James Maxey is a fantasy and science fiction author living in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with his wife Cheryl and too many cats. He writes books about superheroes (Nobody Gets the Girl, Burn Baby Burn), dragons (The Bitterwood Trilogy), and sometimes superheroes fighting dragons (The Dragon Apocalypse series of Greatshadow, Hush, Witchbreaker, and Cinder (coming in 2016.) In recognition of his literary accomplishment and efforts to promote literature, James was named the 2015 Piedmont Laureate. More information on James can be found at jamesmaxey.net.
Bitterwood: The Complete Collectionby James Maxey
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An epic tale of war between dragons and mankind! When the mysterious dragon slayer Bitterwood murders the son of the Dragon-King, the dragons respond with a campaign of genocide against their human slaves. Amid the chaos of war, a band of rebel humans risk everything to fight for freedom, and an end to the Dragon Age. Read the saga that Orson Scott Card called "a magnificent hero story." Bitterwood, the Complete Collection gathers together all four novels of the Bitterwood series, plus the prequel short story "Tornado of Sparks."
The individual works:
Tornado of Sparks: The dragon Vendevorex demonstrates his magical powers for the dragon-king Albekizan in a test that orphans a human infant. Can Vendevorex reunite the child with her only remaining family?
Bitterwood: Dragons rule the world and humans serve as their slaves, pets, and prey, with only the mysterious dragon-slayer Bitterwood fighting the dominant dragons from the shadows. But when Bitterwood slays the beloved son of the dragon-king Albekizan, the dragons launch a war of extermination against all humans. Can mankind survive the combined might of the dragons?
Dragonforge: As a war spreads throughout the dragon kingdom, a band of human rebels take over the armory of the dragon armies, the legendary Dragon Forge. As the dragon armies mass to take back the fortress, Bitterwood finds himself in the fight of his life, facing off against the most dangerous dragon of all: Blasphet.
Dragonseed: With the dragon forces in disarray, the humans face their own woes as allies banded together to fight the dragons begin to take up arms against each other. With all of civilization on the verge of anarchy, can Bitterwood save the day by joining forces with his worst enemy--the sun-dragon Hex, the last surviving son of King Albekizan?
Dawn of Dragons: 1000 years before Bitterwood, a man named Alex Pure gets disemboweled by a dragon. It's the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Also, the apocalypse.
In praise of Bitterwood:
"For the sake of humanity, join in Bitterwood's revolt." – Kirkus Reviews
"A grabber from page one, a smart tale of adventure and revenge sprinkled with echoes of our own dangerous times. James Maxey's world of dragons and humans at war is so solidly and engagingly rendered that I never wanted to leave." – John Marco
"Bitterwood is an unlikely hero in a rich world, with a rich history that holds many surprises. James Maxey tells his story with a sure hand. Enjoy the journey!" – Carrie Vaughn
"Fine action and cool world building. Anne McCaffrey through a mirror darkly." – E. E. Knight
"A magnificent hero story." – Orson Scott Card
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The Bitterwood quartet by James Maxey is a complex speculative fiction tale of bitterness and revenge that at first presents itself as a dark fantasy. The narrative draws back proverbial veils throughout the quartet, in the end revealing a deep history in an expansive post-apocalyptic, SF world. Maxey weaves plot in a way that makes big things happen in an otherwise small and petty world inhabited mostly by small and petty people. Many of the characters present as anti-hero to begin with and change their alliances throughout the series. The combination of high-tech and complex characters makes for a thrilling plot that takes unexpected turns. Although I was drawn in from the start, it took me longer before I could appreciate the characters. Jandra in particular started as a seemingly flat character – a flatness brought on by her sheltered upbringing – but in time she grew to become a character that I enjoyed. Antagonists such as Blasphet grow alongside the protagonists, a dynamic that, along with the complicated world, allows the story to explore many themes and subplots appropriate to a SF quartet patterned after epic fantasy. The bad guys (and sometimes the good guys) offer up plenty of deception and misuse of religion that go along with the many layers of the history and world of Bitterwood.
I thoroughly enjoyed this series of books. Plot and characterizations were extremely well thought out and executed. I won't tell you a thing about either, as I fear that would spoil the experience. Let's just say that if you like your fantasy backed up by great science fiction, this is your cup of tea! Magnificent!
Keeps you interested to the end. L.M.A.
Great story! Truly impressed me, it is something I am thrilled to own and will certainly read again. I would recomend it to anyone who loves to read, it would also make for a great scifi series to watch if anyone would please adapt it for television! Really did love it, can not express it enough...so buy this, it is worth more than its cost and will hold its value forever :)