Dragonshadow: The Review

Dragbooks (2)onshadow:  Barbara Hambly, 1999; Del Ray

In this book, Hambly picks up where Dragonsbane left off, only  now she’s given her heroine the thing she most desires – powerful magic. And not just any magic, but the magic of dragons; which goes beyond the keen of mortal minds and bestows upon Jenny Waynest the power of a mage. But as all mere mortals know, its not always wise to seek bright and shiny things for the illusion of what we think we will gain, once we possess them.

As our heroine and her counter hero all too soon find out when the Realm of Belmaire becomes the maelstrom of demons, inflated egos, and unswerving loyalty – with Jenny, Lord John, and all they love and hold dear, trapped right in the middle.

Just as she did with “Dragonsbane”,  Barbara Hambly does a wonderful job of building upon the inner workings of her characters hearts and minds to create a bond between the reader and their story. And even more so than in her  first book, Dragonshadow, Hambly continues to pull back the falsetto of mankind’s humanity in order to expose things better left un-revealed – unknown;  darkness that lurks and hides itself in the hearts of even the most righteous of us.

This time around, the author doesn’t end the story by letting our hero’s off with sweet resolutions, tied up loose ends,  or quaint clichés. And she certainly doesn’t leave the reader  feeling all warm and fuzzy.  Instead she abandones her hero’s exactly as they are:  torn, bruised, and in serious doubt over whether they have what it takes to be healed and go on.

A lot more real than fantasy.

Much more reflective of the reality of what you and I face every day of our lives.

Real people who make choices whose outcome leave us without hope, without resolution.

On my reader’s scale of 1-5, I gave Dragonshadow 4.5 stars.

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