The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power is a story about survival, revenge and dragons. This is one of those books where the comparisons seem pretty accurate (George RR Martin and Naomi Novik) though I’d throw in a Castaway reference too to really round things out. I strangely love stranded and needing to build up structures for long term survival stories (I played a lot of Harvest Moon as a kid okay??), so I really enjoyed that aspect that you don’t find a lot in fantasy books. Plus, you know, dragons!
Note: I received an advanced copy of The Dragon Round from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power
Published by Simon & Schuster on July 19th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
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A swashbuckling adventure with a dark side for fans of George R.R. Martin and Naomi Novik—when a ship captain is stranded on a deserted island by his mutinous crew, he finds a baby dragon that just might be the key to his salvation…and his revenge.
He only wanted justice. Instead he got revenge.
Jeryon has been the captain of the Comber for over a decade. He knows the rules. He likes the rules. But not everyone on his ship agrees. After a monstrous dragon attacks the galley, the surviving crewmembers decide to take the ship for themselves and give Jeryon and his self-righteous apothecary “the captain’s chance”: a small boat with no rudder, no sails, and nothing but the clothes on his back to survive on the open sea.
Fighting for their lives against the elements, Jeryon and his companion land on an island that isn’t as deserted as they originally thought. They find a baby dragon that, if trained, could be their way home. But as Jeryon and the dragon grow closer, the captain begins to realize that even if he makes it off the island, his old life won't be waiting for him and in order get justice, he’ll have to take it for himself.
- Is it weird how happy I was when our characters end up stranded and needing to start planting seeds and building living spaces to survive on an island?? There is just something about frontier-style living that appeals to me in stories and in video games.
- You might worry that there is only the one scary dragon from the very beginning, but have no fear. There is a lot more dragon screen time and even baby dragons!
- I quite like the comparison to Novik because of the combination of dragons and a world that has already entered the industrial revolution level of technology. It’s just so fascinating to see how dragons could fit into a more technologically developed world than they are often put in.
- While the main character is most certainly Jeryon, he has a companion on the island and throughout the story that is strong and stoic and also female. There is delightfully no romance plot line between the two despite them being the only two people on an island and I honestly would have loved an entire book just from this awesome lady’s perspective!
- Do not read this book if you are looking for a happy or uplifting ending. Apparently the revenge business is a really bad plan, despite what a certain Spaniard would have you think. Really really grim.
- There were some odd points where I felt we were building towards a really interesting scene and then the text just skipped over it to go into something else in the future. Maybe what I find interesting isn’t what everyone finds interesting?
- The second half of Dragon Round is much different than the first in that it is from all secondary character perspectives pretty much. Therefore, I didn’t really feel connected to Jeryon anymore even though it was his actions that everyone was discussing. It was a rather odd switch.
- Further, there were a lot of secondary characters telling the story in the second half of the book and I could not keep all these well-off middle-aged men straight at times….
The Dragon Round is a fantasy that will strongly appeal to a certain type of reader and probably won’t work well for everyone else. If you like grim and perhaps overly realistic endings, this is a book for you. If you like the kind of writing style I’ve described, go for it! If not, maybe pick up Novik instead ;-).
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power
© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.