The Star Scroll: A mild epic fantasy

The Star Scroll (Dragon Prince Book 2) by Melanie Rawn (Author)The Star Scroll by Melanie Rawn fantasy book reviewsThe Star Scroll by Melanie Rawn

The Star Scroll (1989), the second novel in Melanie Rawn’s DRAGON PRINCE trilogy, picks up fourteen years after the end of the first novel, Dragon Prince. You’ll want to read Dragon Prince before starting The Star Scroll. This review will contain spoilers for Dragon Prince.

Life has been pretty easy for Prince Rohan, his wife Sioned, and their son Pol since Rohan beat Roelstra, the evil High Prince, and claimed his throne for Pol fourteen years ago. Rohan and Sioned have become rich, thanks to a secret never-ending supply of wealth that is related to the dragons, and they plan to use their wealth to make their land more civilized.

Pol is being fostered at another prince’s castle as he gains the education and skills he’ll need when he reaches manhood and becomes the ruler of Princemarch, as well as Rohan’s heir. He’s been away from home for a long time, but it’s nearly time for the Rialla — a meeting where all the princes and their families meet to set laws, bargain, and arrange marriages every three years. Pol and his parents are excited that they’ll be reunited for the Rialla.

With peace in the land, everyone assumes this year’s Rialla will be easy and uncontentious, but they’re wrong. A young man claiming to be Roelstra’s only son is scheming with one of Roelstra’s daughters and plans to name himself High Prince. Also, an evil sorceress from the “old blood” has obtained three of Roelstra’s grandsons and is plotting the overthrow of the Sunrunners. Key to this coup is the ancient knowledge that can be found in the recently discovered Star Scroll that she hopes to steal from the Sunrunners. When there is an assassination attempt on Pol and a Sunrunner is murdered, it’s clear to everyone that their time of peace is over.

Rohan’s family and other allies must work together to foil the plots of the evil sorceress and the pretender to the throne. In the process, they will have many chances to further educate Pol in the ways of proper statecraft. He will hone his observation and listening skills. He will learn that a good prince must surround himself with a diverse set of trusted advisors, that he should never consider himself above the law, that he must choose to do good with his power and wealth, and that power in itself is not evil — it’s the person wielding it who is good or evil.Dragon Prince (3 Book Series) Kindle Edition by Melanie Rawn

Even with all of that drama, The Star Scroll can’t be called exciting. We spend too much time on mundane life events, hear a lot of playful (but uninspiring) banter between the characters, and watch the unmarried young men and women try to pair up. All of the characters feel like they’re related (there’s no diversity in race or class) and the romances are dull (and, in a few cases, totally unbelievable). There is an exciting horse race, but it’s too much like the exciting horse race we saw in the last book. In fact, quite a bit of The Star Scroll’s setting and plot is too similar to Dragon Prince’s, which I found disappointing. But readers who love Rohan, Sioned, and Pol may not mind the mildness of The Star Scroll’s plot.

The audio production by Tantor Audio is narrated by Christa Lewis who does a very nice job. I recommend it to those who want to continue this series. The final DRAGON PRINCE audiobook, Sunrunner’s Fire, will be out in about a month.

Published in 1989. When Rohan was crowned High Prince and his Sunrunner wife Sioned became High Princess, they swore to keep the peace of the lands and preserve the secret of the dragons, an inheritance they would one day pass on to their only child, Pol, heir to both princely and Sunrunner powers. But the evil influence of the former High Prince Roelstra had not ended with his death at Rohan’s hands. And even as Pol grew to manhood, other young men were being trained in the ways of war, youths descended from Roelstra and claimed by Rohan’s enemies as willing pawns in what could become a bloody battle for succession. Yet not all players in these games of power fought merely with words or swords. For now a foe vanquished by the Sunrunners ages ago was once again growing in strength, an enemy determined to desroy Sunrunners and High Prince alike. And the only hope of defeating these masters of dark sorcery lay in reclaiming the knowledge so carefully concealed in the long-lost- Star Scroll….

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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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