Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
On the first day of the Festival of Counting, the beginning of the royal census that takes place every ten years, the royal city is filled to overflowing. Everyone is happy, excited, and proud to be counted amongst those who live in the glorious kingdom of Orhanis.
Then a demon strikes, killing thousands in mere seconds and leveling the city. As the royal castle burns, only four men remain to drive the demon away—and in their desperation, accidentally bind themselves together in a legendary Oath, unable to part ways until they find and kill the demon once and for all.
Mahzan, the King’s Jester, an orphan who clawed his way to the top and hides a fearsome magic… Sule, the notorious North Captain, who sacrificed everything to live as a strong, capable, highly respected man… Cemal, a priest who traveled the continent bent on revenge and now lives lost… and Binhadi, the mercurial shadow mage with a dark history and bloody ties to the throne…
Four men used to standing apart, standing alone, who must learn to stand together if they hope to save themselves and all of Orhanis.
When it comes to fantasy, Megan Derr is one of my go to authors. I love her marvelous ability to transport me out of the mundane and into realms where dragons soar, wounded mage’s seek reparation and love, and unique bands of warriors go forth on sagas that have continued to live on in my heart and mind long past those words…The End in book after book.
In Dragon Magic Megan Derr brings together another unusual band of mages. This time, they will form not only a working relationship but a romantic one between the four of them. Not something of a norm in her stories. Or in the stories I normally read because I haven’t found many authors that make a polyamorous relationship work within a storyline to my tastes. Here, among four strong mages, who fight the bonds between them from the beginning, watching the emotional ties form, along with the lust and love feels natural. It helps that they can “feel” each others thoughts and emotions, so the instinctual walls others erect start breaking down or are broken between the four of them from the start, laying their “secrets” out before the others.
Derr switches the story back and forth between the emotional vulnerability and revelations that is happening between the four as they become a true “family” and the perilous state they find themselves in while searching out the demons and those responsible for the destruction of the Capitol. I expected to “like” one of the characters more than the rest, maybe Mahzan or Sule, but each mages here is a little broken each in their own way. Each strong as well. Turned out I loved them equally. Semal and Binahdi no less than Mahzan and Sule. What great characters all.
The only thing that kept this from a 5 stars story was the odd little out of timeline break at the end. I understand why the author did it but it still felt jarring. And honestly asked more questions than it answered. I didn’t need it. And in my opinion the story didn’t either. But that’s just me.
Either way, if you are a lover of high fantasy, Megan Derr or both, Dragon Magic is a book you won’t want to miss. And yes, once again she has created some wonderful demons for our mages to fight against. Can’t miss out on those either! Put this and this wonderful band of mages on your TBR list today! I highly recommend it!
Cover art:Phillip Lloyd Simpson. It’s colorful. Don’t know that it’s my favorite of Megan Derr’s covers.
Expected publication: March 28th 2018 by Less Than Three Press