Duncan Lay

Dragon Sword Histories, Book 3

HarperVoyager (2010)

ISBN: 978-0-7322-8770-2

Reviewed by Mitenae

Martil may have defeated Cezar and the Derthals may now be aligned with Norstalos, but Martil’s problems are only just beginning. Lord Gello is invading from the south and the Tenochs are coming from the east. Martil not only has to find a way to defeat them but he also has to find a way to get to the dragon egg before all life ends.

Out of all the books I’ve read this year, and there’s been quite a few, this has to be the most boring of the lot. And that disappoints me considering the first two books were much better than this (not brilliant, but better). This book bored me for specific reasons, all of which are fixable given more drafting and editing time.

First off this book is overwritten. I found myself, especially early on, being told the same piece of information two or three times. The length of this book (in fact the entire series) could be reduced by 20-40% without it affecting the story. The result would be a much tighter, pacier and tension-filled story than what is presented.

The scenes are clumsily handled as are the relationships, specifically between Martil and Merren. I kept imagining the scenes as a movie – the audience would be in fits of laughter because the scenes just do not play well. The author has failed to make the most of the plot and has instead given us mediocre scenes with poor dialogue.

The story, for me, feels a touch contrived. The introduction of the dragons/dragon egg storyline feels like it’s been added on to flesh out the series into a trilogy. It doesn’t have the deep connection that it should to the earlier books. What is there is only surface connections and not nearly enough is made of them to give this series the depth and resonance it needs.

The Radiant Child is a disappointing conclusion to an ordinary trilogy