Dragon Storm: Tomas and Ironskin by Alastair Chisholm and Eric Deschamps
|Dragon Storm: Tomas and Ironskin by Alastair Chisholm and Eric Deschamps|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: Launching half a dozen friends into the world of dragon-riding adventures, this first of half a dozen books is clearly scaled back to do the heavy lifting of building the world. But it's still really engaging stuff.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 160||Date: January 2022|
|Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
Meet Tomas. Happy to work with his father in the blacksmith's forge, he's almost of the age to become a full apprentice, and help with the new batch of dragonswords is certainly needed. Not that there are any dragons, of course – they vanished centuries ago. Except... Strange signals from within the forge furnace, and a peculiar invite to become an apprentice clerk instead, are things for Tom to puzzle over – until it all comes out in the wash, that yes dragons do still exist in this world, and that Tom is rare in the ability to summon them, share magical attributes, and ride with them...
This offered much in the way of expectation before I'd even opened it – what appeared to be translations into two European languages practically being simultaneous with the UK launch, and great plans for the whole six-part series across 2022. Heck, even the advanced proof I received showed care and love for the birthing franchise. Upon reading it, I have to say you need to rein in those expectations a little – this is a scene-setting book, gathering Tom and the five other children, all of whom have a title with their name in to come, and building the world. There certainly isn't room here for a full-scale action piece.
And yet what we had was perfectly, brilliantly suitable entertainment. The lore of the dragons is introduced really well, even if we don't really get a grasp of where they are when not in our world. The world-building is fine, even if character names are a kind of hodge-podge, Schengen Zone, European mishmash (Tom's parents Felipe and Sofia do know a Mildred Foxton, but don't seem to fit an Olde England for sure). And the whole, rapidly-digested volume just offered hope upon hope – that the mythology of these dragons comes out a bit more in future, that each title offers something new, as riveting as this and as much fun, and that in reading all six in order we get a good look at what kind of darkness King Godfic is playing with...
This, being very much the let me sit you down and show you what's what, and now here's the drama, but sorry that's all we've got time for this book volume, possibly needs to remain a four star read. But as the key starting piece to a six-book cycle that would involve a heck of a lot of dropping-the-ball to fail, it's a really important four star read. As a straight, classical fantasy for the under-tens it's most impressive. I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
Monster Hunting For Beginners by Ian Mark and Louis Ghibault will be waiting this audience in a year or two – a fine adventure concerning getting rid of some ogres.
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