First edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York, NY : Tor, 2019.
300 pages ; 25 cm.
"A Tom Doherty Associates Book."
9781250306722 (hardcover)
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SF Ham
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Author Notes
Duncan M. Hamilton holds Master's Degrees in History and Law, and has practiced as a barrister. He lives in Ireland, near the sea. Hamilton's debut novel, The Tattered Banner, first of the Society of the Sword trilogy, was named one of BuzzFeed's 12 Greatest Fantasy Books Of The Year in 2013. That book was followed by The Huntsman's Amulet and The Telastrian Song, and by Wolf of the North, a Norse-inspired fantasy trilogy.
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

In the first book of a new trilogy, Hamilton (The Tattered Banner) returns to the land of Mirabaya, inspired by medieval France, where a group of treasure seekers awakens a dragon, which desires revenge for its slain family and predictably destroys the countryside. Guillot, a disgraced knight-turned-drunken lord, goes to the city for help and rescues Solène, a fledgling mage who must learn to control her substantial and growing powers. Mirabaya's powerful and scheming prince bishop, Amaury, who seeks forbidden magic of his own, sends Guillot to kill the dragon, but all is not as it seems. Meanwhile, Solène rapidly becomes proficient with her powerful magic and uncovers secrets of her own. The story includes common tropes such as betrayals, ritual magic, an enchanted relic, and lost histories. Although it leans heavily on standard medieval fantasy storytelling, characters, and settings, it is a charming narrative. VERDICT An entertaining, but not particularly groundbreaking, fantasy. Recommended for fans of dragons and medieval settings.--Rebekah Kati, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

  Publishers Weekly Review

Hamilton (The Blood Debt) puts his own spin on the classic man vs. dragon story in this strong fantasy trilogy opener. Guillot "Gill" dal Villerauvais was once a hero in Mirabaya but is now a drunken country lord. He's disgruntled when Nicholas dal Sason, messenger from King Boudain the Tenth and Prince Bishop Amaury dal Richeau, comes to summon Gill to court. Before they leave Villerauvais, though, Gill witnesses the depredations of a dragon, unheard of in his time. Vowing to return with reinforcements, Gill and Nicholas travel to the capital, along the way rescuing Solène, a young woman who's about to be burned as a witch. Solène is quickly recruited by the unscrupulous Prince Bishop into his secret Order of the Golden Spur, a force of mages and soldiers that he hopes to use to spread his power. Meanwhile, Gill and Nicholas take a squad of Spurriers to confront the dragon, who, unbeknownst to them, has his own reasons for his sudden assault on the kingdom. Hamilton successfully mixes swords, sorcery, and skullduggery with complex characters. Dumas fans will especially appreciate the faux-French setting. This is pure adventure fun with plenty for epic fantasy readers to enjoy. Agent: DongWon Song, Howard Morhaim Literary. (July)

  Kirkus Review

Set in the same pseudo-medieval European world as some of his previous works, the first installment in Hamilton's (The Blood Debt, 2017, etc.) Dragonslayer series is a fantasy adventure chronicling one man's redemptive journey that involves slaying a mythic beastand quite possibly changing the course of history for all the kingdoms in the entire Middle Sea realm.Lord Guillotwho is the Seigneur of a small village of Villerauvaiswas once a great swordfighter. He is, in fact, the last surviving Chevalier of the Silver Circle, a legendary fighting force that protected the kingdom from its enemies. But after the tragic death of his wife, Gill, as he is called, has become a drunk, seeking solace at the bottom of a bottle. Five years of almost constant inebriation has turned Gill into a shadow of the man he once was. But when a dragon starts terrorizing nearby settlements and killing its inhabitantsthough the beasts were believed to be extinctGill is forced out of his alcoholic stupor. When he is told by the king to kill the creature, he accepts the missionbut is unaware that he is a pawn in a much larger game being played by an evil Prince Bishop who is secretly plotting for magic use to become legal and culturally acceptable again. The addition of Solne, a young woman persecuted because of her innate magical abilities, introduces another layer to the story. But while the writing is certainly fluid, the storyline is banal and filled with numerous sequences that come off as contrived (like Gill's stumbling across a rare artifact that just happens to be monumentally significant to the story). Additionally, the characters are all stereotypes with no emotional connectivity. The novel feels like a story that fantasy fans have read countless times before; two-dimensional characters, a predictable plot, and an unsurprising ending make for a forgettable read.Uninspired. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Mirabaya, a country similar to medieval France, is ruled by a young, untried king who should be easily led by Amaury, the head of the church. Amaury knows power is often best wielded frombehind the throne, out of sight, out of range of an assassin.... Threatening his plans is news of a dragon, a creature thought destroyed centuries ago. How best to deal with this nuisance?Once a member of the King's personal guard, Gill now spends most days drinking and mourning his wife and child. He's stunned to be ordered to find and destroy a marauding dragon--weren't they hunted to extinction long before he was born? Together with Solene, a young woman who has an unstable, dangerous magical talent, this unlikely hero faces treachery and uncovers lost history as they attempt to defeat a dragon that shouldn't exist.Since self-publishing his first ebook, The Tattered Banner (one of BuzzFeed's 12 Greatest Fantasy Books of the Year, 2013), Duncan M. Hamilton has sold more than 220,000 copies of his fast-paced, character-focused, fantasy adventure novels. Tor Books is pleased to introduce this popular author to new readers.
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