This is an epic fantasy adventure reminiscenct of “Game of Thrones” or “Lord of the Rings,” and every bit as worthy of space on your shelf.

About the Book

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Steeped in blood. Ruled by those with dragons.

Cimeren is a world divided by a mysterious forest and the vast Lake on Fire. Suspicion brews on both sides, and the south has fallen into chaos as battles and quarrels rage between kingdoms.

In the border outpost of Nevergrace, Cyran Orendain is dealing with the loss of his brother and his lord as he strives to face the mounting challenges of a squire of the dragonguard.

But when Cyran’s guard-master is called to face the most powerful of the southern kings and bear witness to a secret stolen from the north, Cyran is dragged into a war that has been bubbling under the surface for centuries.

Dragons are not only weapons—they are engines of war. And even though Cyran is not trained in the ways of the dragonguard, he must adapt and learn to become one of them or his homeland and all of Cimeren will be destroyed.

But he was not born a champion.

He may break, and he will bleed.

My Thoughts

This coming-of-age story of a young dragonsquire faced with adventure, battles, heartbreak, and betrayal is sure to tickle the fancy of avid fantasy fans. If you’ve been a fan of any major epic fantasy through the years, you will enjoy this. The author has created a beautifully, wonderfully complex world. Filled with a unique magic system, a divisive government, and a probably corrupt system of power, this is filled with all of the things fantasy lovers show up for.

There are multiple types of dragons in this book, each type more fascinating and beautiful than the last. They connect with their mages in an intricate and beautiful way, and they live by a special code. And, while he’s not called that, our male main character, seems like he might be a chosen one. So if that’s one of your favorite fantasy tropes, that’s another one you’ll find within these pages! We definitely find out that everything isn’t what it seems about his past.

The author has effectively developed several relationships, between humans and each other and humans and dragons, which is an interesting new perspective. I enjoyed the complicated relationship of blending loyalty and grief between the dragon and the new dragon mage. The twists, turns, and surprises brought on were also exciting and made the book hard to put down toward the end. The beginning was a bit slow after the first chapter battle – which is something I don’t prefer as battle scenes make my eyes glaze over a bit – but after a few chapters, the action picked up and really kept the pages turning.

I really appreciated the strong female characters in this story. Sometimes in fantasy stories, women are used as “damsels” or simply as love interests. While there is some of that, the women in this story are strong in their own right. One is a strong villain, a few are strong, independent strategists in their own right, and even the “love interest” seems quite capable. One woman was expecting to be married off to someone, but that didn’t come to fruition. I am very pleased that even in this setting, which seems primitive, the women don’t seem as restricted as we might expect. I hope that trend continues in future books.

The book was told from multiple points of view, which can be confusing if not done well. However, the author did a great job. He also didn’t fall into the trap of retelling everything from the perspective of each character, which always annoys me in multiple POVs. He left a number of questions unanswered, which is great for a sequel – except of course that then you have to wait! I look forward to seeing what happens next, and I’m so grateful to the author and Love Books Tours for including me on this month-long read along. You can catch the answers to my question cards for the month on my Instagram grid.

Question of the Day

If you could live in a world with dragons but had to give up modern conveniences would you make the trade? Why?

Who’s It For

Epic, high fantasy lovers will love this book. R.M. Schultz has imagined a gorgeous, atmospheric new world, full of beautiful, dangerous dragons and equally dangerous human adversaries. Political intrigue and maneuvering overtake the simple lives of these squires in a short time during the outbreak of sudden war. If that sounds good, you will love this! Great for fans of “Lord of the Rings” and “Game of Thrones.”

Content Warnings: Graphic Violence, Adult Language, Murder, Religious Ideology, Sexual Assault, and more

About the Author

R.M. Schultz is a #1 best-selling author of fantasy and science fiction.

After reading Tolkien, R.M. Schultz wrote his first 100,000-word fantasy novel as a freshman in high school. When he’s not saving animals, he continues reading and writing fantasy and science fiction and has done so for over two decades. R.M. founded and heads the North Seattle Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Group and has published over a dozen novels.

And more than anything, he wants to be knighted by George R.R. Martin.

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