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Draigon Weather is Book One of the four-book series, Legacies of Arnan. The story takes place in a land where rare visits from giant Draigons can cause droughts, fires, and unpredictable weather. The fearful populace have learned that the sacrifice of a woman will appease a Draigon for at least a generation. This setup allows the author to expertly turn the “damsel in distress” trope on its ear.
While the plot spans decades, the heart of the story centers on two childhood friends, Leiel and Cleod, and how a singular traumatic event sets them on very different paths. The two points-of-view are equally enjoyable and serve to develop the characters towards a reunion that I found very powerful and rewarding. This is much more than a simple coming-of-age story: it features strong, competent characters that truly grow over the course of the book, which I found refreshing after so many books where immature characters only grow up by leaving a string of failures and mistakes in their wakes.
I was surprised by how effective the book's splintered timeline was. Generally, techniques like this fail to excite because too much emphasis is on concealing or overhyping the key event that separates past from future (see almost any J.J. Abrams-directed show that jumps back 24 hours). Here, the time jumps succeed not because of cheap tricks or late-game reveals, but because I was wholly invested in the characters and wanted to explore every inch of their stories, even when already telegraphed several chapters earlier.
I enjoyed the generally uplifting tone of the story and its themes. The characters struggle and face tragic circumstances, but there is always a maudlin thread of hope running through the proceedings. Relationships with supporting characters (like Kilras and Torrin) aren’t given a short shrift -- if anything, they left me wanting to read more about them. Even minor characters who behave despicably are developed enough to have a reason for their depravity.
All of these aspects serve to make Draigon Weather a very strong start to the series (I immediately purchased Book 2, Wing Wind, after finishing). Read this for its well-developed characters worth rooting for, its direct, powerful prose, and its ability to erase the line between history, backstory, and the parts of the story you’re “supposed” to care about.
I've heard this book described as a feminist Western with dragons. Draigons? Whatever. That's exactly what it is, and it is so very much that.
I love SFF that has a true Western feel. Firefly captured it so well, and so does Draigon Weather. As the story traveled throughout Arnan I could almost see the dusty, sepia-toned air and hear the creak of leather and jingling of spurs. This book touched my senses in every way.
The characters are memorable as well. From the washed-up "ex-gunslinger" to the strong young woman who never lets herself be cowed by a society bent on keeping her in her "place" (that gets into the feminist part of the feminist Western, though. No spoilers!), the book is populated with a cast of real people. They never felt like characters, if you get my meaning, even when they were at their moustache-twirling worst (looking right at you, Klem. No spoilers!).
I highly recommend this one. Book Two is out (and next on my TBR) and Three comes out later this year. I can't wait to see what happens next!
I really enjoyed reading this book! From the first to the last, I enjoyed the character development and appreciated the history of the 2 main characters. I was surprised at how upset I got about the treatment of women in the story! I'm not going into the story line here because I don't want to spoil any surprises. Enough to say that I will certainly buy the next book in this series and hope the author publishes it soon!
This was an absolutely entrancing read. I wasn't but 50 pages in when I rushed back to order Book 2 so I wouldn't have to wait to continue the story, and then I still finished the book by the next day. The story plays out in vignettes as seen by two different characters at different times in their lives, which is an incredibly difficult concept to pull off well. Ms. Christie, however, pulls it off masterfully! The tale is well-organized and designed to punch the reader right in the gut at all the right times. Don't miss this book!
Engaging characters from the start. A real page turner -- I had to ration the book as otherwise I would've had to blast through the entire thing in a couple of days. Dying to read the next installment. Based on how this current book built, I am expecting more plot twists.
Interesting concept for a fantasy genre book. Feminism, unrequited love and dragons! Interesting combination of story lines. Kept my interest from the beginning. Can’t wait for next book in this series.
One of the best books I've read in a long time. I really enjoyed the unique twist on a very classic fantasy storyline. This book kept me utterly engaged from the beginning and so invested in these character's lives. I absolutely cannot wait for a sequel!