Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: Reawakening by Amy Rae Durreson

Reviewed by Fehu
Reawakening by Amy Rae Durreson
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 260pgs
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For a thousand years, since their defeat of the Shadow at Eyr, the dragons have slept under the mountains. Now their king, Tarnamell, has woken. Driven mad by loneliness, he hurls himself south until he finds and tries to claim the Alagard Desert. Unfortunately, the desert already has a guardian spirit, and he doesn't want to share. Amused by the cocky little desert spirit, Tarn retreats, planning to return in human form.

When his caravan enters the desert, however, Alagard is missing. Rumors fly of a dark power, and soon Tarn’s caravan encounters the living dead and an amnesiac mage called Gard.

Forced to take refuge in the Court of the Shells, a legendary fortress in the heart of the desert, Tarn, Gard, and their allies decide to seek out the Shadow before it destroys the desert. But to confront the Shadow, Tarn needs to gather his strength. A dragon's power depends on the love and loyalty of his human hoard, but Tarn's original hoard has been dead for centuries. Before he can face his most ancient enemy, he must win the trust of new followers and the heart of a cynical desert spirit.

Fantastic world building and interesting characters that will draw you into their story! I loved the story, yes but there are a lot of fantasy books that focus too much on world building and too long, and I loved that that was not the case here. Even the few flashbacks were well built into the plot and didn't distract from the actual story.

In the beginning we a have a lone dragon who wakes up after a long, centuries long sleep, a form of recovery after the last great battle for the world against demon lords and Shadows. One could empathize with him from the first moment, he is alone in a new strange world and realises that his hoard, all people he loved, his lover, have died. All of his brothers still sleep, but he is the king of all dragons, the first and his sleep was somehow interrupted.

The atmosphere of the book was a bit melancholy and when Tarnamell reaches the desert the feeling changes. A desert should be a lonely, desolate place, but Tarn sees it as something warm and full of love. Alagard, the spirit of the after him named desert, is less happy about a dragon in his place. When Tarn couldn't convince Alagard to join his horde, he leaves the desert and moves to human cities. Tarn isn't happy about what he sees, the world has changed a lot, but the world has not been kind to the weak, no benign lord protects them and there is no clan to look after them. In a city he meets a female warrior of on the Myrtilis orden and he is hired to protect a caravan on their way through Alagard. The desert they find is lost in pain, their spirit god captured by and old enemy of Tarn's - Shadow, who has awakened and now tries to pull the world into death and chaos once more. Now Tarn has to fight again and this time without the love of his hoard, his lover, his brothers and sisters or his old allies.

It's a well written story and I liked that the author understood how to draw in the reader. A lot was shown and the relationship between Alagard and Tarn progressed slowly and in a believable pace. The story moved swiftly, not too slow and not too fast, which made it easy to follow and there was no time to get bored or get lost in description. Also the characters are quiet and interesting cast a dragon lord, a desert spirit, female warriors and two merchant /spies with an interesting past. Tarn is very powerful, but he is portrayed quite vulnerable and a bit lost in a new time, you can’t help, but to fall in love with him and the story.

A good story leaves you wanting more and I would love to read new adventures of Tarn or the historian who writes at the end. Rafe is also an interesting character or the other dragons that might wake up. But you do not need to fear it is a finished story and it is satisfying happy end.
For fans of David Edding, at least the story reminded me a bit of the worlds and adventures he created, just with a male romance twist.

Highly recommended for fantasy lovers!

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