“The 19 Dragons” by S. M. Reine

The 19 Dragons CoverThis novella was recommended to me by another author as something I would possibly like given my predisposition towards steampunk books. The price was right so I gave it a go.

The structure of this novella is quite interesting as the story is told while being introduced to the 19 dragons in the title. However, the story itself progresses and becomes more complex as each new dragon is introduced to the reader. Gradually, a random crime becomes a conspiracy to destroy the dragons and the world with which they share a crucial bond.

The author intersperses signature chapters for each of the dragons with smaller chapters demonstrating their impact on the world in which the story is set. Eventually, even formatting is used to add to suspense or to indicate a change of pace. At times, after reading a sentence that was spread over several pages I found I needed to then turn one or more blank pages to get to a resolution. I found these techniques to be effective.

As the story progressed, my understanding of the dragons increased until experiencing a few revelations unsurprisingly revolving around the 19th dragon. To me, this is where the novella seemed to suffer. Two contradictory aspects of the dragons were given as if there was no such contradiction. Given that this was a fairly short novella any glaring contradiction in internal story logic is likely to stand out and this paled my enjoyment of the story somewhat.

That said, I enjoyed the mechanisms used to tell the story and I enjoyed the imagination behind it. The choice to depict 19 dragons in a short novella resulted in a brevity that denied the reader a more fleshed out and immersive experience. In this case, it’s a shame because I think the result of more detailed storytelling could have been marvellous.

Rating: 3.5/5

Price at time of review: $0.99 US

Available: Amazon

Author site: http://www.smreine.com/
GoodReads page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11149212-the-19-dragons

This entry was posted in 3.5, Fantasy, Novella, Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>