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Week 8, Book 6: Age of Fire Book One: DRAGON CHAMPION by E. E. Knight

Age of Fire Book One: Dragon Champion by E. E. Knight
Goodreads Rating: 5/5 – “it was amazing”

Where I Got This Book: I bought this book at the local Chapters-Indigo store up in the mall. I had a couple of gift cards for the chain (which is headed by Indigo but out here we only get Chapters stores and the smaller Coles stores), so I went on a book buying spree a few weeks ago, to load up on books for coming weeks. It was hard to finally limit myself down to what I could buy with the gift cards! But one of the books that made the cut was this one, by E. E. Knight with some gorgeous covert art of a dragon (I suggest following the link above to see it).

The Book and Me: Aaah, dragons! I have a more than minor obsession with them. I adore any incarnation, from classic maiden-eating knight-fighting unintelligent (or at least, not sentient) beasts to the talking, immortal magical beings of High Fantasy. But there is always a special place in my heart for versions of dragons that are different from the normal tropes. And the promise of not just intelligent, sentient being-dragons in this series, but the fact that it is from their own point of view had me hooked the moment I read the back-cover blurb. I have never, as far as I know, read anything by E. E. Knight before though I know I have heard the name somewhere.

My Rating: My first 5 out of 5 on Goodreads for the year! I would have loved it anyway, being dragons and all, but like all the best books it was addictive and nigh impossible to put down. The writing is excellent, the characters are well-written and interesting, and I was completely absorbed by the depths of the Drakine culture, indeed, the presence of background to all the various cultures the reader comes across. And it proved to be a version of dragons as novel as I was expecting – in other words, a very refreshing take on old tropes with wonderful new aspects thrown in, such as the importance of song to dragons.

Why You Should Read It: Because dragons! No, seriously, if you’re a dragon aficionado like me, this is a series you must read. I certainly plan on buying the rest of the books in the series, in lovely paperback matching this one so they can sit on my shelf in place of honour with my beloved Naomi Novik and Tolkien and Tamora Pierce, their spines creased with love and appreciation. But it is not a gimmicky book, it is solidly plotted, fascinating, engaging, and features interesting, likable characters set in a well-developed fantasy world.

Potential Spoilers Beneath Cut
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52 Books, 52 Weeks… Go, go, go!

Some time in the middle of last year I acquired a Goodreads account. Noticing the option to set a goal for how many books to read in 2011, I set a nice, round 50 and then tried my best to remember which books I had, in fact, already read. Between a summer of mind numbing dullness (so dull, in fact, that at points I had trouble concentrating on anything, even reading which has long been my one solace) and a busy first semester of second year of university, I didn’t meet my goal.

Though I still think that if I had been able to include all the novel-length fanfics I’d read, I would have exceeded it, easily.

But, such concerns aside, I decided at the start of this year, when presented with the option to set a reading goal for 2012, that I’d give 52-in-52 a shot. 52 books in 52 weeks. Combined with the fact that I have yet to properly use this blog for any of the uses which I intended I have come up with the following set of rules for myself:

  1. Re-reads don’t count. I’m not a big rereader, if I’m honest, but there are some books I will read over and over again. I will make exception if I haven’t read the book in over 5 years, but I want to expand my reading of published material and ensure that I’m reading 52 books that are brand new to me (or as good as – 5 years ago I was 14, and my memory is shit.)
  2. All books shall be tracked on Goodreads. Whether they are part of the 52-in-52 or not.
  3. Books read for school don’t count. As I’m not an English major, this shouldn’t be a huge problem, but since I’ll allow 52 fiction OR non-fiction books… it’s still relevant.
  4. Any type of book allowed, including anthologies. With a 100-page minimum when in paperback printing. Anthologies of short stories, which I do read on occasion, will be treated as one book for purposes of counting.
  5. All books read for 52-in-52 will be reviewed on this blog by midnight Saturday of the week relevant. This is so that I don’t just splurge through and never consider the book again. As I do intend to be a published writer at some point, having an awareness of what I read will be good. It’s the one thing I did appreciate about IB Higher Level English in high school!

So there you have it, dear readers. My 5 rules for my 52-in-52. I have already finished my first book (as those who follow my Twitter will be aware) which was Ben Bova’s Leviathans of Jupiter. So expect a review post of that before midnight this Saturday! (Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the convenience of this year beginning on a Sunday?)

Happy 2012,
C/J