by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Review by Ann Cecil

Arlian, who was orphaned as a boy by dragons, which are nasty and malevolent in his semi-feudal world, managed to survive not only the dragons but slavery in a mine. In 'Count of Monte Cristo' style, Arlian revenged himself on the human villain who ruined his childhood. Now he is ready to start his revenge against the dragons. He has some serious surprises coming, in unanticipated consequences of his actions, as well as in more details of the secrets behind dragon reproduction and the battle between dragons and Humankind. Arlian is forced to fight duels against the Humans he expected to see as allies, but finds allies he didn't expect. He is forced to count the cost of revenge, both for himself and his allies, and examine his own motives. The ending of this book is both satisfying and a terrific surprise.

While this book is a sequel, there is enough 'back story fill-in' that the reader can follow the plot, even if you missed Dragon Weather. Watt-Evans writes fantasies that are way better than the average (in my opinion). Rather than straight wish-fulfillment, or thinly disguised romances, this fantasy has plot and characters that behave like real people. Not only is the logic stronger than usual, the whole concept of 'dragonhearts' is well-developed, and a concept I've not seen before. Highly recommended.

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