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...

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Title:Dragonslayer
Author:Duncan M. Hamilton
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Dragonslayer Reviews

  • Bob

    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

    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.

  • 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

    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.

    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.

  • Paul

    Classic tale of knight against dragon, with standard fantasy tropes thrown in, but enough of an original spin to keep fantasy fans wanting more. The writing can be amateurish and stilted at times, but I kept ploughing forward, interested. Highlights are the dragon fights and the exploration of a forgotten tomb. It’s enough for me to seek out the next book in the series.

    And man, do the colours pop on that cover in the bookstore! Gorgeous.

  • FanFiAddict

    Rating:

    Synopsis

    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 wife and child. He’s astonished—and wary—when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and

    Rating: ★★★☆☆

    Synopsis

    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 wife and child. He’s astonished—and wary—when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and the Prince Bishop have never exactly been friends and Gill left the capital in disgrace five years ago. So why him? And, more importantly, how is there a dragon to fight when the beasts were hunted to extinction centuries ago by the ancient Chevaliers of the Silver Circle?

    On the way to the capitol city, Gill rescues Solène, a young barmaid, who is about to be burned as a witch. He believes her innocent…but she soon proves that she has plenty of raw, untrained power, a problem in this land, where magic is forbidden. Yet the Prince Bishop believes magic will be the key to both destroying the dragon and replacing the young, untried King he pretends to serve with a more pliable figurehead.

    Between Gill’s rusty swordsmanship and Solene’s unstable magic, what could go wrong?

    Review

    Thanks to the publisher and author for an advanced reading copy of Dragonslayer (Dragonslayer #1) in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this eARC did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novel.

    First off, Richard Anderson is probably the best cover designer out there so I’ll pick up any book solely based on his artwork. He is a fantastic follow on IG (flaptraps) if you are a cover connoisseur like myself. Another thing that intrigued me was the author behind the story. Seeing how well received his Wolf of the North trilogy was (thought I haven’t cracked it) gave me hope that I was in for a spectacular story.

    Well, Dragonslayer fell a little short of expectations, unfortunately. Not that it is necessarily a bad read, but it plays heavy on much-used tropes and doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. The writing is great and the storyline was fine, especially the scenes from our dragon antagonist’s POV, but everything else was sorta meh. The characters aren’t very memorable, there is a ton of dialogue, and with a title like Dragonslayer, I expected a good bit o’ slayin which I didn’t really receive. The ending left hope that the story will gain some momentum in Books 2 & 3, and I do plan on seeing if that holds true, but I don’t expect to be champing at the bit to get the sequels.

    All of the faults I perceive could be chalked up to the fact that I don’t read much classic fantasy which is more world-building / character-background oriented fantasy and lacks some of the hack-n-slash that I am used to in today’s releases. I enjoy fast-paced stories with memorable characters, bloody battles, and world-building that you can visualize yourself standing amongst. I just didn’t get that here and it left me scrambling for my next read.

    All in all, if you enjoy classic fantasy and stories about dragons and their slayers, give Dragonslayer a shot and see if you like it. I just can’t give it a high recommendation.

  • 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!

  • eyes.2c

    There be Dragons!

    The idea of a new series about dragons had me super excited. That said, I found myself so over the story by a third of the way in and struggled to finish. Things that had promise didn't quite live up to that. Obviously many loved it, and that's great. Reading is such a personal thing, up there with how you like your coffee (not a banal statement when the morning rises and falls on this little fact). To mix the metaphors, Dragonslayer was just not "my cup of tea!"

    Mind you I will

    There be Dragons!

    The idea of a new series about dragons had me super excited. That said, I found myself so over the story by a third of the way in and struggled to finish. Things that had promise didn't quite live up to that. Obviously many loved it, and that's great. Reading is such a personal thing, up there with how you like your coffee (not a banal statement when the morning rises and falls on this little fact). To mix the metaphors, Dragonslayer was just not "my cup of tea!"

    Mind you I will take another run at this story after a bit to see if I change my mind.

    A Macmillan-Tor/Forge ARC via NetGalley

  • Petrik

    There isn’t anything wrong with

    . The book is well-written, the prose used was simple, the narrative flows well. However, everything about it seemed to not reach its maximum potential; every element lacked something crucial to elevate the book to be memorable in the current SFF market. To

    There isn’t anything wrong with

    . The book is well-written, the prose used was simple, the narrative flows well. However, everything about it seemed to not reach its maximum potential; every element lacked something crucial to elevate the book to be memorable in the current SFF market. To sum up my point easily,

    played it way too safely by telling the same kind of overdone story without offering anything new in it that the content ended up being okay at best.

    You know how it is; medieval setting, a drunk and out of shape dragonslayer finds out that the supposedly extinct dragon is back and now he’s tasked to hunt it down. That’s it. If you’ve read or played a video game with a story that went revolved around hunting a dragon, it’s safe to assume that you pretty much have read this book. Is it okay to tell this overdone story again? Absolutely. However, I would’ve preferred it so much more if there were something new that made it memorable to me. The characters were non-memorable; none of them have proper background and motivations to make me care about them. They were just chess pieces with no life that’s being moved by the author to move towards a certain destination—killing the dragon. Also, there wasn’t any world-building to make the world feel rich. Honestly, the only part of this book that I can consider as a refreshing read was the dragon’s POV; the book would most likely provide a more unique and enjoyable reading experience to me if it was told mostly from Alpheratz’s POV.

    was an okay read but unfortunately, I can’t say that there’s anything memorable or amazing about it. In the current SFF market, amazing books comprised of originality, memorable characterizations, and intricate world-building are easy to find; I found

    to be a book that played it too safe. Not only this kind of storyline has been done countless times before, but Hamilton also didn’t bring anything new to his rendition of the dragon-slaying story. I may be on the unpopular side for this book; the ratings I’ve seen so far—especially on Amazon—have been immensely positive. Either I’m in the unpopular opinion, or maybe, in the end, it all simply means that there’s still a large market of readers that enjoy an utterly straight-forward dragon-slaying story. If you REALLY love a classic dragon-slaying tale, you might enjoy

    . Unfortunately, I prefer a more original content rather than another dragon-slaying story with different names that I’ve read or played more than hundreds of times cumulatively.

  • 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:

    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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