Dragon Hunters by Marc Turner
Having thoroughly enjoyed Marc Turner’s epic opener in the ‘Chronicles of the Exile’ I reached for his next with high expectations. It quickly became apparent that the only link to the previous novel is both place and the fact that an ‘exile’ – another Guardian, Senar Sol – is the author’s opening gambit…which gives pause because the first novel ties the reader into the characters so firmly we want to read more of them. Perhaps there is a flicker of disappointment as this becomes apparent over the first fifty or so pages, but this is swiftly thrown off as it becomes apparent the style and speed of Turner’s narrative was not just a first novel home run, but genuine talent.
From the opening novel Luker Essendar, Merin Grey, Don Chamery Pelk, Parolla Morivan, Romany Elivar et al disappear and a new cast of characters rise to the fore of this novel set in the coastal cities of Olaire and Dian. Like the first novel, it involves a meglomaniac craving even more power and a race against time for a group of people to converge on the explosive denouement. This time not in a blasted place ruled by the Undead, but a watery hypogeum that is part-Atlantis, part-Tombraider.
Romany Elivar was a favourite character in the first book, this time replaced by the quirkily humorous Septia, Kempis Parr, and his motley group of tropic mononyms (Sniffer, Loop, Duffle) who wouldn’t be out of place in The Watch of Pratchett’s Discworld. They run around trying to catch up with and arrest the much faster supermages, neatly providing coattails for the breathless reader to hang onto – a niche of ‘reality’ in Turner’s blasting high fantasy.
The plot is much like the first book: this time Emira Imerle Polivar is loath to give up her eminent position of power of the Storm Lords whilst the rest of the Council shift and politick around her, jockeying for position. Time for a cull and what better time to have a war of succession than against the backdrop of the annual sea dragon hunt (these dragons don’t fly – far more Chinese in our lore) which is feted and conducted with the kind of ritual that would make the Greek mythology of Perseus versus the Kraken an evening’s dance by comparison? Inevitably, this means more intrigue as various groups act in interests both their own and of shadowy others. Karmel, the priestess of The Chameleon God blends her invisible way to stop the Dragon Gate falling whilst having serious fraternal issues (indeed, family problems seems to beset most of the characters); Agenta Webb stomps her watery way to work out who is stealing her father’s trade and ends up in a pitched sea battle that Captain Ahab might relish; meanwhile Senar Sol is prudently following Imerle’s behest and tracking the Storm Lady, Mazana Creed, whilst spending a lot of time fighting both sets of their bodyguards: the twins Mili and Tali, the thuggish Greeve and various ‘stone-skins’ or ‘bright-eyes’ - all assassins identified by descriptions rather than names.
-We slosh our watery way around Olaire and Dian as a series of earthquakes are revealed to be the strains of an Elder God and a titanic fight ensues whilst the place crumbles around everyone with tsunamis, sharks and dragons the least of everyone’s worries. The lengthy last ‘fight’ scenes are both subterranean, submarine and satisfying for every fantasy fan.
However, without getting too carried away with Turner’s undoubted storytelling qualities, closer analysis does show much room for improvement. The heart pounding action will make any reader accelerate through the novel which hides all manner of sloppy writing. Take a closer look at this paragraph as it shows perfectly why Turner is so good, but has much to improve:
“Evidently not wanting to miss out on the fun, some Chameleons had then reappeared from the palace and started firing crossbows indiscriminately into the melee. Finally a company of Gilgamarians from the stranded galleon – Kempis had seen the flint-eyed woman among them – had materialized along Crown Avenue and attacked through the still open gates. It almost made the septia want to hang around to see who turned up next.”
- “firing crossbows” – you shoot or loose a crossbow. Firing is a gun-specific term.
- You’ll realise by the end of the novel that a lot of people are categorized by their eye descriptions – something that’s hard to isolate in storm of violence and pace that’s ongoing.
- ‘the septia’ is a proper noun so the septia should be ‘Septia’
- People don’t materialize unless they were transferring from spirit form to bodily form nor would they do such an action “along” a road.
But…this paragraph shows the pace of prose and the light humour in its final sentence because both Kempis and the reader DO want to hang around and see who turns up next.
I do. Roll on the next novel. High fantasy at a high level.
This Dragon Hunters book review was written by travelswithacanadian
All reviews for: The Chronicles of the Exile
When the Heavens Fall
The Chronicles of the Exile #1
A power-hungry necromancer has stolen The Book of Lost Souls, and intends to use it to resurrect an ancient race and challenge Shroud for dominion of the underworld. Shroud...
The Chronicles of the Exile #2
Once a year the Dragon Gate is raised to let a fabled beast pass into the Sabian Sea. There, the dragon will be hunted by the Storm Lords, a fellowship of powerful water-ma...
Have you read Dragon Hunters?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Dragon Hunters reader reviews
8.4/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Lord of the Rings
Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power - the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ri...
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Lifelong friends, they went their separate ways. Now they are together again, though each holds secrets from the others in his heart. They speak of a world shadowed with ru...
Wheel of Time
Life in Emond's Field has been pretty boring for Rand Al'Thor and his friends until a strange young woman arrives in their village. Moraine is an Aes Sedai, a magic...
Blood Of Elves
For more than a hundred years humans, dwarves, gnomes and elves lived together in relative peace. But times have changes, and now the races once again fight each other - an...
The Dark Elf Trilogy
Drow ranger Drizzt Do’Urden, first introduced in The Icewind Dale Trilogy, quickly became one of the fantasy genre’s standout characters. But Homeland first rev...
Deep Into The Heart of a Rose
On a crisp autumn morning, in his cottage in the idyllic land of the Vale, Mr. Edward T. Cozzlebottom composed the following letter for his secret love, the graceful and lo...
Crown of Stars
The Kingdom of Wendar is in turmoil. King Henry still holds the crown, but his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella, and there are many eager to flock to her...
The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
Set 'In Britain's land beyond the seas' during the Age of Chivalry, The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun tells of a childless Breton Lord and Lady (the 'Aotrou'...
Monster Blood Tattoo
Rossamund has always dreamed of a career in the Navy, fighting tentacled monsters and rescuing damsels from hook-handed pirates. But fate has chosen him for a different pat...
Dawn of Wonder
When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots. But for Aedan, a scruffy young adventurer wit...
Wards of Faerie
With the discovery of ancient powers, a legend begins... There was an age when the world was young. It was a time before the coming of humans, a time when magic was the dom...
The idyllic life of Princess Inos is disturbed when a god appears, hinting that she will wed. As no eligible suitors ever visit the kingdom, Inos is exiled to learn how to ...
Forging of a Knight
Hugo V Negron
A battle against the forces of Those That Stand in Shadow brings an end to an old hero and a beginning for a new one. Together with a half-orc thief named Glaive, a young w...
James A Moore
The people of Fellein have lived with legends for many centuries. To their far north, the Blasted Lands, a legacy of an ancient time of cataclysm, are vast, desolate and im...
Drizzt joins Bruenor on his quest for the fabled dwarven kingdom of Gauntlgrym: ruins said to be rich with ancient treasure and arcane lore. But before they even get close,...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
- Recommended high fantasy books/series
- Recommended books/series similar to J. R. R. Tolkien
- Recommended epic fantasy books/series
Best of 2016
The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
Set 'In Britain's land beyond the seas' during the Age of Chivalry, The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun tells of a childless Breton Lord and Lady (the 'Aotrou' an...
A Threat of Shadows
Do some choices change us too much for us to ever change back? There was a time when Alaric was a Keeper, one of the men entrusted with counseling the queen, protecting the pe...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her alone. Garbled warnings from bizarre creatures keep her up at night. And there’s a time portal in the keg room of the bar where she works. Soon, Hallie is tumbling through...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...