Sequel to Drakin: The Story of Raiya I read some two months ago, this book takes place some 10 years later. Among the three candidates, this one “won” when I was choosing what to read first this year.
10 years after the first book and the end of the red war mean the humanity has started rebuilding but that does not mean the end of trouble: while many dragons left for their homeworld, some stayed. They now reside in ‘exclusion zone’ – which keeps contact between humans and dragons to a minimum in hopes of preventing vengeful violence and another conflict.
The story follows Radley, a soldier haunted by his memories of the war, memories he tries to drown in alcohol. That is, until he finds a weakened dragon on his doorstep, begging for help. He agrees to let her recover her strength and turn her in the other day on his way to the base, so she can be escorted back to the exclusion zone when events take a turn for the worse.
Qira, the young dragoness he helped, is planned to be moved to Fort Charleston – a place where Dr. Castillo conducted his disgusting experiments in the first book and seems to be continuing them still. This knowledge makes Radley break Qira out of the fort before she’s transported and eventually gets him to Haven, where small group of dragons is taking care of a few human orphans.
A year later, things take turn for a worse. Religious fanatics are preaching for the dragons to be destroyed and Castillo’s experiments are leaning way too close to do just that. Radley is joined by Allison and Kevin, two friends from his times in the army and now likewise deserters due to the atrocities they witnessed. As they delve to uncover the plot, they are forced to confront their unpleasant past.
That’s as much as I’ll say without hinting too much. Dr. Castillo, who was a small mention in the first book, went into his full potential as a mad scientist type of villain. The cameo of Jagger and Raiya was also nice. It was also interesting to see some other aspects of the author’s take on dragons – the fact that they’re evolving/adapting to Earth’s climate really fast. Qira seems to be already half-way between a ‘classic’ dragon and a humanoid and on of the dragon hints that might be what Earth-bound dragon might become in the future.
The book keeps the themes of the previous one and I enjoyed it just the same. As the small band of heroes delved to uncover the problem, the shadows of their own pasts came back to haunt them and dealing with them tested them in already trying times.
My rating stays at the 90% I gave the first book as my level of enjoyment was pretty much the same. It was more about “ghosts of the past” than direct combat, but did not lack action.
The author has announced he’s working on a sequel coming probably later this year.