Short Story Corner: Where Dragons Lie & The Dragonslayer’s Daughter by Thomas Robins

Short Story Title: Where Dragons Lie – Dragons of Edgewick, Book 1

Author: Thomas Robins

Publication Date: February 27, 2015

Available on: Amazon as an eBook and as a paperback

Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Told from the first person perspective, our unnamed protagonist grows up in fear of dragons along with his entire village until a hero arrives, proclaiming himself a dragonslayer. Sir Durst demands a high price for his skills in return for riches and the local lord’s daughter in marriage. Balking at this ridiculous offer, the lord eventually acquiesces for the sake of his village and Durst comes back victorious from his battle, settling in the village proper, buying the local pub.

As our protagonist grows older, Durst’s daughter tr-whereAthelina, a highly desirable woman becomes the focus of his affections. But to win her hand in marriage, Durst proclaims any suitor must first kill a dragon. Filled with dreams of glory and riches, he pledges to do this, not recognizing at first how in over his head he is.

As he travels the country in his quest to find a dragon, he begins his training and learns much on his journey. What he eventually finds is more than he ever could have imagined as he tries to fulfill his oath. The compelling and captivating story here contains quite a few unexpected surprises as the young man transforms into a savvy, knowledgeable and skilled adult, while vividly bringing this medieval land to life.

tr-siloIt also proves to be a fascinating character study as our hero’s emotions slowly undergo a metamorphosis as his journey grows ever longer, affecting his motivations and subtly threatening to consume his sense of self. This style of writing channels the characters innermost thoughts very well and is one of the author’s greatest strengths, imbuing this tale with energy and imagination in the process.

This hero’s journey was quite enjoyable and eye-opening as it raised provocative questions as to what a hero is and what one must sacrifice in order to achieve their goals. Despite the fact this is the author’s first foray into the fantasy genre, you would never notice it, as it’s a sure and confident hand that guides this story from a smooth start to a very appropriate and clever conclusion. Overall, this story was a great pleasure to read and proved to be a satisfying journey well worth the time to travel!

If you found this review to be helpful to you, please click here to go to the review on Amazon. Then navigate to the bottom of this review and click on the “helpful” button.

Short Story Title: The Dragonslayer’s Daughter – Dragons of Edgewick, Book 2

Author: Thomas Robins

Publication Date: July 19, 2015

Available on: Amazon as an eBook and as a paperback

Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

In ancient times, Sir Durst is the dragonslayer who has killed many dragons and used his rewards to buy the town tavern, eventually starting a family. Athelina is his daughter and her story begins as a young girl, watching the indignities her mother has to endure at the hands of her domineering father. Not to mention the price gouging the bar patrons have to suffer from due to his greed.

Over time, he teaches her the hard ways of the tr-dragonslayerworld and how to survive it, based on his own corrupt point of view. Never allowed to leave the bar, we observe how his teachings are the byproduct of far more calculating nature and how he’s truly bereft of morals. However, he is hiding dark secrets of his own. Will those secrets come to light and become exposed? And will Athelina be able to escape from her father’s ironclad control and transcend her upbringing to become something more?

The answers to both of those questions will surprise you and keep you glued to the page as you read through the story. In particular, the psychological portrait of both Durst and Athelina is truly fascinating, as Durst’s motivations are always at the forefront of his actions. You watch how Durst’s cruelty manifests, not in anger but in more torturous ways towards his daughter as his secrets corrupt him.

Athelina is someone yearning to be free from the prison her father has slowly constructed for her. Trapped under her father’s influence, the reader witnesses how, one act at a time, her gentle soul slowly hardens into something darker, with her self-identity severely repressed by the process.

desperateWith a powerful ending and strong, well-thought out characters, this riveting and thoughtful short story moves in surprising directions as you watch the personal stakes climb for Athelina as she matures and hope she can attain what she wants the most.

This is an excellent and compelling companion piece to Where Dragons Lie (Dragons of Edgewick Book 1). You don’t have to have read that to read this one, as it stands on its own independently. However, you will want to read them in order. If you do, you will see how the events in first story parallel this one, intersecting in intriguing ways and complementing one another.

You won’t be rewarded with coin, the currency of the realm, if you do this but you will see how both stories are woven together to create a larger tapestry that is both engaging and really exciting for the reader.

If you found this review to be helpful to you, please click here to go to the review on Amazon. Then navigate to the bottom of this review and click on the “helpful” button.

Previous Indie Athenaeum book reviews about stories by Thomas Robins include “Desperate to Escape – The Complete Novel.”

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