A DRAGON'S ASCENSION by Ed Greenwood
A BAND OF FOUR NOVEL
TOR, March 2002
The king of Aglirta has returned to his century-old slumber, but the country is torn by civil war. Magicians, barons, and mercenaries vie for the thrown in complete disregard for their vows to the true king, his regent, Baron Blackgult, or for the four over-Dukes he had set to retain the peace. With the continuing efforts of the snake priests and a few mad mages thrown into the stew, things look rough indeed for the Band of Four and for the future of Aglirta.
All of Author Ed Greenwood's (click here to see other booksforabuck.com reviews of novels by this author) Band of Four novels are filled with nonstop action and A DRAGON'S ASCENSION is no exception. When Embra loses her magical stone, even Hawkril's massive sword and Craer's quick daggers seem like weak hope for the future of the nation. And unfortunately for the kingdom, the many plotters seem unwilling to kill each other off. Instead, the Four and the Regent must face each in turn, with fewer and fewer resources at every turn.
Greenwood seems to have turned up the emotional complexity of his writing a notch, allowing the reader to feel more involved in the story and less like he is watching someone else's fantasy roll-playing game. The story stakes are also higher. The emergence of the Serpent represents a disaster for the entire world.
A DRAGON'S ASCENSION is fast and compelling reading with murder and battle on almost every page. It may not be a literary masterpiece but it's a fun read.
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