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Review of The Last Dragon Slayer by Martyn Stanley

Deathsworn Arc: The Last Dragon Slayer - Martyn Stanley

Years and years ago, I might have really enjoyed this book. It’s a very, very lighthearted fantasy. It’s from the days of old school fantasy where a group sets out on a task. They pick up companions along the way, they talk, and run into a few bandits and towns with problems. The tone is incredibly light. Not humorous, just light and airy. It’s not what I’m in the mood for as of late, unless it’s blown out of the park. Meaning, I don’t mind a light story, mixed with humor, and lots of action. I don’t mind quest driven stories. This simply fell a little flat for me.

 

First off, the world and storyline are very standard. An emperor sets a wizard on a quest to kill a dragon. There’s unrest with orcs invading and the kingdom is stretched too thin to give up troops to assist said wizard. So he finds his own would-be-heroes, saves some elves along the way, and voila! We’re on our way. There’s not much more to the world than that. Those not heavy into world building will find this just fine.

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If this maybe had humor, I could have gotten more involved. If it had way less dialog, I could’ve been drawn in. With a quest type storyline, I thought I would have had some great character moments, but they all seemed flat. I never felt like I knew any of them. One elf undergoes training a human, and that seemed to take up way too much page time, for me. I got bored and found myself skimming. The magic of whispering was pretty nifty. The elf “whispered” to heal the body, to take control over someone, to turn the tides in a fight. The way it was described a few times kept my interest in it.

 

Another thing that was distracting was all the head hopping. Again, very reminiscent of old fantasy. I like to stick with one character until there’s a clear break, so the head hopping definitely pulled me out of the book several times. There’s some poor comma usage, like not using it around names. That’ll always slow down my reading.

 

Overall, I think many people will like this book. For me, I like a little more darkness in my story, characters that struggle with their past, and a lot more action or movement. This has received a very decent rating on Goodreads, which goes to show that it’s just not up my alley. Others have found it enjoyable. So if you want a light read, you should check this one out.