cover image The Summer Dragon

The Summer Dragon

Todd Lockwood. DAW, $26 (400p) ISBN 978-0-7564-0833-6

Illustrator Lockwood marks his debut as a novelist with this winning epic fantasy trilogy opener. Maia is the youngest daughter of a proud dragon-breeding family and hopes to claim a young dragon of her own to raise soon. But her life is thrown into disarray the day she and her brother see Getig, the Summer Dragon. The omen sends Maia on a journey to save her village and country from the malevolent Harodhi, invaders from a faraway land whose hideous necromantic experiments threaten everything Maia loves. But the knowledge she uncovers about the past of her militantly religious homeland of Gurvaan may send the nation into war with itself. Maia’s adventures are plotted and paced with impressive skill. Lockwood is as talented at describing the thrill of riding a dragon as he is at illustrating the spectacle (which he does for the book’s 21 interior illustrations and beautiful cover). The tone of his dialogue can be jarringly uneven in sections, but vivid imagery and a cast of rich, diverse characters combine to make Lockwood’s first full-length outing a rousing success. (May)