Monday, January 13, 2014

Book Review: The Golden Cord by Paul Genesse

**Quick Announcement: On Wednesday and Thursday of this week Quantum Entanglement, book 2 of Interchron, will be FREE on Amazon. I'll announce it again on Wed, but just wanted everyone a heads-up.**

The Golden Cord is one of those books that has been on my kindle forever--uh, well, since last spring, anyway--and I finally got around to reading it. I was super excited to read this because it's about dragons and I'm currently writing about dragons. I'm always a bit spooked about reading other authors who are writing in similar veins as I do, because I don't want to be too influenced by them while I'm writing my story. But... the first draft of Dragon Magic is written--I'm just beginning the editing phase--so I'm interested to branch out and see how other authors are handling the dragon subject matter.

Plot: The Golden Cord follows Drake Bloodstone, a man from a small village who, as a teenager witnessed the tragic death of his best friend. In a world where humans and dwarfs are ancient enemies, and killer dragons roam the skies, Drake becomes an object of hatred and ridicule when two dwarf-kind show up at his village, and he offers them his protection. They are on some kind of journey to seek their lost kin in a mine not far from Drake's village, but they're also obviously hiding things about what their journey is truly about, and Drake soon gets himself in over his head.

Writing: I didn't have any major issues with the writing. There weren't many typos or grammatical issues. Still, for some reason, the writing seemed a bit sprawling to me. For some reason, I had a really hard time getting into the story. I don't know why. The characters and plot were both good. I think perhaps it was a bit over-written. If it would have been more condensed, it would have been easier to follow. Of course, that was just me. Once they actually all set out on their quest--this was definitely a quest-type story--things began moving along at a better cadence. And I'll admit that, once I got to the end, I did want to pick up book 2 to see where the story went from there.

Mythology: As stated in the plot blurb, this has both dwarves and dragons in it. There were no mentions of elves in the first book, but even so, it was very reminiscent of Tolkien. I didn't have a major problem with this, as the dwarf/Mines of Moria story line is one of my favorite aspects of LOTR. Genesse does different things plot-wise with it than Tolkien did, of course, but even so it didn't strike me as terribly original. If this is something that would bug you, you probably wouldn't enjoy The Golden Cord. If you're a big fan of this kind of thing, then would probably highly enjoy it.

The other thing I was a bit disappointed about was how little there actually was of the dragon. Other than in an abstract way, there was absolutely no mention of dragons until at least 2/3 of the way through the book. There were other creatures--griffins and the like--but no dragons. Part of the reason for that is that the Dwarfs had to keep their true motives secret, but even so, I felt like I was wading through many pages, waiting for mention of the dragon that graces the cover.

I actually got to speak with this author very briefly at an LUW conference (the reason I bought his book) and I asked him if he did any scenes from the dragon's POV, which he said he did. Now, don't get me wrong, the scenes from the dragon's POV were really interesting and well-written. I just wish there had been more of them.

Overall: I had a hard time getting into the book and thought portions of it were quite slow. But, I probably will pick up book 2 and continue the story. It's just not something I'm jumping to do right away.

Has anyone else read The Golden Cord?

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