From fantasy author Josh VanBrakle comes an epic new trilogy of friendship, betrayal, and explosive magic. Lefthanded teenager Iren Saitosan must uncover a forgotten history, confront monsters inspired by Japanese mythology, and master a serpentine dragon imprisoned inside a katana to stop a revenge one thousand years in the making.
Lodian history declares lefthanded people chaotic, dangerous, and devil-spawned, but Iren, the kingdom's only known Left, thinks that's an exaggeration. Sure, he loves pranking the residents of Haldessa Castle, but that's harmless fun to get a little attention.
When one of his stunts nearly kills Lodia's charismatic heir to the throne, Amroth Angustion, however, Iren confronts a no-win choice. To avoid execution, he must join a covert team and assassinate a bandit lord. The mission is suicidal, and Iren's chances aren't helped when he learns that his new katana contains a dragon's spirit, one with a magic so powerful it can sink continents and transform Iren into a raging beast.
Adding to Iren's problems, someone on the assassination team is plotting treason. When a former ally launches a brutal plan to avenge the Lefts, Iren finds himself trapped between competing loyalties. He has to figure out who – and how – to trust, and the fates of two nations will depend on his choice.
"A fast-paced adventure...led by a compelling cast of characters. Josh VanBrakle keeps the mysteries going." - ForeWord Reviews
"VanBrakle is clearly an honor student of the fantasy genre...The many twists and turns of the plot will make it easy for [readers] to fall deep into the world of the Dragoon Saga." - Kirkus Reviews
2013 ForeWord Reviews Fantasy Book of the Year Award Finalist
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|Age Range:||13 Years|
About the Author
Josh VanBrakle is an unrepentant lefty who is overjoyed to live in an age when authors can type their stories instead of handwriting them. His love of dragons, magic, and epic fantasy led to a dream of publishing a novel that refused to let itself get pushed aside. While he has written stories since childhood, Josh is a late-bloomer to professional writing. He first trained in forestry and economics, and in his day job, he works for an environmental non-profit promoting rural land conservation. Originally from Hershey, Chocolatetown USA, Josh now lives in the Catskills region of upstate New York with his wife Christine and their two ill-behaved cats. To stay up to date with the latest news about Josh’s upcoming titles in The Dragoon Saga, please visit www.joshvanbrakle.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Young Iren is a Dragon Knight, and as such, he is able to wield an incredibly powerful sword. This story follows him as he grows into the role of a hero, the role he was destined to play. This tale goes in depth about the history of dragons, dragon knights, and the weapons that give a knight his or her powers. I felt it was explained quite thoroughly, and the information was quite interesting. It could have been woven into the story, but the author chose to do basically a question and answer while Iren learns all the things he needs to know. That method is acceptable, but it does get a little too much use in my opinion. Still, I found the background information fascinating, regardless of its presentation. Iren is a strong lead character, more so as the story progresses. I admired his honesty at the beginning when he states that he has absolutely no idea what to do in a fight. Luckily for him, he possesses a magical katana. I will admit that some of the words created by the author reminded me of such phrases as “budokai tenkaichi”. That phrase wasn’t used, but some of this book’s phrases have a similar sound. Those words are so foreign to me that I had trouble keeping them straight, and I frequently remembered what they were incorrectly. Rondel was far and away my favorite character. It isn’t often that fantasy books give us an unattractive, older woman as a main character, and I commend the author for writing her as he did. Usually, we get some beautiful maiden who just happens to be amazing with a sword. Instead, we get Rondel, who is an amazing fighter and also has the ability to call upon lightning magic. What wasn’t to like? I did think that the whole premise of being left handed making someone an outcast was a bit silly. Who cares whether someone is right or left handed? I understand it was a superstition and left-handedness did not occur among the people Iren was raised with. I can accept it, but it still seemed almost too silly, and for me, it took away from an awesome story. Overall the writing is quite good. I found myself fully immersed and concerned about the characters and their well-being. Many of the magical attributes would work very well for a video game, and I wouldn’t mind playing it (assuming I had the time). Neither too long nor too short, this book is certainly worth a try. I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
I recently finished reading The Wings of Dragons" by Joshua VanBrakle. This is the first book in The Dragoon Saga, and his first published novel. I genuinely enjoyed this book it is a reluctant hero/ coming of age story. It is set in a magical medieval world. Great dragons used to live on Raa but they quarreled and destroyed much of the land. These Dragons were then locked in gemstones to protect the world from their power. These gemstones were then set into weapons, if you pick up one of these weapons when it has no master you are tested by the dragon. The people who pass the test become Dragon Knights with great abilities and magics, if you can keep the Dragon from taking your will. The plot line is solid and the characters are interesting. By the end of the first chapter I wanted to be friends with the hero Iren and tell off his adversary Balear. For me that is a good sign because I need to care about the characters or the story is lost to me, even if the plot is good. If I had to pick my favorite character it would be Rondel, she is a great female character. I love that she is an older, powerful, wise woman who is feared for her power, but can still crack a joke. I will confess I wish she was not referred to as old bag quite so much. I also enjoy all of the archetypal trickster aspects in the story. It made me smile quite a bit while reading. Reading this I definitely able to tell that there is influence from Tolkien in the story. There are different races that live in the world, my favorite so far are the Kodamas. They are a magical forest people who are long lived, with green hair who are not able to leave their home in the forest due to a curse. The world mythology is good the magic makes sense. The sword lore is great. He uses some eastern ideas in a western setting and it works. Not everyone can do this. I only wish there was some more description in the environments, and a map. I love maps in fantasy books. It feels more real to me. There is some world building in the beginning, but you learn as you journey with Iren. The more I read, the more I loved it. I liked this book and will read it again. I am definitely excited for the next one. I am curious as to how it will continue as the story is rich with possibilities. If you enjoy high fantasy novels, eastern myth, or adventure, this is a good book and I would recommend it. A good read.
I picked this up because I like dragons, plus the Left thing sounded pretty unique. Then the author promised Japanese mythology (which is totally awesome), and I was hooked. Iren was lacking in social skills and very naive, especially in the beginning. I enjoyed him, but I thought he seemed a lot younger than 17. But as the story went on and he actually got to do stuff, he matured and grew into his awesome skills. I liked him more and more as the story progressed. There are other characters that I could mention, but I won’t. Half the fun is trying to figure out who’s on what side. Character A’s a good guy. No, they’re a traitor. Wait, they’re not a traitor. Yes, they’re a traitor, but they betrayed the bad guys. Character B is a good guy. Maybe they’re a traitor…? Nope, definitely not a traitor. What the holy heck they were a traitor the whole time?! And so on and so forth for just about every major character except Iren. Okay, so the assassination team plot? Not all that important. The sword that’s given only a passing mention? Hugely important. The assassination team thing acts more like a catalyst to get things started, and then something Iren has to do that keeps him from discovering the important stuff. It’s secondary to the what-the-heck-is-going-on questions that Iren has. And trust me, there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye. The mythology seemed a little wonky at times. It was like a cross between Japanese and traditional high fantasy, and the two didn’t always mesh quite right. When they did, it was absolutely awesome. When they didn’t, it wasn’t overt, but I got this sneaky feeling that something wasn’t quite right. After the ending of THE WINGS OF DRAGONS, I have no idea what book two will be about. But I’d still be up for reading it. I have a feeling that whatever Josh VanBrackle comes up with, it’s going to be great (and I bet I’ll have no idea who the good guys are). I received a free review copy of THE WINGS OF DRAGONS from the author. His generosity in no way influenced, or sought to influence, this review.