The Rage of Dragons

The Rage of Dragons

Game of Thrones meets Gladiator in this debut epic fantasy about a world caught in an eternal war, and the young man who will become his people's only hope for survival.The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost two hundred years. Their society has been built around war and only war. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every two thousand women has the power to c...

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Title:The Rage of Dragons
Author:Evan Winter
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Rage of Dragons Reviews

  • Evan Winter

    I think it's great, but then I wrote it, and my mother always said I should be proud of myself and the things I accomplish. I'm very proud of this. Maybe too proud. You be the judge. Though, you're most likely to have a good time if you enjoy Robert Jordan's expansive worlds, Brandon Sanderson's detailed magic systems, Joe Abercrombie's gritty combat, and Pierce Brown's page-burning pace of action.

    My goal was to write something that I would, as a reader, love. The joke is that, since I'm the on

    I think it's great, but then I wrote it, and my mother always said I should be proud of myself and the things I accomplish. I'm very proud of this. Maybe too proud. You be the judge. Though, you're most likely to have a good time if you enjoy Robert Jordan's expansive worlds, Brandon Sanderson's detailed magic systems, Joe Abercrombie's gritty combat, and Pierce Brown's page-burning pace of action.

    My goal was to write something that I would, as a reader, love. The joke is that, since I'm the one who wrote the book, I've lost the distance needed to know if I'd actually like it. But, I am proud of it. I think it's good. More important, what do you think?

    Evan Winter

  • James Islington

    This book was awesome - intense, inventive and action-packed from beginning to end. It included a ton of things that I like in a story, and then executed that story really,

    well.

    Where the blurb mentions

    , I’d liken it more to something like

    , with its protagonist driven by revenge, class system to overcome, and story that moves forward with a kind of forceful, gripping, action-oriented pace. In fact, I think that fans of Pierce Brown’s series (as I am) would almost certainly find som

    This book was awesome - intense, inventive and action-packed from beginning to end. It included a ton of things that I like in a story, and then executed that story really,

    well.

    Where the blurb mentions

    , I’d liken it more to something like

    , with its protagonist driven by revenge, class system to overcome, and story that moves forward with a kind of forceful, gripping, action-oriented pace. In fact, I think that fans of Pierce Brown’s series (as I am) would almost certainly find something to love here.

    But

    is very much its own thing, too. The magic system is clearly defined, used inventively, and allows room for some interesting development in the future. The world itself is distinctive and well-realised, and yet it’s clear that this book only scrapes the surface of a larger conflict, too. There’s definitely plenty of territory for the sequels to expand into.

    Finally, for those who want to know about mature content – swearing is a non-issue, the violence is brutal but not gratuitous in any way, and there’s one brief sex scene. It's somewhere between Brandon Sanderson’s books and

    , but much closer to the former. There’s certainly nothing that would make me hesitate to widely recommend it.

    So all up, a very enthusiastic ‘go and read it’ from me!

  • The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).

    As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek:

    Some books start quite slowly, setting the scene, others, they start with a bang. The Rage of Dragons is one such book, starting with a bloody sword thrust through the chest cavity, one that explodes out the back in a profusion of action.

    After fleeing their previous home, the land of Osonte and a catastrophe known as ‘The Cull‘ the Omehi are newly arrived on the shores of Xidda looking for a new home

    As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek:

    Some books start quite slowly, setting the scene, others, they start with a bang. The Rage of Dragons is one such book, starting with a bloody sword thrust through the chest cavity, one that explodes out the back in a profusion of action.

    After fleeing their previous home, the land of Osonte and a catastrophe known as ‘The Cull‘ the Omehi are newly arrived on the shores of Xidda looking for a new home but the current population has other ideas. What follows is a violent battle (highlighting the powers of the Omehi Gifted and the strength of Winter’s ability to write detailed and dynamic battle scenes that populate the whole of The Rage of Dragons right from the get-go) and many die on both sides. The Hedeni (also known as the Xiddeen the original inhabitants of Xidda) are overwhelming the Omehi, with no wish to flee and as a last gasp, the last roll of the dice, the Omehi summon a guardian (dragon). The dragon turns the tides of the battle, the Omehi win and in Xidda they have a new home.

    The book then jumps forward in time to nearly two hundred years later, the Omehi have settled on Xidda but the war against the native Xiddeen (the Hedeni) is still ongoing, it hasn’t stopped and on both sides, blood is still being shed.

    Tau is a normal Omehi from the Lesser caste, his role, at best is as an Ihashe in the endless war against the Hedeni. If he fails to get past the test to graduate to the Isikolo and the Ihashe training then his fate will either be as an Ihagu, the fodder of the military, those sent in first to battle, those whose role in the fighting is to die on the battlefields, to end up as carrion, nothing more, the walking dead, bones turning to dust. Or, if he refuses that then as a drudge, less than servants, nothing, a slave.

    Tau doesn’t want to be a fighter, he lacks the stomach for killing and would rather work in the keep than go to war but regardless of his chosen path he first needs to pass the Ihashe testing and then the arduous training that follows. However, fate is a cruel mistress and something happens, something that shows the class divide within the Omehi people, the gap between the Lesser castes and the Noble castes (the Lessers are seen as being lesser, they are less than the Nobles, held down by the class system, low blood, low born, less, the law favours the Nobles, allowing them to treat the Lessers with contempt and as glorified servants) and Tau loses everything. He loses everyone close to him, hardening him, turning him to stone and his thoughts of the future change, warping to revenge and vengeance against those who have taken everything from him.

    The only way for Tau to legally achieve his goal, his revenge is to gain military status by passing the training from initiate to become an Ihashe and then, he can, in all legality challenge those above him, those of Noble blood, those responsible for his loss to blood duels.

    This is what The Rage of Dragons is, a revenge tale of the highest quality and a tale that is propelled along by Tau who is the fiery core, the ferocious spirit and the driving force of the story.

    For a large portion of the book, Tau is blinkered. The Ihashe training he undertakes is simply a means to an end, a way to get his revenge and he doesn’t care about the war between the Omehi and the Xiddeen. Then, later on, his eyes are opened and he realises that there is more at stake than just his quest for revenge, it is still his goal, his purpose but he can see that fate of the entire Omehi people is in the balance. The Omehi are losing the war, with each cycle less and less Gifted are being born, and there aren’t enough Nobles either. The vast hordes of the Xiddeen are attacking more and more frequently, pushing the Omehi back, sensing weakness in their enemy, gaining ground and preparing for the killing stroke.

    To survive the Omehi people need to change their ways, their old ways, the rigidity of the castes, from Common/Lesser through to Petty Nobles through to Greater/Royal Nobles is out-dated and people like Tau can only rise so far before they reach the glass ceiling. As a people they are dying out, fading away, every life should matter, every life should be equal and that is what Tau is also fighting for, his revenge but also for the life of a Lesser, a life that should be worth the same as that of a Noble, they all bleed the same.

    The Omehi have Gifted at their disposal, only Omehi women can be Gifted and can safely access the power of Isihogo (Isihogo is the demon world where the power the Gifted use is pulled from). It is a land where demons dwell, a twisted version of the real world with muted colours and swirling mists. Those who are Gifted can hide in Isihogo, they can cloak themselves, mask their presence so that the demons can’t see them. There are different powers available, an Enervator can use power to unleash a wave of energy temporarily sending the souls of those hit with the blast into the land of Isihogo at the mercy of the demons that inhabit the land and incapacitating them. Time passes slower in Isihogo and an Edifier can use it to carry messages to others far away. An Entreater can use the power to bind their will to that of another (that is how the Gifted control the dragons). Finally, an Enrager can channel the power of Isihogo into an Ingonyama (the best Noble fighters in the Omehi military) amplifying their size, strength and speed and turning them into hulking huge behemoths.

    As a land Xidda is arid, dry and dusty with sparse food supplies and water, harvests are small and living off the land is hard. The rage of Dragons feels like Winter is only skimming the surface, caressing the skin rather than burying the blade in the flesh of his world with much more waiting to be discovered in the future books.

    I liked Winter’s writing and felt that it flowed well, there was always something going on, something that moved the story forward, there is a depth to the characters, the story and the world, the pacing is fast and there is the occasional touch of emotion and humour added to the mix too.

    There is something comforting, something familiar about The Rage of Dragons but, at the same time, there is something new, something refreshing about it too. It is an outstanding debut from Winter, a book that includes everything that is good about modern fantasy and a book that fully deserves to be a hit. As the main character Tau is someone that you are invested in, the other characters who fill out the rest of the cast all have a role to play, the Omehi, the caste system and culture of the Omehi, the politics, the Xiddeen, the magic and the demon-infested realm of Isihogo and finally, the dragons (they are only sparingly used, they are the last resort in any battle, they are devastating, calling them in has a cost, they destroy everything, ravage the world and there is an additional cost to the Gifted too) all have a place in the story, all are used to form the whole picture and combined together all help to create what is an electrifying read.

    From the beginning to the end The Rage of Dragons is brimming with intense action and heart-pounding spectacular fight scenes. Whether it is Tau training, sparring/duelling one-on-one or full-scale large battles and huge set-pieces they are all vivid, visceral, weighted and cinematic. Winter has a keen eye for writing the scenes, they have a heft to them, you feel every blow, every punch, every bone-jarring strike and every sword thrust.

    Tau can’t change who he is or that the Nobles are bigger with better blood than him and he isn’t even the strongest or the tallest Lesser but he is resolute, driven by desire and internal strength. He pushes himself to the limit and then pushes some more, every time he is knocked back down, he rises back up, he won’t quit, he’ll die before he gives up. Tau is a very human character, his emotions can get the better of him, he can be fallible, foolhardy, impetuous, and rash but he is also determined and relentless no matter the cost to himself as when you are left with nothing, you have nothing to hold you back, nothing to lose. Tau has his hate, his rage that consumes, that devours and that fuels the fire inside, he wants to be more than his birth, he aspires to be more. He is a force of nature, far beyond driven, an oncoming storm as he seeks to improve his skill, to become better than his blood, pushing more, never losing sight of his goal, building strength, stamina, speed, a preternatural understanding of the blade, of fighting.

    Tau is like John Wick if you got to see the training that John Wick went through to become an unstoppable killing machine hell-bent on retribution and The Rage of Dragons itself is a blood-soaked revenge tale with added depth and a whole lot of heart.

  • Will.J.R. Gwynne

    My expanded review on BookNest...

    I have just finished reading The Rage of Dragons, and the fact that I read this in two days is testimony to how much I loved it!

    The Rage of Dragons is one of the greatest books I have ever read. It is a heart-wrenching, mind-blowing tale of love and hatred, of sacrifice and inspiration. But most of all, this is an epic story of vengeance.

    I have never read an African-inspired fantasy novel before, so w

    My expanded review on BookNest...

    I have just finished reading The Rage of Dragons, and the fact that I read this in two days is testimony to how much I loved it!

    The Rage of Dragons is one of the greatest books I have ever read. It is a heart-wrenching, mind-blowing tale of love and hatred, of sacrifice and inspiration. But most of all, this is an epic story of vengeance.

    I have never read an African-inspired fantasy novel before, so was not sure what to expect and did not know if it would grip me. Well, I was wrong to doubt. Winter paints the culture in a magnificent manner, quickly creating a depth to the world that I rarely encounter.

    It is a thought provoking story that tackles issues on social hierarchy, attitude to lower classes, and the effects of war on the mind. Whenever I could not hide away to read, I found myself thinking about this novel. About the challenges the characters faced, how they would cope, how their every action defined them and what would happen next. That is the sign of a great book!

    One of the greatest aspects of this novel were the battle scenes. They were vivid, and immersive. I felt like I was witnessing the horror of war, and I got goosebumps during the small scale skirmishes that brought to mind the team fights from Gladiator.

    I could go on all day about how much I loved this book and why, but I have just chosen a few of the most prominent ones. I will write an expanded review for BookNest where I cover the rest very soon :). But, as I have tried to explain, and hope I did, this book is a must read! I will struggle to wait for the sequel to be released, but I consider myself fortunate I got to read this magnificent book.

  • Nicholas Eames

    Damn, this book was good.

    ASIDE from the fact that its setting is so refreshingly unique, the pacing is extraordinary. And by 'extraordinary' I mean that once it gets rolling--and it gets rolling almost right off the bat--it never lets up. Seriously, though: NEVER. Important scenes are followed by equally important scenes, which are followed by sudden revelations, which are followed by shocking loss, and then the whole thing repeats again. The chapters--short but not too short--are the perfect s

    Damn, this book was good.

    ASIDE from the fact that its setting is so refreshingly unique, the pacing is extraordinary. And by 'extraordinary' I mean that once it gets rolling--and it gets rolling almost right off the bat--it never lets up. Seriously, though: NEVER. Important scenes are followed by equally important scenes, which are followed by sudden revelations, which are followed by shocking loss, and then the whole thing repeats again. The chapters--short but not too short--are the perfect size to keep you thinking that reading just one more before setting it down is probably a good idea.

    To summarize: big, epic, exciting, and, unless you're from the future, like nothing you've read before.

  • Anthony Ryan

    The stultifying and dehumanising effects of a caste-based society and the seductive but ultimately destructive nature of vengeance lie at the heart of Evan Winter’s tale. A feudal people known as the Omehi fight a never-ending war against encroaching tribes to maintain their hold on a peninsular they invaded two hundred years before. 'Lesser Common' Tau Solarin drives himself to the point of madness as he gains the warrior skills needed to avenge himself on the noble caste. Expertly structured w

    The stultifying and dehumanising effects of a caste-based society and the seductive but ultimately destructive nature of vengeance lie at the heart of Evan Winter’s tale. A feudal people known as the Omehi fight a never-ending war against encroaching tribes to maintain their hold on a peninsular they invaded two hundred years before. 'Lesser Common' Tau Solarin drives himself to the point of madness as he gains the warrior skills needed to avenge himself on the noble caste. Expertly structured with a keen eye for action and character, Rage of Dragons is a captivating epic heroic fantasy from a major new talent.

  • Daniel Greene

    I COULD NOT STOP READING THIS! Holy Crap, bar raised for first-time authors.

  • Petrik

    This book was originally self-published and released in September 2017. Honestly speaking, I have seen and known about this book since then but the book wasn’t able to move up the monstrosity that is my TBR tower for some reason. However, its acquisition by Orbit, which resulted in a brand new gorgeous/>The

    This book was originally self-published and released in September 2017. Honestly speaking, I have seen and known about this book since then but the book wasn’t able to move up the monstrosity that is my TBR tower for some reason. However, its acquisition by Orbit, which resulted in a brand new gorgeous cover art done by the ingenious Karla Ortiz, is a total cover seller—look at the Zulu shield and the intricately apt mural in the cover!—that practically screamed “Buy and read me now” to me, and so that’s what I did.

    I believe that the ARC of the book is on its way to me at the moment. Even with that information in mind, knowing that the ebook was already available to purchase (physical copies will be out in July) I bought it to give my support to the author. I was only going to read a few chapters but I ended up being completely hooked and read through it like Sonic the Hedgehog being lured by infinite golden coins; it was too addictive to stop. Let me just say this again before I begin my review. The equation is simple; a fantasy debut published by Orbit these days is for me equal to “I want it.” I haven’t been disappointed at all by the adult fantasy debuts released by Orbit—

    ,

    ,

    ,

    , and

    —over the past few years and

    once again continues that trend.

    is an African (Xhosa) inspired epic fantasy debut by Evan Winter, and it is the first installment in

    quartet. The people of Omehi have been caught in an unwinnable war for almost two hundred years, and the story revolves around our main character, the young and gift-less Tau. Tau is determined to just settle down, get married, and live in peace. However, an unfortunate event causes his entire motivation to shift towards the path of vengeance. I really suggest going into this book without knowing about the story, but if you want to know more, the blurb on Goodreads and Amazon is there for you to check out.

    At its core, the main theme of the novel is revenge. The best comparison I can think of for this book is Pierce Brown’s sci-fi debut,

    . Don’t get me wrong, the prose is totally different in style and there aren’t any sci-fi elements in this book; but the story progression, the injustice in a social hierarchy, the explosive pacing, and the main character truly made me feel like I was reading

    , which I highly loved. As with Darrow—the main character from

    , I wouldn’t say that I love Tau as the main character, but both Tau and Darrow have this crucial entertaining element for me; they are utterly compelling main characters. Tau is a person with indomitable determination; guided by palpable fury and rage on his road to revenge, his resolve was simply unbending and even though I didn’t really like some of his actions and certain elements of his personality, I found his motivations to be realistically believable and worth reading.

    Told mostly from Tau’s third-person perspective narrative, the accessible prose that never gets in the way of the story enhanced the engrossing flow of the book. Although the storyline was a bit predictable, I found the execution and pacing to be absolutely brilliant. There was always something going on; it was fast-paced, incredibly engaging, and brimming with tension. If I have to choose the most outstanding aspect of the book, it would definitely be the battle scenes. It’s been so long since I’ve read a debut with close-quarter battle scenes of the high caliber featured within this novel; it felt like reading Abercrombie’s gritty action sequences. Every battle was easy to follow, gripping, and vivid. The heart-pounding actions never stop escalating until the climax sequences. Believe me, there was a barrage of awesome duels, and I simply can’t get enough of them. Winter combines cinematic scenes and economical characterizations wonderfully. There was never any moment where the characters were just fighting emotionlessly like robots. The brief respites between one danger and the next were very efficiently utilized for characterizations and emphasizing characters’ motivations clearly.

    The magic system and the demonic aspect of the book were both clever and felt refreshing. I also loved reading every section that involved Isihogo; I’ll leave that for you to find out for yourself. Admittedly, I had two minor issues with the book that prevented me from giving it a full 5 stars rating. The first was that it took some time for me to get used to the in-world terminologies. There were only a few explicit explanations and it’s up to the reader to understand what each term meant through the context of the story; there was a quite lot and in my opinion, a glossary would help. Although by the end I have understood almost all of them, it took half of the book for me to get a grasp on what most of the words/terms/honorifics meant. The other issue was that I feel the book would’ve benefited from more noteworthy female characters, especially after considering how the female characters in this series have the potential to be extremely powerful and flawed in personality. There were only two noteworthy female characters throughout the whole book and one of them appeared only near the end. That being said, seeing the way the story concluded in the first book, there’s a huge chance the second issue I had with the book will be redeemed in the next installment and I highly look forward to it. In the grander scheme of things, my rating speaks for itself and these minor cons only slightly diminish my overall enjoyment of the book.

    This was my first experience with reading African-inspired epic fantasy and I want more. Evan Winter is another new fantasy voice to watch out for; his voice deserves to be heard and his book deserves to be read. If you’re still on the fence about this, let the flame of the dragons burn that dilemma to ash.

    is a breathtaking fantasy debut that triggered tons of adrenaline rush in me. I immensely enjoyed reading it and upon completion, I’m seriously in pain over the fact that the sequel isn’t out yet. The second book is now on my priority list of anticipated books. I highly recommend

    to anyone who loves reading a fast-paced revenge story with great characterizations for the main character. More importantly, if you love reading fantasy with well-written battle scenes, there's a huge chance that this book is for you.

  • Sean Barrs the Bookdragon

    is an African inspired revenge fantasy novel. This is worthy of attention in and of itself, simply because fantasy is dominated by white male authors who write about white male characters. Admittedly I enjoy reading such books, though it’s refreshing to see more diverse books appearing in the fantasy genre in recent years. There are other voices out there, and they really are worth listening to.

    The story begins in the middle of a battle, which sets the tone for the martial focus fo

    is an African inspired revenge fantasy novel. This is worthy of attention in and of itself, simply because fantasy is dominated by white male authors who write about white male characters. Admittedly I enjoy reading such books, though it’s refreshing to see more diverse books appearing in the fantasy genre in recent years. There are other voices out there, and they really are worth listening to.

    The story begins in the middle of a battle, which sets the tone for the martial focus for the book. There is so much action and so much struggle for victory across these pages. Dragons are the absolute last resort, a weapon that should only be used when there is no other choice because it is such a terribly powerful one. The prologue captures this very quickly, and as the book progresses the significance of that first scene is later expanded upon with a great amount of detail which really helped to strengthen the world building. And this is a world that is slightly different to the Eurocentric medieval fantasy that many of us are used to. It’s all in the small details, the land is hot and barren, the warriors fight with bronze swords and bone spears. All these simple things, along with the names of characters and places, help to give the book a distinct feel.

    Tau is a solid protagonist and his reactions to his circumstances are entirely normal and human. It’s easy to become invested in him. He didn’t want to be a warrior and he was looking for a way out, but the injustice of his world took someone from him, so he becomes driven by revenge and blood. And judging by his determination, he will clearly get what he wants. He lives to train, and eventually becomes skilful enough to best opponents twice his size. The book took a somewhat predictable direction because of this, but the strength of Tau’s convictions and personality made up for the linearity. The action was also constant, never relenting until the final chapters.

    I enjoyed the magic system, the idea that a “gifted” could use special powers to improve the strength and speed of warriors in battle. The two work together to ensure victory. It reminded me somewhat of Kursed in Thor: Dark World and it gave the fighting (especially the large-scale battles) an added element, making them more complex and interesting to read about. It wasn’t as simple as knife work; tactics were needed to bring down powerful foes. And whilst I’m on the subject of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I recommend this to fans of Black Panther because it is put together just as well and has a similar feel.

    Overall, this is a strong first novel in the series. It’s unique and offers a totally different version of fantasy. Orbit were totally right to snap this up (it was previously only a self-published title.) More please.

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  • James Tivendale

    *Minor spoilers may follow.*

    The inhabitants of Omehi who are known as the Chosen have been warring with the savage hedeni tribes for hundreds of years. The hedeni may have superior numbers but the Chosen have the Gifted. These are powerful female mages who can source power from the underworld Isihogo. The Gifted are a huge asset in battles. They can turn a warrior into an Ingonyama which is a giant, amazingly powerful protective being. The pinnacle of their powers, and the aspect that the heden

    *Minor spoilers may follow.*

    The inhabitants of Omehi who are known as the Chosen have been warring with the savage hedeni tribes for hundreds of years. The hedeni may have superior numbers but the Chosen have the Gifted. These are powerful female mages who can source power from the underworld Isihogo. The Gifted are a huge asset in battles. They can turn a warrior into an Ingonyama which is a giant, amazingly powerful protective being. The pinnacle of their powers, and the aspect that the hedeni fear the most is that when Gifted work together they can call a Dragon Guardian to aid them on the battlefield to bloody and devastating effect.

    After an incredible prologue which is set 186-cycles prior, we spend The Rage of Dragons mostly following Tau's third person perspective. Castes and birthright are hugely important in this novel and Tau is a higher common. He lives in a relatively small town and spends the majority of his days helping his father in his duties or training with the sword. His father was an Ihashe warrior and now helps keep the settlement secure and safe. Tau wants to follow in his father's footsteps and become an Ihashe soldier too. These are the elite fighters from the lesser castes. He spends his days practicing with the second son of a petty noble house called Jabari. As a noble Jabari is bigger, stronger, faster, fitter and beats Tau the majority of the time. Jabari wishes to join the Indlovu which is the group for the most powerful noble caste warriors. Although best friends they are aware that their blood will lead them to walk different roads in the future even though the nobles, commoners, and the drudge are all on the same side. All seems content and life doesn't seem too harsh. Tau even has a love interest in his village called Zuri. Things change dramatically but mostly for Tau the day that Jabari attends his warrior trials and that is where the story really begins.

    Tau was a standard and safe character at the beginning of the narrative but his development throughout is dramatic and very well done. He changes drastically when vengeance becomes his only real motive. Following his loss, taking part in his warrior trials, to his time in Scale Jayyed as an initiate Ihashe, seeing events from Tau's perspective was addictive for me. He was headstrong, unyielding, sometimes made bad decisions and wasn't always likable which are some of the qualities I look for in a protagonist.

    "He made a pact with himself, a pact he swore on his father’s soul. If he were asked to run a thousand strides, he would run two thousand. If he were told to spar three rounds, he would spar six. And if he fought a match to surrender, the man who surrendered would not be him. He would fight until he won or he died. There would be, he swore, no days without difficulty."

    I've read many fantasy novels where sections take place at a warrior or magic educational establishment. This tale features some of what you'd expect in this sort of setting. Rivals, different factions, a team of varied individuals working together against the odds, camaraderie, interesting teachers/trainers, etc... The familiar elements incorporated, I think this is the most I have ever enjoyed reading a story that features a warrior school. That includes Anthony Ryan's Blood Song which is probably the closest rival this story has. What made this exceed was the practice battles against other scales from the lesser castes and also from the noble castes. The hatred between the nobles and the lessers leads readers to realise that there is no such thing as a practice fight in this environment. These scenarios are exceptionally well crafted and gripping especially when Tau hones his fighting skills and other members of his team learn to work together expertly to overcome much adversity.

    Winter has a deft talent for writing colourful, complex and memorable characters. My personal favourites were sword trainer Jayyed, love interest Zuri, hated rival Kellan, and all the members of Jayyed's five. This African-influenced fantasy world was composed well without being too fruity or unnecessarily over detailed. This kept the focus on the action and The Rage of Dragons flows at a breakneck pace with only a few quieter, slower chapters here and there for readers to catch their breath, compose themselves, reflect on what has just happened and then breathe before going again. The Rage of Dragons features the battle scenarios as mentioned but also huge skirmishes and fights against the age-old enemy, the hedeni. Duels, political corruption, dragons and venturing to the underworld to fight demons are just a small amount of the ingredients which make The Rage of Dragons such a phenomenal debut. I'll definitely see what Winter has in store for us in his next entry. The Rage of Dragons is an excellent high-octane thrill ride of a fantasy debut that I devoured in one day. Highly recommended. 9/10.

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