Release Date: November 22, 2011
Series: #3 Legends of the Dragonrealm
Buying Links: Amazon The Book Depository
The epic fantasy series Legends of the Dragonrealm continues in this omnibus edition by New York Times bestselling author Richard A. Knaak...including three bonus novellas in print for the first time!
The classic Dragonrealm series comes alive once again in this heart-pounding, action-packed omnibus that features two complete novels and three bonus novellas!
In The Crystal Dragon, sinister dreams haunt the wizard Cabe Bedlam, leading him and Darkhorse to the desolate peninsula of Legar. Here a desperate band of wolf raiders, their empire in ruins, have discovered the resting place and sorcerous artifacts of the inhuman Quel. Now Cabe, Darkhorse, and the Gryphon are trapped between two hellish hordes and to defeat them, Cabe must become the willing pawn of the oldest, most enigmatic drake of all... the Crystal Dragon.
In The Dragon Crown, the young, shape-shifting drake Kyl, heir to the dragon emperor's throne, is the focus of many who seek to control the realm's destiny. Cabe most of all hopes that this new emperor will be the signal for peace among drakes and men, but knows that he might just as well prove the spark that brings the land to war. However, first Kyl must survive and in trying to assure that, Cabe will have to confront a nightmarish foe from his distant past, one who can strike at him even from within the wizard's own sanctum...
This omnibus also features three novellas, now available for the first time in print: Past Dance, Storm Lord, and The Still Lands.
For a brief second, she saw an expression, one that hinted at gratitude. "You always call me Tylan. Your cousin calls me Shade, just as all others do. The names I pick are always remembered, but in the end everyone calls me Shade. I strive to be more than the dark legend, to once again be the man, even if always a slightly different man." A gloved hand rose and caressed her cheek ever so slightly, then withdrew as if having presumed too much. The gratitude vanished from the warlock's voice as he finally answered her question. - From "Past Dance"
I had never read any of Knaak's stories before but I found that I had little trouble starting with this volume, which includes previously published works. I read the new novellas and mostly enjoyed them. Knaak's language is a little stilted at times, occasionally cliched but overall it's a smooth style and my attention and interest were quickly engaged.
"Past Dance" is a ghost story of sorts, complete with a haunted house. In it, we get to see a kinder, gentler side to Shade. Valea is engaging and her determination to solve the ghostly mystery that she gets dragged into was intriguing. I did guess the connection between the Wyr Stone and the Manor but overall it was a good story.
In "Storm Lord", we meet Aurim, Valea's brother. It's a story of forbidden love, the foolish decisions one can make and what one man, Shade in a return appearance, will do to survive. I enjoyed the love story; the battle was less interesting, maybe because I was able to predict much of what happened.
Valea returns in "The Still Lands". Valea is determined, after her encounters with Shade in "Past Dance" to confront him, once and for all. That path leads her to the realm of the dead.Naturally, things don't go as planned. Valea's entire family gets involved. The ending was a surprise, and I'm intrigued enough to want to read more and find out what happens.
Overall, it's an enjoyable collection, easily read even if you haven't read any of the prior books.
I received the paperback from the publisher for review.