The Dragon's Son by Margaret Weis
Tor HCVR: ISBN 0765304694 PubDate: 07/01/04
Review by Carolyn Frank
384 pgs. List price $25.95
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Half-man, half-dragon, but all confused kid, the Dragonís son was made for a purpose, just not one that he gets to learn in this enjoyable second volume of a dragon fantasy trilogy. Dragonvarld, a dragon world with humans living in the Middle Ages, is ruled by a parliament of dragons. Although a certain amount of back history is provided, the underlying motivations of the dragons are seemingly deliberately left a bit murky. As the humans are in the process of developing cannons capable of being rotated quickly enough to score on a flying dragon, the dragons are getting a bit nervous.
Born of a woman with dragonís blood and a dragon masquerading as a human, the Dragonís son is brought up in the woods by a former woman soldier. She names him Ven, short for Vengeance, as his mother who was killed at his birth was her best friend. Taught a little of his true mother but nothing of his father except fear, Ven learns at an early age of the hatred of true humans towards those unlike themselves.
Venís half brother, born at the same time, but whose father is a human king, also has a troubled upbringing, though tempered on the positive side of being accepted as a rightful bastard prince. With both brothers sharing in some dragonís blood and therefore in some elements of dragon magic, they reach out towards each other, and run into more than either bargained for.
The book divides the point of view among Ven, his half-brother, and the dragon in the shape of a human who is attempting to ensure that both brothers actually get the chance to grow up. As Venís father has other, not particularly pleasant ideas, in mind for Ven, Ven needs to combine adolescence with greater self-knowledge, as the situation threatens to spiral out of control.
Although primarily a male coming of age book, the several women involved, Venís foster mother, his half brotherís foster mother, and Venís first female focus, are all developed as multi-sided characters in reasonable detail. This is much more detail than is given to describing the world itself, which seems to be an endless forest carpeting hills and mountains, and a large number of highly convenient caves. Presumably the dragons themselves are described in far greater detail in the first volume of the trilogy.
Having read the second volume without having read the first one, I am sufficiently intrigued to obtain and read the initial book,
Mistress of Dragons. And I look forward to reading final volume in the trilogy, as well.