in Dragon’s Ring, the dragons were not supporting characters, villains or beasts of burden, but rather the main characters.
In the original review I noted the genius of Dragon’s Ring lay in the unique way in which Freer used the tried and true BFF plot device of the special young person running away from trouble and meeting up with a master. In Dragon’s Ring, Meb, or Scrap, the human girl who is in many ways the hero of the book, has no idea there’s anything special about her, despite the fact that she’s the last human mage in Tasmarin. Fionn, the black dragon hero goes about telling everyone he’s planning to destroy the world. He is, and is working on it, but no one believes him.
SPOILER ALERT (so if you haven’t read Dragon’s Ring don’t read any further. And WHY haven’t you read Dragon’s Ring, hmmm? No, no, go ahead and pick it up, I’ll wait, really.) Meb and Fionn manage to restore the the balance between the planes in the first book, but the price is Meb must leave Tasmarin — and Fionn — forever. Of course by this point they’ve well and truly fallen for each other.
Meb, spends most of Dog and Dragon, the second book and subject of this review, trying to stay alive in and — purely by accident — restore balance to what turns out to be her home plane, Lyonesse.
Fionn spends most of the book with her trusty dog Dileas, who not only seems to miss his mistress but knows how to find her, traveling the various multiverse planes looking for his beloved.
Once again, we have basic BFF memes used in fairly unique ways.
I won’t tell you how things turn out, but I will say there’s an interesting twist to the ending which sets up further books.
Dog and Dragon, like the first book, is written as epic fantasy, but feels more like old-fashioned space opera.
Freer’s genius is the irreverent and light tone of the book. Unlike so many other BFFs which are self-consciously “epic,” Freer keeps it light and fun while still managing to have a few things to say about deeper subjects — I won’t get into that either, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
Dog and Dragon is currently available in eARC from Baen’s Webscriptions for $15. Dragon’s Ring is available from Amazon.com in dead tree format for all you traditionalists or in every conceivable ebook format for those of us who have entered the 21st century from Webscriptions.
Filed under: Reviews