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Book Review: Dragon Champion by E. E. Knight

Author: E. E. Knight (also author of the Vampire Earth saga)
Pub. Date: December 2005
Series: Age of Fire Series, #1
Format: Trade Paperback, 384pp
Publisher: ROC Trade

E. E. Knight has written an Eragon � esque novel that far surpasses that over lauded work. A story about dragons, Dragon Champion takes an unusual tact in writing a character driven plot line from the point of view of the dragon.

The story is about a young, rare, gray dragon named Auron, separated from his parents, who is then captured. Through ingenuity and the kindness of a stranger, he is freed only to find that both his parents are dead and the other races of the world are seeking his destruction, especially the race of man.

Auron learns of dragon who knows the weakness of his race, a weakness that is slowly destroying them. He resolves to seek the dragon out and learn how he may find proof against his own destruction.

As a character driven plot, the entirety of the story is told from the perspective of Auron and his trials, tribulations, and strength of character move the story along. Auron travels widely about the inland sea and beyond overcoming many dangers.

The story compares with Eragon in that it is about character change, dragons, and travels. But there the comparison ends. Dragon Champion is a novel that does not fall into that well overdone plot line, but instead moves forward into its very own. Although some elements remain the same, E. E. Knight has done an excellent job in reviving and adding to a tired plot.

The novel does fail in some respects, particularly of an editorial variety. The editors have failed the author greatly and there are many grammatical and spelling mistakes. Know instead of no, using which instead of that, and other simple grammatical mistakes easily rectified with but a little more attention.

The plot does meander, and while better than others of its ilk, it still fails in some respects. A reader will wonder, at about the midpoint of the book, where Knight is going with the plot. That does not mean that action is lacking, only that a reader will be unsure what the point or goal of Auron�s life is. Knight seems to find the ultimate goal of the story in the final quarter of the book. Still, it does come full circle from the beginning, and has few plot holes in the process. One hole in particular that was constantly perplexing was the re-growth of Auron�s tail after it is cut off. It is gone, but then re-grows, and then the next chapter is gone again, with no explanation given.

Knight also lacks some ability in setting description. While his world is semi-complete, there are times where the reader will be unable to tell his right hand from his left, not Auron�s north to south.

But for all its faults, Dragon Champion is a novel that takes a different tact from others of its type is innovative in its plot twists, and takes the underdog gray dragon from the depths of loss to the height of success. It is fascinating to watch the plot develop, and the reader will not be disappointed, should he take this book up, whether on a whim or a dare.

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