Mar 4, 2013

Book Review: The Last Dragonlord by Joanne Bertin

Book Cover: The Last Dragonlord by Joanne Bertin

The Last Dragonlord by Joanne Bertin

#1 in Dragonlord series

Genre: Fantasy

Format: Ebook, 509 pages
Published On: September 15, 1999 by Tor Books
Source: Purchased.

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I'm crazy about dragons since Lessa met Ramoth in Dragonflight. The Last Dragonlord kept teasing me for some time now for the very simple fact that it has dragons in tittle and on the book cover - so this was enough for me to give it a chance.

The Last Dragonlord is Joanne Bertin's debut novel from the 90s and it's written in old classic fantasy style before Martin & other writers made dark, bloody and gritty more popular. There is a mix of usual elements here that make a good fantasy novel: interesting imaginary world, corrupted royal court, dragon-shifters, blood-mages...

Over the Clouds by kerembeyit
Over the Clouds by kerembeyit [image source]

The Last Dragonlord follows a lot of characters and is told from multiple point of views, but we can say that the focus is on Linden Rathan. Linden is a Dragonlord, he can shift from human to dragon form (and vice versa of course). In fact, Linden is the last Dragonlord - after his Change no more potential Dragonlords were born. It's a bummer for multiple reasons:

  1. All other Dragonlords call him the "little one" - endearment for youngest in their group. Since Linden is the tallest and biggest among then and more than 600 years old, this is really annoying.
  2. Linden did not meet his soultwin yet - the female Dragonlord that is his mate, the other half of his soul, well his soultwin. She still needs to be born/changed and after so many years waiting, Linden has lost almost all hope that he will ever find true love.
  3. There are never enough dragons in any story IMHO.
Dragons by kerembeyit
More Dragons by kerembeyit [images source]

The plot of the novel revolves around court intrigues in Kindgom of Cassori where a regent needs to be chosen to rule until young prince grows up. Since Dragonlords are "ancient Givers of Law" Linden and two of his friends come to judge who has the most rights to assume this role. Although almost everyone in this novel is plotting something, there is little tension and The Last Dragonlord, although not exactly a boring read, is also not a page-turner. I think the problem is that Joanne Bertin covered all view-points so we always know what all sides are plotting.

The romance in the book is believe it or not a love triangle. We will have Sherrine, beautiful noble lady, and Maurynna, trade-ship captain, fighting for Linden's love attention. But don't expect much tension here, because Linden tell us immediately who he is going to pick, so the whole love-triangle business is more in the head of the rejected woman than it's really happening.

Dragonlord series covers by Joanne Bertin
Dragonlord series covers [images source]

As I said in the beginning, The Last Dragonlord is classic fantasy, so the characters are typical and there are no real surprises what is going to happen. You know the good guys will win and that bad guys will either repent or be punished and everyone will live happily ever after. But if you are dragon lover and you want to relax and take a break from modern dark and intense fantasy - The Last Dragonlord may be just what you are looking for.

My Rating: 3 out of 5

I recommend this book to fans of: classic fantasy, dragons, Wheel of Time (the writing style & characterisation was similar)...

Let's Talk:

Did you read The Last Dragonlord? Did you like it?

Which is your favorite mythical creature? High-five if you say dragon. ;)

Any other thoughts or comments?


  1. I've had the first book sitting on my shelf for what seems like forever - sounds like precisely what I expected, which means I need to make time for a read. :)

    1. I had this also for a long time on a waiting list. I hope you enjoy it. :)

  2. Interesting. I'm not familiar with this author at all. At first I was like YAY MUST READ, but then as you went on I decided I should stick with Anne McCaffrey for some nice, passionate romance and lots of dragons. :)

    1. Yeah, this series definitely fell short comparing to Anne McCaffrey's books.

  3. I'm crazy about dragons too!
    And two of my all time favorite series are about them
    -Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
    -Rain Wild Chronicles by Robin Hobb.

    If you ever come close to something like that ,please let me know :).

    Btw i loved your review,it helped me to deside not to read the series because it doesn't really sound like something i would enjoy to much.
    So,yeah..thx :)

    1. I still didn't read Rain Wild Chronicles but after reading Farseer Triology I can't wait. I will let you know if I find something like that, or if this series gets better after book #2. :)

  4. thx Dragana,i know i can always count on you :)


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