By the Hand of Dragons: Rook by Alexzander Christion | Book Review
Sheath was created to be a weapon and trained from birth to be powerful. But there is more to power than mere strength. As he embarks on his first quest with Garrison, Sheath will find the real world can be treacherous. And if he is to be the self-proclaimed King of Fuumashon, there is a lot left to learn.
Be prepared for a bloody good time with Rook. The battles are intense, and the difficulty level rises with each new confrontation. Sheath will not go unscathed and no punches are pulled. Reading this book reminded me of anime where both the heroes and villains take incredible hits and rise back up to pummel each other into the ground. And the battles are written in gruesome detail befitting the dark fantasy genre.
I will admit the pacing is a bit off with this one. Some parts rush by because there is non-stop action, while others slow down to develop the history of the world. There is a section of the book when the Chimera children are being taught history lessons that may deter some readers, but stick with it! Once the history lessons come to an end the real action and adventure begins!
The evolution of Sheath’s character is central to the story. I loved the concept of an arrogant kid learning there is more to being a king than simply wanting it. Through his adventures and lessons with Garrison, Sheath realizes he is not all powerful. There is still a lot for him to learn. As he rises up to each new challenge, his knowledge and skill improves. However, he isn’t the only Chimera in this story and his fellow siblings are just as interesting as Sheath.
Aside from Sheath my favorite of the Chimera has to be Farabaugh. She is a water elemental and the creativity given to her abilities is wonderful. Just the way she thinks and behaves is so different and so fitting for a creature made of water. And let me tell you when she starts to develop her abilities you’ll see water used in ways you have never imagined. Some of the things Fara became involved with made my skin crawl.
While the first book in this series stumbles a little in the beginning, I can assure you it is a worthwhile read. Brutal battles, devastating magic, and a whole lot of creativity make By the Hand of Dragons: Rook a dark fantasy book you’ll want to pick up.