Review: Dragon Road by Joseph Brassey

“A murderous plot aboard a city-sized flying ship must be averted before a crazed cult sends a million people to their deaths. When portal-mage Harkon Bright and his apprentice are asked to help select a new captain for the immense skyship Elysium, they quickly find themselves embroiled in its Machiavellian officer’s court. Aboard the Iseult, the warlord Azrael, saved by his former enemies, struggles to adapt to his unexpected gift of life while suffering dark dreams of an ancient terror. As the skies darken and storm-clouds gather on the Dragon Road, the crew of the Elysium come face to face with deadly intrigues, plots from beyond death, and a terrible darkness that lurks in the heart of a thousand-year storm.”

Thanks given to Netgalley and Angry Robot for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I read Dragon Road (book two of The Drifting Lands series) straight off the back of its predecessor, Skyfarer. I’d describe this series as science-fantasy, but with a heavy lean towards the fantasy side of things, and after devouring Skyfarer I was itching to get stuck into the sequel and to follow more of apprentice portal-mage Aimee’s and the warrior Elias’s story.

This second book delivers on everything Brassey gave us in Skyfarer: action, adventure, magic and wonder… with characters you root for and care about, all set in a world that is as fascinating as it is stimulating. But then Brassey goes above and beyond all that, taking us deeper into everything: the characters, the magic, the world. Everything is expanded upon, and in a word it’s just fun.

I’m in danger of gushing about this book, I loved it so much. But all you really need to know is that the twin protagonists, Aimee and Elias, are both strong, loveable characters who are truly up against the odds – you’ve got brutal sword fights, sorcerous battles, necromancy running rampant, and ancient horrors on the horizon. There’s a certain brand of heroism in the face of these odds that some readers may shy away from – it’s definitely not “hokey”, but I think it speaks to the part of us that wants to believe in heroes, in legendary feats of bravery, and in the potential of the human spirit. But every inch of this is earned, and I couldn’t read it all fast enough.

In short, like Skyfarer, Dragon Road is a book which reminds me why I love to read. Do yourself a favour and delve into both now. I for one can’t wait to revisit these novels, and hopefully a third instalment soon. Five out of five stars, hands down.

An incredible read.

You can learn more about Joseph Brassey here, and Dragon Road is available to pre-order from here (released Thursday 3rd May, 2018).

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