An exciting fantasy adventure with a grave threat at every turn!
At only 12-years-old, young Prince Saxthor is caught up in an assassination plot and a run for his life as his aunt—the power-mad, evil witch known as Earwig, wife of the deposed ruler, Minnabec III—seeks revenge on the ruling family and her own seat on the royal throne in this first installment of C. Craig Coleman’s “The Dragon Ring”. Helping Saxthor escape and evade his would-be captors is a valiant band of comrades whose combined talents seem to deter a wealth of deadly intentions and murderous attempts on the boy-prince: best friend and constant companion, Bodrin, and Tournak, assistant wizard and mentor to the boys, along with the powerful wizard, Memlatec, who guides their journey from the palace where he keeps an effective albeit remote watch over the travelers, while monitoring the activities of Saxthor’s mother, the benevolent enthroned queen, Eleatsubetsvyertsin, and her jealous sister-in-law, Witch Earwig. Much is expected of young Saxthor and his friends as they embark on their designated travels throughout the region, and he is often burdened by the great quest set before him—one he must complete in order to return to his homeland and claim his rightful place in the royal dynastic line.
Although the author inserts a bevy of the most challenging and nearly impossible-to-speak-aloud tongue-twisters in titling his characters, castles, lands, and towns, Coleman provides plenty of action, adventure, and confrontation in “The Dragon Ring”. Coleman’s world-building skills are at peak form as Saxthor’s travels take him from the high seas to harbor after harbor, and isle after isle, where unique civilizations, commerces, and cultures common to the realm—yet different enough in their overall natures—abide, allowing the young prince a glimpse into what necessary changes must be made in order for his people to thrive. Also populating these domains are an assortment of startlingly unique creatures— dragon fish, saber-wolves, bird-men, elves, orcs, rock-dwarves, poisonous snakes, vaporous wraiths, and yes … deadly dragons—that pop up with amazing regularity, seeking to either be of help or hinder the young prince in fulfilling his quest. Coleman effectively provides his creatures with distinct personalities and purposes unique to the story. His ability to create an inner dialogue and somewhat human characteristics in these denizens of the kingdom—both companions and enemies to Saxthor—graces the reader an insider’s view into the back-story that is driving the forces working for, and set against, our main protagonist. The plot moves forward at a reasonable pace, and although it sometimes seems the author is stretching out the story a bit too thin with a grave threat to Saxthor and his companions at each and every turn, Coleman conjures up each encounter to effectively demonstrate the young prince’s growing strengths and maturity.
All in all, I found “The Dragon’s Ring” to be an exciting read. The author’s creativity comes through in the innovative spells Earwig and other evil characters conjure, along with the great dangers Saxthor and his friends must overcome. Coleman’s descriptive landscapes, thoughtful dialogue, and clear visualization of each character’s attributes, adds a punch of realism that significantly contributes to a reader’s enjoyment of the story. Although I would not recommend this tale to children or pre-teens, young adult and adult readers will find “The Dragon’s Ring” a challenging but highly entertaining read. Coleman’s story-telling skills have already compelled me to move on to the next chapter in this exciting fantasy adventure series, “The Crystal Legacy”, and I look forward to someday completing the series with great anticipation.
Find “The Dragon’s Ring”, along with the other books in C. Craig Coleman’s fantasy adventure series, at Amazon and Kindle here: https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Ring-Neuyokkasinian-Empire-Book-ebook/dp/B00MRGW1TI
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