The Dragon’s Son: Doesn’t accomplish much

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review The Dragon's Son Margaret Weis DragonvarldThe Dragon’s Son by Margaret Weis

This typical middle novel concerns the twin sons born to Melisande: Marcus, the son of the King of Idlyswylde, and Ven (short for Vengeance), the son of the dragon who (in the body of the human Grald) raped her.

Most of the book focuses on the development of both boys from age 6 to 16. Neither of them know about the other. Ven is half dragon (his legs are dragon’s legs) and is being raised by Bellona (Melisande died at the end of Mistress of Dragons). Bellona keeps Ven hidden from the world as best she can. He is, of course, frustrated and lonely and feels like a freak. Marcus is a bastard prince who lives in luxury but possesses some form of Melisande’s Dragon magic, so he kind of feels like a freak, too. The rogue dragons Grald and Maristara are looking for the boys, but Draconas watches the boys from afar and occasionally intervenes when necessary, telling the boys not to open their minds to “The Dragon” (Grald).

Things finally get going when Ven encounters a thief and his daughter Evelina (by far the two most interesting and well-done characters) who find out he’s a monster and manage to capture him and sell him to a traveling freak show. In desperation, he calls for his father, and Grald and Maristara show up in human bodies to rescue him. They take Evelina, too, which makes things more interesting because she’s such a greedy opportunist. So far, she’s been completely repulsed by Ven, but when they arrive at Dragon Keep and she finds out he’s the prince, she changes her tune.

Belona, desperately searching for Ven, finds Marcus and asks for his help because she somehow guesses that the boys can contact each other through their minds. So, off go Marcus and Belona to save Ven. They arrive in Dragon Keep and the boys finally meet each other. The fun part is when Evelina finds out that Marcus is a prince, too, and again changes her tune. Evelina is an entertaining character so far, and Weis handles her deftly, but just a bit more and it would be over-the-top. In fact, Margaret Weis’s strength is excellent characterization and her villains are especially well-done.

There are some unbelievable elements that make the eyes roll. For example, Draconas doesn’t take the perfect opportunity to kill evil Grald. It’s like a James Bond movie when the bad guy actually has James Bond strapped to his torture device, but then leaves the room. Duh!

There is a surprising betrayal at the end of the book and, in addition, it is unclear whether Ven will choose to go the human way or the rogue dragon way, therefore, the reader feels compelled to finish the trilogy. In fact, The Dragon’s Son is a typical middle novel in that it doesn’t accomplish much except to set up the scene for the final act.

I listened to this on audio. The readings are divided between a male and female reader. The male reader did a fine job (though this is clearly not up to the standard of Recorded Books or Blackstone Audio), but the female reader was annoying. Rather than just read, she sort of acted out the parts and often chose a whiny wheedling voice that really got on my nerves.


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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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