Jeryon is a ship pilot. He runs a trade route and is content to maintain a low profile and do his job. But when Jeryon encounters a dragon at sea he makes the decision to fight rather than run. Among the consequences for this action is that Jeryon will face a mutiny and he and another aboard the ship (Everlyn – a doctor of sorts) are given a ‘captain’s chance’ and allowed to leave the ship in a small boat.
Jeryon and Everlyn wind up on a deserted island and revenge is all Jeryon can think about.
While exploring the island one day, Jeryon and Everlyn discover something that’s never been seen by humans before – a dragon nest with a baby dragon hatching. They decide to raise the baby dragon themselves with the hope that when it is big enough, it will carry them off the island. Or at least that’s what they decide together. Jeryon, clutching at his anger and desire for revenge, has additional plans for the baby dragon.
A book about obsession and revenge can certainly work (anyone read Moby Dick or The Count of Monte Cristo?) but I don’t think it works well to have multiple viewpoints in such a novel. On the one hand, switching POV takes away from Jeryon’s story which is what this is really about. On the other hand, Jeryon’s story is pretty intense and following only him might be too much for many readers.
I found moments in the book to be compelling and the characters generally quite strong. And of course there are dragons. But I found too much of the book to be a drag. Jeryon’s obsession for vengeance is consuming for him and exhausting for us and it made him a less likeable character the further we got into the book. We start by supporting him, then feeling bad for him, and then not liking or respecting him. That’s not a very typical character arc and probably for good reason.
This is a book that I had high hopes for but it definitely let me down.
Looking for a good book? If revenge and dragons are all you need then you might enjoy Stephen S Power’s The Dragon Round.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
The Dragon Round
author: Stephen S. Power
publisher: Simon & Schuster
hardcover, 320 pages