3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
In life, we all face trials and tribulations. How we choose to react to these troubles can determine the course of our lives. Have you chosen to face the dragons from your past? Or are you cowering in fear? Journey to the Land of Dragons to overcome your fear and move forward in joy!
A long time ago, Sir Ulryc slew the last dragon. He removed the eyes of the dragon to take back as trophies. The eyes of the dragon, though, still held the spirit of the dragon. Sir Ulryc has an encounter with the spirit that changes him, and he realizes that the eyes do not belong to him. They are entrusted to a monastery that recognizes the wisdom and strength of the dragons.
For years, the monastery has sent initiates with this eye to the Land of Dragons. Unfortunately, the king learns about the last dragon's treasure and will do anything to get it. The secret lies with this monastery, and it is attacked. Some of the novice monks as well as a lone orphan are able to keep this eye from falling into enemy hands, but only by going into the Land of Dragons themselves to face their own personal dragons. Brother Lyst thinks only of himself; he has no wish to interfere in anyone's life. Brother Tethyr wants help from no one; he is perfectly capable of doing everything on his own. Brother Hyrhen feels the need to help everyone. Brother Dolry is very sickly; he need someone to do something for him at all times. Tercyn has only recently lost his father, and he still feels that loss deeply. Will the four monks and Tercyn be able to overcome their Dragons? Or will they perish in the Land of Dragons with the eye lost forever?
DragonGate by Sam Venstone is an epic fantasy adventure. At just under 800 pages, it's not a book in which to indulge for a quick weekend read. It is a book that one sips slowly as a vintage wine. The story has a steady pace that keeps the plot moving, but it is not necessarily what one would called action-packed. Rather as stated above, this has more of an adventure feel as The NeverEnding Story.
At first, some of the characters are quite unlikable. There were some that I even wanted to reach through the book and slap. However, that is part of the magic of the journey. Will these characters change? Or will they be stuck in their old ways forever? The author has created these characters in such a way that even though you are frustrated with them, you empathize with them and understand them at the same time.
Unfortunately there were so many characters mentioned in this book, there was no way to keep them all straight. This was especially evident in the first part of the novel, but it does continue throughout the book. Other than our four monks and Tercyn, I stopped trying to keep them all straight. At that point, I was able to relax and enjoy the tale.
I also enjoyed the magic that the author weaves into the story. While the characters face their dragons, there are many different creatures that are encountered in many different worlds. Some of these are ogres and trolls. My favorite magical aspect, though, was a world that existed inside the belly of a dragon. To find out how that happened, you'll just have to read the book.
Sadly, the book is somewhat repetitive in nature. In a way, this is understandable as there is a ceremonial aspect to this book that is repeated. However, in a book that is this long, anything that is repeated gets quite tedious after a while. I believe the book would have been better if the author had reworked it in such a way as to take these repetitive parts out. The plot would not suffer, and the book would be shorter. A win all the way around.
While the adventure is fun, unique and skillfully written, it's longer than many would take the time to read. There is a great theme of facing your fears to move forward in your life, but the book is somewhat repetitive with a vast number of characters. I nevertheless enjoyed reading this book, although I'm not sure I would read it again. It is for these reasons that I rate DragonGate 3 out of 4 stars. I would recommend it to those that enjoy long, adventurous journeys full of magic and hope.
View: on Bookshelves
Like kandscreeley's review? Post a comment saying so!