So this is another one of those Kindle Unlimited books I decided to give a try. Another self-published fantasy novel. While the first one I read was pretty disappointing, Cardoso’s book was much better. It still had its hiccups, but over all, it restored some of my faith that it is indeed possible to self-publish a decent book!
The Dragon Hunter And The Mage took me a long time to finish. Longer than most fantasy books, anyway. Part of that was I started reading during the holiday season and with travel and family time, I didn’t have much free time for reading. Part of that was this book was a little on the long side, which is common for the first book in a series as you have to introduce people and places and histories. But a big part of this book taking me so long to finish was that I never felt completely dragged into the story.
First, let me say that this is a good fantasy story. It’s rather charming to watch two kid brothers develop into men with their own separate purposes and it was rather refreshing that this first book didn’t really have a love story (I usually enjoy those but it would have felt weird in this book so I’m glad Cardoso didn’t force one prematurely). But this story is one I feel like I’ve heard before.
I won’t spoil anything this time though, I promise. But suffice it to say, I am a HUGE fan of Bioware’s Dragon Age series and all the DLC extra’s that come with it and there were large chunks of this story where I stopped and said, “Hey, this feels a lot like Dragon Age 2… Wait, this feels like Dragon Age Inquisition and its Jaws of Hakon DLC.” Now, this book was published in May of 2016 so while it IS possible that some inspiration from Dragon Age 2 crept into the series, I don’t know for sure. It may very well not have, but I noticed the similarities and because of that, this book never became a page turner for me.
The only other aspect that took me out of the story at times was the modern language. Cardoso goes through the trouble of creating this rather unique world with interesting twists and turns within a setting that feels rather medieval. I mean, it has to when you have evil emperors, prince’s running through castles, paladins, mages, and knights hunting dragons. So using modern clichés and sayings takes me out of that world and plants me back in reality, which I don’t want. Hopefully, with the next book in this series, Cardoso changes that but I’m doubtful because it is self-published. Usually edits like that come from an editor pointing them out so unless Cardoso hired one, I’m expecting the same issue throughout the series.
All in all, this is a decent fantasy story and I’m glad I read it. This is an author who respects his readers enough to put the time in to producing the best story they can and editing and refining to put it in the best shape they can before publishing, and I appreciate that. Maybe if I had read this during a less hectic time I could have gotten into the book more but I don’t know. Regardless, I’ll read the next book in the series and see how it goes, Cardoso did capture my attention enough to pique my interest as to what happens next! But because of my inability to really get immersed in this story, feel like it was truly unique, and the modern terminology, I’m giving it a solid 3 out of 5 stars.