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Dark Glory War Cover Fortress Draconis CoverWhen Dragons Rage CoverGrand Crusade Cover

Finally finshed the last book in Michael A. Stackpole’s Dragon Crown War novels. There are four books, The Dark Glory War (prequel), Fortress Draconis, When Dragons Rage, and the final book Grand Crusade.

The first book, Dark Glory War, is in the form of a memoir written by the main character, Tarrant Hawkins. Tarrant, and his friends Bosleigh (Leigh) Norrington, Naysmith Carver, and Rounce Playfair begin the book preparing to go on a coming of age ceremony. Basically, they are taken via a carriage a long distance away from town (a couple days walk) and made to get back to town as part of their trials. Things go horribly wrong when a Temeryx, a beast from the northern land of Aurolan (the image I get of them was a raptor type beast that was more like a bird then a dinosaur though) attacked them. From then on, they start an adventure to first find out why the beasts and others like it are in their territory. They find out that a Norrington (at various times believed to be either Leigh or his father Lord Kenwick Norrington) is destined to put an end to the scourge of the north – Chrytine the sorcerous emperess of Aurolan. They do battle both individually, and with armies against Chrytine, and her armies led by the Sullanciri – her magically enhanced (and in some cases undead) generals. I cannot go into too much without spoiling the plot, but while reading I felt that I instantly liked the main character, Tarrant, which is what made this book so enjoyable. The book is well written, definately worth a read. The ending is NOT typical fantasy fare which is not always found in cliche filled heroes save the world novels.

The next three books are basically about the struggle of Will Norrington (the recently discovered son of Leigh Norrington), Alexia of Okranell (the princess of a country ravaged and conqured by Chrytine), Kerrigan Reese (a young, naive, but VERY powerful wizard, trained from birth to be a weapon against Chrytine), the Vorquelf Resolute, and a mysterious human known only as Kedyn’s Crow. The books are a good read, but I felt that they weren’t as enjoyable as the prequel novel. The end of Grand Crusade also felt very rushed (even though it is the longest of the four books) and that did ruin some of the enjoyment for me.

It is worth reading the series though. Its nice to have a series of novels that you could read all of them in a few weeks. They were all released over a span of a few years, and all before I started reading the first novel. I have so many authors that I love and hate at the same time. Love because I like their books, and hate because they often take forever to release the next book in their series.

3 Responses to “Full review of Dragon Crown War Cycle”

  1. Bruce says:

    “The ending is NOT typical fantasy fare which is not always found in cliche filled heroes save the world novels.”

    Hmm… Let me guess… Everyone dies?!?! 😉

  2. Shawn says:

    I have to agree. The series does end rather abruptly. This seems to be a common issue with Stackpoles novels. He builds suspense, gets your blood pumping and the pages turning, then just stops.

  3. Willie says:

    i have to say that i really liked the book series. i felt it wasnt all cliched and such it was a good read to me cause it had little stories in side of it like that of all the characters and also love the way tarrant hawkins is portrayed its just a well written book series in my eyes many good elements just sometimes the military logistics or such feel tedious and boring other then that awesome