Review: Dragon War

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on August 4, 2009

dragon-warDragon War
(Draconic Prophecies, Book 3)
James Wyatt

An Eberron Novel

Dragon War, the third and final installment in James Wyatt’s Draconic Prophecies comes out today. When I received my copy on Thursday, I couldn’t put it down. It was great.

Although you don’t have to read Storm Dragon and Dragon Forge to understand and enjoy Dragon War, it certainly helps. I enjoyed the other two books in this series a great deal and strongly recommend them to Eberron fans. Both are now available in soft cover.

Dragon War has the obligatory swords and sorcery you’d expect to find in all D&D novels. There is also a decent amount of political intrigue which we’ve come to expect in good Eberron stories. But the thing I found most interesting was the characters. Each of the five main characters does a lot of soul searching throughout the novel. Dragon War is really an exploration into discovering ones identity.

The main character, Gaven, a Half-elven excoriate of House Lyrander struggles with his destiny as the Storm Dragon. As he finally embraced his new identity in Dragon Forge it was forcefully stolen from him. He spends a great deal of time in the novel trying to determine how closely he is linked to the Draconic Prophecy and his role in it. It’s only when he realizes the fluidity and general nature of the prophecy that he truly understands who he is and the extent to which he can shape his own destiny.

Rienne ir’Alastra was born of nobility, yet she chose not to follow the lifestyle of the aristocracy and its accompanying responsibilities. In stead she became an adventurer. But now she finds herself on the front lines of battle, leading the defenders of the Eldeen Reaches against the Blasphemer’s barbarian army. She didn’t seek nor desire the responsibilities of leadership that are thrust upon her. As she and her companions face sure defeat at the hands of vastly superior numbers she realizes that she cannot escape her part in the Draconic Prophecies.

The Warforged, Cart undergoes an awakening of consciousness with the help of a Kalashtar. Cart finally begins to understand that he is his own man and not the property of House Cannith or the Aundairian army. This stone cold warrior is truly more than a construct as he experiences a range of emotions including love.

Ashara d’Cannith, the Artificer who built the Dragon Forge and is now working along side the heroes, questions her place in a fractured house which has expelled her from its ranks. Her “inappropriate” relationship with Cart helps her put her personal goals and desires before those of her house, even though it contradicts her upbringing.

The Changeling Aunn is by his very nature a man without an identity. When he realizes this late in Dragon Forge he becomes even more complex. He more than any other character in this story needs to discover who he is in order to have his life make senses. Throughout Dragon War he questions and discovers his faith adding further complication to his search for his true identity. I particularly liked the scene in which he goes shopping for a new outfit in his true Changeling form and the shopkeeper recognizes him. Others often get a sense that they’ve met him before despite his disguises which says a lot about how our appearance is not the only thing that determines who we are.

Dragon War provides a very satisfying end to the Draconic Prophecies trilogy. Wyatt has created a memorable group of heroes and leaves the door wide open for further sequels featuring some – or all – of these characters. I think the Changeling Aunn is the most interesting character and I suspect he’s the character most likely to reappear in one of Wyatt’s future projects. Dragon War is an excellent book. If you’ve already read the first two novels then this is a must read. If you haven’t read the first two novels then do yourself a favour and read them first. Dragon War features many of the elements that make Eberron a unique fantasy setting. This series is an excellent stepping stone for readers just discovering Eberron.

Dragon War: 10 on a d10.
Draconic Prophecies trilogy: 10 on a d10.

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