwin.

The romantic relationship was quite subtle. Even the changes in them, both physical (in the soultwin's case) and emotional (on both of them) felt a bit too much between the lines. It's nice to have contention and to let the reader understand all details on their own but a bit more evidence on their feelings, emotions and what would it mean for them to be together, how things happened between dragons (especially socially) were aspects that intrigued me but weren't really addressed. If more focus had been given to the relationship and in how vital they needed to be together ( it was there but not as highlighted as I hoped after Linden's words on this) I think the dragon idea would have been much stronger.

The plot is filled with the usual things one sees in fantasy, the situation no ones knows how to solve, the villain that uses pawns for his evil purposes, the behind the back actions, the betrayals, the wronged innocent, the traps, the failed attempts... it's all there and very, very interesting. I think some details weren't done as well as they could, for instance there's another love interest for Linden, until he finds out about his soultwin, and as clichés go, the girl is the revenge type. I think it was diminishing and her character a bit too easy to portray but it does serve her purpose.
The resolution for the plot problems and issues happen quite easily after everything is played out and dealt with.

I really had a great time reading this book. It was very nice to see that after years I still enjoyed this book. I'm saying this because sometimes books don't stand the time in our personal taste's test but I'm very pleased with having read this one. I'm also very happy I liked the main characters and want them to succeed and be happy. I hope the trend continues with the next book.
Grade: 8/10

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