Two brothers find a magic ring and start on paths to becoming the most powerful sort of enemies, while an evil young sorceress unwillingly falls in love with one of them when he agrees to help her steal a dragon's egg for her father. Her father just happens to be the Royal Wizard, and despite his daughter's feelings, he would love nothing more than to sacrifice the boy!
All of these characters, along with the Wolf King of Wildermont, the Lion Lord of Westland, and a magical hawk named Talon, are on a collision course toward Willa the Witch Queen's palace in the distant kingdom of Highwander. There the very bedrock is formed of the powerful magical substance called Wardstone.
Who are the heroes? And will they get there before the Royal Wizard and his evil hordes do?
Whatever happens, the journey will be spectacular, and the confrontation will be cataclysmic.
The Sword and the Dragon by M.R. Mathias is the first book in The Wardstone Trilogy. The story centers around the brothers Gerard and Hyden two young men of the Skyler clan. The clan is famous for being the only people who know the location to harvest the eggs of a certain hawkling that they sell for very high prices during trade fairs. This year with Hyden being the clans greatest hope for a win over the elves in the annual archery competition he is forbidden to undertake the dangerous climb to earn his honor by getting a good harvest of eggs. Gerard offers to do the climb twice once for himself and once for his brother in order to ensure his brother has eggs for himself at the trade fair. Climbing the massive peak to reach the eggs is a dangerous and grueling affair and no one has done it two days in a row before. While Gerard is on his second trip to the top he notices an item shining from one of the nests and discovers a ring.
He keeps the ring for himself, but lives up to his agreement and gives the second harvest of eggs to his brother. In that batch of eggs packed in a special moss to protect them and prevent them from hatching an unthinkable thing occurs. One of the eggs hatches beginning the events of a prophecy of the Skyler clan. After the trade gathering the brothers go in separate directions and the story follows their journeys.
M.R. Mathias has a talent for world building. This story takes place on a truly epic scale with wonderful locations, cultures, and characters. There is one specific location where a character encounter a very unique version of local wildlife and I was impressed with the ingenuity of it.
There is a lot of stuff going on in this book so it's not a casual read. It is definitely worth the time and effort though. This is an author to keep an eye out on, I already have the second book in this series as well as several others he has written.
Review copy provided by the author.