Book Review – “The Summer Dragon”

Friday’s back and it’s here to bring you a book review! Maybe this will inspire you to add another book to your shelf just in time for #shelfiesaturday or #socksunday. Or maybe it’ll inspire you to pick up a fantasy book for the first time. 

All I know is that Todd Lockwood’s debut The Summer Dragon inspired me to truly focus, focus, focus, on whatever type of book I have in my hand. 

My expectations regarding what this book would be about had vanished by the time the first few chapters dove me into a different realm of time, government, and religion that I never knew could exist. 

All Maia’s life, her family raised dragons for a political war machine, and the book begins with her coming of age to have a dragon of her own. But her world and expectations change when The Summer Dragon makes a visit to her city. Political factions seek to control the meaning behind this rare dragon’s appearance, but it only causes damage to everything that Maia has come to believe and love because with her being witness to it, she exposes a conspiracy, the findings of a long-lost civilization, and “challenges her understanding of her world – and of herself.”

You might have a lot of questions now. So, let’s do this the easy way. 

1. How and why did the beginning grab your interest? 

I picked up the book in a local bookshop because it seemed that it held some parallels to my up-and-coming debut. But I was wrong hehe.

2. At what point did you feel like, “Yes, the story has really begun!” 

When Maia leaves home and her search stumbles upon foreign hunters in the wilderness, and the discovery leads her deep into an underground system of caves. 

3. Which setting in the book was clearest to you? Did the descriptions seem vivid and colorful enough? 

This is what I mean when I said this book taught me to focus. The story is told from Maia’s POV, and I pushed aside my dislike for first person narrative way back when I was buying the book. But, I feel like (And, this is just my opinion) first person is a lot of “tell not show”. And obviously it has to be – you have a person telling you a story. So as much as that person is telling you, “Look, this is what I’m seeing, this is what it sounds like, this is what I felt,” … The descriptions and mental illustrations that I was told to envision didn’t resonate with me. There was a crap ton of detail and I found myself rereading, trying to understand what this girl Maia was trying to tell me. I personally feel the book would have been told in third person narrative. 

4. What was the most suspenseful moment in the book? 

All the battles. On dragon-back. (No spoilers here) 

5. Was there a situation that reminded you of something in your own life? 

No, none. There was actually a lull where I put the book down because I felt I couldn’t connect with any of the characters.  

6. At what point did you feel the story lagged, or your interest faded? 

(See above) I also felt detached when their world’s politics and religious beliefs were running against each other. But.I enjoyed the depth it all carried. I really enjoyed the intricacy of their structures and how engrained beliefs can be.

7. Was there a favorite part of the book? 

Lockwood’s art is scattered throughout the book – a talented man!

Yes! I did love Keirr finding her vocabulary. I found myself laughing aloud in many parts of her dialogue. I loved the bonding scenes between Maia and her brother. 

8. Were there any parts of the book that made you cry/angry/annoyed?

Um… Bellua. (If you decide to read the book, you’ll understand why he justifies as an answer)

9. Finish this sentence: “I kept reading because…”

Because I wanted to find out if the prologue would tie into the ending, and I wanted –more than anything – answers.

10. All in all, how would you rate this book?

I want to reread this book, because I feel like I’ll get more out of it the second time around, just as you might with an intricately-plotted movie. But I recommend this book to anyone who loves deep political affairs, high fantasy, and Game of Thrones. The Summer Dragon does an excellent job in working your mind and flying you into a whole new meaning of “dragon riders.” I truly believe I will enjoy it more when I dive into it again in the future.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?  Which do you prefer: First or third person narrative?  

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