Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: Joust

Joust (Dragon Jousters, #1) by Mercedes Lackey
Publisher: DAW/Penguin
Format: Ebook
Pages: 448
Source: Maryland’s Digital eLibrary Consortium
Buy It: Paperback | Kindle
National best-selling fantasy author Mercedes Lackey creates a vivid, dynamic fusion of the cultures of ancient Egypt and legendary Atlantis with the most exciting and believable portrayal of dragons ever imagined. The first book in this thrilling new series introduces us to a young slave who dreams of becoming a jouster-one of the few warriors who can actually ride a flying dragon. And so, in secret, he begins to raise his own dragon..

Vetch, a serf working for a terrible and abusive master, knows nothing but servitude until Jouster Ari comes along. Taking Vetch under his wing, he gives him no more work than he can handle, teaches him the ways of dragons, and trusts him with the care of his dragon, Kashet. Soon after, Vetch has dreams of raising a dragon of his own.

I must address an issue here before I start my review. Many people see this series as comparable to The Pit Dragon Chronicles by Jane Yolen, and in many ways it is… But how many vampire and werewolf books do you see these days with familiar stories and plots? This book was far original enough for me to feel like I was reading something separate and different. It evolved into it’s own type of beast. To be honest, the hope that this series would be similar to The Pit Dragon Chronicles is what originally attracted me to it. I was very delighted to give it a try! Joust did not disappoint!

Normally I would remove a star for this book not having some sort of love story, but it doesn’t need it!! Vetch’s developing passion for dragons took that place for me. I don’t know how Lackey did it, but I was hooked... This book became like a drug for me. I couldn’t stop reading! And yes, because of the attachment to the characters, I did cry.. but only once.

The one problem I have is with the cover. The dragon looks great, but the man on the front is nothing like how I pictured a jouster. Ok, maybe it’s just the helmet... I don’t think I’d want to look like I was wearing a freakin’ vase on my head. Real intimidating. Just my personal opinion.

I’ve read Mercedes Lackey’s books in the past and liked them, but where was this series all my life!? The characters, setting, and plot were all perfectly conceived to build this sure-to-be epic series. I love how Joust ended and cannot wait to delve back into this amazing world.


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