Review published on March 25, 2017.
This novel follows the lives of the Zeeranim, a matriarchal desert society that live with giant sentient cats. Sulema wants to be a warrior, but finds out that she is related to the ruler of neighbouring Atualon.
The world is very well set out, with mythical beasts and lots of adventure. Magic exists in this world and most people can use some of it. Despite the cover image, do not expect dragons to be characters in this novel. They are talked about a lot and their mythology does add to the world, although not in the way I had expected from the cover. There is a lot of politics involved in both the matriarchal society and Atualon, which reminded me of the books by George R.R. Martin. The characters are likeable and very engaging. Even the bad guys are sympathetic and their motives completely understandable. The story moves along quickly and the writing style is very readable.
Though epic in scale, I think this novel would be a good introduction to fantasy for non-fantasy readers. It is not a traditional fantasy novel, not the stereotypical kind of tale that most non-fantasy readers would expect. There are strong female characters, as warriors, mothers, leaders and magic users. It covers such themes as racism and the role of women in different societies. It does not make a judgement on whose view is right, but rather explains why those characters hold those views. This means that reading groups will have a lot to talk about.
The fact that it is the start of a trilogy could put readers off; however, some aspects of the story do reach conclusions by the end of the novel. I really do want to read the next book in the trilogy, as I enjoyed this novel. It has the potential to become a really impressive series.
Angela Finch 4/4
The Dragon’s Legacy by Deborah A. Wolf
Titan Books 9781785651076 hbk Apr 2017