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Dragons in the Clouds By David Blair (ARC) - Review

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I received an ARC from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.
Dragons in the Clouds is an epic adventure that takes place in the land of Albian during a time when Dragons were alive and freely roamed the land. The people during this time were being devoured by a particularly vicious species of dragon. To protect his people, the ruling King finally orders the total annihilation of all living dragons. A powerful wizard, named Merlinius does not agree with the King's order. For he knows all Dragons are not what they seem. Merlinius performs the spell of weightlessness and tells the dragons to fly up and to hide in the cover of the clouds. An unforeseen ability of the dragon's spell is that a Dragon's fire now looks like lightning and their roar is like that of thunder. Merlinius' apprentice who has grandeur ideas of his own. He has a plan for evil dragons that he has hidden deep within a mountain cavern. Now enters a young boy, who has befriended a very young dragon. The two suddenly find themselves caught between the King's order and a battle that has begun between two species of dragons. A battle ensues that will determine control of the skies above the Kingdom of Albion.
Dragons in the Clouds by David Blair is a solid epic fantasy novella. I wasn't at all familiar with the author, his style, or the story at all going in, but I'm glad I decided to take a chance on it via Reedsy Discovery because it is quite a bit of fun. I mean, it features dragons, magic, the grand struggle between good versus evil, and an introduction that is reminiscent of the fantasy adventure classic The Princess Bride. Plus, I can't resist anything that is even remotely Arthurian legend related. That said I didn't realize going into the novella that it's geared more toward middle grade readers rather than adults. 

 Blair's novel has a lot to enjoy about it. It is a quick read, it is quite imaginative, and the magic system is clearly laid out. The sense of adventure is very refreshing. There were a few elements, though, that I wish could have fleshed out and improved upon. Primarily, those elements are the cast of characters and the world-building. There was so much more I was looking for in the characters. I wasn't particularly invested in any of the characters of the main cast. The same goes for the overall world-building in that I didn't find myself especially interested in the world the characters inhabit. It is solidly done, but it just never quite managed to hook me in the same way as other epic fantasy novels. In terms of the writing, I also wanted to note that there's a fair bit of repetition even though it's as short as it is as well as the a few turns of phrase that just don't quite fit in with the main style. 

Overall, Dragons in the Clouds by David Blair is a good yet short novella, but it could still do with a little work. If it were a little longer that could perhaps allow for some additional improvements in terms of character development and the world. In the end, this short read has several positive qualities, but it didn't particularly stand out from the crowd of other epic fantasy stories out there for me. If you enjoy MG adventure fantasy, dragons, or Arthurian legend, you may want to give this novella a try.


My review is also available on Reedsy Discovery and Goodreads.

Comments

  1. I've never even heard of this one. While not really my thing, the cover is cool! Great review!

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    Replies
    1. The cover is certainly eye catching, isn't it! Thanks for coming over, Carrie. :)

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