[BOOKS] ✸ Children of the Dragon By Frank S. Robinson – Transportjobsite.co.uk

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10 thoughts on “Children of the Dragon

  1. says:

    This is a rarity in my part of the States. I've searched for many years all over the SE and never seen a single copy in the flesh. My friend, Stan, recently posted on GR that this title had been released as an e-book. I now had the accessibility that I wanted, but I really don't like reading e-books. I find it's too hard to give up physical print. There is an undefinable joy of having and reading a physical book that I don't get from an e-book. My reluctance to buy the e-book paid off though. GR had a giveaway recently and I was one of the lucky winners...

    I like the art for both the original print and the e-book rerelease. Cannot choose a favorite.

    The first 20% of the book made it hard to continue. Some vile things happen including mutilation, torture, rape, incest, and murder. While not descriptive, it may turn some away because of the subject matter. But be assured that once past about the 20% mark you won't have to read anything like that again. These awful things occur for a couple of reasons. Some of it cements the mindset of the Emperor and makes it unequivocally clear that to him Everything is Nothing. The rest is used to break our protagonist and is part of his torture at the hands of the Emperor's lackeys.

    “The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.” ― Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes.

    Conrad says it best. No matter who is in power they abuse it. They allow their prejudices to color their policies. Man treats man worse than any Devil ever could.

    Jehan begins his revolution with selfish reasons, although his perception changes and he really wants to free his people and see them prosper. Only to see his progress retarded by those he put trust in.

    There is much that can be read into and taken from Children of the Dragon. I'm not the one to point it all out, but it's there. Jehan goes through several changes throughout his story until his ultimate fate. His perception is changed, and he learns things that he wished he knew as a young man so that he could have acted upon situations differently.

    So on the surface Children of the Dragon is a heroic fantasy story with brutality and war throughout. But it is so much more than that.


  2. says:

    I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

    A bandit chief is captured. The emperor, wishing to foil a prophecy orders him tortured every day. The bandit eventually escapes, and starts a revolution.

    The book has a large scale plot and small scale plots, much like a war movie or a disaster movie. Unfortunately, the large scale parts are told, not shown, and are really pretty dry. The individual stories are a little better.

  3. says:

    I was recommended this book by my friend Daniel as a cross between Conan the Barbarian and class struggle. "something I definitely think you will like." After having just finished it I have many conflicting thoughts.

    First of all, he wasn't wrong. The book tells the story of captured brigand who ends up leading the anti-imperialist resistance against the foreign occupation by an all powerful god-emperor and his bureaucrats. Not shying away from intense violence and structural critiques, this book includes torture, repression, sexual violence, bloodthirsty retaliation, starvation, land expropriation, and other themes that would be very present in any Fanon text.

    "As in Taroloweh, the Ksavra Land Decree was enforced against the barons and their stranglehold upon agriculture was smashed. Some of them yielded without bloodshed, others barricaded themselves in their manor houses and fought to the death. But all of them were drowned in the surging peasant tide.

    Through the towns and villages too, Jehan carried the relentless war of liberation. Here it was the merchants and the officials, and of course the priests who were the target of enflamed mobs. Temples would be set ablaze and the priests brutally slaughtered.

    Red and black with fire and smoke was the sky above Nitupsar...."

    While being hyper critical of structural violence of occupation and authoritarianism, it remains cynical of the short term effects of revolutionary activity and the dislocation it can cause.

    I also feel that the books handling of gender was pretty bad. While its class politics were ok, the women in the book were often depicted as manipulative if not outright crazy. (with one major exception). Instead, they were shown as the eternal victims, seldom empowered and not particularly focused on. There were also uncomfortable scenes of sexual violence which occur throughout the book as a way of demonizing the bad guys and also committed as revenge by resisting peasants on their conquerors... and they were hard to read.

    If you like gritty depressing stories like Blood Meridian.. or want a conan the barbarian story mixed with class struggle. Then Read it. I still haven't made up my mind on how I feel about it.

  4. says:

    Jehan, a barbaric brigand of the worst sort escapes his own execution by killing the executioner. To punish him, the Emperor confines him to the dungeons to be fed only human meat forever after. Thus, Jehan becomes known as the “Man-Eater” and builds a formidable hate against his oppressors. Eventually he escapes. builds an army based on his reputation and rises to great power and responsibility. How he proceeds from there is the core of this book but alas, you’ll have to read it to find out how he fares in his leadership role.

    This is a difficult book to rate. From the cover art and the brief description on the back, I was expecting a rather typical fantasy story along the lines of Conan the Barbarian. But really, the fantasy elements are limited to a mythical dragon religion and a prophecy of sorts. No magic and certainly no elves, dwarves, or other assorted tropes. Instead, this is an epic tale of power and the cycle of tyrants, oppression, and class politics. The main character, Jehan goes through a number of changes, from barbarian soldier to emperor, but his greatest changes are in in how he views the best way to govern and achieve the greatest good for the most people. But he, himself is a gray character, neither good nor bad but rather a combination of both.

    I must warn you. The first 15-20 percent of this book is not for the faint of heart. The brutality is off the charts and includes scenes of bloody deaths, gang rape, forced incest, and other atrocities. Much more horror than fantasy. I almost quit at that point and was ready to give this a single star or a DNF at the very least. But I had a commitment, so I stuck to it and am very glad I did. That first part proved necessary to Jehan’s character and motivation; nothing less would have prepared him for his epic journey through the rest of the book. There are still plenty of dark sequences and plot points but there are also some amazingly uplifting and satisfying scenes as well. The surface level plot of war and power is balanced with the continuous cycle of class warfare: the oppressed vs. their oppressors.

    The author is not known for writing fantasy but he isn’t shy about using Conan and Spartacus type characters to lay out a philosophy critical of that continuous cycle of violence and geographical occupation and authoritarianism. But he also demonstrates how rising up against such oppressive rule via revolution isn’t always the answer. No matter the best intentions of leaders, things can deteriorate quickly and fall apart, leading once again to the oppressed rising yet again to make things better.

    I don’t mean to make this sound like it’s a book on governmental or revolutionary movements. It certainly has those themes but this is a book packed with intriguing characters that face momentous choices. Sometimes it felt more like I was reading straight historical fiction rather than “fantasy” as if this all could have actually taken place in our own 900 – 1100 AD history.

    Despite that first section, I’m now happy that I read this one. Thank you to Capricorn Literary publishing for reprinting this book and providing a free reading copy for review and to add to my library. I think it’s an important addition to the contemporary literary landscape, whether it’s classified as fantasy or horror. And the quality of the book itself and the cover art is outstanding.

  5. says:

    I won the kindle edition of this book in a Goodreads giveaway and cannot wait to read it!

  6. says:

    I won this book as a goodreads giveaway. Very dark. War, rape, incest, death, betrayal, torture, repeat. Not my preferred reading.

  7. says:

    Definition of epic tale

    Robinson writes an epic tale sweeping over a vivid landscape . Descriptions of torture and battle are extensive and in your face. Character development is flowing and realistic. The details of empire building are expansive and pointed. This saga could have taken place almost anywhere on our planet. Wonderful flowing story with almost too many gory details, but certainly worth the read!

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