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It seemed like such a good idea at the time ... a wager with the devious, dangerous and probably quite deranged King Davkosh of the Southern Realms. Half the kingdom staked in a race between mystery contenders. Ten leagues, point to point as the –er– crow flies.
Drewdop the Illusionist is quick to point out the flaws in this plan and is tasked with a secret spy mission - to find out just what kind of invincible champion Davkosh has training at home.
Travelling in magical disguise causes unforeseen complications for Drewdop, while his half-ogre bodyguard, in the guise of a beautiful woman, certainly turns a few heads.
But Drewdop soon discovers that the great race is the least of their worries. Davkosh's glamorous, fiery and ruthless queen, Gunora, is massing an army ready for attack whatever the outcome.
Meanwhile, deep in the dark forest, one of Davkosh's elite royal messengers is facing his own perilous destiny - how to become the world's first and only surviving dragon rider...
Look at that cover! Who can pass by such a magnificent looking dragon without being just a little curious? I've read some bad fantasy recently though so I was leery. Boy was I surprised, this book is awesome!
Both the writing and the story progression are smooth. The story is fairly fast paced. I can't tell how many pages it is...I haven't figured out how to do that on the Kindle yet. It's not a short novel, but reads easily in a few days. It is occasionally silly, and sometimes deadly serious.
I loved the name Drewdop...I still call him Dew Drop in my head. He's a magician, set up to look like a cliche wizard but the only magic he can do are illusions. It comes in handy, but there are more than a few occasions where he is frustrated by his lack of magic. He is, however, smart...at least more intelligent than the king. King Credos, while being a bit naive, is a nice person and treats his subjects well. His kingdom is doing well and is full of happy people.
King Davkosh and his wife Gunara are really not any more intelligent than King Credos, but meaner than a crabby rattlesnake. They regularly feed people to their alligators - especially if they need an influx of cash. Queen Gunara also thinks she is invulnerable.
Urkhart, the half-ogre was my favorite character. He was really a sweetheart, but people shunned him because he looked mostly like the ogre half. His ogre half did come to the front when he was in the heat of battle, though!
This is honestly the best piece of fantasy fiction I've picked up in a long time. And K.D. Berry is a penname for a husband and wife team from New Zealand. Oh and the best bit of news, looks like there could be another one for these characters. At least the ending gave a strong hint. Yeah!