Monday, September 24, 2012

The Storm Dragon's Heart by David Alastair Hayden

 The Storm Dragon's Heart by David Alastair Hayden

Synopsis: Turesobei dreamed of adventure, a way to prove he was no longer a child.
Wizards should be careful what they wish for.

Destined to become his clan's next high wizard, studious Turesobei has constantly struggled to live up to other people's demands and expectations, but now he's had enough.

When his treasure-hunting father arrives with important news to discuss with the current high wizard, Turesobei spies on their secret meeting and accidentally foils an assassination attempt. As a reward his father invites him on an expedition to find an artifact known as the Storm Dragon's Heart.

But when disaster strikes, their quest becomes a race for survival.

Aided by a sassy ninja cat-girl and a mysterious diary that transforms into a winged familiar, Turesobei must face deadly cultists, vengeful spirits, and a mad wizard from a rival clan who's determined to use the artifact to destroy Turesobei's homeland.

The Storm Dragon's Heart will delight readers with a thrilling tale of exotic lands, mystical creatures, forbidden love, and fast-paced adventure. 

Richi's Review: In full disclosure I received a free eBook edition of this book in exchange for an honest review.

One of the great things about this fantasy book is that it is based on an Eastern/Japanese culture. This makes it much more original then many other fantasy novels.

In the first quarter to third of the book there is not much action, but a lot of world building and character introduction. Personally I didn’t find this a problem as it was very interesting, especially considering the originality of much of it. Once you get pass that part there is plenty of action, with more balance between action and character/world development.

The main character Turesobei is a teenage wizard who is being trained by his grandfather the high-wizard. He is a good character who wants to do well and please his grandfather. Although he is somewhat reluctant in his role as the high wizard’s apprentice and is more keen on going on adventures with his treasure hunting father.

Turesobei has help from a number of allies. First is Lu Bei, a familiar that usually takes the form of a book. He is a great concept and a very interesting personality. He aids Turesobei with knowledge and helps him with his spells, but he also has information that he keeps from our hero.

Also helping Turesobei is a cat-girl called Iniru. She has ninja skills and a lot of attitude. She has a great personality and makes a great contrast to Turesobei. Her race is a lot less formal than the Turesobei’s making for a lot of interesting interactions between the two.

Onudaka’s is another companion who is a great warrior and helps Turesobei in many ways and giving him great advice.

Turesobei has an interesting family dynamic, his grandfather is his teacher who is an excellent mentor in the way he both annoys and inspires his pupil. Turesobei loves his father and wants to be with him, but his father has been off on adventures most of his life and not with his family. Turesobei loves his sister and they have a somewhat playful relationship but they clearly care for each other a lot. Turesobei doesn’t get on with his mother.

The romance part of the book is actually well written for a young adult/fantasy book. It takes time to build up and goes through a believable development.

The magic system is good, basically the wizard get worn out from casting spells and can even pass out if they use up too much of their energy. This is great as it stops the wizards becoming too powerful.

There is a good amount of humour in the book which helps with the story.

One problem I had with the eBook edition of this book was that it sometimes would skip pages. I had to use the Publishers Default settings, and sometimes had to turn them off and on again to get it to turn pages correctly.

I really hope there will be more books to this series as there are some unanswered questions. The characters in the book are excellent, the story is fantastic. The world building is very interesting and it was great to see an fantasy book based on Japanese culture rather than the traditional European.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds pretty interesting all around. Nice review.