Review: Firedrake (Dragonrealm #1) ~ Richard A. Knaak

FiredrakeIn Firedrake, a land ruled by the shape-lifting Dragon Kings, Cabe Bedlam is hunted for both the legacy he represents and the future he may bring. Yet, dragons may be the least of the dangers, for in a land drenched with sorcery, Cabe’s very legacy may be what destroys him!



4 Thumbs-UpThis was the debut novel from an Author who has now evolved into, what some may call a wizard in the arena of creating fantastical worlds and their inhabitants.  He is well-known amongst the World of Warcraft community for his penmanship of some of their lore novels and, it was through this medium, that I became aware of him.  I decided to read this as I was intrigued to see how his love for writing fantasy not only began, but how it had progressed over time.

The main protagonist in this book is a young man who is full of the arrogance of his youth, but there is also an underlying current of uncertainty in things he does that make him instantly likeable to the reader.  He is of an age where he is easily smitten by a pretty face, and it made me smile to see how quickly this happened to him as it seems that the Author had perfectly captured this part of all our lives; the growing up and discovering the opposite sex.  Although I felt that more time could have been given to the development of this character, there were so many others in this book, both ‘human’ and ‘non-human’, that to spend an overly long time developing one would have resulted in others being under-developed and this would have resulted in the book being lacking in many ways.  As the title suggests there are dragons in this novel, and they also were given subject to some very interesting development, but some of them lacked the explanation of their motivation behind the things they wanted to do.  I’m uncertain as to whether this is explained more in the subsequent books, but in this particular instalment it would have been nice to see a little more back story to them given.

The storyline itself is very well written and is able to throw a few surprising plot twists and turns at a reader who may think they know what is coming next.  Showing the skill that would later make him a great loremaster, this Author weaves dragon lore into his story with ease, and adds his own twist on the lore which results in it being expanded even more.  However, if you are looking for a fantasy novel that is full of brilliant prose you may be disappointed with this book; at times the language became rather dull but this in no way detracted from the overall enjoyment that reading this book would bring.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this Authors later works, but they need to remember when reading it that is was his first book and try to lay aside any comparisons they may want to make.  If you have know someone who is interested in fantastical world or plays Dungeons & Dragons, but they don’t read this book would be a great way to introduce them to the world of reading.  I will definitely be reading the remaining Dragonrealm books.