Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Guile of Dragons by James Enge

I recently finished reading James Enge's latest novel, A Guile of Dragons.  This is Book One of A Tournament of Shadows.  Yes, Enge fans, we now have a series of books coming our way.

In A Guile of Dragons, Morlock is born within the Wardlands - a land without formal government that is maintained by the Graith of Guardians.  Though raised by dwarves at Thrymhaiam, Morlock leaves that life to join the Graith as a Thain - the lowest of their three ranks.

Summoner Earno, one of the highest ranking guardians, dreams of vast destruction to the Wardlands, emanating from the north.  He asks Morlock to accompany him to Thrymhaiam in search of another summoner. 

Soon after they reach their destination, the dwarves are attacked by a guile (group) of dragons.  Earno, who has slain a dragon in the past, orders Morlock to deliver a challenge to the guile's master.  By defeating a guile's master, the rest of a guile breaks apart, so Earno's plan seems sound.  But Morlock discovers that this guile is itself made up of guile masters.  And killing its leader would only give rise to another - not that the mighty Vild Kharum would even listen to a challenge from one such as Morlock.

This is a tale of strategy and survival, marked by unexpected turns and exciting adventures.  For those unfamiliar with Enge's writing, this is a great place to jump on board.  And for those who are already fans, you'll love reading about Morlock's origins.

Good stories about dwarves and dragons are hard to find.  Enge remains inventive and witty throughout the book.  You can sense his enjoyment in writing, and it translates to enjoyable reading.

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