I love dragons. I’ve loved them since I was eight years old and picked up the 1,232-page tome, Dragon Lance Chronicles and devoured it by nightlight. I look forward to meeting Evan Winter, author of Rage of Dragons from Orbit. I think we’d get along.
If you loved Dragonlance too, but felt that Theros Ironfield (who isn’t even listed in the series’ Wikipedia entry) was great, but wondered why he was the only one, read Rage of Dragons. Or maybe you read Lord of the Rings but felt a certain kind of way about the orcs. Read Rage of Dragons. If you were hyped as hell by Gladiator but closed your eyes and replaced Russel Crow with Djimon Hounsou, read Rage of Dragons. If you inhaled kung fu and exhaled Bruce Lee, but after rewatching Enter the Dragon, felt that Jim Kelly’s role was more of a jived up cameo-sacrifice to the Blaxploitation orisha, and Bruce Lee Roy just wasn’t enough, then read Rage of Dragons.
I think Milton Davis would place this story squarely in the Swords and Soul sub-genre, epic fantasy that draws mostly from medieval African reference rather than medieval European. It is clearly that. The culture, the language, the magic system, the topography; you can feel the heat of an African sun transported through the ether to bake the streets of Winter’s cityscapes. But on a more personal level, it was an escape to a world I had not known but had always wished for.
Winter inhabits each of the characters like a shaman. You are Tau, the main character. As he levels (all the way) up, you do too. Whatever he feels passes through the page like a circuit and hits you. And wait until you meet the demons. Goddamn. Stay ready with that mojo bag.
In the end, this story comes down to one word and one question. Sacrifice: Was it all worth it? Rage of Dragons leaves you asking this question. Thank the queen that the sequel is on its way. Catch up now. It’s a big book. Don’t worry, you’ll want to binge it.