Child of the Daystar is the first entry into The Wings of War series. It introduces readers to the story of Raz i’Syrul, a sort of humanoid dragon, who is captured by slavers early in his life, and is subsequently raised by a kindly group of nomads. After a series of unfortunate events, we then witness Raz’s rise to fame (infamy?), in which he becomes a badass mercenary/gladiator type (hey, wouldn’t you, if you were a 7-foot tall dragon dude?).
This is one of those books that I felt conflicted about while reading. It’s not exactly young adult, insofar as there is plenty of combat, viscera, etc. But it does have the sort of cadence that I’ve come to associate with YA fantasy literature (similar to Red Rising, The Hunger Games, etc.), and there were times throughout the book when I thought about putting it down (mostly in the first half). But I never quite did, and when all was said and done, I think I’ll probably pick up the sequels at some point (I know, I know, I’m damning it with faint praise). O’Connor has a strong hand with the action sequences, and I appreciated how Raz’s dark side helped to flesh out his character. I will dock a few points for the bad guys being transparently evil, but I suppose there are straight-up demonic slaver-types still around in the world today, so it’s not that much of a reach.
The amazon reviews for books two and three of the series look positive, so hopefully that’s an indication that the series grows stronger as it progresses. At the very least, book one was a relatively quick and entertaining read. I’ll gladly designate it as “guilty pleasure” reading; if you’re looking for for a drink that goes down easy, and like combat-filled fantasy, this isn’t a bad choice!
Rating: 2 – Guilty Pleasure