“Sure to please high fantasy fans.” Publishers Weekly
“Full of intrigue, magic, and violence ... Weis has brilliantly conceived a world.” Booklist (Starred Review)
“Non-stop action and surprise revelations keep the pages turning.” RT Book Reviews
“An addictive read ... Exceptional book.” KLIATT
“Weis gives readers several intriguing characters ... Readers will be pulled into the clashing cultures, fascinating personalities, and the secrets that still need to be revealed.” VOYA
“Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis have emerged as standouts in the field.” Dallas Morning News on Margaret Weis
“Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have built an impressive reputation creating fantasy worlds in far flung galaxies where all manner of evil lurks.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Margaret Weis
“Weis and Hickman are now definitely up at the same level as Dave Duncan or David Eddings, using conventional fantasy elements on the grand scale to produce excellent reading.” Chicago Sun-Times on Margaret Weis
“A rich and vibrant fantasy world populated with various races and complex, believable characters.” Library Journal on Margaret Weis
“A classic tale . . . touched with originality.” Publishers Weekly on Margaret Weis
The Barnes & Noble Review
The publication of Mistress of Dragons marks a milestone in the fantasy publishing world. It's the first true fantasy written solely by Margaret Weis without her writing partner, Tracy Hickman, who coauthored bestselling series like Dragonlance and Death's Gate Cycle.
Weis's new world of Dragonvald is a wild medieval realm populated by humans and secretly ruled by godlike dragons. The winged overlords even have their own governing body, the Parliament of Dragons, where events concerning dragons are discussed and policies decided. But dragon sightings are rare, and many humans don't even believe they exist -- except in Seth, an isolated mountain kingdom where the Mistress of Dragons is the true ruler. The Mistress heads a cultlike female monastery called the Temple of the Watchful Eye, where women are trained as fierce warriors or magic-wielding priestesses. The monastery's main mission is the defense of Seth against dragons. Although the last dragon attack was more than 20 years ago, the Amazonian warriors still train, and the priestesses still practice their powerful, arcane magic.
Melisande is the High Priestess, next in line to be Mistress of Dragons. The current Mistress is old and sickly, and it's only a matter of time until Melisande takes over the order. Life in the monastery is close to idyllic for Melisande and her lover, a woman named Bellona, who is commander of the warriors. But there is a whole world outside the isolated kingdom of Seth, one filled with humans and dragons alike who have conflicting ideas about the female monastery and its true purpose.
Paul Goat Allen
Best known for her successful partnership with Tracy Hickman (Dragons of the Vanished Moon, etc.), Weiss launches a new series on her own that's sure to please high fantasy fans. In the world of Dragonvald, an ancient race of dragons with its own parliament has kept apart from the race of men and refrained from meddling in their affairs. Since a renegade dragon, Maristara, seized the human realm of Seth three centuries earlier, an Amazonian order of priestesses with magical powers and the Mistress of Dragons have kept the peace. But evidence that Maristara and a partner-in-crime have indulged in their taste for human flesh means renewed trouble. Draconas, who can change into a man, sets forth into human territory to resolve the problem. The ensuing conflicts and complications, as Draconas learns the true identity of the Mistress of Dragons, will keep readers turning the pages. A cliffhanger ending, involving the birth of a part-dragon human baby, will leave them eager for the next installment. Author tour. (May 28) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
The country of Seth is protected from evil dragons by the magic Mistress of Dragons, Melisande the high priestess, the Sisters of the Eye, and an all-female warrior corps. Draconas is the chosen walker-a dragon in human form that moves through the world doing tasks for the Parliament of Dragons. He is to abduct the Mistress to reveal a way to change Seth, which is actually ruled by a vicious renegade dragon that has incredible power and an unknown accomplice among the other dragons. Edward, young king of Ramsgate, devoted husband and father, is to be the tool of this intrigue. Draconas is sent to win him over to a great adventure, which he succeeds in doing, but the path to accomplishment goes greatly awry because the Mistress is more than thought to be, doing great evil and teaching magic to humans. Melisande learns some of the truth and escapes with Edward and Draconas. By book's end, the Mistress is still in control in Seth; Melisande births two children-one Edward's, one part dragon-and dies. Edward's child, likely to have magic, will be raised in his kingdom, and the other is given to Melisande's female warrior lover to raise and protect. In the first book of a planned trilogy, The Dragonvald, Weis gives readers several intriguing characters and room for lots of plotting. Readers will be pulled into the clashing cultures, fascinating personalities, and the secrets that still need to be revealed. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2003, Tor, 400p, Morrow
In this first novel in the Dragonvarld series, a dragon has broken all of the rules of the Parliament of Dragons, whose credo includes a no-kill policy on humans and forbids dragons' involvement in human affairs. The dragons believe that the Mistress of Dragons, a human female who repelled their species from the kingdom of Seth, has gained knowledge of dragon magic from a rogue dragon, Maristara. The Parliament of Dragons decides that it must stop Maristara and find out who is secretly helping her take over the kingdom of Seth. Engaging in a clandestine plan, the dragon leaders send Draconas, a human/dragon hybrid, to search out the Mistress of Dragons who they believe will provide evidence of Maristara's misconduct in teaching dragon magic, partaking of human flesh, and creating her own army of human soldiers. Weis excels at building a world in which dragons seem so alien and yet at the same time so human. Draconas succeeds as an encapsulation of both species as he fights against each side of his inner nature and feels the constant betrayal to one side or the other. An addictive read, this fantasy novel doesn't fail to mix great tragedy with mighty heroics. Moving along with a sense of urgency, the novel leads right into the next book, leaving the reader eager for the sequel, The Dragon's Son. Readers of Lawrence Watt-Evans's Dragon Weather will especially enjoy this fantasy and any readers interested in dragon lore will appreciate the characterization of these mythical creatures. KLIATT Codes: SA*Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, Tor, 345p., Ages 15 to adult.
Weis abandons her uncompleted Sovereign Stone Trilogy (Guardians of the Lost, 2001, with Tracy Hickman) to kick off a new solo effort. The fair virgin Melisande, at 28, is High Priestess in the monastery of the Amazonian order, overlooking and protecting the people of the valley of Seth. Fresh virgin warriors for the order are produced by nine members--called cows--who are kept aside for giving birth (male babies supposedly are given to needy folk in the valley). Her lover is dark-haired Bellona, chief warrior, and her chief enemy in the order is Lucretta, jealous that the current Mistress of Dragons--70, white-haired, and bent--has chosen Melisande to replace her when she dies. As Melisande conducts her morning rites at the Chamber of the Eye, she sees a lone male dragon approaching and alerts the warriors, but the Mistress of Dragons, leading her priestesses in magic spells against the dragon, suddenly collapses, although the marauder is driven off. Centuries before, the Dragon Wars with humans ended and the Parliament of Dragons formed, ruling that dragons must keep from human affairs. Maristara, however, took over Seth and rules there, teaching the humans dragon magic. The only human form to attend the Parliament is Draconas, a warrior male who, as the Parliament’s servant but actually a dragon himself, can think in images along with the dragons. It’s suggested that Draconas be sent to Seth to abduct the Mistress of Dragons and bring her back to help find a way of overcoming Maristara. Draconas hoodwinks Edward, King of Ramsgate, to accompany him to Seth. Draconas and Edward repulse hired assassins on the road, but Draconas determines that Maristara is trafficking in the male babiesof the "cows" and has left a door open in Seth’s magic shield. The bang-up climax finds Melisande giving birth to twins, one wholly human, one half-dragon, as the pot boils for volume two.