Excellent fantasy, told with a classic trope flipped upside down in a surprising and highly imagined way.
Love books that turn tropes upside down? It’s utterly refreshing and different is sometimes hard to find. The damsel in distress, life forfeited to the Draigon by the councilmen of Arnan in appeasement of Draigon weather, a withering drought that destroys the land. She has only once chance to be saved, one person who will face the Draigon. There is a trope here that will be turned inside out by the author and the writing is sublime. If my word is dubious, please take a hint from the review below:
“A tightly focused first installment that delivers a delightful twist on the classic folk tale of appeasement by sacrifice, seen through the eyes of two immersive, engaging characters and rewarding the reader with a gripping promise of more to come.”
~ Janny Wurts, author of the Wars of Light and Shadow series.
The chapters of Draigon Weather shifts point of views between Leiel and Cleod, the main characters, and moves back and forth in time marked by their ages. The story is deftly shifted back and forth within the framework of past and present in both point of views and gives us a unique perspective from each. Their world as it was when they met, and the what their world forced them to become. Their paths are radically different but are destined to be intertwined. Both are fated by their personal choices to come together again as entirely different people.
Leiel Sower is strong-willed, intelligent, and fierce of heart much like her mother Ilora. Cleod Woodcutter is her loyal friend, determined to protect her from suffering her mother’s fate. In a patriarchal society, men with power fear an ancient knowledge that could rob them of the power and wealth they wield and covet. For generations they have carefully suppressed any and all things which could threaten their way of life. They will do whatever is necessary to appease the Draigon, prevent another war and release the land from Draigon Weather by choosing women to sacrifice to the enormous dread beasts to keep it at bay whenever it threatens. The councilmen of each part of Arnan send these women to their deaths under the guise of punishing them for what the laws and society deem un-womanly behavior. Transgressions that may be real or imagined, as to be an enemy of the council is to risk becoming a Sacrifice to the Draigon. Those women that shine brightly with intelligence and curious minds, a bit too strong willed to go unnoticed, they seek answers which threaten the strictures of society and draw the wrath of the men in power. Women of skill and knowledge risk becoming a Sacrifice by making enemies of these powerful men. A Sacrifice takes not only the life of the woman chosen, it brands their children for life as well. Especially their daughters, who are forever Draigfen. A Sacrifice has but one chance to survive, and each is accompanied to their confrontation by one Draighil, warrior elite of the Enclave, sent to challenge the monster for the woman’s life and either kill the Draigon or die in the attempt.
This story will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Excellent and vivd characteriszations with a lot of depth which do most of the world building in this novel. Classic fantasy with an easy flow and tight focus of narrative as seen through the eyes of the main characters, Leiel and Cleod. Through their experiences, their friendship and their losses, the truth turns out to be a bitter and painful journey. Leiel and Cleod are parted for life when Cleod enters the Enclave to become a Draigon killer. A vow Cleod made as a child when his best friend, Leiel had her world shattered by the Sacrifice.
Excerpt: Chapter 9 Cleod- 8 years
All is not what it appears to be and that is the true beauty of this story. With Leiel and Cleod we move through naivete, to childish hopes and dreams, courage, fierce determination, tragic losses, and brutally painful consequences, wrapped in sacrifices neither expected the other to have to make.
Highly recommended and highly satisfying.
Christie has a great deal of heart poured into the pages of Draigon Weather.You will find a strong component of feminist struggle within the pages of this novel. It is an homage to the art of storytelling and the power it possesses for teaching great knowledge. You can find her work highlighted in an interview here at Breaking the Glass Slipper.
- Print Length:352 pages
- Publisher:Prospective Press; 1 edition (April 18, 2017)
- Publication Date:April 18, 2017
- Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
Wing Wind is the seamless sequel to Draigon Weather. Nothing is as satisfying to a reader as picking up a second in series that nearly outshines the first. Wing Wind gives us the answers to questions we didn’t know to ask yet.
“Two fast friends, welded by choice and fate to an incompatible dynamic—and a love that will try the depth and scope of their human destinies as never before. A powerful second book for a brand new series.”
—Janny Wurts: Author of the Wars of Light and Shadow series
(You can find Janny Wurt’s full Goodreads review here.)
“…Christie’s skillful evocation of a disintegrating landscape and the dysfunctional society grappling with that disaster is worth being patient for, as is Cleod’s gritty, desolate perseverance.” ~ Publisher’s Weekly
About the Author:
Paige L. Christie was raised in Maine, and lives the NC mountains, writing speculative fiction, walking her dog, and being ignored by her herd of 3-legged cats. Always a nerd, obsessive about hobbies like photography, Ghawazee Dance, and listening to the characters in her head, Paige can be found slightly left of center. As a believer in the power of words, Paige tries to tell stories that are both entertaining and thoughtful. Especially of interest, are tales that speak to women, and open a space where adventure and fantasy are not all about happy endings.