By: Christine E. Schluze
Published by: Old Line Publishing, L.L.C.
Book Blurb: Zale. Gauthier. Varden. These three dynasties... They all sound like something out of an ancient, oriental myth or fairy tale. The concept of humans and dragons helping and living in harmony with one another, without fear. To me, that's exactly what they are. A distant dream only read of, whispered secretly, quietly yearned for. For, you see, I am the new Quelda of Tynan.
These words echo the mystery, horror, and romance found within Schulze's fantasy novel. Along with her new husband, Chalom, Crislin must choose to embrace cruel tradition, run from it, or stand against it. The young couple's only hope is to rally the help of the three peaceful dragon dynasties of Sulamon - but tradition is not on their side, even outside the realm of Tynan. The dragons outside Tynan's borders have been rumered as too stubborn and proud to believe their Tynan brothers would commit such horrors as inflicted upon the Quelda. Gaining their aid is not a likely hope. Yet any hope at all is valued in Tynan...
If they are to stand a change of bringing cruel tradition to a permanent end, Crislin and Chalom must brave the constant, consuming blizzards of the Ever-white. They must brave the three dynasties and the challenges awaiting there. Together, they must convince the dragon emperors to allow them access to the shrines which house the secred Aria - protective strands of music which may be able to disperse the evil from Tynan and unite the four dynasties of Sulaimon as a whole once again. Their only aid stems from a sprite whose moods are as unstable as her magic, a yough minstrel, and a mysterious fox. Despite the odds, such plans are daring, dangerous, unprecedented, but fully possible - if they can escape the Wall first.
What I thought: I have never read a book like this before, so when these wierd creatures started to change colors I was not sure what to think.
There was not much characterization for my liking, and the dialogue was a bit bland. What I got from the main character, Crislin, she seemed to worry about others, but a little bit not sure of herself and needy.
I enjoyed the action and description. It really brought things together for me because it was exciting and flowed with what was going on. I would recomend the story for a young adult.
Excerpt: In Sulaimon, four kingdoms stretch to the four corners of that vast land, each ruled and guarded by four dragon dynasties.
To the East, across the feathery meadows, upon an island hovering not far from the coast lays the Zale Dynasty. Serpent-like dragons slither through pure ocean waters and fields, slipping so silently it looks like a gentle wind sways the tall reeds. Raised facets glitter like sapphires and diamonds upon smooth, aqua-blue scales. They are the most playful of the dragon families, the gentlest dragon rulers. They catch fish and rabbits for the people of the island and protect them from sharks, wolves, and other fearsome creatures. Serene bynature, the Zale dragons spend much time in meditation, studying peace and charity towards all. Thus, they require from their human inhabitants the lightest of the required tributes. In exchange for care and protection, the Zale Dragons oblige only an annual feast which the people prepare and share with the dragons.
To the West, the treacherous, harshly windy Valther Mountains loom. On top stands the Gauthier Dynasty. Unlike the elegant Eastern palace clad in gold and light silks, a sturdy, stone fortress houses the Gauthier Dragons. They are the fiercest of the dynasties, a warring family. They do not war needlessly, though if the humans of their land were ever threatened, they would brutally defend them until death. Many a time, their strength protects the people from wild mountain beasts. Thick, leathery, long wings battle snow and ice to find those humans who lose their way. The dragons also quarry great rocks, minerals, and precious gems which their human architects build with and the blacksmiths forge into great armor, weapons, all sorts of fine things. Thus, the tribute the Gauthier dragons require every year includes some of their blacksmiths' most excellently crafted armor, weaponry, and jewlry. The Gauthier dragons are great collectors, admiring the humans' abilities to create such magnificent wonders despite their frailties.
All in all, my first try at fantasy has challanged me to be more open minded to the wierd. I will try it again, as a second try.