Dragonslayer

Dragonslayer

Author of one of BuzzFeed 's Greatest Fantasy Books of 2013 In his magnificent, heroic, adventure fantasy, Dragonslayer, Duncan M. Hamilton debuts the first book in a fast-moving trilogy: a dangerous tale of lost magics, unlikely heroes, and reawakened dragons.Once a member of the King's personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais spends most days drinking and mourning his wi...

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Title:Dragonslayer
Author:Duncan M. Hamilton
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Dragonslayer Reviews

  • Travis

    This was a great book and beginning to a series. I'll keep this review spoiler free. I am a big fan of Duncan Hamilton's books. This new book continues in the same world where Wolf of the North takes place, although you won't have to have read that series to appreciate this one. There isn't any overlap of characters or anything. You will recognize the magic system and history though. This book is about Guillot (Gill) a banneret that had previously been the greatest swordsman of the kingdom and c

    This was a great book and beginning to a series. I'll keep this review spoiler free. I am a big fan of Duncan Hamilton's books. This new book continues in the same world where Wolf of the North takes place, although you won't have to have read that series to appreciate this one. There isn't any overlap of characters or anything. You will recognize the magic system and history though. This book is about Guillot (Gill) a banneret that had previously been the greatest swordsman of the kingdom and champion of the king. When the book starts he's been away from the capital for about 5 years and has become a drunk and let himself go. He's out of shape and basically just drinking away his money. The arrival of a dragon rampaging through the kingdom wakes him up to some sense of responsibility. This is a great story of his attempt to redeem himself, take responsibility and try to make things better. There is a lot of intrigue in this story. We learn some of his background throughout the book and why he came to the place he's at, at the beginning of the book, but by the end there are still some questions about what exactly happened. There's a lot more going on than just a typical story of a knight trying to slay a dragon. Duncan Hamilton has done a great job with his worldbuilding and providing a fun and interesting read.

    I received an advanced reader copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  • Bob Milne

    A solid epic fantasy that puts an exciting new spin on the classic "let's go slay the dragon" trope, Dragonslayer won me over with the first glimpse of Alpheratz. Duncan M. Hamilton humanizes dragons, gives them memories and purpose and emotion, and flips our sympathies from cheering on the deaths of monsters to mourning the loss of these magnificent beasts.

    In fact, I'd liked Alpheratz far more than most of the humans, but there were two exceptions. Solène is a character I liked from the first m

    A solid epic fantasy that puts an exciting new spin on the classic "let's go slay the dragon" trope, Dragonslayer won me over with the first glimpse of Alpheratz. Duncan M. Hamilton humanizes dragons, gives them memories and purpose and emotion, and flips our sympathies from cheering on the deaths of monsters to mourning the loss of these magnificent beasts.

    In fact, I'd liked Alpheratz far more than most of the humans, but there were two exceptions. Solène is a character I liked from the first moment we met her. She was strong, confident, and charismatic, her magic making her more than a match for a back-alley assault. The whole "she's a witch, burn her!" trope was handled nicely here, with Gil calling out the villagers, shaming them for their deeds, and raising a few philosophical questions in his rescue of the young woman. You might expect that scene to scar her, possibly even define her, but Solène shrugs it off to not only return the favor in saving Gil's life, but in demanding her place in his quest.

    Now, as for Gil, he's a man I was prepared not to like. Mysteriously tragic backstory aside, we first meet him as a lazy drunk, too wrapped up in his own problems to do his job and care for his people. He's standoffish, rude, self-pitying, and has trouble sticking to his own vows to better himself. The problem is, he's entirely human, and as we begin to see glimpses of the man he once was and the man he could become, he grows on you. It's just a shame that his rival, Prince Bishop, doesn't experience the same growth, because his weakness as a character not only leaches a little tension from that enmity, it actually feels like it takes away from Gil's backstory.

    The writing here was solid, with some nice turns of phrase, snappy dialogue, and well-managed points-of-view. In terms of pacing, beyond a necessary pause for introductions and character-building early on, it moves along nicely. World-building felt a little light, but that might owe something to the fact that I'm not familiar with his Wolf of the North saga, which is set in the same world. Then again, it may be because the wider world simply isn't important here, and this first chapter in a new saga is about one thing - man vs dragon. Perhaps the biggest issue I had with the book is that there are so many unanswered questions as to why things happen, and why characters do things. It's not just that motivations were unclear, but that logical implications of men and magic were simply set aside.

    In the end, however, the positives of Dragonslayer far outweigh the negatives, and I am curious to see where the story goes next - even if it will be without a favorite character.

  • Karen

    I enjoyed this book, it’s a very solid epic fantasy novel. There are three things I look for when reading a big fantasy so I’m really going to talk about those things. One is world building, two is development of characters, and three is the over all story. (1) the was the weakest point, the world was interesting, I love dragons but I needs just a tiny bit more. I understand this author has written other books from this world so maybe I just needed to read something else so I am more immersed in

    I enjoyed this book, it’s a very solid epic fantasy novel. There are three things I look for when reading a big fantasy so I’m really going to talk about those things. One is world building, two is development of characters, and three is the over all story. (1) the was the weakest point, the world was interesting, I love dragons but I needs just a tiny bit more. I understand this author has written other books from this world so maybe I just needed to read something else so I am more immersed in this world but I just felt like every once in while I was missing a piece of information. (2) Gill was great, fantastic main character. Flawed yet I could empathize with him, and I was interested in what he was doing or saying. Loved him. (3) Well done story. I have a soft spot for a dragon story, whether they be on the side of good or bad, and this was a well told story.

    Overall this was a great read and I look forward to reading other books by this author!

    I received a free copy of this book from netgalley.

  • kartik narayanan

    Read the full review at my site

    Dragonslayer is the first book in a trilogy by the same name from one of my favourite authors – Duncan M. Hamilton.

    Gill, our protagonist, is a famous soldier who is now an alcoholic mourning his family. He is tasked by an old enemy of his – Amaury, to find and kill a dragon – one which has appeared centuries after the species was thought to have been hunted to exti

    Read the full review at my site

    Dragonslayer is the first book in a trilogy by the same name from one of my favourite authors – Duncan M. Hamilton.

    Gill, our protagonist, is a famous soldier who is now an alcoholic mourning his family. He is tasked by an old enemy of his – Amaury, to find and kill a dragon – one which has appeared centuries after the species was thought to have been hunted to extinction. Along the way, he discovers Solene, a young woman who happens to be a powerful natural mage. There is plenty of machinations, politics and action as the story unfolds.

    The main aspect of Dragonslayer that really stood out is the amount of depth in each and every character that you meet. Needless to say, Gill & Solene – who are the protagonists – have plenty of depth. But, what elevates this book is the amount of character (her) the support cast has. Even the dragon has complicated motivations for what he does. The motivations as well as the actions taken by the characters are realistic. You never feel that characters are acting out of order – instead you can understand their actions so even if you don’t agree with what they do or say. Pragmatism is the word of the day in this story.

    Read the full review at my site

  • Annemieke / A Dance with Books

    I am at a loss as to how to rate this book. On the one hand I enjoyed it. On the other hand there were things missing. The missing thing? Worldbuilding.

    And let us just start right off with that. This book is a high fantasy, inspired by our own Medieval history. There is a map at the front of the book. W

    I am at a loss as to how to rate this book. On the one hand I enjoyed it. On the other hand there were things missing. The missing thing? Worldbuilding.

    And let us just start right off with that. This book is a high fantasy, inspired by our own Medieval history. There is a map at the front of the book. Which is good because I would otherwise have no idea. There are three surrounding countries/regions of which two were mentioned in the book. But nothing that really gave me much on where they were and what the relations really were. But even worse I have no idea about this country. Most of it took place in a few towns and cities but I could not tell you anything of interest about any of them (well except the witch hanging perhaps). The biggest problem is that all the world building and even character histories (though I’ll get back to that) are only there when it serves a purpose to the plot. And even then it is thin. And from an adult fantasy I have quite a bit more expectations than that.

    And it is a shame because this author clearly can write. I enjoyed his writing style. I enjoyed most of the plot. The dragon’s few point of views were really interesting to read about (though I do have a lot of question marks regarding the dragon population and how long this particular dragon slept). I couldn’t hate the dragon. I completely understood him. Burn them all I’d say.

    Our main character Gil was a very interesting character. I liked him. He was an older man, retired from the king’s personal guard. Turned to alcohol. Alcoholism and detoxing are a thing in here. It is in the background but it is there. The thing however is that again a lot of his history is only mentioned because it works with the plot. The reason he ‘retired’, the death of his wife and son (who didn’t even get a name or reason of death), his ex-friendship with the Prince Bishop. A lot of mentions but no depth and no memories. If it didn’t matter to the plot, it wasn’t there. And this was the case for all the characters.

    Solene was our other main character, with magic, about to be burned on the pyre for being a witch. She was a nice character to have next to Gil, that also showed us another side of the society. The witch huntings, the use of magic being illegal. But we got little on her history before she ran away from her hometown. Because it didn’t matter to the plot.

    And for me that with the world building is something I can’t quite see past. This could have been a great book with depth and a great world but just those things were discarded.

  • SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews
  • Judy Lesley

    Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton was a slightly below average reading experience for me. The hero is of the drinking-myself-into-oblivion variety. The dragon is the kill-and-burn-everything variety. The magic was not interesting to me at all. There isn't any worldbuilding to speak of. So...…

    If you are a fan of Duncan Hamilton's, you are going to like this one just fine and you won't agree with me at all. I simply found it all too average; not an original element in the whole story. I was not c

    Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton was a slightly below average reading experience for me. The hero is of the drinking-myself-into-oblivion variety. The dragon is the kill-and-burn-everything variety. The magic was not interesting to me at all. There isn't any worldbuilding to speak of. So...…

    If you are a fan of Duncan Hamilton's, you are going to like this one just fine and you won't agree with me at all. I simply found it all too average; not an original element in the whole story. I was not convinced that a former champion dragon slayer who had pickled himself in alcohol for over ten years could come back and do a few sword waving exercises over a few days time and be able to kill the dragon - even if he was given some mysterious magic ability to help him. We think we know what has happened at the end of the story but then Mr. Hamilton pulls a very worn out rabbit out of the hat which changes everything. Oh, goody!

    Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan - Tor/Forge for an e-Galley of this novel.

  • Angelica

    This book is technically pretty solid. It has all the general pieces of a good fantasy. It has magic,  dragons, knights, action, and adventures. It also has a fun premise, if somewhat unoriginal in concept. And yet, there were some things that seemed missing from the story. Small details that really are what make a story interesting.

    For example, Gil, the main character has a pretty generic and lackluster backstory. He was once the greatest knight in the land, then turned away from his knighthood

    This book is technically pretty solid. It has all the general pieces of a good fantasy. It has magic,  dragons, knights, action, and adventures. It also has a fun premise, if somewhat unoriginal in concept. And yet, there were some things that seemed missing from the story. Small details that really are what make a story interesting.

    For example, Gil, the main character has a pretty generic and lackluster backstory. He was once the greatest knight in the land, then turned away from his knighthood and turned to alcoholism after the death of his wife and child, who are only mentioned when the plot demands it.

    In fact, there were large parts of the story that seemed to happen because the plot simply demanded it to be so, and that is never a good sign.

    Another issue I had was that I couldn't quite love these characters. They were all technically interesting, and yet I couldn't bring myself to fully care in the way I wanted to.

    The dragon parts were the most interesting because I feel like it was unexpected to see his side of things. And yet, I would have wanted to actually see more of the dragon's interactions with humankind.

    In the end, I think I just wanted more. It felt average. It felt forgettable. And while I wouldn't mark this in a list of bad books, I also cannot quite say I recommend it.

    If you've read it, I want to hear your thoughts. If you haven't and are planning on it, I hope you enjoy it!

  • Duncan Hamilton

    Not a review - just a placeholder where I can post some updates to keep you all informed of how things are progressing!

    My final update here - Dragonslayer is now released, and available in Hardcover, Paperback, Ebook, and Audiobook! Thanks for following the book in the pre-launch, and I really hope you like it!

    Tor are running a Goodreads Giveaway for some advance copies of Dragonslayer. There are 100 copies up for grabs. You can enter here:

    Ad

    Not a review - just a placeholder where I can post some updates to keep you all informed of how things are progressing!

    My final update here - Dragonslayer is now released, and available in Hardcover, Paperback, Ebook, and Audiobook! Thanks for following the book in the pre-launch, and I really hope you like it!

    Tor are running a Goodreads Giveaway for some advance copies of Dragonslayer. There are 100 copies up for grabs. You can enter here:

    Advance Reader Copies are starting to percolate their way out into the world, so Dragonslayer is really starting to feel like the completed article! There will be some ARC giveaways happening in coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for a chance to get your hands on an pre-release copy!

    Dragonslayer is pretty well advanced at this point, with cover art completed and the book's text at the proofreading stage. Most of the heavy lifting is done, but as always, there's still plenty to do!

  • ♠️ TABI ♠️

    literally anything will have me at the word "

    " okay?? I'm a simple person

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