The Dragon Road by Joseph Brassey. Book Review

The Dragon Road by Joseph Brassey
Angry Robot, p/b, 384pp, £7.99
Reviewed by Sarah Deeming

The crew of the Elysium have been asked to mediate a matter of succession for the deceased captain of the skyship Iseult. But not everyone wants their help and soon they find themselves embroiled in a power struggle between ancient dark forces and the beating heart of the ship for the lives of the citizens onboard.

Reading the first book of The Drifting Lands, Skyfarer, is a must before reading The Dragon Road. You can only understand the significance of some objects or references if you have this prior knowledge. This isn’t an issue though because Skyfarer is also amazing and you can find my review for it here if you need convincing to buy a new book.

My version of Skyfarer had a sample of The Dragon Road at the back. I was so excited by it that when I had the chance to review The Dragon Road, I jumped on it and it doesn’t disappoint.

It picks up only a few months after the events of Skyfarer. The crew of the Elysium still forming with the arrival of the former black knight, now turned renegade, Elias Leblanc. The group dynamics were already in upheaval from Aimee joining the crew. Now they are even more fractured, especially as Elias is not popular, allowing for interesting alliances and partnerships during life or death situations.

It’s the characters that make this story. Whether its Elias struggling to reconcile his past with his future or tiptoeing around his new crewmates or Aimee negotiating the politics aboard the Iseult without her mentor, their decisions drive the plot forward. The setting of a city/spaceship with its different levels of affluence and beliefs makes for a vivid location and a rich variety of character with their own motivations. Brassey also makes great use of foreshadowing throughout. The events follow a logical procession so even when things are at their most chaotic, there is a precedence and a logic which carries you along.

If I had any criticism it would be that I didn’t have a teaser chapter from the next book at the end. We’re left in such a place of false security and acceptance that I’m dreading reading the next instalment while already searching the internet for its release date.

I loved The Dragon Road if you couldn’t tell, and it made me want to go back to Skyfarer and start all over again.