For my money, one of the best epic fantasy books to come out in the last few years is Evan Winter’s The Rage of Dragons. The book was originally self-published, but it wasn’t long before Orbit picked it up, and it’s easy to see why. The Rage of Dragons is sharply observed, full of rich characters, and is paced like it’s late for the theater. I mean, this thing moves. I love A Song of Ice and Fire and everything, but it’s refreshing to read a fantasy book with a plot that moves along so briskly, all without sacrificing the detail important to building any fantasy world. It’s truly a page-turner.
I also love that The Rage of Dragons takes fantasy lovers somewhere different from where we’re used to. From The Lord of the Rings on, a ton of epic fantasy has a heavy medieval English influence, which is great; who doesn’t like knights and castles and stuff? But again, it’s refreshing to get a change of pace. The Rage of Dragons is set in a world inspired by African history and folklore, which opens the door to all kinds of fascinating influences and reference points largely unexplored by traditional epic fantasy stories. The whole thing feels very fresh and exciting.
Anyway, the follow-up to The Rage of Dragons, The Fires of Vengeance, comes out on November 10. And now, Evan Winter has revealed that he’s signed a deal with Orbit to produce two more books after that “to complete the series,” which is called The Burning.
Considering how strong the first book is, this is terrific news!
Without giving too much away, the first book follows Tau, a young man who’s relatively low on the rigid class hierarchy that defines his society. He is part of the Chosen, a people who defend their fertile land from eastern invaders with discipline, rigor, and the ability of a select few to call on the help of dragons, or “Guardians” as the Chosen call them.
Tau goes through quite a lot in the first book — like I said, the plot zips along at a near-dizzying pace, at least compared to the epic fantasy I’m used to — and I’m teed up to find out what happens next. If you’re looking for something new to read, I high recommend this.
Next: Read these 15 epic fantasy series about dragons
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