Lawrence Watt-Evans’ Dragon Weather, The Dragon Society, and Dragon Venom make up the Obsidian Chronicles trilogy. So here we have a fantasy trilogy, laden with dragon titles and dragon covers. This is the sort of thing that just shouts out “mediocre tripe”, if you know how to read your book covers. But, as with most Watt-Evans books, the books are way better than you’d have any reason to think.
The starting conceit of the books is that a young boy has his village destroyed by dragons, and then swears... not revenge, exactly, but justice; he proceeds to pursue this goal with single-minded resolve. Apparently, this is reminiscent of The Count of Monte Cristo, but since I’ve never read that, in reminds me of Vance’s Demon Princes books.
But that’s just where things start. There are unexpected twists along the way that resolve into a pleasantly intricate (but not unnecessarily convoluted) plot; there are world-building depths that set this apart from generic fantasy (and drive a lot of those plot twists); and there are a bunch of characters that don’t fall into the standard fantasy tropes.
Here, as in his Ethshar books, Watt-Evans never blows you away with a dazzling display of brilliance — he just keeps quietly piling on goodness until the final result is pretty damn good indeed. Highly recommended to anyone who doesn’t shudder at a book with “Dragon” in the title, and some who do.