Jul 9, 2016

In the Shadow of the Dragon King (The Chronicles of Fallhollow 1)

  by J. KELLER FORD  

book review rating 2 out of 5

Seventeen-year-old, Eric, is a kick-butt squire to the most revered knight in Fallhollow. Well he would be if Sir Trogsdill allowed him to do anything even remotely awesome. Determined to prove his worth, Eric sets out to find the mythical paladin summoned to protect the realm from the evil lurking nearby.

Sixteen-year-old, David, spends his days collecting school honors...continue at Goodreads

Publication Date is May 31, 2016: Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

I SUPPOSE I can’t love them all. Though, I was taken by surprise that I didn’t love In the Shadow of the Dragon King, by J. Keller Ford. The cover, synopsis, and genre were spot on—a trifecta of sorts. And, did I mention dragon? I thought (or hoped) I would be reading about a coming-of-age story where the deep bonds of camaraderie between Eric and David are forged, as they set out on an epic dragon adventure. In actuality, David and Eric, never meet until the end of the book—some 400 pages later. While two concurrent timelines between alternating perspectives aren’t a deal breaker for me by any means, I did struggle with other elements.

The world build was conflicting. When I read the word “germs” in the magical world of Fallhollow, it blasted me right out of fantasy and into the modern marvels of medicine. Can germs and magic co-exist? I imagine it could; however, Fallhollow had such a medieval and old-world charm to it that the use of microorganisms, though practically insignificant, was disruptive to the overall atmosphere.

The characters were overly generalized. Seventeen-year-old, Eric, is a noble squire with a good heart, but his temper and compulsiveness have a way of putting people and missions at risk. Sixteen-year-old David, is a “configuration of worry and self-doubt.” He denies his destiny as the paladin, as much as, he doesn't understand it. David’s crush and best friend, Charlotte, is a damsel in distress. Inasmuch as she is the positive force to drive David’s actions, she is more easily seen as a handicap to his growth. That being said, I also feel that the characters are starting from a point of innocence and youth in this first installment, with a great potential to be molded into more mature and complex personalities.

The action was nonstop and exciting with David being hunted ceaselessly. I think some readers will be quite enthralled by this. One thing I wish I’d seen more of is David’s valor in navigating and overcoming dangerous encounters, instead of being saved by other characters, time and time again.

I don’t regret reading In the Shadow of the Dragon King; however, I do wish that I had enjoyed this one a bit more. Nevertheless, it seems that many do love it on Goodreads, and you might too.

{ I received this title in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you, especially to the author and publisher, for kindly giving me an opportunity to review this title. }

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What's your favorite book with a dragon in it? Need not be YA.

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