As a writer, you’re supposed to read. I keep hearing that it’s one of the best ways to become a better writer. There’s almost definitely truth in this. I believe in it.

Even then, I don’t read very much. I read slowly, and I don’t often take the time to do it. I’ve got excuses. As far as excuses go, they’re not very good, and I really could be reading a lot more. I like the idea of it, and once I sit (or lie) down to read, I usually enjoy it. I just don’t get around to it because other things keep getting in the way – like writing my own stupid stories.

That said, I’m slowly getting back into it, and I’ve read a few books recently that I’d like to talk about.

First up is Dragon’s Trail, by Joseph Malik. It’s billed as a fantasy technothriller, and I’d say that’s accurate. It’s meticulously detailed as far as a lot of the practicalities of armed combat in a fantasy world is concerned. Swords and armour. Travel. Stuff like that.

If you’ve got an interest in those things, or even just in fantasy in general, you’ll probably enjoy this book.

It should also be mentioned that this is an independently published book. I’m bringing this up as a positive thing, as there is nothing in the production that sets it apart from an traditionally published book I’ve read.

What about the plot/story?

It’s a portal fantasy. Our protagonist – a world-class swordsman fallen from grace – is transported from present-day earth to a fantasy world, where he’s asked to assist with the defence of the realm. Then there are complications.

After all, there wouldn’t be a need for our main character to help with the defence if there wasn’t a reason to defend. There’s action, witty banter, haunting memories of a dark past to detach from, and quite a bit of ass-kicking.

It’s nothing new, and it doesn’t have to be.

What’s new and interesting is the time and effort put into the technothriller aspect of the story. I’ve not come across anything like it, and I quite enjoyed it.

Final Verdict

Will I read the next part?

Yes, I will, but…

…I will not put away the book I’m currently reading. However, I will probably bump it to the top of the reading list.

The story is well written and entertaining, and while it’s not perfect, I’m happy to give it my time, and I look forward to seeing what’s next.

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