The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King by Michael R Miller. Book review

The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King by Michael R Miller, Acorn Independent Press/I Am Self Publishing, p/b £10.99, Kindle £3.29

Review by Rex Sumner

Interesting book.  It is actually a fun story and quite readable, but the author overreaches himself.  He is a competent and enjoyable story teller, handling his characters quite well and with a mastery of dialogue.
He constructs an impressively large world with three ‘good’ races and two bad, plus one later race which appears bad at first.  He also has one race which is both.  There is climate, history, a distinct way of creating magic and some trades.  Only one of the races appears to have religion, but that is covered well as he shows the devotions rather than telling us all about it.  He has a strong, masterful storyline of ancestral princes and princesses, required to defeat evil, hidden in unlikely places, love between races and emotional turmoil.
It is testament to his writing that once you get into the story, you will read it to the conclusion despite several massive flaws.  I suggest that you read the story and ignore these, then you can simply enjoy it.
The first flaw is scene setting, as the author takes the first ten percent of the book to give the history of the world and present his characters, which he does in a clumsy mixture of dialogue and telling rather than showing.  Please plough through this as the writing improves immeasurably once he comes to the ‘present’ day.  I actually think the book would be improved by replacing this prologue with a couple of paragraphs!
Related to this flaw, are some structural errors, where a principal character introduced in the prologue is presumed to have done something he cannot have done in the main narrative involving hiding memories in a jewel to which he had no access.  While annoying, the good news is this does not interfere with your enjoyment of the story.
The races are not distinct.  They may be called dragons, humans and faeries, but they speak a common tongue, there is no language issues and are all basically men with similar traits, not as disparate as French and English.  At the same time, commerce, trades, customs are not revealed – which doesn’t really matter to the thrust of the book.  There is a map, which would be more usefully deployed at the beginning rather than the end, and on the Kindle version I was unable to read it but it looks interesting and I regret not being able to see it.  Would have improved understanding of the book.  The main thrust of the book is warfare, which is unfortunate as the author has little understanding of strategy, combat or chains of command.
I am not too bothered by spelling mistakes, which is useful as there are a number, including the author’s name in my edition.  The book does not appear to have received heavy criticism from the beta readers, a shame as it is simple to repair most of the flaws.
Despite all these issues, the book is quite compelling and enjoyable, so I do hope people wade through that prologue!   The author has excellent imagination and creates a believable background for the magic.  He builds emotion and creates angst in characters, especially when easily solved yet they don’t which is typical of real life. I am not sure how much emotion the reader will place in the main character, who is not particularly likeable, but there are other characters whom the reader can support.
Main characters die, there is mystery, some of which is answered in this book and some must wait further events, so you do want to know what happens next which is always the mark of a good book.