Audio Review: The Dragons of Dorcastle by Jack Campbell

December 19, 2014 4 stars, Audio Book, Book Review 11 ★★★★

Audio Review: The Dragons of Dorcastle by Jack CampbellThe Dragons of Dorcastle by Jack Campbell
Series: The Pillars of Reality #1
Published by Audible Audio on December 2, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: 11 Hours, 27 minutes
Narrator: MacLeod Andrews
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
My Reviews in this series: The Hidden Masters of Marandur, The Assassins of Altis

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

The first audiobook in a thrilling new epic fantasy saga, written exclusively for Audible by Jack Campbell, the New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Fleet series!

For centuries, the two Great Guilds have controlled the world of Dematr. The Mechanics and the Mages have been bitter rivals, agreeing only on the need to keep the world they rule from changing. But now a Storm approaches, one that could sweep away everything that humans have built. Only one person has any chance of uniting enough of the world behind her to stop the Storm, but the Great Guilds and many others will stop at nothing to defeat her.

Mari is a brilliant young Mechanic, just out of the Guild Halls where she has spent most of her life learning how to run the steam locomotives and other devices of her Guild. Alain is the youngest Mage ever to learn how to change the world he sees with the power of his mind. Each has been taught that the works of the other’s Guild are frauds. But when their caravan is destroyed, they begin to discover how much has been kept from them.

As they survive danger after danger, Alain discovers what Mari doesn’t know—that she was long ago prophesized as the only one who can save their world. When Mari reawakens emotions he had been taught to deny, Alain realizes he must sacrifice everything to save her. Mari, fighting her own feelings, discovers that only together can she and Alain hope to stay alive and overcome the Dragons of Dorcastle.


A Mage and a Magician, their kind have always been at odds

The Dragons of Dorcastle centers around 2 characters, Mari (the mechanic) and Alain (the mage) who are thrown together when the caravan they are traveling in is attacked with them the only survivors. As Alain was hired to protect the caravan he deems it his responsibility to see Mari safely to her destination even though their guilds are enemies. Both are the youngest in their respective guilds to reach the titles of Mechanic and Mage and also constantly struggle against the bias their own people have against them because of it.

What happens when two young people of opposing factions come together…

Sparks and Chemistry! At least that’s the case here with Mari and Alain. They’ve been told their whole lives to hate people of the opposing guild and yet when circumstances force them to work together they develop a quickly growing respect for each other that then grows into feelings of companionship and perhaps more. It was a delight to read this relationship between the two progress. Even more so because all mages are taught to ignore their emotions and it was such fun watching how Alain’s interactions with Mari begin to change him and make him remember what it is to feel. Mari on the other hand is a firework, full of bull headed stubbornness at times and its nice to see how she butts up against Alain who is always so cool and level headed.

A curious world with a mix of modern and magic

I really liked the subtle worldbuilding of their land, Dematr. I felt the information about it was delivered smoothly though at times I’d get a big chunk of it I was always fascinated. I’m guessing from the sound of things that it was/is a planet that was colonized by our world sometime hundreds of years ago because there is a reference a number of times from the two of them saying that the histories believe their people to have come from the stars. With the first cities not having any records of where the people lived before then. The technology is not modern as it would be in our time but instead how it would be in say the 1800’s, with guns, trains, far-talkers (telephones) and other such devices in their earliest forms. But then you also have the magic that the mages posess. Such things as fireballs, creating magic construct creatures, invisibility and walking through walls. Mix these two things together and it was exactly my kind of book!

Don’t be sad, but dragons are not what this book is about

So you saw that magic word Dragons in the title and you thought – oooo dragons, I love dragons! *snatch, grab, gimme* Yes, my dears so did I. But contrary to what the title will lead you to believe there is very little to do with dragons in this book. While they are mentioned and they are part of a mystery that takes place in the second half of the book – they are by no means what the book is about. Yes, they do make an appearance but it isn’t until just about the end of the book. I think based on this books title and the title of the second book (The Hidden Masters of Marandur) that each book looks like it might be titled after some mystery that is featured in the book since the dragons of Dorcastle were a mystery that was plaguing the city of Dorcastle. But don’t be disappointed it’s still a great read even though dragons aren’t a central theme behind the book.

Itchy twitchy to get my hands on more!

I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed The Dragons of Dorcastle. I didn’t realize it would feature characters in a sort of coming of age tale (17/18) even with a very tiny splash of romance. I can already tell that Mari and Alain are going to be characters I’m going to have a good time following. It’s interesting to note that this was written by the author specifically to be released in audiobook format only by Audible. I don’t know if that will change in the future but I do have to say the narration was excellent. Alain has a suitably emotionless voice that doesn’t sound like a drone and Mari’s was blessedly full of the spit and fire her character depicts. I’m so eager to see where their story goes next!


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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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11 Responses to “Audio Review: The Dragons of Dorcastle by Jack Campbell”

  1. Anya

    Haha, you know me so well, good to know about the amount of dragons ;-). The world sounds awesome and exactly the kind of thing I’m intrigued by these days, I will definitely have to be downloading this with my next credit! I’m very interested in this new trend of exclusive for audible releases, as long as the narration is top-notch, it works for me I guess! Thanks for the awesome review 😀
    Anya recently posted…Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}My Profile

  2. Richelle Nicole

    OOOOH, sounds kinda Romeo and Juliet! I loves me some magic! I think it’s because I have this deep deep desire to conjure. lol. Once again you’ve found another book i need to read. You are my book guru!!

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Hmm, Audible exclusive, huh? You’re really making me rethink my decision to request this title. Maybe if I have time – I knew you really enjoyed this one, even before I saw your review.

  4. Felicia

    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the book. (:
    I haven’t read it, but I’ve read another of his books. ‘Dauntless’ – the first book in his ‘Lost Fleet’-series. I must say I wasn’t very impressed. In fact I’ve been telling people how much I hated it ever since I read it.
    Maybe he’s better with this book? I’ve seen a lot of people enjoy Dauntless a lot too, so maybe it’s just me.

    – Love, Felicia
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