Release Date:December 6 2011
Book Preview: "The Dragon and the Crow"
The Dragon and the Crow is another fantasy release by independent publisher Dragonfall Press. It tells the story of Brin (or Bran to his aunt) a magickless boy in a world where magick is used as coin. All people have magick in some form, all but the boy Brin who struggles to hide the shame this would bring if discovered - for without magick a boy cannot even earn a name for himself, cannot enter manhood or work or society. It is this struggle for his name that begins the novel and our journey into the realm of The Dragon and the Crow. This is the first novel in a trilogy and introduces all the main characters that appear set for a titanic struggle. It is an excellent beginning for the trilogy because each time you think you know where the story is heading it takes a twist and so holds your interest from the first chapter to the last. The idea of a magickless boy in a world of magick is not a new one (but then, are there any new stories?). Piers Anthony who wrote of the adventures of Bink in the first Xanth novel also poses this problem. Here though the similarity ends. The Dragon and the Crow takes its own path, seeking its own solution to the problem 'what would it be like to be without magick in a world of magick?' This is where T.B. McKenzie shines, for it becomes apparent that for one of the opposing forces to win they need the magickless child and so the child with no magick becomes the most important piece of all. It is a fascinating read that sets up more intrigues and twists to come in the following novels. In the end a fantasy that wants the reader to stay for three novels must construct a believable, interesting world with a strong list of characters, T.B. McKenzie's realm is just such a world. I cannot wait for the second installment to see what happens to the boy without magick.
Reviewed by: Danny Fahey
The Hen rubbed his neck. ‘There is much your kind has lost in the wars with men. Like me, you live on scraps from those with true power, hiding from their sight when they are angry and grovelling when they seem kind. But I have learned what only the elves think they remember, and found what only the dwarves think they hide. With your help, I can give you more than an end to the disease that kills your children. I have found the last of your gods. I have found the Dragon King.’
She moved fast. The Hen could barely flinch before his head was held in one of her forehands as if it were an apple to be plucked from a tree.
‘You speak of things no genshar dares to think.’ Her long tongue flicked the air while her claws dug into his scalp with a pressure that promised death. ‘Things no queen has dreamed possible.’
‘It is true.’ His translation was a dry whisper on his lips. ‘Why do you think I chose you to help me? There are many ways to steal a child. I will take you to your Dragon King, but only with the child, for he is the key that can unlock his prison.’
The queen’s eyes were like flames, and they moved across his face as if trying to read his expression, even as he tried to read the colour of her scales. ‘If you lie, I will eat the flesh of your heart before it has finished beating.’