March 26, 2016

Joust by Mercedes Lackey

Title:  Joust
Author:  Mercedes Lackey
Pages:  373
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  DAW, 2003
Series:  The Dragon Jousters, Book 1

Synopsis:  For the first time ever, national best-selling legend Mercedes Lackey draws from her extensive knowledge of animals - and her professional background as an avian expert - to create something truly special... The most exciting, authentic and believable portrayal of dragons ever imagined.  It is a richly conceived, fully realized vision, inspired by the culture of ancient Egypt, the legends of Atlantis - and the science of animal behavior and biology.  This is how dragons would live, breed, hatch, hunt, and bond.  The first book in this thrilling new series introduces readers to a young slave who dreams of becoming a Jouster - one of the few warriors who can actually ride a flying dragon. And so, in secret, he begins to raise his own dragon.

Review:  Dragons!  This book has dragons!  It's also a great story.  Vetch, whose true name is Kiron, is a serf.  He is Altan and a prisoner of war.  He will never be freed by his Tian masters because he is considered an enemy....even though he was just a child when taken.  He is lower than a slave and has no rights.

He is saved from a life of torture and drudgery by Ari, a Jouster.  He begins working with and loving the dragons.....and decides to get one of his own.  He wants to escape his life of servitude and be free.

This is honestly a great book.  The detailed descriptions of the dragons, the countryside, and the people are incredible.  The story is touching and believable.  The civilization is superstitious, fanatical, and unfair in many respects, but it still completely drew me in.  I've already gotten the second book off my shelf and can't wait to start it tomorrow.

Rating:  9.5 / 10

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