P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Published 2011 Novella - 145 pages
Reviewed by Georgia
Summary (from the book jacket)
Before Zoey is marked and arrives at the House of Night … There was Dragon Lankford, the love that transformed him, the promise that haunted him, and the dark choice that wouldn’t let him go.
In early nineteenth-century England, long before he’s a professor at the Tulsa House of Night, Bryan Lankford is a troublesome yet talented human teen who thinks he can get away with anything… until his father, a wealthy nobleman, has finally had enough, and banishes him to America. When Bryan is Marked by a vampyre on the docks and given the choice between the London House of Night and the dragon-prowed ship to America, he chooses the dragon – a new name and a brand – new fate.
Becoming a fledgling may be exciting, but it opens a door to a dangerous world. In 1830s St. Louis, the Gateway to the West, Dragon Lankford becomes a Sword Master, and soon realizes there are both frightening challenges and beautiful perks … such as Anastasia, the captivating young Professor of Spells and Rituals at the Tower Grove House of Night, who really should have nothing to do with a fledgling.
But when a dark power threatens, Dragon is caught in its focus. Though his uncanny fighting skills make him a powerful fledgling, is he strong enough to ward off evil while protecting Anastasia as well? Will his choices save her – or destroy them both?
Dragon’s Oath is a novella set in the “House of Night” universe telling readers the story of Bryan Dragon Lankford, trying thus to explain his choice at the end of “Awakened”, the 8th book in the House of Night Series.
Told from a multiple perspective this story is both touching and entertaining. It is not filled with the usual modern day teenage vernacular or the slightly carefree style as is the case in most of the books in the HoN Series. On the contrary the reader happily encounters a mature storytelling, more appropriate for the time and the place where the story is set. The language too has a touch of formality and a sense of propriety reminiscent of late nineteenth-century literature.
Nevertheless, it is an engaging story with rich but not over-the-top descriptions that stays true to the spirit of HoN Series and the writing style adopted by the authors. A ripe, concise novella deprived of garrulous storytelling manages to illuminate the main character’s personality and casts a light over his behaviour and choices. What amazes the reader is the sensibility and kindness with which the authors portray Dragon Lankford throughout the novella reminding readers that sometimes compassion and tolerance are harder to achieve than any of us might think. Furthermore, they do not offer judgment, but objectively narrate the facts and allow readers to form their own opinions and ideas concerning the main characters. Since the authors’ goal has always been to demonstrate the importance of free will, it is good to see that even in this novella, this intention is the foundation of the story.
A further bonus is that one does not need be familiar with the HoN main story to follow this one. It stands alone just fine and it offers a nice sample of the authors’ work. Fans of the series will definitely enjoy this novella. It will amuse those who will simply pick it up and even intrigue them to read the rest of the series’ books. As for those who got lost along the way, it may well remind them why they started following the series in the first place.
All in all a beautifully told story, interesting from the beginning until the end with an emotional background worthy of the authors’ intentions, but without senseless melodrama. The illustrations at the start of each chapter are a delight.
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