The Dragon Token: Did Not Finish

The Dragon Token by Melanie Rawn science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsThe Dragon Token by Melanie Rawn science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsThe Dragon Token by Melanie Rawn

I tried and failed to finish The Dragon Token, the second book in Melanie Rawn’s DRAGON PRINCE trilogy (really the fifth book in her DRAGON STAR trilogy). These novels are currently being released in very nice audio formats by Tantor Audio who has generously sent them to me for reviews. I feel bad for quitting, because these are such excellent audio productions narrated by Christa Lewis, but I am just so bored with them and each book is quite long.

Readers who enjoy or feel nostalgic for a medieval-style fantasy epic with a huge cast of white nobles who try to gain power, keep power, or scheme with others to wrest power from someone else, will certainly get more enjoyment out of these books than I did.

While Rawn attempts to flip the script a bit by giving us a desert setting, it never seems genuine (as I explained in my reviews of the previous books), making the story feel like so many others of its type. Rawn does give us a cool magic system — sunrunning, in which sunlight is used to weave colors of magic— but it wasn’t enough to elevate this story above the multitude of other options we have in this genre.The Dragon Token by Melanie Rawn science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviews

The Dragon Token begins where Stronghold left off. Pol’s family has been dealt a devastating blow and they’re not sure they’ll recover from it. They still don’t know why their lands have been attacked by a barbarian horde. Pol, who is trying to lead his people, feels like an imposter. Meanwhile, the scheming, betrayals, treachery, and murders continue as the usual suspects try to undermine his authority and usurp his power. It’s the same kind of activities we’ve seen throughout the series. The characters’ conversations, also, are feeling redundant.

I got halfway through The Dragon Token. At that point I just admitted to myself that I feel nothing for any of the characters and don’t care what happens to them. I’ve been torturing myself and I need to give myself permission to stop. This series just isn’t for me.

Published in 1992. With her bestselling fantasy trilogy, Dragon Prince, Melanie Rawn introduced us to Sunrunner’s magic and sorcerous evil, to a ruler striving to bring peace to warring kingdoms—and to her magnificent dragons. In Stronghold, the first novel in Melanie’s Dragon Star trilogy, the peace won by High Prince Rohan is shattered when a mysterious invasion force begins a devastating campaign against the people of the Desert. Now, in The Dragon Token, the time for retreat has come to an end as Rohan’s son and heir, Pol, rallies his forces in a desperate bid to halt the advance of the invaders. But ancient rivalries begin to weaken his alliance and only time will tell whether those loyal to the High Prince can defeat both the foreign invaders and the betrayers in their own ranks. And even as Pol leads his troops forth, Andry, the Sunrunner Lord of Goddess Keep, is also determined to take the attack to this enemy force which has sworn to slay all workers of magic. Yet the invaders have their own agenda of conquest, and they are even now readying to strike at the very heart of the Desert, stealing treasures which Pol and Andry would pay any price to reclaim—even if the price should prove to be their own lives….

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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3 comments

  1. Chris /

    What a useless review.

    Love how you have to force in ‘Readers who enjoy or feel nostalgic for a medieval-style fantasy epic with a huge cast of white nobles’ just to fit in with the radical liberal mindset taking over the country.

    What is the point of mentioning this? Do you really think the author is writing this series as a call out to white supremacy? Grow up, pretty pathetic.

    Other than that, your review gives no insight to us about the book, other than a summary that could be read on the back cover. Why you are a reviewer on this site is beyond me. Completely worthless write-up.

  2. Hi Chris,

    Thank you for reading my DNF post. I appreciate that. I’m sorry that you think it is “useless”, “pathetic”, and “worthless”.

    Your assumptions about my motives are incorrect, though. I didn’t “force in” but rather thought it was very natural to plainly state that this is a book for readers who enjoy Western-influenced medieval-style stories about nobles scheming to wrest power from each other.

    Anyone familiar with the history of epic fantasy will know what this means. I enjoy Western-influenced medieval settings myself. For example, I love Robin Hobb’s novels. They’re some of my very favorites.

    However, the series I’m reviewing here, while in that style, is boring. That’s its problem. I think I made that clear. I am bored with all the political intrigue, scheming, and banter that seems the same in each book in the series. (This information is not on the back cover of the book, I feel certain. Also, on our site, a DNF is not given a full review because we Did Not Finish it.)

    I am not sure what you are saying about “a call out to white supremacy” or “radical liberal mindset.” I guess you’re saying this because I used the word “white” to describe the characters in a book I didn’t like? That isn’t logical. I used the word “white” to indicate the style of the story (Western, medieval, not diverse) but the reason that I didn’t like the story was because it was BORING.

    You might be surprised to learn that I do not have a radical liberal mindset as you assume. As I’ve mentioned several times in previous reviews, I lean libertarian.

    I have enough confidence in myself to not care about your personal attacks on me. In the future, if you are hoping to engage in thoughtful dialogue, you might try a different tactic. But, I kind of doubt that you are interested in thoughtful dialogue…

  3. Kat, I appreciate that you clearly spelled out, in the second paragraph, the kind of readers that would probably enjoy this book.Plainly those folks can look for positive reviews elsewhere, or just go read the book and hopefully enjoy it.

    Since it’s labelled DNF right at the top, readers here aren’t going to expect an in-depth review.

    I enjoy your reviews and the approach you take to books, myself, but you can’t please everybody.

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