Dragonslayer
Author of one of BuzzFeed 's Greatest Fantasy Books of 2013 In his magnificent, heroic, adventure fantasy, Dragonslayer, Duncan M. Hamilton debuts the first book in a fast-moving trilogy: a dangerous tale of lost magics, unlikely heroes, and reawakened dragons.Once a member of the King's personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais spends most days drinking and mourning his wife and child. He’s astonished—and wary—when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and the Prince Bishop have never exactly been friends and Gill left the capital in disgrace five years ago. So why him? And, more importantly, how is there a dragon to fight when the beasts were hunted to extinction centuries ago by the ancient Chevaliers of the Silver Circle?On the way to the capitol city, Gill rescues Solène, a young barmaid, who is about to be burned as a witch. He believes her innocent…but she soon proves that she has plenty of raw, untrained power, a problem in this land, where magic is forbidden. Yet the Prince Bishop believes magic will be the key to both destroying the dragon and replacingthe young, untried King he pretends to serve with a more pliable figurehead. Between Gill’s rusty swordsmanship and Solene’s unstable magic, what could go wrong?

Dragonslayer Details

TitleDragonslayer
Author
ReleaseJul 2nd, 2019
PublisherTor Books
ISBN-139781250306722
Rating
GenreFantasy, Dragons, Fiction

Dragonslayer Review

  • Duncan Hamilton
    January 1, 1970
    Not a review - just a placeholder where I can post some updates to keep you all informed of how things are progressing!2-7-19 My final update here - Dragonslayer is now released, and available in Hardcover, Paperback, Ebook, and Audiobook! Thanks for following the book in the pre-launch, and I really hope you like it!19-2-19 Tor are running a Goodreads Giveaway for some advance copies of Dragonslayer. There are 100 copies up for grabs. You can enter here:Dragonslayer Goodreads Giveaway18-2-19 Ad Not a review - just a placeholder where I can post some updates to keep you all informed of how things are progressing!2-7-19 My final update here - Dragonslayer is now released, and available in Hardcover, Paperback, Ebook, and Audiobook! Thanks for following the book in the pre-launch, and I really hope you like it!19-2-19 Tor are running a Goodreads Giveaway for some advance copies of Dragonslayer. There are 100 copies up for grabs. You can enter here:Dragonslayer Goodreads Giveaway18-2-19 Advance Reader Copies are starting to percolate their way out into the world, so Dragonslayer is really starting to feel like the completed article! There will be some ARC giveaways happening in coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for a chance to get your hands on an pre-release copy!19-12-18 Dragonslayer is pretty well advanced at this point, with cover art completed and the book's text at the proofreading stage. Most of the heavy lifting is done, but as always, there's still plenty to do!
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  • kartik narayanan
    January 1, 1970
    Read the full review at my site Digital Amrittl;dr: Dragonslayer is a character driven fresh take on a classic storyline.IntroductionDragonslayer is the first book in a trilogy by the same name from one of my favourite authors – Duncan M. Hamilton.Gill, our protagonist, is a famous soldier who is now an alcoholic mourning his family. He is tasked by an old enemy of his – Amaury, to find and kill a dragon – one which has appeared centuries after the species was thought to have been hunted to exti Read the full review at my site Digital Amrittl;dr: Dragonslayer is a character driven fresh take on a classic storyline.IntroductionDragonslayer is the first book in a trilogy by the same name from one of my favourite authors – Duncan M. Hamilton.Gill, our protagonist, is a famous soldier who is now an alcoholic mourning his family. He is tasked by an old enemy of his – Amaury, to find and kill a dragon – one which has appeared centuries after the species was thought to have been hunted to extinction. Along the way, he discovers Solene, a young woman who happens to be a powerful natural mage. There is plenty of machinations, politics and action as the story unfolds.CharactersThe main aspect of Dragonslayer that really stood out is the amount of depth in each and every character that you meet. Needless to say, Gill & Solene – who are the protagonists – have plenty of depth. But, what elevates this book is the amount of character (her) the support cast has. Even the dragon has complicated motivations for what he does. The motivations as well as the actions taken by the characters are realistic. You never feel that characters are acting out of order – instead you can understand their actions so even if you don’t agree with what they do or say. Pragmatism is the word of the day in this story.Read the full review at my site Digital Amrit
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  • Angelica
    January 1, 1970
    This book is technically pretty solid. It has all the general pieces of a good fantasy. It has magic,  dragons, knights, action, and adventures. It also has a fun premise, if somewhat unoriginal in concept. And yet, there were some things that seemed missing from the story. Small details that really are what make a story interesting.For example, Gil, the main character has a pretty generic and lackluster backstory. He was once the greatest knight in the land, then turned away from his knighthood This book is technically pretty solid. It has all the general pieces of a good fantasy. It has magic,  dragons, knights, action, and adventures. It also has a fun premise, if somewhat unoriginal in concept. And yet, there were some things that seemed missing from the story. Small details that really are what make a story interesting.For example, Gil, the main character has a pretty generic and lackluster backstory. He was once the greatest knight in the land, then turned away from his knighthood and turned to alcoholism after the death of his wife and child, who are only mentioned when the plot demands it.In fact, there were large parts of the story that seemed to happen because the plot simply demanded it to be so, and that is never a good sign.Another issue I had was that I couldn't quite love these characters. They were all technically interesting, and yet I couldn't bring myself to fully care in the way I wanted to.The dragon parts were the most interesting because I feel like it was unexpected to see his side of things. And yet, I would have wanted to actually see more of the dragon's interactions with humankind.In the end, I think I just wanted more. It felt average. It felt forgettable. And while I wouldn't mark this in a list of bad books, I also cannot quite say I recommend it.If you've read it, I want to hear your thoughts. If you haven't and are planning on it, I hope you enjoy it!
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  • Annemieke / A Dance with Books
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to netgalley and Macmillon-Tor/Forge for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.TW: Burning People / Alcoholism / Suggested Hanging I am at a loss as to how to rate this book. On the one hand I enjoyed it. On the other hand there were things missing. The missing thing? Worldbuilding. And let us just start right off with that. This book is a high fantasy, inspired by our own Medieval history. There is a map at the front of the book. W Thank you to netgalley and Macmillon-Tor/Forge for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.TW: Burning People / Alcoholism / Suggested Hanging I am at a loss as to how to rate this book. On the one hand I enjoyed it. On the other hand there were things missing. The missing thing? Worldbuilding. And let us just start right off with that. This book is a high fantasy, inspired by our own Medieval history. There is a map at the front of the book. Which is good because I would otherwise have no idea. There are three surrounding countries/regions of which two were mentioned in the book. But nothing that really gave me much on where they were and what the relations really were. But even worse I have no idea about this country. Most of it took place in a few towns and cities but I could not tell you anything of interest about any of them (well except the witch hanging perhaps). The biggest problem is that all the world building and even character histories (though I’ll get back to that) are only there when it serves a purpose to the plot. And even then it is thin. And from an adult fantasy I have quite a bit more expectations than that.And it is a shame because this author clearly can write. I enjoyed his writing style. I enjoyed most of the plot. The dragon’s few point of views were really interesting to read about (though I do have a lot of question marks regarding the dragon population and how long this particular dragon slept). I couldn’t hate the dragon. I completely understood him. Burn them all I’d say. Our main character Gil was a very interesting character. I liked him. He was an older man, retired from the king’s personal guard. Turned to alcohol. Alcoholism and detoxing are a thing in here. It is in the background but it is there. The thing however is that again a lot of his history is only mentioned because it works with the plot. The reason he ‘retired’, the death of his wife and son (who didn’t even get a name or reason of death), his ex-friendship with the Prince Bishop. A lot of mentions but no depth and no memories. If it didn’t matter to the plot, it wasn’t there. And this was the case for all the characters. Solene was our other main character, with magic, about to be burned on the pyre for being a witch. She was a nice character to have next to Gil, that also showed us another side of the society. The witch huntings, the use of magic being illegal. But we got little on her history before she ran away from her hometown. Because it didn’t matter to the plot. And for me that with the world building is something I can’t quite see past. This could have been a great book with depth and a great world but just those things were discarded.
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  • ♠️ TABI ♠️
    January 1, 1970
    literally anything will have me at the word "dragons" okay?? I'm a simple person
  • Bob Milne
    January 1, 1970
    A solid epic fantasy that puts an exciting new spin on the classic "let's go slay the dragon" trope, Dragonslayer won me over with the first glimpse of Alpheratz. Duncan M. Hamilton humanizes dragons, gives them memories and purpose and emotion, and flips our sympathies from cheering on the deaths of monsters to mourning the loss of these magnificent beasts.In fact, I'd liked Alpheratz far more than most of the humans, but there were two exceptions. Solène is a character I liked from the first m A solid epic fantasy that puts an exciting new spin on the classic "let's go slay the dragon" trope, Dragonslayer won me over with the first glimpse of Alpheratz. Duncan M. Hamilton humanizes dragons, gives them memories and purpose and emotion, and flips our sympathies from cheering on the deaths of monsters to mourning the loss of these magnificent beasts.In fact, I'd liked Alpheratz far more than most of the humans, but there were two exceptions. Solène is a character I liked from the first moment we met her. She was strong, confident, and charismatic, her magic making her more than a match for a back-alley assault. The whole "she's a witch, burn her!" trope was handled nicely here, with Gil calling out the villagers, shaming them for their deeds, and raising a few philosophical questions in his rescue of the young woman. You might expect that scene to scar her, possibly even define her, but Solène shrugs it off to not only return the favor in saving Gil's life, but in demanding her place in his quest.Now, as for Gil, he's a man I was prepared not to like. Mysteriously tragic backstory aside, we first meet him as a lazy drunk, too wrapped up in his own problems to do his job and care for his people. He's standoffish, rude, self-pitying, and has trouble sticking to his own vows to better himself. The problem is, he's entirely human, and as we begin to see glimpses of the man he once was and the man he could become, he grows on you. It's just a shame that his rival, Prince Bishop, doesn't experience the same growth, because his weakness as a character not only leaches a little tension from that enmity, it actually feels like it takes away from Gil's backstory.The writing here was solid, with some nice turns of phrase, snappy dialogue, and well-managed points-of-view. In terms of pacing, beyond a necessary pause for introductions and character-building early on, it moves along nicely. World-building felt a little light, but that might owe something to the fact that I'm not familiar with his Wolf of the North saga, which is set in the same world. Then again, it may be because the wider world simply isn't important here, and this first chapter in a new saga is about one thing - man vs dragon. Perhaps the biggest issue I had with the book is that there are so many unanswered questions as to why things happen, and why characters do things. It's not just that motivations were unclear, but that logical implications of men and magic were simply set aside.In the end, however, the positives of Dragonslayer far outweigh the negatives, and I am curious to see where the story goes next - even if it will be without a favorite character.https://beauty-in-ruins.blogspot.com/...
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  • Judy Lesley
    January 1, 1970
    Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton was a slightly below average reading experience for me. The hero is of the drinking-myself-into-oblivion variety. The dragon is the kill-and-burn-everything variety. The magic was not interesting to me at all. There isn't any worldbuilding to speak of. So...…If you are a fan of Duncan Hamilton's, you are going to like this one just fine and you won't agree with me at all. I simply found it all too average; not an original element in the whole story. I was not c Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton was a slightly below average reading experience for me. The hero is of the drinking-myself-into-oblivion variety. The dragon is the kill-and-burn-everything variety. The magic was not interesting to me at all. There isn't any worldbuilding to speak of. So...…If you are a fan of Duncan Hamilton's, you are going to like this one just fine and you won't agree with me at all. I simply found it all too average; not an original element in the whole story. I was not convinced that a former champion dragon slayer who had pickled himself in alcohol for over ten years could come back and do a few sword waving exercises over a few days time and be able to kill the dragon - even if he was given some mysterious magic ability to help him. We think we know what has happened at the end of the story but then Mr. Hamilton pulls a very worn out rabbit out of the hat which changes everything. Oh, goody!Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan - Tor/Forge for an e-Galley of this novel.
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  • Travis
    January 1, 1970
    This was a great book and beginning to a series. I'll keep this review spoiler free. I am a big fan of Duncan Hamilton's books. This new book continues in the same world where Wolf of the North takes place, although you won't have to have read that series to appreciate this one. There isn't any overlap of characters or anything. You will recognize the magic system and history though. This book is about Guillot (Gill) a banneret that had previously been the greatest swordsman of the kingdom and c This was a great book and beginning to a series. I'll keep this review spoiler free. I am a big fan of Duncan Hamilton's books. This new book continues in the same world where Wolf of the North takes place, although you won't have to have read that series to appreciate this one. There isn't any overlap of characters or anything. You will recognize the magic system and history though. This book is about Guillot (Gill) a banneret that had previously been the greatest swordsman of the kingdom and champion of the king. When the book starts he's been away from the capital for about 5 years and has become a drunk and let himself go. He's out of shape and basically just drinking away his money. The arrival of a dragon rampaging through the kingdom wakes him up to some sense of responsibility. This is a great story of his attempt to redeem himself, take responsibility and try to make things better. There is a lot of intrigue in this story. We learn some of his background throughout the book and why he came to the place he's at, at the beginning of the book, but by the end there are still some questions about what exactly happened. There's a lot more going on than just a typical story of a knight trying to slay a dragon. Duncan Hamilton has done a great job with his worldbuilding and providing a fun and interesting read. I received an advanced reader copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book, it’s a very solid epic fantasy novel. There are three things I look for when reading a big fantasy so I’m really going to talk about those things. One is world building, two is development of characters, and three is the over all story. (1) the was the weakest point, the world was interesting, I love dragons but I needs just a tiny bit more. I understand this author has written other books from this world so maybe I just needed to read something else so I am more immersed in I enjoyed this book, it’s a very solid epic fantasy novel. There are three things I look for when reading a big fantasy so I’m really going to talk about those things. One is world building, two is development of characters, and three is the over all story. (1) the was the weakest point, the world was interesting, I love dragons but I needs just a tiny bit more. I understand this author has written other books from this world so maybe I just needed to read something else so I am more immersed in this world but I just felt like every once in while I was missing a piece of information. (2) Gill was great, fantastic main character. Flawed yet I could empathize with him, and I was interested in what he was doing or saying. Loved him. (3) Well done story. I have a soft spot for a dragon story, whether they be on the side of good or bad, and this was a well told story. Overall this was a great read and I look forward to reading other books by this author!I received a free copy of this book from netgalley.
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  • SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a free copy from the publisher and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!* I read a sample of the book, on bookish first and I really enjoyed it. I won the book in their raffle and was excited. Once I got deeper into the book I liked it but not as much as I thought I would, For a while I felt like something is missing, the world building , there is none really. we are just thrown in and we are there but that is just about it and sometimes even half way through I just fe *I received a free copy from the publisher and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!* I read a sample of the book, on bookish first and I really enjoyed it. I won the book in their raffle and was excited. Once I got deeper into the book I liked it but not as much as I thought I would, For a while I felt like something is missing, the world building , there is none really. we are just thrown in and we are there but that is just about it and sometimes even half way through I just felt lost. Another thing that bothered me a bit was switching the POV randomly, just anywhere in a chapter without a warning the next paragraph was a different POV. This could, have been because it was a review copy but for this copy is was a bit confusing. Other than that I enjoyed this book, I enjoyed the story, (for the most part.) What I really enjoyed was that we get a voice of the dragon, and I really enjoyed that and we don't too often get that. I liked that the book also deals with some real life issues, like alcoholism. Overall, it was okay book and the while the writing was good it could have been better with the world building but other than that I liked it. I give it 3 ★
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  • ♥ WishfulMiss ♥
    January 1, 1970
    Dragonslayer is a non-stop fast paced fantasy with a slew of key players that all intersect to create a story rich in detail and adventure. I’m torn about this book. On the one hand I loved it. I loved Guillot, a tarnished knight, a laid back Hero you can’t help but like the more you get to know him. I loved Solene. She was strong, capable and there is so much potential in her that you know she’s gonna become a total bad ass when she grows into her powers. But my biggest love was for Alpheratz. Dragonslayer is a non-stop fast paced fantasy with a slew of key players that all intersect to create a story rich in detail and adventure. I’m torn about this book. On the one hand I loved it. I loved Guillot, a tarnished knight, a laid back Hero you can’t help but like the more you get to know him. I loved Solene. She was strong, capable and there is so much potential in her that you know she’s gonna become a total bad ass when she grows into her powers. But my biggest love was for Alpheratz. Thank you to the author for writing Alpheratz’ POV. Getting to know this dragon and his true motivations was so freaking perfect. Alpharatz is my favorite character in this book and his POV was what kept me coming back for more.On the other hand, the story lacked a bit of background information. This is my first book by this author so maybe that’s why I’m not familiar with the world he’s created but it did feel like you were dropped into the story with a world already long established. Favorite Line(s): He hungered for the moment when he burned the first large town to ash. Only then would the humans understand the pain and suffering their greed had caused. Only then would they learn the price of their arrogance. - Alpheratz Memorable Moments: * Alpheratz finding Nashira* * When Alpheratz begins to doubt his revenge. The killing of the human woman and her child eerily similar to Nashira and his hatchlings.* * * That freaking ending! I was not expecting that ending or the bittersweet twist revealed on the last page. Would I recommend? Yes, the magic and adventure was well written and fast paced. And the characters were pretty awesome :) * * * ARC provided for an honest review * * *I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. (view spoiler)[Ages : MCs are in their 20s-30s.Romance : None.Sexual Content : None.Possible Triggers : Attempted sexual assault, murder, violence and alcoholism.Standalone/Series : Series. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Miss S
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely fantastic read, I really felt connected with the characters and was genuinely disappointed when the book ended, I need to know what happens next! Dragons, swords, magic, everything I need in a book and it's all been mixed into a compelling story that will have you not wanting to put it down!
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  • Omayra
    January 1, 1970
    There are super mega SPOILERS HERE… I must start by saying that I love fantasy books. Also, I rarely if ever leave a review of a tree star or bellow. However, this story has so much potential I would be remiss not to give a few words. Duncan, you are a great storyteller. I read your book almost in one sitting. I was until 2:00 AM last night trying to get to know what happened to Gill and Sólene. You did an excellent job showing me the PTSD of Gill. However, these are things I found that made me There are super mega SPOILERS HERE… I must start by saying that I love fantasy books. Also, I rarely if ever leave a review of a tree star or bellow. However, this story has so much potential I would be remiss not to give a few words. Duncan, you are a great storyteller. I read your book almost in one sitting. I was until 2:00 AM last night trying to get to know what happened to Gill and Sólene. You did an excellent job showing me the PTSD of Gill. However, these are things I found that made me want to slap you.The story starts with a dragon that out of nowhere and for no explained reason it appears. The Dragons are supposed to be extinct, so where this one dragon has been hiding? There was no obvious explanation. Why then the Dragon comes back? We don’t know. My issue with this, how in the world such a massive thing could be hiding for so many years? It is a fantasy, so I am assuming magic. Okay, I buy that, although I am not made aware of it. The story continues until the dragon is dead. In the first book, Gill kills the dragon, and old fart of a man, a drunk that has not had much training in the last years suddenly gets up and kills a dragon. I am a veteran, and when you are low in energy and not well trained, you can’t even take on a kitten. But this is a fantasy; I am willing to go with it. The hero (Gill) is going from ZERO to a hero in a flash. He is a man with PTSD to a warrior. Again, once a Soldier always a Soldier, that part is right. He used to be some type of noble a Baron or barennet or baronet, a swordsman at the service of the king. Again, a noble as a personal guard is a little bit low in the totem pole, but I am willing to go with it. But the stretch is, I don’t get the reasons why he has lost everything? Come on, Duncan, throw me a bone. You are expecting me to believe too much just by faith.So, the man tries to live with the loss of his wife and son by turning into a drunk, (Duncan, if you want me to feel empathy for Gill give me something because it is not clear what happened to them). Now, Gill is supposed to be the last of the Chevalier of the Silver Circle which were supposed to hunt and slay dragons. What happened to the others? If the Prince Bishop hates Gill so much why bring him back? The man is a drunkard. Feed him more Alcohol, and he will die with liver failure. Oh, but Prince Bishop needs Gill to kill the dragon, got it.If Magic is forbidden, then why Prince Bishop is the ruler of a new magical order which will replace the Chevaliers of the Silver Circle. Why not have them kill the Dragon?But now we have Sólene, a mighty mage woman; Gill saved from being killed. But she doesn’t know she has that much power, but out of the blue and without any training she kills enemies with her magic,And how she learns to give Gill stamina to slay the dragon It is a mystery. Either she knows how to use the magic or not. You must pick one. Do not get me wrong I read the story in two days, and that does not happen often. And I will be looking for the next book in the series, to see if some of these questions get some answers. But there are some gaping holes in the story, or maybe they are intended mini-cliffhangers. Writers do these little tricks and unanswered questions to leave us guessing, and wow am I guessing with this story. BUT the guessing was way too much for me. Duncan, please eyes on the details because I found a few lingering issues. I did enjoy the story a lot. Hurry with the second book.P.S.After reading The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie, I decided to reread Dragonslayer. I have to increase my rating for this book. My level of enjoyment of this book was far greater than The Blade Itself. Again, I want to know what happened to Gill so that is a good thing. I do not care even to finish The Blade Itself.
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  • Kelsea
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 33%. I can tell the writing style is not for me and I did not connect with any of the characters or the storyline.Thank you Tor Books and Netgalley for an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
  • Eric Ackerson
    January 1, 1970
    I won’t spoil anything but if you’ve had the great pleasure of reading any of the other books from this epic fantasy world then you will enjoy this one thoroughly. I like how each set of books is a stand alone series but part of a bigger world. I’ve found each one compelling and this is no exception. Really fun read and great characters.
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  • Damien Maguire
    January 1, 1970
    An absolute 10/10. Duncan M. Hamilton is 1 of my favourite authors and this book right here mite just be his finest work to date
  • Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.Who doesn’t enjoy a good story featuring dragons? These giant flying puppies with flamethrowing abilities are beautiful gems meant to be cherished for their mere existence. However, killing these creatures has also always been an act that poor heroes have been trusted with countless times. A task this huge isn’t exactly one that anyone could easily accomplish, however. Set in the same world as his previous two trilogies, the Society of the Sword You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.Who doesn’t enjoy a good story featuring dragons? These giant flying puppies with flamethrowing abilities are beautiful gems meant to be cherished for their mere existence. However, killing these creatures has also always been an act that poor heroes have been trusted with countless times. A task this huge isn’t exactly one that anyone could easily accomplish, however. Set in the same world as his previous two trilogies, the Society of the Sword and the Wolf of the North, Duncan M. Hamilton sets his eyes on releasing three new novels within twelves months. Focused on magic, knights, and dragons, this fast-paced, action-adventure fantasy story gives fans a twist on the classic stories of dragon-slaying and witch-hunting.What is Dragonslayer about? In Mirabaya, the skies were free of dragons for over a millennium. While the Chevaliers of the Silver Circle have fought and slain the beasts for countless years, they are now embracing a life of debauchery and drunkenness with little heroism to highlight their days. Simultaneously, the great mages of the past were overthrown, leading the lands exempt of magic. It is the return of a lone dragon causing terror and chaos to countless villagers that the young king of Mirabaya sought the help of the last Chevalier of the Silver Circle to honor the knights of old and rid the land of this newly emerged flying creature.What initially seemed like a straightforward and simple quest turned out to be an entertaining and captivating hunt with some political schemes as sub-plots. With a mysterious hero—who doesn’t exactly consider himself as one—guiding the reader on a death wish, Duncan M. Hamilton does a great job in keeping the reader hooked on the idea that the foreshadowed confrontation between man and dragon will most likely be epic in some shape or form. While dragon-slaying seems typical in some classic Arthurian tales or video games, the author gives this story an interesting edge by providing readers with the dragon’s point of view alongside that of the protagonist.Witchhunts are also part of the narrative as magic is not well-seen within society after years of not having need of it. While hunting down witches is common, mages remain hidden and attempt to live their lives in secrecy. Duncan M. Hamilton brilliantly incorporates this angle without dwelling too long on its importance. While magic and dragons are crucial to this story, it remains to be noted that the world-building isn’t as impressive as it could’ve been, leaving plenty of room for the author to develop his world in the next book. This niggle could also be explained by the fact that this new trilogy is set in a universe that is already established by two other trilogies, that might also be worth checking out first but not mandatory at all.Dragonslayer is an enchanting and fast-paced fantasy-adventure story where mankind confronts dragons within magical boundaries to attempt to achieve heroic feats.Thank you to Raincoast Canada and Tor Books for sending me a copy for review!Yours truly,Lashaan | Blogger and Book ReviewerOfficial blog: https://bookidote.com/
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  • Andi
    January 1, 1970
    I received this ARC book from BookishFirst I was really excited to be given a copy of this book. It gave me Dragonheart vibes hardcore. While I think the plot is strong in the movie, the script not so much, I had hoped that this book would bring it all full circle and give me something along the lines what I wanted. I honestly would have preferred a rip-off Dragonheart. :( The problem with this book is that the author is a great writer, structure and sentence wise but on plot and character it's I received this ARC book from BookishFirst I was really excited to be given a copy of this book. It gave me Dragonheart vibes hardcore. While I think the plot is strong in the movie, the script not so much, I had hoped that this book would bring it all full circle and give me something along the lines what I wanted. I honestly would have preferred a rip-off Dragonheart. :( The problem with this book is that the author is a great writer, structure and sentence wise but on plot and character it's too tame and weak. There is no 'turmoil' there is no 'conflict', you have characters that are bad and or evil, but they aren't ruthless enough for me to care of feel like the main characters have any sort of stake.Then, the characters seem to be distant from one another. Like, sure, they may be in the same scenes as each other (I think there are technically three main characters), but you're watching a very foggy relationship with people that are just too flat on the page. The dragon sequence scenes were boring in itself, the dragon interacted with no-one nor did we learn/care about the dragon even at the end. So? The flaws of this book is that you have an interesting story but the characters and exposition lack to back it up. The 'dragon' is a bore and the slaying is lukewarm. I wish I could rate this book higher but I honestly can't. :(
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  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this mystical tale. The main character was extremely likeable. I loved the fact that at one time he had been a hero but then had fallen on hard times and had to redeem himself. Guillot was once the best Knight in the land. He however now only cares about drinking. He is called to meet the new king and help with a new threat in the land. A dragon has been woken up. Dragons have not been seen in centuries. Guillot must pull himself together to face this foe. A long the way he has I really enjoyed this mystical tale. The main character was extremely likeable. I loved the fact that at one time he had been a hero but then had fallen on hard times and had to redeem himself. Guillot was once the best Knight in the land. He however now only cares about drinking. He is called to meet the new king and help with a new threat in the land. A dragon has been woken up. Dragons have not been seen in centuries. Guillot must pull himself together to face this foe. A long the way he has to determine who is his friend and is he just fighting a dragon or is there more to this. The characters in this book were very enjoyable. I loved that there was a magical element to it. This is the first in the series and I definitely want to read more.
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  • Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
    January 1, 1970
    3.0 StarsThis was a decent start to an epic fantasy series with a fun premise. I enjoyed reading from the perspective of the dragon, which was my favourite part of this novel. Otherwise, I found the story to be quite average. The plot was predictable with lackluster characters. This was such a forgettable read. While not bad, it is hard to recommend this one when there are so many better fantasy series out there.Disclaimer: I requested a copy from the publisher, Tor Books, via Netgalley.
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  • Sean Grigsby
    January 1, 1970
    Dragonslayer is a call-back to old school fantasy, and that's a great thing. The writing is clever and to the point (I'm a sucker for turns of phrase), the story moves at just the right pace, and I enjoyed reading the dragon's POV. There is even a twist and political shiftiness thrown in for good measure.This is a solid book, with an obvious sequel to come.
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  • Jay Welch
    January 1, 1970
    Received this as an advanced reader's copy. It was my first book of Hamilton's that I had read and was pleasantly surprised. The story was well told with a small, but nicely developed cast of characters. The medieval setting, dragons, knights, and mages leads to a somewhat predictable story. I have read that the world setting and magic use utilized in this story is familiar to Hamilton's other stories. I like this and it will make me more likely to pick up his earlier works and read them as well Received this as an advanced reader's copy. It was my first book of Hamilton's that I had read and was pleasantly surprised. The story was well told with a small, but nicely developed cast of characters. The medieval setting, dragons, knights, and mages leads to a somewhat predictable story. I have read that the world setting and magic use utilized in this story is familiar to Hamilton's other stories. I like this and it will make me more likely to pick up his earlier works and read them as well. I look forward to the next two books in this trilogy!
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  • Paulo De Sa
    January 1, 1970
    This story starts with the awakening of a mighty dragon, the last of his kind, and continues until the death of said dragon by a man that no one would think he would make it.Our “hero” (Gill) is a tormented man. Once he was banneret, and a personal guard of the king, but for reasons that were not very clear in the book, he has lost everything and now he tries to forget the loss of his wife and son (also not really clear what has happened to then) with a bottle, becoming a drunker. He is, also, t This story starts with the awakening of a mighty dragon, the last of his kind, and continues until the death of said dragon by a man that no one would think he would make it.Our “hero” (Gill) is a tormented man. Once he was banneret, and a personal guard of the king, but for reasons that were not very clear in the book, he has lost everything and now he tries to forget the loss of his wife and son (also not really clear what has happened to then) with a bottle, becoming a drunker. He is, also, the last Chevalier of the Silver Circle, an order created to hunt and slay dragons, and this is why he is called by the Prince Bishop and is ordered to try to kill the dragon.Prince Bishop is the prime advisor of the king, wants to take the country for himself and he loafs Gill (for reasons slightly mentioned). He is, also, the ruler of a new magical order which will replace the Chevaliers of the Silver Circle.To help Gill, we have a young lady named Sòlene. A mage born woman she is one of the more powerful mages ever existed, that doesn’t even know her own power, but she is able to kill several enemies using only magic, and also she helps Gill kill the dragon by enhancing his stamina.After this short presentation of the main characters, time is coming for me to say what I have thought about this book. In a world: HOW, Duncan has taken a known story (man killing dragons) and has transformed it in a masterpiece (I am a bit bias, as I really love his work). The book is very well written, the story has a nice pace to it and in the end, you just ask: “when is the next one coming out???”Now, I am in a period of mourning and I cannot even restart with some other books that I was reading, and this is what this book has done to me
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  • Brandon
    January 1, 1970
    Being a member of Mr. Hamilton's ARC team certainly has its benefits, getting a chance to get my hands on his new books early chief among them.That said, I had this book in my possession for almost a month before I started reading it. This was primarily because I had it in physical copy and my schedule makes it much more convenient to read digital books on either my Kindle or Nook. When my wife mentioned wanting to spend the entire day of Easter at her parents, I could not allow the opportunity Being a member of Mr. Hamilton's ARC team certainly has its benefits, getting a chance to get my hands on his new books early chief among them.That said, I had this book in my possession for almost a month before I started reading it. This was primarily because I had it in physical copy and my schedule makes it much more convenient to read digital books on either my Kindle or Nook. When my wife mentioned wanting to spend the entire day of Easter at her parents, I could not allow the opportunity to be anti-social pass me by. I read 90% of the book while there, than stuck it in my lunch box to finish at work on my lunch break.First, I am a huge fan of the world Duncan has created, and seeing it from different vantages with each series has been a delight. The premise is a drunk, good-for-nothing, has-been swordsman gets pulled into a mission by an old rival to slay a dragon that is right out of a fairy tale. I'll let you read the rest for yourself. We see glimpses of the "Empire" that has been mentioned in previous works about the Middle Sea, something I hope to read a series about one day down the road. As always, Duncan writes a hell of a story. Once I got started I could barely put it down and now I'm stuck waiting for book 2.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book, it’s a very solid epic fantasy novel. There are three things I look for when reading a big fantasy so I’m really going to talk about those things. One is world building, two is development of characters, and three is the over all story. (1) the was the weakest point, the world was interesting, I love dragons but I needs just a tiny bit more. I understand this author has written other books from this world so maybe I just needed to read something else so I am more immersed in I enjoyed this book, it’s a very solid epic fantasy novel. There are three things I look for when reading a big fantasy so I’m really going to talk about those things. One is world building, two is development of characters, and three is the over all story. (1) the was the weakest point, the world was interesting, I love dragons but I needs just a tiny bit more. I understand this author has written other books from this world so maybe I just needed to read something else so I am more immersed in this world but I just felt like every once in while I was missing a piece of information. (2) Gill was great, fantastic main character. Flawed yet I could empathize with him, and I was interested in what he was doing or saying. Loved him. (3) Well done story. I have a soft spot for a dragon story, whether they be on the side of good or bad, and this was a well told story. Overall this was a great read and I look forward to reading other books by this author!
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  • Steven
    January 1, 1970
    A fun spin on the idea of a dragonslayer, and characters who feel like friends that you're catching up with.
  • Matthew J.
    January 1, 1970
    Received an ARC of this from a Goodreads giveaway. I'm so glad that I did, because it gave me a reason to move it to the top of my To-Read pile. If you only read this much, read this: this book is Fun, with a capital F, and well worth your time.Now for the rest of the review.Mild Spoilers to Follow:Dragonslayer is the kind of book that I would see opening weekend at the movie theaters. It's got action, comedy, drama, betrayal, redemption, and all the other feel-good emotions you'd hope to see. I Received an ARC of this from a Goodreads giveaway. I'm so glad that I did, because it gave me a reason to move it to the top of my To-Read pile. If you only read this much, read this: this book is Fun, with a capital F, and well worth your time.Now for the rest of the review.Mild Spoilers to Follow:Dragonslayer is the kind of book that I would see opening weekend at the movie theaters. It's got action, comedy, drama, betrayal, redemption, and all the other feel-good emotions you'd hope to see. I have not read any of Mr. Hamilton's other books (though they have now shot up my To-Read list), but the back cover of the ARC promises that he writes "fast-paced, character-driven action-adventure fantasy", and that is exactly what Dragonslayer delivers.While I have a deep-seated love for the darkly dramatic story with murky morality, it's fun to come across a book that delivers a fantasy feel in a way that doesn't leave you drained at the end. Dragonslayer, like Indiana Jones, the MCU Films, (and, with a starkly different tone, Terry Pratchett's books), doesn't try to play "gotcha" with its story or characters or build up to some Earth-shattering twist. Instead, it delivers a story you don't want to put down, and does so because Mr. Hamilton puts interesting characters into familiar roles to give a fresh take on the classic dragon slayer story. I'll say more about some specifics below, but first:Who this book is for: Anyone who enjoys fast-paced action adventures with fun and interesting characters. People who love things with Dragons. Story Elements of Interest: Reluctant Hero, Lost Magic, The Savant, Scheming Villain, Sympathetic Antagonist, French Proper Nouns.Best Use of Magic: Turning the town bully into a goat.The Rest: Less Mild Spoilers to FollowThe character of Gill was what made this book for me. He is such a fun inversion of the Destined Hero trope. A middle-aged, overweight, out of shape, alcoholic mess of a man, his earnest and frank understanding of just where he stands in the world makes him someone we can cheer for. While you know he has to overcome his faults to become the eponymous Dragonslayer eventually, there is still something wonderful about watching his early struggles, because rather than focusing on someone who doesn't know any better, we have a character who is fully aware of the depths of his depravity. You can feel the meaninglessness in his life in Villerauvais by the way he is cut off by Jeanne the tavern keeper, and how he siphons a dozen bottles of swill that, by the second bottle of wine starts being okay, that he has many demons. When he starts practicing his formations in the bedroom, when he declines a drink, when he throws himself into danger not because he doesn't care, but because he cares so much, it is even more potent because of the low he has come from. What Mr. Hamilton manages to do to develop this character into someone you can look up to is fun to watch, especially given how much more realistic his heroic traits become with such clear past misdeeds.My intrigue with Gill is not a slight on the other POV characters, though. If not for Selene's character, and how quickly and easily she becomes the most powerful mage in the book, one might feel that Gill would be better off hitting the bar. The way her character builds on her no-nonsense survival-first background to adapt rapidly to a changing world makes her a perfect lens to view the magic system because it keeps the pace moving forward. It also makes the Order far less intimidating, and Gill's mission so much more important. Another aspect of Selene that is handled well is the mysterious and undefined nature of her magic. We get a few rough ideas of the rules, but much is left as unknown, as makes sense given the magic level of this world. It really serves as a great example of Sanderson's First Law: her magic is interesting because of how mysterious it is, but all the conflicts she overcomes are done because of her character overcoming obstacles without magic. The final conflict with Alpheratz is as fun as it is because the role of magic isn't even known by the characters until the battle is underway, meaning all choices that lead to victory are made on the merits of the characters themselves.Which is a good time to discuss Alpheratz. Mr. Hamilton does a wonderful job threading a tight needle here. The dragon must seem dangerous and menacing, and we have to agree it must be killed. But it is never the true antagonist of the story, and so, like Gill feels, there is a sadness when it dies. That is probably one of the most interesting themes of the book, actually: sometimes the good and moral choice can feel like crap, but you have to do it anyway.Finally, Amaury. He was a fun companion to Alpheratz as the antagonist to the story. And, like Alpheratz, I couldn't entirely blame him for what he was doing. He is a villain that sees injustice towards magic users and takes action to correct it, that sees a chance to sacrifice one has-been washed-up loser to usher in a new golden age, and does it fully expecting that he will be long dead before credit is due. His ongoing conflict with Gill is a great thread to set up the next book in the series.In Conclusion:Dragonslayer wins because of a fun cast of interesting characters that keep the action moving forward. It's a perfect summer read, a book that shows just how varied the genre of Fantasy can be, even when operating within familiar tropes. And, clocking in just over 300 pages, it's an Epic Fantasy read that won't leave you crawling to the Chiropractor. Check it out!
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    **You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**Dragonslayer is the first book in the epic fantasy series of the same name by author Duncan Hamilton. I have been so into fantasies lately and I have always been intrigued by and love books that feature dragons, so I knew this was going to be right up my alley. The cover of this book drew me in immediately, and it kind of reminded me of the Eragon series. Though I will say, Dragonslayer is more adult and is more on t **You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**Dragonslayer is the first book in the epic fantasy series of the same name by author Duncan Hamilton. I have been so into fantasies lately and I have always been intrigued by and love books that feature dragons, so I knew this was going to be right up my alley. The cover of this book drew me in immediately, and it kind of reminded me of the Eragon series. Though I will say, Dragonslayer is more adult and is more on the epic fantasy scale. I am super excited to read the next book in this series. The world was confusing for me at times, but that can sometimes be the case in Epic fantasy, and Duncan Hamilton does include a world map, which really helps when I am trying to place things for context.Dragonslayer is the story of Guillot dal Villevauvais, also known as Gill. Once Gill rescues Solene, the story really started to take off for me. Solene was more interesting to me than Gill because of her magic, but I really did enjoy the dynamic between the two of them throughout the story. I didn't dislike Gill per se, but I didn't love him like I loved Solene and the drgaon. In fact, my favorite part of the story is that we did get to see things from the dragon's point of view, which was completely awesome. Most of the time, I felt like I understood the dragon and motivations more than some of the other characters! Because we got to catch a glimpse, even more than a glimpse really, inside the Dragon's mind, I was so firmly on his side, rather than the people who were hunting him's side. (#teamdragon)At times I was hoping for a bit more detail, both on the character building front and in the world building arena, but what the story did not lack was action. Dragonslayer is action packed, so if you are a fan of action filled adventure fantasies, this is going to be an awesome series for you to dive into.  There are still many questions left unanswered by the end of Dragonslyer. I am hoping that we get many of those answers in the next book. Dragonslayer is set to be a trilogy, and it is one that I am interested in continuing. This review was originally posted on Book Briefs
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  • Susan Beamon
    January 1, 1970
    It is something when your world is totally upended. Once upon a time, which is how all good fairy tales start, there were dragons. People had magic. With such things, power bred contempt for those without it. Contempt bred abusive behavior. Those abused rose up and destroyed their abusers and outlawed the source of their power. All of that is in the past. The dragons were all destroyed and nobody used magic.When history descends into myth and fairy tales, people have the opportunity to revisit m It is something when your world is totally upended. Once upon a time, which is how all good fairy tales start, there were dragons. People had magic. With such things, power bred contempt for those without it. Contempt bred abusive behavior. Those abused rose up and destroyed their abusers and outlawed the source of their power. All of that is in the past. The dragons were all destroyed and nobody used magic.When history descends into myth and fairy tales, people have the opportunity to revisit mistakes. One man, the Prince Bishop, thinks magic will help his country gain in prominence in his world. It might, but most of the old knowledge was destroyed or hidden. In looking for that knowledge, he awakens a dragon. The dragon does what dragons do. It killed, laid waste to villages and farms and generally caused havoc. The King charges the Prince Bishop with removing the dragon.So we have a quest story. A disgraced nobleman, Guillot, and an untrained magic wielder, Solene, are drafted to hunt down and dispatch the dragon. There is bad blood between Guillot and the Prince Bishop, so nobody really trusts the other. Solene has hidden her magic all her life, because it could get her killed, so she is scared of showing what she can do in public. Somehow, they must work together, surrounded by spies and servants of the Prince Bishop.This story is the first in another trilogy, so we know, while the dragon may be defeated, trouble with magic is only starting. I enjoyed the characters and their development, growth if you will. I look forward to the next installment of the story of Guillot and Solene.I received the copy of the book I read for this review from BookishFirst.
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  • Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    January 1, 1970
    I received this from BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review!Really, this was an enjoyable book, but I never was quite drawn into the story.It follows Guillot, otherwise known as Gill. He's a lord over some fantasy French area and is a former knight. After his wife and child die, he's accused of something that he didn't do and barely survived it. He turned to drink and that's where we find him in the story. An alcoholic with a past. Then, a dragon comes to his town and he's thrust back int I received this from BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review!Really, this was an enjoyable book, but I never was quite drawn into the story.It follows Guillot, otherwise known as Gill. He's a lord over some fantasy French area and is a former knight. After his wife and child die, he's accused of something that he didn't do and barely survived it. He turned to drink and that's where we find him in the story. An alcoholic with a past. Then, a dragon comes to his town and he's thrust back into the life that he barely survived the first time.Overall, this is a good book. It's interesting, the writing is good, the characters feel earnest, and it kept my attention for the most part. Admittedly, I did have to start it over at one point because I got lost and I figured that it'd be easier to just start over rather than push through confusedly.But, I was just never drawn into the story. I never felt like I had to know what the characters were going to do next or what awful thing would happen in the next chapter. When I read the ending, I closed the book and felt like it could have been a stand-alone if some things had been changed. It just felt lackluster. I was waiting for some huge twist that would spur me on to the next book. It just never happened.I enjoyed it, but I won't continue with the series.
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