This review was written for a blog tour. I received the book for free in exchange for an honest review.
She is Coming…
When Daniar Dragonkin heard those words, she had no idea of the full horror that would follow. Now, enemies converge to bring to life a monstrous plan that has been set in motion since long before the events of Trapped on Draconica. A plot to bring Her back from darkness.
With her family threatened, her old enemies are back to torment her — and a civil war in Baalaria preventing any help from her sister, Daniar faces the darkest moment of her entire life. Her sanity will be pushed to the limit as she faces evil in it’s purest form.
Heroes will die. Villains will rise. And She will return — bringing with it the end to all of Draconica.
She Returns is the first book in the Final Ragnarok saga — and the conclusion of a trap that has been building for years. Everything you’d read about Draconica so far has been leading up to this moment. This is where it all changes — and where Draconica’s ultimate fate (and of it’s people) will be decided.
Can I just say “Wow”? The only other Draconica story I’ve ever read was Trapped on Draconica. I remember it being this really fun fantasy adventure book. There were some moments in it, but overall, it was lighthearted. I hadn’t read the sequel and I’ve never read any of the previous Draconica books. So when Dan asked if I’d be interested in reading a copy of the ARC, I said sure, thinking this was going to be another fun little adventure in the world of Draconica.
Final Ragnarok: She Returns is this roller coaster of a ride from start to finish. It’s quite a bit darker than Trapped on Draconica and all the characters have grown up. Some have kids. Some don’t. Draconica has been quite the peaceful place for the past twelve or so years. And then things happen. I’m not really sure how much to say about it for fear of spoilers, but just know that a lot of things happen.
Though the book is dark, Dan knows how to break things up and give you a rest and a glimmer of hope before shifting back to the main story. It’s a welcome relief to read about Sir Baxter Coyote, who might be a playful nod to Don Quixote (or maybe even Don Coyote?). With villains crushing people’s skulls and people dying, reading about the wannabe soldier is a delight. And even better than that: Watching Zarracka slowly change.
Like with any war, characters die. Dan Wright isn’t George R. R. Martin. I think he finds himself with other authors who take that realistic approach, but don’t kill off every single fan favorite character just because (I’m looking at you, Suzanne Collins). The deaths have meaning and seem to have been carefully thought out in terms of how it would effect the other characters.
Final Ragnarok: She Returns is a great first installment to the Final Ragnarok saga and fantastic addition to the Draconica series. Dan Wright has really written a great epic read here and everything seems to have been leading up to this very moment. I look forward to reading the next installment: He Returns.
If you want to read a fantasy adventure, but not so much on the grand epic scale of the Game of Thrones books, this is what you should be reading. This book is the first work I’ve read of Dan’s that truly takes itself seriously and I think it really reflects in not only the plot, but also the characters. There was quite a bit more emotional depth to them that I think I missed in the first Draconica book I read; you’ll find yourself cheering them on and wanting to console them all at once.
As with any series, you’ll get a richer understanding if you read any of the previous books. I never read the Emperor Gothon book, so I feel like I’m missing out on some sort of information, but pieces of it are being relayed to me throughout Final Ragnarok, so I’m not completely left in the dark. I highly recommend reading that particular book since events in that book seem to have a lot to do with the events in this book.
Dan lives Canterbury, Kent, UK. A huge fan of both Fantasy and Manga, he has a style that combines both within his writing, which lets him tell stories that are both dramatic and tongue-in-cheek at the same time. He picked up a love of Fantasy stories after reading The Lord of the Rings, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and numerous Roald Dahl novels.
Dan also runs his own website, blog and a wiki page dedicated to the world of Draconica. He has also been a reviewer for the website Read2Review and occassionally reviews books on his blog. He has also written a short comic book strip called Queller, which was published in an anthology for the comic Lighting Strike Presents… At the moment he is also currently working on a script for an independant video game – to be released in the future.
Authors who have inspired Dan are Douglas Adams, J.R.R Tolkien, Harlan Ellison, Alan Moore, Joss Whedon, H.P Lovecraft, George R.R Martin and Hiromu Arakawa.