Book Review: The Sword and the Dragon

The Sword and the Dragon (The Wardstone Trilogy, #1)The Sword and the Dragon by M.R. Mathias
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hyden is annoyed that he doesn’t get to make the climb this year, but all the Elders are counting on him to win the archery tournament. When his brother comes back with more than enough for him, he doesn’t think twice about letting his brother keep the bauble he found, even though technically his brother was on his climb. When they visit the fortune teller’s tent, neither Hyden nor Gerard can believe her prediction, even when it starts to come true. Hyden thus sets out on a journey to become Hyden Hawk, bearer of the legacy of Dahg Mahn, friend to elf, king, Seawardsman, and all creatures, not the least of which his faithful hatchling, Talon. Can he take on the mantle of Dahg Mahn and fight the growing evil, as those in the ancient stories? He isn’t sure he can bear such a burden, but he may not have any choice.

In the Sword and the Dragon M.R. Mathias sets up the Wardstone Trilogy, and it reads like an epic fantasy. Kingdoms are warring, demons are emerging, prophecies are being fulfilled and questioned. All the heroes are reluctant, but necessary. The traipsing over the known world - utterly required by epics - is prevalent and there are many magical and mystical creatures encountered. Although the story dragged a bit I was enchanted by the back stories and the slow reveal of the prophetic nature of the quest, and honestly quite impressed by the realistic humanity displayed in the motivations of both the good and bad guys, to the point where I felt some degree of dismal sadness for the role that the bad guys played, even though it had to be so for the story to progress. I look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy, and hope it sets up a new universe for more stories to unfold.

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