“The Dragons of Dorcastle” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by Jack Campbell (http://www.jack-campbell.com). Mr. Campbell has written nearly 20 Science Fiction novels. This is the first of his “Pillars of Reality” series.
I obtained a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this novel as ‘G’. This Young Adult Fantasy/Steampunk novel is set in another world. The two main characters are 17 year old Mage Alain and 18 year old Master Mechanic Mari.
They come from different guilds with very different and opposing outlooks. Each guild considers the other a fake and sham. Both consider the other human inhabitants, the ‘commons’ of their world far beneath them. The Mages use spells and magic to manipulate the world, while the Mechanics employ simple machines. The respective guilds hold the knowledge they posses closely so that none but their members are privy to the skills. Both guilds contract out the services of their members to which ever common is willing to pay.
Mari and Alain are thrust together after the caravan they are riding in is ambushed. Alain had been hired to protect the caravan, but the bandits attacked in overwhelming force. Alain and Mari escape, then rely on one another’s skills to survive. They soon establish a friendship. Once they make their way to town, their respective guilds criticize them for speaking with the other. Both have a history of bucking the system, so this incident leaves Mari and Alain suspected by the elders of their guilds.
Both though find that there is something beneath the surface, something that may tear the guilds as well as the rest of the civilized world apart. Though they are instructed to stay away from one another, they seek each other’s help. Together they investigate and find that there is another force at work beyond their guilds. A force that is willing to kill a Mage or a Mechanic if they get in the way. Before long Mari and Alain find that their friendship has grown to more romantic feelings, something that they cannot let any in the guilds discover.
I have liked Jack Campbell for some time, having read most of his “Lost Fleet” series. I thought that this was a good start on a new series. I liked both of the characters that he created and am looking forward to the next novel in the series. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.
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