I had the chance to preview Blood of an Exile, out this August, and it looks to be an exciting adventure into a new fantasy kingdom where dragons are aplenty and exiled men are indentured to slay them until they meet an untimely demise. There’s an interesting dynamic across the kingdom in relation to the dragonslayers and their reputations. To the common folk, the dragonslayer Bershad is an immortal legend. People cower in fear at his feet or bow at the sight of him. You expect to find a venerable knight and instead, we’re met with a drunk beast of a man who merely got lucky and has slain dozens of dragons. The book is partially an expose on the making of a tall tale, showing us the man behind the myth and the many quirks that take him from god to regular man. It’s quite intriguing to see that disconnect.
Blood of an Exile
By Brian Naslund
The story itself has a great beginning, promising a dangerous trek to a far off part of the kingdom, filled with battles and mysteries aplenty. Bershad has a compelling backstory in a medieval soap opera kind of way, fulfilling the jilted lover sent to die a gruesome death role, only to succeed and prove his hateful king wrong. This is definitely a world where dragons are quite common, considered more of a nasty predator or pest than some mystical being to be revered.
Overall, Blood of an Exile promises to be a well-done epic fantasy, complete with heroic battles, death-defying acts, and the continuation of a misunderstood hero’s story.
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.