Books

Margaret Weis/David Baldwin: Dragon’s Disciple; Dark Heart

Author(s): Margaret Weis and David Baldwin
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: +-433
First book of Dragon’s Disciple series…Also the only book…

Justinian Sterling used to be a lord, long ago. Now Justin kills on a regular basis because his life is not his own. He is a disciple of the dragon, an ancient all powerful being who gave him immortality for his service.
Sandra McCormick is a detective in Chicago and she is dealing with a series of disturbing murders around Chicago. After a cop gets killed, there seems to be a pattern; the victims tend to have their heart ripped out. After seeing that crime-scene she can’t stop feeling like she’s being followed.
Both are drawn to each other, destined to meet, for they are the other’s saviour and downfall… but will the Dragon also agree with this?

So this time I’ll do the review a little bit different than I normally do, because I have to get this of my chest (also as a warning for you all): This book might be the first part of a series but it is the only part you’ll ever read.
Why is that? You might say. Well let me explain:
The first book was a mix of Margaret Weis (see dragons and all) and David Baldwin. But the second and third book were never finished because of David Baldwin’s death. So unfortunately this is the only book in the Dragon’s Disciple series. This leads to my next point:Because it was written to be a series there is too much unfinished at the end of this book… which caused me to feel a little… sad… at the very least.
Now why did I warn you for this? Because I was halfway through this book when I decided to search for the sequel and then I discovered that there was no sequel. Can you imagine how heartbroken I was?! Well at least I didn’t have my heart ripped out, so that’s a good thing I suppose, unlike some less fortunate characters in the book.

This book takes you to Chicago in the 21st century. There you’ll get to know Justin a little more in the first chapter, mostly his relationship with the dragon and his endless search in life; finding women who look like his late wife. I think there was a lot of character building in this book. There was tons of personal history about Justin and Sandra and that, I think, gave a very good impression to who they are as people. Now there was a slight catch to this one: even though there was a lot to know about the characters, there wasn’t a very good description about them. So you’ll get to know them pretty well but at the end of the book I still couldn’t picture them. All I knew was that Justin had long black hair and Sandra looked like his late wife and had curly hair. It pretty much ended there for the character description.
But the good thing was that there was a lot of detail in the rest of the story.
Something I liked a lot was the personal struggle of Justin throughout the book. He knows that he is in the power of the Dragon but he desperately wants to oppose him. Then in the end, it all gets clear because though he doesn’t want to do what the Dragon tells him to do, he does as he is commanded in the end anyway, so the Dragon always wins. But then comes the good part: Sandra opens his eyes for what the Dragon really is and saves him in a way of his fate to be the forever loyal disciple of his master.
What I also really liked was the fact that this story included modern superstition about good and evil and the like. It talks about a higher power that ‘helps’ mankind and that power will come back when man are ready for it. There is talk about a good and evil, not in a godlike way but about dragon’s of old. I really like the twist with the story about Adam and Eve, since it involves a dragon and such. This will all come back in the book so I won’t bother you with that any longer.
But even though I think there were plenty of positive points there were also some less positive ones. One concerning the description of the characters and the second being that after a while the whole Justin-has-issues-thing gets a little old and annoying. This because after about four times, you really do get that this person had a hard life and did some things he’s not proud of. That doesn’t mean that you wants to read another five thousand times about how horrible he feels and how much he loathes himself for all the terrible things he’s done.

In the end I do think that I liked this book, but there are too many loose strings at the end. There were lots of positive point, mostly about the background, character building and the way I think the writers wrote the story (yeey detail) but there were some negatives about the description of appearances and about the It’s-a-hard-life-thing.
I really think it sucks that there is no sequel to this book so again a warning: Don’t read this book of you want to finish the series.
So I liked this book but because there were some points which I would have liked to have been different I give this book 3.5 stars.

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