The Wulver’s Library‘s Review of The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter
The Rage of Dragons, a debut fantasy world inspired by Africa, is Evan Winter’s impressive success of storytelling and setting. It is a tale of love, determination and war. We start with a prologue that provides essential information in a thrusting action sequence that establishes a foothold for the entire story. Winter’s crosses oceans, wresting control of land and reveals fantastical elements of setting that slip into the backdrop for much of the book.
From here, we pick up centuries later with Tau, one of the Omehi people, who fight the locals for their hold over a peninsula. This conflict ranges from full scale combat to small raids. Tau seeks a martial path to greatness with an ambition be Ihashe, a military fighter; a member of the lower caste in this rigid society can never surpass. A grave injustice forces Tau to redouble his efforts, taking revenge on those who wronged him. Tau has an Arya Stark-list of enemies that he wishes to violently deal with. From here, Tau learns vast secrets and jarring progressions and must succumb to the politics that he desperately tried to stay away from.
The book shifts gears constantly, Tau’s training is the meat of this debut but over time we learn of skirmishes, plots and plans that are rich in genre trapping multitude. Winters has a knack of writing realistic Bronze Age warfare whilst unfolding an epic fantasy sweep. We engage in fantastical elements of the world whilst mastering the blade as Tau does. Threats emerge when Tau is thrown into political turmoil, intrigue, invasion and revolution. A jarring transition that works naturally well whilst we join this quest of revenge.
Winter excels at world building and thematic writing. We become part of the strata of social class, becoming one with Tau fighting his views that stick closely to him except Winter opens our window into his work wide enough to provide us a set of characters we love and hate, when the odds are high. Rage of Dragons is a Xhosan Gladiator with A Song of Ice & Fire political measure making for an immensely impressive fantasy debut.