Last Updated on December 20, 2022 by ThoughtsStained
So, reading has gone okay in 2020. But. it feels like it’s been so long since I was bloody excited to read a book. That blissfully changed upon cracking open The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter.
With this book, returned my desire to read. In fact, it was hard to stop reading. Until, you know, I couldn’t resist any longer.
I think I’m still trying to recover from plowing through the last half of the book. I even distinctly remember stopping at a new chapter and knowing this was my last chance to turn back. If I didn’t, I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist and I *would* finish that book that night, sleep be damned.
Reader, I turned the page.
I ended up almost crying, at the end. Like, I haven’t had a book almost make me cry LITERAL TEARS in…fuck, who knows how long?
I’ll stop raving now and try to sum up below more succinct likes and dislikes, but let me just say that, if you’re sleeping on this or it’s on your TBR list for over a year, like it was on mine. Or you just didn’t know this book existed, well. Don’t make the mistake I did. READ THE RAGE OF DRAGONS.
An ARC copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Publisher: Orbit Books | Release Date: July 2019 | Pages: 554
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Fantasy | Format: Hardback | Source: ARC
The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost two hundred years. Their society has been built around war and only war. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every two thousand women has the power to call down dragons. One in every hundred men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine.
Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war. Young, gift-less Tau knows all this, but he has a plan of escape. He’s going to get himself injured, get out early, and settle down to marriage, children, and land. Only, he doesn’t get the chance. Those closest to him are brutally murdered, and his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He’ll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him.
On the Page
Content warnings are written up by me, unless specified. Subject to being an incomplete list, though guided by referencing this list and trying to highlight as many as I can identify.
- The story. This was just my favorite type of story. The underdog who, by sheer force of will (and I mean, a LOT of will) chasing the impossible. It’s so much more complex than that, of course. Especially bringing in the political intrigue, the complex caste system, the relationships between the characters, the war, the twists that I never saw coming. It’s absolutely flooring.
- The worldbuilding. I could picture this so clearly. I kept dreaming about it in my head, in the days since I finished it. Plus, the magic in this world, was just legendary. I was fascinated by it all.
- Tau, Zuri and the rest. These characters. I would die for them. I love Tau. Plus, I love how I thought this story was going to go one way and then goes a completely different direction that proved so much more interesting (and heartbreaking). Zuri is so amazing. I really enjoyed Jayyal’s scale and how that group comes together.
- The slow building tension. I loved how this book centered on one boy’s journey for vengeance that continues to open up and show just how intense the stakes truly are, and how large they are, when you look at a global scale. Also, the twists!!!
- The *way* it was organized. I’d never read a book that was broken up into long chapters that then had smaller, titled sections within them. This method made it practically impossible for me to ever read a small amount at one time and it was fantastic. I’d love to see this method used more widely. It’s extremely effective.
- A little lost at the beginning. I won’t lie, the *only* thing I struggled with was figuring out some of the terms and what they meant at the beginning. But that’s so miniscule now compared to how amazing everything else was that I don’t even care, honestly. I figured it out as I kept reading and it didn’t hinder my enjoyment in the slightest.
The Rage of Dragons is god-tier, for me. I fucking loved this.