Bradley P. BeaulieuDec 5, 2023
The Dragons of Deepwood Fen
Daw Books 2023
The Dragons of Deepwood Fen (Daw Books, 2023) is an immersive fantasy which takes you deep into a world of duality. There are two suns, one light and one dark; and two types of dragons, one yielding a substance called umbra and one a substance called aura. There are two peoples, one subjugated by the other. The people of the woods, mostly the dark-skinned Kin, have been conquered by the people of the mountains, who are organized into an empire with five capitals and five rulers, as well as an Imperator who is elected to rule over the Holt, the subjugated wooded territory that still retains some rights. But the Empire is not as united as it seems. A secret faction of the church, called the Chosen, hopes to free the dark Lord Faedryn from his imprisonment by the Goddess Alra and depose the ruling families. To that end, they enter into alliance with the Red Knives, a group of rebels who hide out in the Holt.
Three young people try to navigate this complex world—Lorelie, an investigator for the Empire; Rylan, the illegitimate son of the Imperator; and Rhiannon, a young orphan with magical powers, who lives in an abbey in the Holt.
With the complexity and political intrigue worthy of The Game of Thrones, but thankfully none of the sadism or sexual violence, Bradley Beaulieu has crafted a gripping and quick moving tale with likeable protagonists.