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Review: ‘Dragon Touched’, Book 1 of The Overlord Rising, by E. W. Scott

February 19, 2013

The crown prince has disappeared and the king has been murdered.  The Eight Boulders Realm faces uncertainty now that the youngest son, Damon, has taken the throne.  Seeing opportunity, clever and cunning men begin to make their moves to gain wealth and power and subvert the kingdom to their own ends.  The Overlords are gone–what are mere men compared to dragons and Overlords? Damon must choose the best path to protect his kingdom and keep his realm together, even if it means sacrificing his beliefs for his people.

In Curiochta, Duke Burnham and his wife Mirabel struggle to make a marriage work.  Secrets and deceptions threaten to weaken the meager trust they have built.  Their three children, Wren, Sara, and Theo, sneak out one day and run into a group of slavers, setting off a chain of events from which there is no turning back.  When Wren, the eldest and future Duchess of Curiochta, is forced to bear magic that she can’t control and which she barely understands, the fragile ties that bond the family together begin to unravel under the weight of secrets and beliefs that can no longer remain hidden.  Wren herself is forced to make a harsh choice, which leads to even harsher choices for her parents and siblings.

Amid the betrayals, lies, secrets, and plotting, can a family hold together even as their country falls into civil war?

My Thoughts: At first, I had some trouble getting into the story.  There were so many names and characters introduced in rapid succession that it was slightly confusing.  I couldn’t see how they could possible all interweave in the story.  But by about the third chapter, I was hooked.  Things started to get very interesting and I wanted to know what happened next.  So I kept reading, and I’m glad I did!  The plot is interesting, and the characters do all interweave into the greater scheme of the book, and the character development is well done.  I also liked the Scott’s writing style–it’s description without being overly detailed, and works well for this book.

There are a lot of characters, so if you don’t like books with a large cast, this one may not be for you.  I know some people don’t like series that have more than a handful, while others can’t live without a cast of epic proportions.  I would say that Wren is the main character of the book, as she seems to get the most page space and is discussed the most by other characters.  I have to say, she is also my favorite character so far, followed closely by her younger sister Sara.  Their parents are Duke Burnham and Mirabel Agthoven.  The duke is the character who changes the most throughout the book, and his development (I don’t want to give too much away) is the one that keeps the reader guessing the most.  I was always wondering what he would do next, and how far he would go when faced with betrayal or challenges to his mandates.  I definitely didn’t see the ending coming–it was a complete surprise to me, which is far too rare and a great treat.

Sorcha and Roderick are side characters but they have a lot of backstory worked into the book because, even though they are minor characters, their actions have a big effect on everyone else.  I do hope we find out what happens to Sorcha in the next book, as I didn’t particularly like where it left off with her.  Roderick as well–though I can’t say too much more about what happens with him without giving away a rather large plot point.  I did think the introduction for Roderick could have been clearer. From the initial description, I had assumed he was a human, but then it says he stomped a hoof, which I quickly revised to centaur.  Yet, this is never clearly stated until much later.  Given that Sorcha’s ancestry is stated clearly, as is that of the other characters, it seemed odd, and felt ambiguous.  For all I knew, he could have been a satyr until he swept Sorcha onto his back and rode away, which left the only obvious conclusion.  In my mind, it would have helped clear up any lingering confusion about his race.

One character I had expected to see more of was the king. Based on the back description, I had thought he would play a major role, but we really don’t see very much of him.  Most of the book revolves around the Burnhams, followed by Sorcha and Roderick, then followed by the king.  I think it would help if Damon became more of a character–unless he’s not meant to be a major player in the plot, though that seems unusual given that his kingdom is about to break out in war.  What little we do see of him is well done, however, as I felt I had a decent grasp on the king’s personality and character by the end of his second appearance.

One other note: This is not an error, and so does not factor into the rating, but the font is sometimes hard to read, and doesn’t work very well with colons or quotation marks.  At times I think the quotation marks are asterisks, and I’m fairly certain it’s not due to my sight.  The publisher may want to reconsider the font choice in future.

I definitely liked this book!  I will certainly read it again, and I can’t wait for the next installment!

4 stars

Book info: published 2012, 294 pages, ISBN 9781612960791

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Copy is a review copy

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 23, 2013 2:52 PM

    I LOVED this, such a pleasant surprise 🙂 It’s become one of my firm favourites 🙂

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