Blood of an Exile

Tor. (Dragons of Terra). Aug. 2019. 416p. pap. ISBN 9781250309648. $16.99; ISBN 9781250309631, $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250309624. FANTASY
DEBUT Flawless Bershad the dragon fighter is known throughout Terra for his ruthless skill and infamous fall from grace. Princess Ashlyn summons Bershad to the capital of Almira to rescue her sister, who was kidnapped by rival kingdom Balaria. His other secret mission is to assassinate the Balarian emperor, who plans to corner the profitable dragon oil market by killing all the dragons of Terra as they come to breed in Balaria. Ashlyn believes that dragons are the key to balance in Terra, preventing both famine and plague. She sends Bershad, who has noticed changes in himself after his time spent with dragons, with his trusted shield, a dangerous widow, a thief, and a donkey on a quest to save all of Terra. The dynamic characters and divided kingdoms of Terra leave a lot of space for this series to grow. Bershad is both cantankerously funny and endearingly human. The environmental impact of dragon extinction adds a new dimension to the expected swordplay and political intrigue.
VERDICT Strongly recommended for devoted fantasy readers and a great gateway book for those new to the genre.

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