Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Sword and the Dragon by M.R. Mathias review

When the Royal Wizard of Westland poisons the king so that his puppet prince can take the throne and start a continental war, a young squire is forced to run for his life carrying the powerful sword that his dying monarch burdened him with from the death bed.

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.

4 stars

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.

4 comments:

  1. My brother would love this book- Thanks 4 Posting!

    Morning Star

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  2. I recommend it highly, also I'm getting close to done with book II Kings, Queens, Heroes, and Fools and it is even better.

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  3. M.R. Mathias is a lot of fun. He has some terrific characters. His horror story, The Butcher's boy, was exceptional. I've had the privilege of editing some of his recent books and he's been an absolute pleasure to work with.

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  4. Derek - I have The Butcher's Boy on my shelf and I'm looking forward to it for sure. I am also hoping to get to the Dragoneers Saga fairly soon.

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