Set in the same pseudo-medieval European world as some of his previous works, the first installment in Hamilton’s (The Blood Debt, 2017, etc.) Dragonslayer series is a fantasy adventure chronicling one man’s redemptive journey that involves slaying a mythic beast—and quite possibly changing the course of history for all the kingdoms in the entire Middle Sea realm.
Lord Guillot—who is the Seigneur of a small village of Villerauvais—was once a great swordfighter. He is, in fact, the last surviving Chevalier of the Silver Circle, a legendary fighting force that protected the kingdom from its enemies. But after the tragic death of his wife, Gill, as he is called, has become a drunk, seeking solace at the bottom of a bottle. Five years of almost constant inebriation has turned Gill into a shadow of the man he once was. But when a dragon starts terrorizing nearby settlements and killing its inhabitants—though the beasts were believed to be extinct—Gill is forced out of his alcoholic stupor. When he is told by the king to kill the creature, he accepts the mission—but is unaware that he is a pawn in a much larger game being played by an evil Prince Bishop who is secretly plotting for magic use to become legal and culturally acceptable again. The addition of Solène, a young woman persecuted because of her innate magical abilities, introduces another layer to the story. But while the writing is certainly fluid, the storyline is banal and filled with numerous sequences that come off as contrived (like Gill’s stumbling across a rare artifact that just happens to be monumentally significant to the story). Additionally, the characters are all stereotypes with no emotional connectivity. The novel feels like a story that fantasy fans have read countless times before; two-dimensional characters, a predictable plot, and an unsurprising ending make for a forgettable read.