Echoes of Dragons by C. Borden — SPFBO 9 REVIEW

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The cover and the title of this both promised me dragons and the opening scene delivered. This opens with a character known as the White Lord performing a ritual to hatch a dragon, the one known left in existence. It’s a ritual that requires blood to bond the dragon to him, and more blood so she can eat. This is not a nice dragon that gets along with humans. She kills a child and drains him dry like a vampire in the very first chapter. So, if you are not a fan of blood, violence, and all that jazz this may not be the book for you, lol. There’s quite a bit of skull cracking, blood draining, and evisceration.

However, after that opening things slow down a bit as we get to know the main character. She has the opposite disposition of the White Lord and is a healer living among the Willow Elves despite being human (this isn’t common). She’s run from a life of servitude and forced prostitution, so her past isn’t a good one but the future looks brighter among her elf friends. Things go awry though when she makes a cultural taboo and may have to find a new life elsewhere. Meanwhile, the White Lord is trying to gather forces, train his dragon, and has seriously nefarious intent for the rest of the realm.

This is a classic good versus evil epic adventure story featuring a healer as an MC. I am really drawn to these types of characters. If I have a choice in a video game I’m always healer class, or the closest thing to it — I enjoy critical support roles like that.

This is a well loved world with a lot going on. There were a bunch of different races of elves and they all have their own standards and cultures and laws, there are other non-human races like dwarves, there are dragons, there’s a lot of different kinds of magics and different ways it can be used or enhanced with charms and what have you. The dragons have their own lore and capabilities that include things like telepathy. There was a lot to like for people who enjoy classic epic fantasy, and in particular, intelligent dragons.

So, I had a few issues which is why this will unfortunately be a cut. The beginning was just so, so fast. I believe there were more than ten years crammed into the first few chapters and it was a whirlwind getting to know a characters full lifetime in just a few chapters. This was mostly done through the narrative, without much dialogue or on page scenes with the MC. This left me feeling kind of detached as if I was listening to a story of someone’s life instead of living through it with them, and so it kind of dragged a bit for me. There was a lot of world building and I loved a lot of the concepts, but often times it was delivered through info dumping in awkward places. So although I was digging the content, the delivery was a little choppy in places. I did make it through to the end for this one!

Overall, despite it being a cut, I would recommend this to people who crave dragons and magic with an theme of good versus evil.