Dragon Road (Book Review)
by Joseph Brassey
4 / 5 - Space Opera Fantasy
Honestly, I straight-up loved this. It was the perfect book to read on vacation and it has all the things that I enjoy about fantasy wrapped in a quick-moving, easy-to-read package.
- Strong female characters
- Tortured soul former villains
- A drawn-out slow-building romance
- A cool setting (I love a flying citadel!)
- Magic that isn’t overused
- Magic that isn’t overly explained
- Giant sky monsters
- Fancy swords
As a sequel, it doesn’t entirely stand on its own but it definitely builds on the first book. We’re given a little more personality to the crew of the Elysium, though I still could have used a bit more. There are several new characters, one of whom is great.
Yet, I can’t give it 5/5 (despite loving it) due to some narrative issues that are similar to the last book. It is so crammed full of stuff (people, concepts, plots) that there is too much going on. The story feels like it’s told in one big breath. There are hidden necromancers, prophecies, political maneuvering, missing friends … there’s so much happening that the story moves too fast for the crew to have any downtime. I mean, it kept me addictively reading, but, like last time, I would have enjoyed a few “team-building” scenes. There are a couple: one moment where the crew have a drink together and another part about a creature called a Squibble. A few more “senseless” moments like that would have pulled back the heavy punch that is the plot. I very very much enjoyed the drawn-out potential love story too, but it needed a bit more focus to make it completely compelling.
Still, despite giving it four stars I absolutely loved it. It’s so much fun and I want another.