In this first volume of VanBrakle’s fantasy series, a young misfit is manipulated into going on an adventure that will alter his fate—and that of his world—forever.
Orphan Iren Saitosan has grown up alone in the highest tower of Haldessa Castle in the land of Lodia. He’s an abused outcast for one particular reason: he’s left-handed. In the culture of Lodia, Lefts are a rarity and thought to be full of the devil’s magic. Iren, however, is mostly full of teenage mischief. When one of his pranks nearly kills Lodia’s heir and military leader, Amroth Angustion, he’s given one choice to avoid execution: join Amroth, his loyal soldier Balear and a mysterious old woman named Rondel on a quest to destroy a bandit lord who has been terrorizing Lodia and who may have killed Iren’s parents. However, the quest isn’t entirely what it seems, and soon, Iren finds himself tangled up in a power struggle that could result in the destruction of the entire world. In the end, he’ll need to discover who he truly is and embrace the strange magic that comes with being a Left—which lies in his father’s old sword. Throughout the novel, there are plenty of dragons, elfin woodland creatures and vicious orclike monsters to enchant the average Lord of the Rings fan. Debut author VanBrakle is clearly an honor student of the fantasy genre who understands the importance of creating a dense, detailed mythology. His gift for creating complex female characters is all too uncommon in fantasy literature, and drunken warrior woman Rondel is a particular standout. Young hero Iren is believably impetuous and immature without being too irritating. Once readers get over the initial silliness of the idea of left-handed people as a rare species with special powers, the many twists and turns of the plot will make it easy for them to fall deep into the world of the Dragoon saga.
A pleasantly intriguing adventure in an exciting new fantasy world.