Thursday, August 04, 2016

Debbie--have you seen THE DRAGON HAMMER by Tony Daniel?

A reader wrote to ask if I've seen Tony Daniel's The Dragon Hammer. Here's excerpts from the review from Publisher's Weekly. In the excerpt I've highlighted a passage...
Beast-men, bitter feuds, and battles are just some of the elements in this epic coming-of-age fantasy, set in an alternate North America populated by Viking-like settlements, Romans who practice blood magic, and mythical creatures. 
First in the Wulf Saga, the story is a kitchen sink of fantasy tropes, with elves and gnomes existing alongside animal-human hybrids (who replace a native population in a regrettable worldbuilding decision), and a vaguely explained mythology involving stars and dragons.
Reviews indicate the story is set in the Shenandoah Valley. Shenandoah is a Native word. I assume the author needed some words in order to make this story identifiable as one in "an alternative North America." 

I wonder if Daniel or his editor saw the Publisher's Weekly review? I'm glad their reviewer questioned that worldbuilding! I'm questioning it, too!

The Dragon Hammer was released on July 5, 2016, by Baen, which is part of Simon and Schuster. Here's the synopsis:
Evil from the dawn of time is on the verge of domination—but Wulf von Dunstig figured none of that mattered to him. What could he do about it? After all, he was basically nobody—the sixteen-year-old third son of a duke destined for an uneventful life as a ranger. But when destiny comes calling, it turns out there is only Wulf to answer. After a devastating invasion of his native land, Wulf must rally the peaceful valley of Shenandoah. He must free his family and his land from the grip of intruders controlled by vampiric evil.
Wulf's "native land" is being invaded? I agree with Publisher's Weekly. This story sounds regrettable. 

Update, 5:35 AM, August 5th, 2016: As usual with the "Debbie--have you seen" posts, I'll be back with a review when I get a copy of the book. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should read the book before identifying it as problematic.