*I received a copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Title: The Rage of Dragons (The Burning #1)
Author: Evan Winter
Publication Date: July 16th, 2019
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 call down dragons. One in every hundred men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine.
Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war. Young, gift-less Tau knows all this, but he has a plan of escape. He’s going to get himself injured, get out early, and settle down to marriage, children, and land. Only, he doesn’t get the chance. Those closest to him are brutally murdered, and his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He’ll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him.
Review: I just…WOW. This book is all the RAGE—pun intended. I’m completely blown away by this book. I love when a fantasy is filled with endless action! This story completely sucked me in and tore me to shreds and I’m still left craving more. Honestly, I get how this is compared to Game of Thrones, but damn after being disappointed by that show I am HERE for this book. It is a total cutthroat story.
Tau is a man with a plan. He never really wanted to become part of the war and fight endless battles. His plan was to marry the girl he has always loved and somehow escape the plan his father has for him. Everything turns upside down for Tau, though, and suddenly thoughts of revenge take over his mind. This is where I found his character to share similarities with Arya because he becomes obsessed with becoming a soldier to challenge those who wronged him. I love his journey in this book because he overcame his fears and weaknesses and sought to make himself stronger through sheer will. Here I’ll also add his similarity to Jon Snow in that he defies death at every turn.
I just HAVE to talk about the action in this book. Oh boy, there was lot of it! Most of the book is spent with the warriors in training and they had to fight not only against each other, but superior soldiers as well as the Gifted (yay for women!). There was a ton of bloodshed throughout and this is only them training with each other. Not even the enemy! And trust me…they fight the enemy and it is bloody. Also, I didn’t know there were going to be DEMONS in this book. I was so excited every time they were mentioned! For some reason those scenes brought my mind back to Shadow of the Fox. Also, the DRAGONS. Now that we’ve absorbed all that info, let me tell you that these beings are controlled by WOMEN. YUP, women have the power in this story!
I will point out one thing that was problematic for me. The word savage is used throughout the book to describe people native to the land. While this is an African-inspired story, it’s just such a derogatory term and I felt it was completely unnecessary. It’s not only used to describe a race of people, but their behaviour as well and I was extremely bothered by it.
This is a fierce story of brotherhood, revenge, sacrifice, love, friendship, and determination. There are definitely more than a few twists and while I did see the ending coming, I wasn’t prepared for the soul-crushing events that led there. I’m so excited to see where this series will go!