ARC received from NetGalley
First thing, let’s talk about the cover. Beautiful, amazing, intriguing. The cover drew me to this book. I love it. Pure fantasy.
Now let’s talk about the book. I have a hard time connecting with books that have an epic war at the forefront of the storyline without knowing some background information. This is where I would have appreciated a LOTR worthy prologue. The literary world says prologues are dead, but I think this book deserves one, especially since Of Bone and thunder is hailed as a LOTR-esque read. From a LOTR reader, what do I see that this book has in common with LOTR? Dwarves and Dragons and the hint of an epic battle. Except, I don’t care much for the battle, since, as a reader, I have not been introduced to the danger of the Slyt’s, as I have been to the evil of Sauron. I can understand why the soldiers didn’t understand their mission, because neither did I.
Of Bone and Thunder is told from multiple points of view. We see through the eyes of the enlisted men at the forefront of the battlefield, a man on the ground who just might be a secret weapon in winning this war, and the eye-in-the-sky dragon riders. There is war, deception, drug use, the mistrust of new technologies, the role of women on the battlefield, and they are all artfully intertwined.
What did I love? The scenery and the mixing of magic, dragons, weaponry that deserve a fantasy novel of their own. Our most captivating characters, Jawn, a trained Thaum (think mind magician with electricity) and trained military officer in the Kingdom’s army, as well as Vorly and Breeze with their dragons are the plot points that kept me reading. Not only were these characters the most captivating, but the scenes were well written and imaginative. I think I did fly on a dragon while reading this, and I did that crazy mind-meld thing that Breeze and Vorly did using the crystals. But what we were given wasn’t enough for me. Deep in my heart, I wanted more dragons, More magic of the Thaum, More Jawn, more Vorly and Breeze and Carduus. We are only given hints at the strongest characters and most interesting storylines, and then they are heavily coated in jungle sweat and frontline banter and combat. I really wanted to connect with the front line military men, but since (yes, I know I’m beating a dead horse here) I have no way to connect with this war, they were simply a lot of static in the storyline. That being said, Of Bone and Thunder is still a great read.
Does Evans combine the best of fantasy and military fiction? Yes. Is it for me? Some of it is. I think my problem is that I just prefer more fantasy and less military fiction
If you’re more into military fiction than you are into fantasy, this is a good read for you. If you’re fond of fantasy, but not a fan of military fiction, consider moving on.