Monday, 13 July 2015

Drachengott: Earth by KJ Taylor

Drachengott: Earth by KJ Taylor is the second book in the Drachengott series. It follows on from the first book in the series, Wind, which I have already reviewed. This sequel follows on from the events in the first book but does so by focussing on a different protagonist. The book almost stands alone, but I think the overarching plot would be completely lost without reading the earlier book, as would some of the complexity of the world Taylor has created.

Elynor von Augenstein is a Junger - a faithful worshipper of the mysterious Drachengott, with a faithful dragon servant of her own. But Elynor has secrets, and soon they will take everything from her.

A fugitive with no place to turn, Elynor sees only death in her future - but then a mysterious and beautiful woman comes into her life. A woman who is more than she seems to be, with secrets of her own - a woman who calls herself a friend to the famous Rutger Dragonsbane, and an enemy to the Drachengott himself ...

In Wind, the previous book, the instigating character leads and actively teaches Rutger for most of the story. In Earth, the instigating character more or less pushes Elynor in the right direction and leaves her to do the rest on her own. Elynor starts off as a Jünger, a magic user and follower of the Drachengott, but when she's condemned for not sticking to the whole Jünger celibacy thing, she starts to make her own way. She's also a shapeshifter, and, quite frankly, doesn't need anyone else to teach her how to do magic. Well, apart from one spell which she covets, but explaining that would be a spoiler. My point is, Elynor is a very independent and capable character from the start.

Unfortunately, that means she doesn't get to grow and evolve quite as much as a character/person throughout the story. The focus is not so much on her learning who she is (although there is an element of her working out what she believes in) but her having a goal and working towards it. In some ways that makes her feel a little underdeveloped, but I do think it makes sense given her role in the overarching story. I did feel this most keenly when [spoiler redacted] and she just goes along with it. There was a reasonable explanation, but I would have liked to have seen it explored more. (Apologies for cryptic end to paragraph there.)

Like the prequel, Earth is a quick read, telling one quarter of a larger, more epic story. I enjoyed it, with my favourite bits the random appearances of a certain character readers will recognise if they've read Wind. That more than anything, I think, served to remind me that what I was reading was a piece of a bigger picture and not quite an entire story by itself. (When it's complete I would kind of like to see this series printed in a single volume. It would feel... neat.)

I recommend Earth to readers who enjoyed Wind and want to read more of the world. If you liked Wind but didn't, for example, like the characters, then I would still recommend giving Earth a shot. On the other hand, if you want a long complex read with many layers to the characterisation etc, this is not the series for you. Go read KJ Taylor's griffin books instead. Dracchengott is very much characterised by brief and fun reads.

4 / 5 stars

First published: June 2015, Harper Collins
Series: Drachengott, book 2 of 4
Format read: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou again for the review! I very much enjoyed writing Elynor's encounter with [character from Wind] - it was neat seeing him from someone else's point of view, and finding out how much he'd changed. And I can assure you that you'll be seeing both of them in the next book!

    (I'd love to see all four books printed as a single volume too. Dare to dream...)

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