The Rage of Dragons (The Burning #1) by Evan Winter: Book Review

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The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost two hundred years. Their society has been built around war and only war. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every two thousand women has the power to call down dragons. One in every hundred men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine.

Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war. Young, gift-less Tau knows all this, but he has a plan of escape. He’s going to get himself injured, get out early, and settle down to marriage, children, and land. Only, he doesn’t get the chance. Those closest to him are brutally murdered, and his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He’ll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him. -Goodreads

My Review

My Rating: DNF


I stopped reading at 30%. I want to be clear, though – I put this book down because of personal taste. Tau’s revenge plot just isn’t my kind of thing. I quite like the writing style – the author certainly knows how to write a battle scene! Any scene with fighting is so well crafted! But if the whole first third of the book is just one small fight after the other, with very little else to make the story interesting – I’m not sure I want to keep reading the book.

I loved the prologue. It was incredible! I was more invested in the story of the prologue that I was in what I’ve seen of Tau’s storyline.

A character was killed – I didn’t know them enough to care. Tau killed someone and then went to kill some more people for their involvement in the death of the said character – I just never got close enough to the dead character or Tau to care about the revenge plot!

I’ve read good revenge stories, ones where we are introduced to the world and the characters and we fall in love with the relationships we see. I don’t empathise with Tau or any of the other characters in the story because I haven’t seen enough of them. The most fully developed character – 30% in – was Jabari, and we stopped seeing him quite quickly.

I wanted to love this book. I really did! The premise and reviews all sounded amazing – every reviewer I normally share reading tastes with said that this is one of the best debut fantasy novels ever written. I didn’t like the bit of this book that I read, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good.

I am certainly a minority voice when it comes to negative reviews for this book, so if you want to try it out, please do! I hope you enjoy it as much as everyone else! I wish the author good luck with the other three books in the quartet – maybe I might come back to The Rage of Dragons in the future – but for now I’m going to focus on the rest of by to-be-read list!!

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