A Summer Favorite: A Brief Review of The Summer Dragon

I recently finished The Summer Dragon (2016) by Todd Lockwood. This book has everything I enjoy about dragon stories: raising dragon hatchlings, special relationships with dragons, riding dragons, learning dragon language, fighting battles from the backs of dragons. It alternately reminded me of the Pit Dragon Trilogy's Dragon's Blood and Novik's Temeraire novels, but Lockwood's story is distinctly his own.


The Summer Dragon is about a girl named Maia. Her family has raised dragons for the empire for generations, and as she comes of age, she hopes for a dragon of her own. The Summer Dragon--a portentous and religious symbol--appears to her and her brother. He is an omen of change, and several political factions converge to interpret the sign to their advantage. Then their valley is attacked by Frankenstein-type monsters called "Horrors", thralls of the enemy. 


Maia is a character of great depth and satisfying complexity. Her desires for a dragon are tempered by her loyalty to her family and her fears of her own inadequacy. The other characters are also well developed. 


The plot moves fairly quickly, gaining intensity to the point that I began to worry the ending would leave me hanging until the next book came out! Lockwood is a great storyteller, though, and I was both pleased and eager for more when the story concluded.


Lockwood is an artist, and this is apparent in his descriptions of setting. I was fully immersed in the dragon aeries and the beautiful mountains nearby. They were tangible enough to give a sense of structure to the story without overwhelming the reader with information. 

I recommend The Summer Dragon for your summer reading list, especially if you enjoyed the Pern tales, The Pit Dragon Trilogy, and/or the Temeraire novels!


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