Daughter of Dragons
The Legacy of Dragons, Book 1
By: Jack Campbell
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
Audio Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
Release date: 02-14-17
I do not recall clearly, but I believe I picked this audio book up on a super sale for $1.99 or so. The premise reads,
The world of Dematr had been locked unchanging for centuries by the Great Guilds, most people living in a world of oil lamps, crossbows, and horse cavalry, the Mechanics reserving to themselves the technology for steam locomotives, rifles, and far-talkers while the Mages treated all others as if they were nothing – until Master Mechanic Mari, dragon slayer and pirate queen, and Master of Mages Alain raised the army of the new day to free their world.
Kira of Pacta Servanda, the daughter of the two greatest heroes of her world, was six years old the day she stood on a battlement in Dorcastle, staring up at a statue of her mother while surrounded by bodyguards who fenced Kira off from the nearby crowds. As the morning sun cast the shadow of Mari’s statue over Kira, she realized that she would spend the rest of her life in that shade. Then the world of Dematr learned that a new kind of ship had left the far-distant world of Urth. The ship would take only 10 years to cover the immense distances between stars. Of all the colony worlds, the ship was coming to Dematr. But for what purpose? Kira was 16 when the ship from Urth arrived, and she discovered that her world still needed heroes.
Upon reading the premise, I worried that the plot would consist of moan worthy cliches. I was pleasantly surprised. While Kira, the main character, has angsty, parent-hating moments that you expect from these types of stories, they are tempered by moments when she demonstrates respect for her parents. For me, this made it easier for me to relate to her (and kept me from stopping half way through!). Unfortunately, the plot does involve a budding love interest for her, full of some of the same ol’ one would expect, but the action keeps these from taking center stage for too long.
The above would certainly not push me to recommend this book, but it has three things going for it. First, the original setting draws you in. Dematr has mechanics and wizards in a medieval / steampunk like era… and figuring out how that works and their history becomes part of the fun. Yet, without spoiling too much, how the world got started, and their connection with the ship, proves more interesting. Second, I really liked the antagonist, and how the final confrontation resolves. This evil woman represents the worst of humanity’s greed, and gives the reader motivation to see if and how she’s gets what she wants, or her due. Finally, I really enjoyed the pacing of the book. It jumped into the action and did not let go until the end. A few slow scenes throughout provided a needed respite from the action, but it never drug on too long. I also found it refreshing to read a book that painted parents, and the family relationship, in a positive light.
I can easily recommend this book to lovers of fantasy, sci-fi, and family friendly stories. Mind you, I understand that life is not always peaches and cream. And, I enjoy a down to earth, dark story from time to time. However, I also read books as a form of escape, to imagine better things, and this book does a great job of that… and wraps it all in an exciting journey. 4/5 stars.