Review: The Dragon of Despair

Review: The Dragon of DespairThe Dragon of Despair by Jane Lindskold
Series: Firekeeper Saga #3
Published by Tor Books on April 1, 2004
Genres: Adventure, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy
Pages: 768
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted

Raised by smart, language-using wolves, far from humans, then brought back to the court of Hawk Haven, young Firekeeper had to learn to cope with human society. Fortunately, for one raised amidst intelligent pack animals, the intrigues of humans are neither complex nor wholly unfamiliar.

Now Melina Shield, the beautiful, unscrupulous, and thoroughly discredited sorceress whose power-hungry intrigues have already made so much trouble for Firekeeper, has once more used her power to cloud men's minds, and has induced the ruler of New Kelvin to marry her. This is bad news on a lot of fronts.

It's particularly bad news for Firekeeper. Melina hasn't abandoned her schemes to gain power through the use of forbidden ancient sorcery. And the leaders of the royal beasts who watch over this world have given Firekeeper--and her intelligent wolf companion Blind Seer--the responsibility for stopping her.

At this point, I am somewhat regretting having picked up free copies of the first five books in this series. Having done so, I feel compelled to read them all. Unfortunately, I am not any more enthused by this series than I was at the beginning, perhaps less so. For whatever reason, the characters and plots have never particularly interested in me.

My complaints here are similar to my complaints for the two previous books in the series. First of all, for an epic fantasy series, there is remarkably little action. Second of all, in addition to there being a dearth of action, romance lacks almost entirely as well. Without either of these, getting any real excitement going is tough. Not that there cannot be good books without these things, however, I do not think the writing and plotting are good enough to carry the reader without them in this case.

Speaking of romance, I am now three books into a six book series and there has been absolutely no romance, except for one mutual affection (upon which no action has been taken beyond talk), one unrequited crush, and some action for Melina, the bad guy. What the heck? This pretty much disproves one stereotype, the one that women are always more interested in romance than men. The Wheel of Time series has tons of romance in it, whereas, this one, penned by a woman, focuses instead on politics.

Two (maybe three, since, at that point, I might as well complete the series) books to go. I sure hope they get more interesting soon!


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