Monday, October 4, 2010

The sort of book that makes me want to write

Where do I start? I picked this book up for the first time about 18 years ago and from the start it firmly established Ms Rawn as one my top ten favourite authors. Who are the others you ask? Well stick around because I’m bound to review them all at some stage. To be honest, the first thing that drew me to the book was Michael Whelan’s exceptional artwork, but it wasn’t long before Rawn’s magic caught me in its spell.

From the Archives:


Dragon Prince
Dragon Prince #1
By Melanie Rawn
BUY IT


Opening in the desert kingdom of The Long Sand, Rawn demonstrates that she isn’t one to shy away from violence or tragedy, and that she holds the ability to delve deep into the full spectrum of human emotion. While the story is large in scope, it moves with an assured pace that doesn’t pull any punches.

Revolving around Rohan, the Dragon Prince of the title, and the sunrunner witch Sioned, an initiate of the Goddess Keep, Rawn builds her world with a precision and flair that is matched by the style and grace of her writing. Rohan is a man of character, breeding and intelligence. Brought up in a world where a man’s right to rule is based on his skill as a warrior, his inclination to the finer arts of reading and education is a cause of concern to his family when the mantle of Prince is thrust upon him by his father’s untimely death. Having been sheltered from court life by his mother’s wishes, he is pushed into the public eye as an unknown player in a dangerous game. To his side comes Sioned, a young woman as feisty and strong-willed as she is beautiful and accomplished in the magical art of sunrunning. Presented to Rohan on the night of his father’s death, there is a marriage arranged by his aunt and her mistress, Andre, the Lady of the Goddess Keep. At first apprehensive, Rohan is struck by Sioned’s beauty and sensitivity, finding her a match for him in intelligence and passion, a person he can love and share his secrets with without fear of derision. This is the tale of their courtship, bound together by the machinations of fate and the intrigues of noble houses; it is an intelligent read that balances romance and magic with cunning and bloody politics.

Well-drawn characters and vivid descriptions accompany Rohan and Sioned in the unfolding of their story. Personal relationships between family and friends lend the book a welcome relief to bloody infighting encouraged by the realm’s powerful and manipulative overlord the High Prince Roelstra. One thing that struck me about this book is the intelligence that is evident in the laying of every plot and the turn of each phrase. Both the prose and the verbal sparring between characters is lively and holds a distinct style that is Rawn’s own and has grown with every book she’s gone on to write. This is a great book and one that doesn’t sit on my shelf long enough to gather dust.


3 comments:

Seak (Bryce L.) said...

Love this book. I have the first in the Dragon Prince series and I really need to get to it already. Hopefully in the next few months.

Mark Timmony said...

@Seak - yeah, for me the Dragon Prince trilogy is by far Rawn's best work. I live in hope that she'll do something just as good in the future :)

Seak (Bryce L.) said...

If only she could complete a project. :( She now has two unfinished trilogies, what the heck?

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