Thursday, September 27, 2012
Dragonsword by Deborah Teramis Christian
Like most fantasy, Dragonsword is long. On my iPad, it's 440 pages long. And because this is the first book in the series, it's spends quite a lot of time setting the background. But I didn't mind, because I found the childhood of the main characters very interesting (in fact, I thought that the book was going to be set during their childhood).
Dragonsword follows two opposing houses - House Isshki and House Palumara. Nebuki Palumara (the representative of House Palumara), is scheming to become the next Shengu, although the currect power of House Isshki makes the journey harder. In the meantime, Norigeo Kanato is fostered to Ushiyama Isshki after his mother's death (which makes House Isshki the "good guy" in the novel), where he grows up with Ushiyama's sons Temuro and Adukaro and his daughter Kiyani.
To me, Dragonsword's stroke of genius was to have the prologue in Nebuki Palumara's point of view. It created sympathy for him, and made the storyline much more complex than a "good-house vs evil-house". It tells the reader that while House Isshki is generally good, they do have (perceived) flaws like nepotism.
As for settings, it was really refreshing to see a book inspired by ancient Japan. Most fantasy books are inspired by a western country (very prominently, Lord of The Rings), and while that's great too, I was really psyched to see one inspired by Japan! It's obviously not ancient Japan (like the authoress says), but there are many similarities.
All in all, this is a really interesting novel. Plus it's free, so you have nothing to lose (except your time, which is said to be worth more than money). Go give it a read! Me? I have lots of other books on my TBR list, and I'm waiting for book 2.