Mines, magic and monsters (oh my!) mark the author’s debut, the first installment of the Iron Dragon Series.
This epic fantasy is reminiscent of the role-playing games and the sword-and-sorcery novels of the 1980s…and not in a good way. Like those past works, the plot borrows heavily and inexpertly from Tolkien, and involves a quest studded with perils drawn straight from a dungeonmaster’s handbook. In the world of Ae’leron, the Drobin, or dwarves, reign over the Nexans, or humans, and enmity and resentment lie between the ruler and the ruled. But two dwarves, Bellor Fardelver and Thor Hargrim, and a human, the resoundingly named Drake Bloodstone, must learn to put aside their differences as they journey to the lost dwarven mine of Quarzaak in search of the demonic dragon king, Draglûne, who threatens both their races. Occasional glimmers of talent struggle to emerge—for example, Cliffton, a human town bordering a misty Void teeming with soul-stealing demons, shows some imagination—but those glimmers are choked off by the cliché-ridden story.
Pass this one by.