I was initially quite excited to read Wrath of Dragons by Scott King. I’m a big lover of fantasy and the idea behind the novel was exciting enough for me to want to pick it up and I was especially drawn in by the rogue dragon. The story begins with a magician, a young boy still learning to control his magic who chases down a dragon after the village near his home is attacked. Though the dragon he finds is not the one who attacked the village, young Carter still accidentally turns the creature he finds in the cave into a human. To right his mistake, he is suddenly thrown into an adventure as they both quest to return the dragon to his actual form. Along the way, they come across a princess, Alex, who has run from her kingdom in order to find a way to save her people from the war rising on the horizon. With each on their own quests, banding together in order to achieve them, all their plans are suddenly at risk as a shapeshifter chases them down repeatedly, intent on killing them all.
Unfortunately, though this story is described as an epic fantasy, it is anything but epic. Very little time is spent on character development, but rather we are introduced to incredibly one-dimensional characters who are generally stuck in their ways, thrown together to follow a pre-determined plotline with very little to actually bring you to care about anyone there or anything going on. Where the idea may have succeeded, the writing fails it. Carter is an exceptionally annoying character, making it incredibly difficult to enjoy the story whenever he is around to speak. While the other characters do not quite reach his level of annoyance, they all lack maturity in glaring ways that make it difficult to take any of them seriously. Even the villain was rather pathetic.
The pacing of the story was incredibly off, leaving no room to really develop the characters past initial personality quirks. You don’t get the sense, with perhaps the exception of Doug who had a few moments later on in the book, that the characters ever change through the novel. Readers are typically brought from one action sequence through to the next with very little downtime to catch their breath or even really get to know the characters a little bit better. Overall, the writing in general felt rather juvenile. This was unfortunate as, when the story is featuring adult characters and geared toward an adult audience, it resulted in making it increasingly more difficult to take anything that happened seriously. Much of the book felt contrived and dull, which made it difficult to get through in its entirety. I had an incredibly hard time moving through the novel as a result of how incredibly bored I felt the entire time I was reading.
While I was really excited about the premise and would have loved to read a great epic tale about a fat dragon, Wrath of Dragons was poorly executed and could use a lot of editing.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.