The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost two hundred years. Their society has been built around war and only war. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every two thousand women has the power to call down dragons. One in every hundred men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine.
Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war. Young, gift-less Tau knows all this, but he has a plan of escape. He’s going to get himself injured, get out early, and settle down to marriage, children, and land. Only, he doesn’t get the chance. Those closest to him are brutally murdered, and his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He’ll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him.
“I can’t imagine a world where the man holding a sword does not have the last say over the man without one.”
Thank you so much to Caffeine Tours and Orbit Books for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am participating in a Caffeine Tour for The Fires of Vengeance and that review will be up later tonight!
I honestly don’t know where to begin when describing Evan Winter’s fantastical story that he has created. It was everything I wanted and more. It was what I thought Game of Thrones should’ve been tbh. It gave me complex characters, a nice map with relevant landmarks, political intrigue, and DRAGONS! I really wish this story had no end because I could be stuck in this world forever. The way that Winter manages to make non-stop action as interesting as it was is just phenomenal. The description of the fight scenes is really what drove me to rating this book 5 stars. They were just so well done and I don’t think they could’ve been written any better. I knew where each character stood in battle, I knew what kind of terrain they were on, I knew how each fighting stance looked if it were done in person. It was just amazing.
Tau is a force. I wanted to be Mulan so bad when I grew up, but honestly now I just want to be Tau. He was knocked down over and over again in the course of his journey and he managed to get back up each and every time. Even though Tau’s determination and need for success is rooted in a plan of vengeance, I shockingly found myself siding with him again and again, even though I’m normally against plans of revenge. The journey that I followed Tau on in this book gave me a deep connection to this character. He is someone who wishes to rise above his circumstances and the role he has been given in life and, as a black woman, this is definitely something that I can resonate with.
Also, there is Zuri. I loved her so much even though we only get glimpses of her throughout this story. You really have to read about her to understand how great and selfless she is.
Winter’s writing really pulls you in. He manages to create a fully realized fantasy world without any huge info dumps or lulls in the action. By the end of this novel I had a complete understanding of the world that the Omehi live in, their culture, and their history. It was very hard for me to make the distinction in my head that this was not a book about factual events, just an amazing story brought to life by Winter. Not too many people can manage what this author managed to do with his book. He made an unfamiliar world familiar to me and the understanding that I had by the end of The Rage of Dragons is something that I want to stay with me forever. I felt that I truly knew each and every one of the characters that I read about, like they were my own friends. And that made reading about their ordeals so much more heartbreaking than it already was.
Meet the Author
Born in England to South American parents, Evan Winter was raised in Africa near the historical territory of his Xhosa ancestors. Evan has always loved fantasy novels, but when his son was born, he realized that there weren’t many epic fantasy novels featuring characters who looked like him. So, before he ran out of time, he started writing them.