Review copy provided by the publisher—Tor Books—in exchange for an honest review.
Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Series: Dragonslayer (Book #1 of 3)
Pages: 304 pages
Published: 2nd July 2019 by Tor Books (UK & US)
Dragonslayer is a typical and straight-forward dragon-slaying tale that’s been done countless times before.
There isn’t anything wrong with Dragonslayer. The book is well-written, the prose used was simple, the narrative flows well. However, everything about it seemed to not reach its maximum potential; every element lacked something crucial to elevate the book to be memorable in the current SFF market. To sum up my point easily, Dragonslayer played it way too safely by telling the same kind of overdone story without offering anything new in it that the content ended up being okay at best.
You know how it is; medieval setting, a drunk and out of shape dragonslayer finds out that the supposedly extinct dragon is back and now he’s tasked to hunt it down. That’s it. If you’ve read or played a video game with a story that went revolved around hunting a dragon, it’s safe to assume that you pretty much have read this book. Is it okay to tell this overdone story again? Absolutely. However, I would’ve preferred it so much more if there were something new that made it memorable to me. The characters were non-memorable; none of them have proper background and motivations to make me care about them. They were just chess pieces with no life that’s being moved by the author to move towards a certain destination—killing the dragon. Also, there wasn’t any world-building to make the world feel rich. Honestly, the only part of this book that I can consider as a refreshing read was the dragon’s POV; the book would most likely provide a more unique and enjoyable reading experience to me if it was told mostly from Alpheratz’s POV.
Dragonslayer was an okay read but unfortunately, I can’t say that there’s anything memorable or amazing about it. In the current SFF market, amazing books comprised of originality, memorable characterizations, and intricate world-building are easy to find; I found Dragonslayer to be a book that played it too safe. Not only this kind of storyline has been done countless times before, but Hamilton also didn’t bring anything new to his rendition of the dragon-slaying story. I may be on the unpopular side for this book; the ratings I’ve seen so far—especially on Amazon—have been immensely positive. Either I’m in the unpopular opinion, or maybe, in the end, it all simply means that there’s still a large market of readers that enjoy an utterly straight-forward dragon-slaying story. If you REALLY love a classic dragon-slaying tale, you might enjoy Dragonslayer. Unfortunately, I prefer a more original content rather than another dragon-slaying story with different names that I’ve read or played more than hundreds of times cumulatively.
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