Dragonchaser is a change of pace. Review by Violet Kane

Book Cover
While Dragonchaser is by no means an untradtitional fantasy, it is a combination of traditional fantasy and adventure story elements not as often seen in the fantasy genre's mainstream.

In this novel, Tim Stretton tells the story of Mirko, a galley-master of dubious reputation who has come to Paladria from abroad to escape the disgrace of his past. Bartazan, a local politition, sees the local culture of galley racing as the key to his advancement to higher office. He hires Mirko to bring his galley, Serendipity, and its crew a win over Dragonchaser, the seldom-beaten galley of his rival. Not only does Mirko find his hands full squeezing a win out of Serendipity, but he finds himself in the midst of a number of political players and their games, including many more subtle than Bartazan's.

Dragonchaser is what one might call a low-magic fantasy, and certainly magic plays little, if any, substantive part in this story. One might better call it an adventure story, considering the sportive competition at its center and its subplots of romance and political intrigue. The ostensible plot of this novel runs a predictable enough course; the individual character interactions, while not incredibly surprising, are also not trite. Stretton's prose-style has its witty moments in the Jack Vance tradition of phrase-turning.

Dragonchaser should be enjoyable to most readers accustomed to traditional fantasy and adventure stories. While not a character-centered story, per se, Stretton's emphasis on character is appreciated.

Violet "Violanthe" Kane is the Webmaster and Founder of ARWZ.com. She is an editor of ARWZ Literary Zine and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Medieval studies.

Alternative Reality Web Zine: ISSN# 1559-3037

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