Book Review: The Blood of a Dragon (The Dragons of Dorwine) by Jack Adkins

The Blood of a Dragon

The Blood of a Dragon by Jack Adkins, epic high fantasy, Dungeons-and-Dragons inspired, many fantasy races, dragons and goblins and elves!Genre: The Dragons of Dorwine, #1

Author: Jack Adkins

Genre: Fantasy

Book Description:

Anuka Sandbar is the most interesting half-goblin alive. Just ask him.

While searching for his famous father, a roguish young half-goblin swashbuckler and his unlikely companions are enslaved by pirates. An emissary of the Silver DragonLord Augmaximitis buys them and offers them freedom if they can find the source of illegal DragonsBlood flooding the country. They soon discover that success could trigger a war between Dragons that would destray the mortal races.

How will they choose between gaining their freedom and dooming the world?


This is a fun fantasy read in a world filled with a lot of different creatures and races, and a bit of a Dungeons-and-Dragons RPG feel (says someone who really hasn’t played these games, so how should I know?). High Elves, Sea Elves, Sea Dwarfs, Fire Djinn, Goblins, Tritons, and the list goes on. I would not say that every point of view character gripped me and came alive immediately, but I found all of them interesting. They each have complex histories with secrets that are hinted at, but not really revealed, and some secrets they don’t even know.

Anuka is funny, arrogant, and flippant, with an ego more than large enough to match the smallness of his stature. He often acts with no sense of decorum or even basic respect, and very little gets him to behave seriously. He wants to find his father, and that is just about it.

Kelios is a merman, exiled from the undersea world, and possessing the ability to commune with animals, to bond with them and shift into them. He’s been raised to believe in destiny, in a role in life and a fate carved out for him, and he is compassionate and loyal, but struggling with what his place in life is to be.

Tabir is a High Elf, with a complex past who bears a great deal of guilt, but from the hints of his past and who he is now, it is hard to imagine what these atrocities that he committed are – and he is a healer, exchanging his life to heal others, with how many of his years he gives away proportionate to the severity of the wound he heals.

Crenthys appears to be a half-Sea Elf, but she has some mysterious secret that she is at pains to keep anyone from discovering, and she dreams the memories of a dragon.

Seeing the different character’s thoughts above each other, as well as their own perspectives, enlivened the story and my appreciation of each of them. I would not say that all of them experience substantial character growth in this book, but some of them definitely start down the road, and one sees the beginning of things that will assuredly result in their growth and development. This is least so in the case of Tabir, who has already lived rather a long life (not by Elven standards, but still it’s been some time) and is a rather established person, who’s gone through his own adventures and knows what he believes and who he is and strives to be.

And here’s an excerpt that stayed with me:

Kelios would die here and all that talk of destiny would turn to dust. With all his heart he wanted to know how to just be in the moment. To savor it. It seemed so unfair. He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to push away the pain in his lungs, his neck, and his broken heart. He had followed his destiny so closely, had been the perfect son. Now destiny laughed at him.

In his mind he felt the bear nuzzle his face. He felt its raw emotions tumbling about in its mind. There was sadness directed towards him. There was fear, also directed at Kelios. Finally, he sensed immense gratitude. Despite all that had happened to the poor creature, Kelios had shown her compassion where no others had. Questing forth with his mind, Kelios comforted the bear and wished her peace. Then the bear stepped over the threshold of his mind and took control.

Anuka is fun to read with hilarious antics that often provide a comic relief that would be overdone if the character was anyone other than Anuka, who so obviously belongs, and is that way, and he can be quite a selfish little jerk at times, but I think my favourite characters were Kelios and Tabir, though I would like to know more about how the druid-shapeshifting thing works. What first drew me into the book was Anuka, but what really made me interested in what it would turn out to be was the last chapter of the book, which goes quite well without context – and though it is only minor spoilers, I don’t think I can summarize it into anything adequate. But all the characters are interesting, and I hope they re-appear in the later books, because I am curious about how things develop with each of them.

At this point, I am somewhat concerned that the Christian themes present in this book will turn into something I cannot stand that will make me hate the book, but so far they remain for the most part in the background, and I have enjoyed their presence in the story. It is something of a quest of mine, for books with themes of certain types in them (they don’t have to be specifically Christian) that do not go in directions that repel me.

I really enjoyed the themes of friendship, and the way the complex situation around the Dragons, who seem to be evil gods but, in fact, are a species capable of making their own choices and being as complex as any other, was handled. On the other side of things, I did not so much enjoy a certain thread that placed duty over love and family.

Over all, this is a fun and adventurous fantasy, that certainly has some violence and a fair bit of action, but is not overly violent and is not gory or nasty. It moves along relatively quickly without running over the characters or ignoring their development and the changes in their outlook and relationships, which seem rather to be at the center.

Jack Adkin’s Website

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