Over the Dragonwall by Dennis Montoya and Hank Strom

Friday, 18 September 2015

Over the Dragonwall by Dennis Montoya, H.C. Strom

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Firstly I wanted to thank the authors for sending me a copy to be reviewed. It has been a little while since I last picked up a traditional fantasy and it was pleasant change of pace.

Over the Dragonwall is a stand alone fantasy novel. It  sports around 277 pages making it as long as a standard YA novel. Now this is both a  pro as well as a con.  It leaves little time for world building or delving deeper into the characters motivations to make us more invested in the story. On the other hand, it may draw in an audience that would normally shy away at the sight of a 1000 page novel and persuade them to give this Genre a go.

Over the Dragonwall follows a group of 6 companions undertaking a journey based on a tale they hear during a night out drinking. The story's told through Obi's view (a monastery librarian) and their aim is to travel over the Dragonwall and come back with evidence to the claim Dragons truly exist there. On their way to the Dragonwall they come across an elderly woman and with a word of warning and a promise to bring back a box hidden beyond the wall, they march on their way again. Though the journey beyond the wall is filled with difficulties beyond their wildest speculation.

"Well, sir, gold and fame-even magic, I have heard- they don't last. They come to you, and then you pass them on or lose them. But to KNOW, once you know something, sir, it's yours. You can pass it on to others, and yet you never lose it.

The novel is written in past tense. And due to the length there is not much to go on as to the history of the land or get a deeper insight to why they all wish to go. I would have loved to learn a little more about the magic use for instance.  I found the first half of the book to be a little mundane too. Mostly because of the repetitiveness in description and lack of substantial progress whilst making their way to the wall.  Another minor irritation was the excessive use of our main's (and other characters) name in third person before each action or thought which made reading a little awkward. The reappearance of certain character traits every couple of chapters was not needed either.

 Camped next to the Dragonwall, the unknown adventure started right here and now. Tomorrow he would be places unknown, sights unseen, and he might even see a dragon!

Only after the half way mark did I start to feel myself invested. Once they come upon the famed Dragonwall. Finally as the urgency is created and the tension starts rising does this story really take off and give me that old school fantasy feel I was so hoping for. It was exciting to read about the groups tribulations, the harder decisions and there where moments when I wanted to bang my head against the wall wondering how they would found a way through that.

"I swear the wall is growing taller, and Tug is getting smaller and smaller every time I look over the wall." Obi Looked down; the wall was a two-hundred-foot drop. "I know. If you're trying to cheer me up, it isn't working."

One specific thing I loved about this book as well was the Prologue and Epilogue. I am normally not to invested in these but in this book they really work well and are a great precursor to a bigger plot.

It also reads as though this is a prequel or a novella and the ending hints at more things to come for which I am grateful as it has left me with more questions then answers. The witch was most definitely my fave character in the book.

Would I recommend it?
Even though the book is relatively short, I think it will probably still be recommended mostly to fantasy enthousiast. I believe it would be a great read for the slightly younger male audience specifically.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs