Ahoy there me mateys! I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here are me honest musings . . .
the dragon round (Stephen S. Power)
Title: the dragon round
Author: Stephen S. Power
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: currently July 19, 2016
This book contains dragons and a sea captain out for revenge. That was enough to pique me interest. Two of me favorite things. The novel started out with a bang. I love the Captain, Jeryon. I loved the apothecary. There are dragons and mutiny and fighting. Jeryon ends up on a deserted island, struggling to survive. And finds a baby dragon. I was very happy from the entire beginning of the book all the way through the training of the dragon.
Then the revenge part happens. Sigh. I have to admit: the book got choppy from there. The book has been compared to three things: 1) the game of thrones series; 2) the temeraire series; and 3) the count of monte cristo. I have read all three of these things (ye should too!). Ummm, this novel can’t compare and here is why:
1) I believe this novel is compared to the game of thrones series because of the change of perspective chapters and the politics. The novel is split into two parts with five chapters in each part. Of course each chapter has subsections. Part One is mostly from Jeryon’s perspective. Part Two begins with the perspectives of the mates and what has happened to them since the mutiny. Part One – loved it. Part Two is where the plot begins to decline. The politics are just not that interesting and involve disputes within branches of the military and, of course, money. The characters are not as well developed and overall just plain unlikable. George R. R. Martin’s character perspectives are rich and varied and help showcase the political wrangling. Even with the multiple points of view in this novel, the politics were at the best boring and at the worst, unclear.
2) I believe this novel is compared to the temeraire series because of the dragons (duh!) and the style of fighting when dragons are involved. I will admit that I enjoyed the dragon fights in the beginning of the novel. They are certainly not extremely fancy but were very fun. However when it comes to Jeryon and the dragon is where this novel is lacking. Now don’t get me wrong. I love both Jeryon and the dragon. But the relationship between the two is more like master and pet, not partners. I wasn’t expecting the dragons in the book to be as knowledgeable and intelligent as Naomi Novik’s Temeraire (whose are?), it seemed like the dragon in the story was more of an intelligent dog. Also once we get into Part Two, the dragon fighting fizzles and becomes more lackluster. How can that be?
3) I believe this novel is compared to the count of monte cristo because it is a sailor who life’s plan is ruined by other crew members and he wants revenge. I would agree with that comparison very loosely. The difference is in the details. Dumas’ Count is crafty, intelligent, and fabulous at plotting. Ye get to watch and savor the downfall of the Count’s enemies. In this novel, the revenge begins and ye get to see none of the real plotting. And what little ye do see is lackluster. In Part Two, ye see none of the plotting for revenge and very little of Jeryon’s story. Ye find out about things as the mates find out and it is just sad. The hows and whys of Jeryon’s choices are avoided. I wanted that story and didn’t get it.
These things aside, the novel was enjoyable and I did finish it. Part One was lovely. Part Two, not so much. I certainly didn’t hate it but when comparing it to other works, the flaws are noticeable. The ending was a doozy, though, and had two crazy plot twists. I will give the sequel a try to find out what happens in that regard.
So lastly . . .
Thank you Simon & Schuster!
The publisher’s website had this to say about the novel:
A swashbuckling adventure with a dark side for fans of George R.R. Martin and Naomi Novik—when a ship captain is stranded on a deserted island by his mutinous crew, he finds a baby dragon that just might be the key to his salvation…and his revenge.
He only wanted justice. Instead he got revenge.
Jeryon has been the captain of the Comber for over a decade. He knows the rules. He likes the rules. But not everyone on his ship agrees. After a monstrous dragon attacks the galley, the surviving crew members decide to take the ship for themselves and give Jeryon and his self-righteous apothecary “the captain’s chance”: a small boat with no rudder, no sails, and nothing but the clothes on his back to survive on the open sea.
Fighting for their lives against the elements, Jeryon and his companion land on an island that isn’t as deserted as they originally thought. They find a baby dragon that, if trained, could be their way home. But as Jeryon and the dragon grow closer, the captain begins to realize that even if he makes it off the island, his old life won’t be waiting for him and in order get justice, he’ll have to take it for himself.
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