Dog and Dragon
by Dave Freer
Series: Dragon’s Ring by Dave Freer
Its been a while since I’ve delved into a lot of science fiction and fantasy, but as I learn more about ebooks I might read more contemporary science fiction. I obtained this novel as part of the Monthly Baen Bundle for April 2013.
“Dog and Dragon” is a sequel to “Dragon’s Ring” which I have not read. There are elements to it which I presume are related to the series. There are two themes to the story, first is the tail of the dog’s, [and dragon’s] search for its mistress [and apprentice] The second theme is the story of said mistress and magician’s apprentice. She appears suddenly in an unfamiliar place. It soon becomes apparent to everyone but her that this is a place where she belongs. This is the interesting part of the novel as she heals the land from it’s strife.
The heroine of the story is Meb, an apprentice magician, with an uncanny ability to make friends. Additional protagonists are the loyal sheepdog, Dileas, who guides the search for Meb through planes/dimensions/worlds. He is accompanied by Fionn, a dragon and magician who also has a shape changing ability.
The antagonists, are minor characters. Prince Medraut, is kingdom’s regent, threatened by Meb. Aberinn, the court magician, who is conspiring to place his son on the thrown. And the Shadow Queen, who is coordinating attacks on the kingdom.
The author explores the magical relationship between a king (royalty?) and his kingdom land, that I have not seen since “Once and Future King” or the movie “Excalibur”. I think the ideas extend back through the early middle ages to ancient fertility rite of Germanic tribes, as well an some of the sacrificial customs of the Druids. See “Life and Death of a Druid Prince”, Anne Ross (1991).
I enjoyed this book, and will be looking for the first book in the series.
© David B Snyder 2013