ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Book Review: Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton

Thank you to Tor Books (Macmillan-Tor/Forge) and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC to read and review. Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton is set to be published July 2, 2019.


Image via NetGalley

Genre: Fantasy
Series: Dragonslayer, book 1
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes


Summary (via NetGalley):
In his magnificent, heroic, adventure fantasy, Dragonslayer, Duncan M. Hamilton debuts the first book in a fast-moving trilogy: a dangerous tale of lost magics, unlikely heroes, and reawakened dragons.

Once a member of the King’s personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais spends most days drinking and mourning his wife and child. He’s astonished—and wary—when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and the Prince Bishop have never exactly been friends and Gill left the capital in disgrace five years ago. So why him? And, more importantly, how is there a dragon to fight when the beasts were hunted to extinction centuries ago by the ancient Chevaliers of the Silver Circle?

On the way to the capitol city, Gill rescues Solène, a young barmaid, who is about to be burned as a witch. He believes her innocent…but she soon proves that she has plenty of raw, untrained power, a problem in this land, where magic is forbidden. Yet the Prince Bishop believes magic will be the key to both destroying the dragon and replacing the young, untried King he pretends to serve with a more pliable figurehead.

Between Gill’s rusty swordsmanship and Solene’s unstable magic, what could go wrong?


My Review:
Dragonslayer is an entertaining adventure about a man fighting to pick himself up after falling so low and a woman looking to find a place she can finally call home where she won’t have to live in fear.

This was a heavily character driven story as the reader witnesses the internal/external struggles of the main characters and their subsequent growth. This is always nice to see and it was well-crafted by the author. I just wish there had been a bit more action to balance things out. However, based on the ending, I expect things to engage things of epic proportions in book 2, which I am looking forward to reading.

Guillot dal Villevauvais is a drunk. His drunkenness understandable once you learn what prompted it but it makes you wonder if he really is going to be the supposed hero of the story. His fall from grace, his loss of those he loved most, sent him into a deep drunken depression. But I liked that the author didn’t make that the sole reason. That his past goes much deeper than what we and Guillot originally thought. And although he’s fallen so far, he still is the brave, honorable chevalier people used to respect him for being.

Solène I liked but I kind of wished there was more to her. There was just something missing, something unexpected, to make her more a rounded character.

Mystery and millennium old secrets are brought to the surface, making the world Hamilton builds a very intriguing puzzle to solve in future books.

I loved and was sadden by Alpheratz, the dragon in question, getting sections of the story told from his point of view. I think it was a good choice to hear his thoughts and feelings. He is not some terrifying wild beast (well, not completely) but a living being whose everything was taken from him, the last of his kind. His rage and vengeance are understandable. Getting to know Alpheratz brought an additional awareness as to who the true villains of the story are.

I’m looking forward to reading book 2.

4 replies on “ARC Book Review: Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton”

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