Michael Miller’s debut epic fantasy The Reborn King, the first book from The Dragon’s Blade Trilogy is a classic tale of good vs. evil in the Tolkienian style.
First things first, the book cover is eye-catching, artistic, and perfectly in line with the story. It was a pleasant surprise when I reached that part of the book where the blade is described. Believe me, readers, the cover is perfect.
Next, comes the story. Mr. Miller suggested I read The Reborn King and Veiled Intentions back to back (found the first book for free after subscribing to his newsletter and received the second book from him as ARC). I was a good girl and did exactly that.
Yes, The Reborn King reminds of classic Tolkien in its style and use of multiple races, an unseen foe who is almost as omniscient as Sauron and his comrade sorcerer/wizard is as ambitious and untrustworthy as Saruman. But the guy from this book thinks he can save humanity by being a baddie for a while. We shall see that in the concluding book of the series.
The Aragorn/Frodo Baggins in this book is a mighty Dragon Prince who is wingless as a newborn baby but makes up for it with his arrogance, might, and endurance. His father is a grumpy old man who doesn’t want to let his son play with the Dragon Blade, one of the few artifacts the unseen foe wants to acquire. It’s supposed to be a big deal.
The wizard Gandalf is a super-likeable dude Brackendon. He saves the Dragon Prince by a spell that gives him a new life before death can take him from our story. Yes, this bit of twist makes Mr. Miller’s book way different from the classics and add a lovely dash of spice to the known and loved tale.
There is a guardian who tries to behave like Aragorn (yeah I can’t stop thinking about that super hot man)/Boromir, has a hidden agenda, but tries to train and restrain the Dragon Prince. Turns out, Blaine, the guardian dude, has a blade almost as powerful as the Dragon Blade.
Mr. Miller has given us a detailed and pretty logical idea of his magic system or the Cascade channeling, not missing the concept of ‘power comes at a cost.’
The faeries are as usual helpful yet paranoid, mighty, yet hesitant to jump into assistance.
The frost troll/stone men are cute and adorable.
The human front is greedy, untrustworthy but the hunters who are also human, are probably the best in the lot. I think I am projecting my feelings for that guy Cosmo (another Aragorn persona). A prince who doesn’t want to claim his birthright to rule the human beings is an excellent character. High moral, tragic, heroic, every bit respectable and someone to root for, he is one of my favorites.
The women in the books are somewhat disappointing. Yes, it’s my opinion and mine alone. You may not agree with me, my lovely readers but don’t hate me for it.
While the men are fighting for lives and freedom from demons, Lira is the only one who acts like a human being and not a damsel.
The ladies can be categorized as primarily love interests and potential sources of discord between friends and allies like Eve (how necessary was she other than causing the rift between two close friends?) and Cassandra (an eavesdropping, confused, fickle minded annoying lady), or the passively important ones like the Faery Queen and our Wizard dude’s love interest, the shapeshifter. The shapeshifter was as interesting as Lira, in a different way though.
All races in these books are humanoid or demons, and here we go take apart the bad side. Rectar, Sauron reincarnated, is a manipulative psycho who wants to kill everything other than Dragons.
The evil wizard doesn’t like to serve Rectar and wants the magical artifacts for himself ‘to save humanity.’
Dukoona is a fascinating character, a spectral(? keep forgetting the details) someone who has retained some morals and tries to remember the good vs. bad but is under the dominion of Rectar and is planning to break free.
Did I get that wrong?
The narrative is fluent. Pace flows smoothly with actions and backstory blending quite well in the first book. The language is somewhere between modern and classic and feels appropriate. Dialogues if not quotable, are quite fitting.
The mild darkness in this books is enjoyable. Fans of grimdark, don’t go looking for too much gore and violence here. The intro made me think it would be so.
The complexity and span of the plot are admirable. This review is only for The Reborn King and I offer four Bohostars for a Miller’s version of Tolkienian fantasy. I loved it.
The Dragon’s Blade series is a perfect read for lovers of epic fantasy, high fantasy, multiple races including demons, and the classic good vs evil.
Read my review for Veiled Intentions (The Dragon’s Blade #2)
Michael is a young Scot living in London and getting stuck into writing his first epic fantasy series, The Dragon’s Blade. Book 1, The Reborn King, made the top 20 books in Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off 2016. The second in the trilogy, Veiled Intentions, releases in February 2017. Michael is ‘that guy’ who enjoys discussing the mad fan theories of Game of Thrones even more than the books or show, and knows more about World of Warcraft than is probably healthy.
Taken from Goodreads
The author’s website
Check out the ‘Writing Journeys’ series in his blog (same website) on his fellow authors while you are at it.
You can find Michael’s books here.