The Dragon’s Blade: Veiled Intentions by Michael R. Miller

James McStravick reviews The Dragon’s Blade: Veiled Intentions by Michael R. Miller.

Rectar has always had his sights set on conquering the human lands. His demonic invasion of the west is gaining momentum – an unrelenting horde unhindered by food or sleep. Now, only the undermanned Splintering Isles lie between the demons and the human kingdom of Brevia. If the islands fall, the rest of Tenalp will soon follow.

The Three Races must work together if they are to survive, but they have another problem – Castallan. The traitorous wizard has raised a deadly rebellion and declared himself King of Humans. He believes himself safe in the bowels of his impenetrable Bastion fortress, but Darnuir, now King of Dragons, intends to break those walls at all costs.

To face these threats, all dragons, humans and fairies must truly unite; yet old prejudices may undermine Darnuir’s efforts once again. And as the true intentions of all are revealed, so too is a secret that may change the entire world.

veiled-intentions

Veiled Intentions is the highly anticipated sequel of The Reborn King. When I read and reviewed The Reborn King last year, I thoroughly enjoyed it and sung its praises. If you want to read my review you can find it here.

When I was offered a copy of Veiled Intentions I quickly jumped at the opportunity, due to how much I liked The Reborn King. Before I delve into my review all I will say is that this book certainly does not disappoint.

Veiled Intentions picks right up where The Reborn King left off. I really like it when authors pick up a story right where the previous book finished almost as if you are resuming from a natural point. That’s not to say that I don’t like it when authors do a time jump or pick up shortly because sometimes I find depending on an authors style of writing, skill or the pacing of the book this can be with variant levels of success. Personally though I think no matter what Miller chose to do, he would he do it brilliantly.

Veiled Intentions takes the writing, story, world, and characters, and makes them all better in so many ways. Not only do we learn more about the characters we read about in The Reborn King, but the author has now included some new POV’s and I think these were a breath of fresh air to the book as it allows us to learn more about the world as a whole and gives us a better understanding of everyone’s feelings towards whats happening. I’m not going tell you the names of the new POV’s characters as I think that will spoil some of the fun of reading this book, but one of the them has certainly become a firm favorite of mine.

With new characters being introduced that opens us up to a whole part of the world that we had never explored before, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about these uncharted areas. This sequel also gives you the opportunity to learn more about the world and its inhabitants, as well as how the war was affecting the wider world. This helped bring a whole new aspect to the world building and this made just love the world it encompassed so much more.

I felt overall the flow of the story and the pacing was done very well; I think the author did the flow and pacing of the book very well. I was extremely excited to start reading Veiled Intentions but also a bit worried, as sometimes sequels don’t always live up to the quality of the first book or to your own hype. But I was glad to see that Veiled Intentions lived up to my expectations and more. If you are a fan of fantasy and you haven’t yet read anything by Michael R. Miller, then I highly recommend you check him out.

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The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King by Michael R. Miller

 

The Bandwagon reviewer James McStravick reviews The Dragon’s Blade by Michael R. Miller.

Dragons once soared in the skies, but that was before the Transformation, before they took human form. Now, demonic forces stand to obliterate them. When left mortally wounded, Darnuir, the Prince of Dragons, can only be saved through a dangerous rebirthing spell. He is left as a babe in human hands.

Twenty years later, Darnuir is of age to wield the Dragon’s Blade. As the last member of his bloodline, he is the only one who can. He is plunged into a role he is not prepared for, to lead a people he does not know. Shadowy demons ravage his new home and the alliance between humans, dragons and fairies has fractured.

the dragons blade

The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King is Michael R. Millers first published book; in comparison to other debut novels I have read in the past, this certainly doesn’t read that way. It has been written in a manner that would make you believe the author has been writing for many years, and I think Michael R. Miller has done an exceptional job with his debut.

The Dragon’s Blade is one of the most enjoyable books I have read in months and, ironically, I don’t think words can do justice to how good it is, but I’ll give it a try. When you first step into the world of the The Dragon’s Blade you are given a small prologue that helps set up the mysterious character of Dukoona, which not only helps build intrigue early on, but also helps set the pace of the book.

One of the most exceptional parts I found with the book is the characterisation, due to the characters being so diverse and realistic; behaving and reacting in ways we’d expect people to. This rang especially true for Darnuir. Darnuir is the prince of Aurisha, and at first I found myself not liking him, but then an incident occurs and leaves his future in the balance, and it was from here I found myself liking him more and more. Not only does he struggle to find himself, but he deals with various circumstances from a new perspective.

As we follow Darnuir over the course of his life after the incident we are introduced to new POV characters and secondary characters. Sometimes this can bog down characterisation and the book itself. Michael however manages to avoid this pitfall by only giving us what we need to know about the secondary characters and making the POV the star. I felt overall Michael’s method of characterisation helps keep the pace of the book very fluid but also leaves you wanting to learn more about the characters.

The story has been beautifully crafted into something that not only has a good pace but also provides great action scenes, and pulls you into a world with intrigue and mystery. The different character POV’s each hold their own air of mystery, and as the story progress you are drip-fed pieces of an already bigger mystery. This alone had me constantly on the edge of my seat and always wanting to know more.

The story will grip you from the beginning and always leave you wanting to know more’ this is especially true when it comes to Dukoona and the elusive guardian who has been missing for quite some time.

One aspect that intrigued me the most is the magic system as I have never came across one like it. Having magic in this world is a source of great power but with this power comes grave consequences, as it can be as addictive as it is deadly. As you read the story you will come across many consequences where a user has become addicted to the magic or have suffered at the fate of overusing magic and this is what truly makes it so interesting to read about.

With all of the above in mind I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and there were many occasions where I wanted to forget everything else and just keep reading. It will truly grip you and always leave you wanting to read more. This has been one of the most enjoyable books I have read in many months and I am already eagerly awaiting the second book in this series. I would highly recommend The Dragon’s Blade as Michael R. Miller has produced something of great measure, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

To buy The Dragon’s Blade, click here, or check out the book trailer. You can also visit the author’s website here, where you can read the first four chapters for free.

Ask The Author: Michael R. Miller

Ask The Author: Michael R. Miller

Author Michael R. Miller speaks to me about his writing process.

michael r miller

Michael was born and raised in Ayrshire in the West of Scotland. Being useless at kicking a football around, he often resorted to imagining tales of magic and adventure in which he and his classmates would battle to save the school during their lunch hour. Fortunately for all, such embarrassing tales never made it out of his head and onto paper.

Like many young boys he quickly developed a love for daring knights who battled evil. When this was combined with endless hours playing Age of Empires and watching Lord of the Rings, a love for both history and fantasy was born.

He studied History at St Andrew’s University, dabbling in everything from Ancient Rome to Modern Scotland and a good deal of things in between. Graduating in 2014 he moved to London to pursue law. He’d rather forget that. In early 2015 he began to seriously turn attention to writing the fantasy story he had always dreamt of telling.

He had sketched out eight chapters over the years and, although they needed rewriting, they helped plot out the action of the story. He wrote a little each night and, slowly, he found things were improving. At a self-publishing panel event he got speaking with a representative from a hybrid publisher and so far so good. With a pinch of luck he hopes to avoid the phantom cubicle desk of real life pinning him down.

He hopes you enjoy reading Dragon’s Blade as much as he has in getting it from idea to page to published book.

What inspired you to start writing?

I wrote a fair bit when I was young but then it fell by the wayside. School and university don’t generally allow time for that or encourage it, which is a great shame. So it was at the end of 2014 and early 2015 when I dived into writing again, partly as a means of escaping the law course I was stuck on. I guess I had an idea for a story that just would not leave me alone and had been turning over in my mind for years. Writing was going to be the only way to get it out. I threw myself into it and then I began to really enjoy it. And once you start enjoying something you keep going.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Following from the previous question, I can only say you should write. It won’t be very good at first. I was disheartened when I wasn’t writing well to begin with and I think many are. We have his strange delusion that we can just sit down and start doing it because we’ve read a lot or we can write well academically. But you wouldn’t imagine you could just pick up an instrument and start playing it because you have listened to a lot of music. If you write enough, it should start to click. My strong advice for any aspiring sci-fi/fantasy writer is to go watch Brandon Sanderson’s free online lectures which you can find on Youtube on the channel ‘Write About Dragons’ and ‘BYU English’.

the dragons blade

What do you wish you’d known about the publishing process?

I think I’d like to have known more accurately the amount of time things can take. You know that it is going to ‘take quite a while’ in a vague sort of way but then it can feel frustrating when it feels you are waiting around. In reality it’s going as fast as it can but when it’s your book, your baby, it can become all consuming. I had unrealistic expectations on the scheduling at times and now I know better I think I will enjoy publishing the next book more.

What are you currently reading?

Just about to finish Bloodrush by Ben Galley and it’s been a fun read. After that I’ll be moving onto The Promise of the Child by Tom Toner. I’ve been told that will blow my mind against the wall so I’m looking forward to it.

Tell us a bit about your main character.

The principle idea behind Darnuir was asking what would happen if you could reset a person and have them grow up in a completely different environment. There are stories and characters out there who suffer memory loss and such but not quite to the extent I’ve gone for (to my knowledge). So what happens when you take a sixty year old, arrogant, human-hating, brusque, thoroughly dislikeable dragon, and have him grow up in a new life surrounded by humans instead? Well that’s largely what this first book is about.

What’s next for you?

I’m working on the sequel and a smaller, more light-hearted, side project, when I get the chance.

To buy The Dragon’s Blade, click here, or check out the book trailer. You can also visit the author’s website here, where you can read the first four chapters for free.