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The Blood of a Dragon (Legends of Ethshar) Paperback – 1 Jan 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Borgo Press; 2 edition (1 Jan 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587153572
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587153570
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,103,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson on 11 Mar 2003
Format: Paperback
Now that Dumery has reached his 12th birthday, it is time for him to be apprenticed. He's the third son of a wealthy merchant, which means that he inherits...nothing. He has only really been interested in one thing, wizardry, so he offers himself as an apprentice to every magic-user in Ethshar. When they all tell him that he is completely dead to magic, and as such untrainable, he feels crushed. But when he sees the most powerful wizard in Ethshar humbling himself before a man who sells dragon's blood (necessary for so many spells), he decides that he can apprentice himself to the dragon hunter, and force the wizards to humble themselves before him. Oh, but Dumery finds that even this is much harder than he imagined.
I must admit that I consider myself a devoted Watt-Evans fan! I have enjoyed all of his books that I have been able to lay my hands on, this one included. Indeed, Mr. Watt-Evans' world is fantastic and yet realistic, with normal seeming people, going about their business in a manner totally consistent with their world. At least with the stories I have read, his heroes are relatively normal young men, looking for their future in a world of high magic. I highly recommend this book for any fan of fantasy literature!
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This book features too many obnoxious little brats (OLBs) for my taste, although in most other respects it is as good as the other Ethshar stories. The book contains the title novel plus a short story with a similar theme. In this case, the novel is the tale of an OLB who wants to be a wizard. Told by one wizard that he has no talent whatsoever for wizardry, he tries to be apprenticed to every other wizard in town, with the same result, until he sees someone selling dragons blood, an essential component of wizardry, and realises that he can have every wizard, and especially the one who first refused him, by the short and curlies, if he could only become a dragon hunter and sell dragons blood. The unfortunate dragon hunter he fixes on also rejects him in terms that anyone sane would have no difficulty in recognising. However, our OLB follows the unfortunate dragon hunter until he eventually gets to his abode and discovers his secret. He is taken in, fed and cared for by the dragon hunter's family, after which he tries, and fails, to steal from them and then determines how to destroy their livelihood and make himself obnoxiously wealthy, as well as revenging himself upon the whole wizard race for his perceived slight, whereupon the story ends. In real life, he would probably have become a banker.

The OLB in the short story is a much more likeable character, but this is compensated for by the stupidity and nastiness of his family, in a tale of a village enslaved by a dragon and freed by a beautiful maiden.

Somewhat slighter tales than most of the Ethshar ones, but still very enjoyable, especially for the realistic detail Mr Watt-Evans brings to every little episode. Recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
High fantasy, low Wattage 6 Aug 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I read this book, along with all the other Ethshar fantasies, when they first appeared back in the eighties. I must say I always enjoyed the way Watt-Evans approached magic; he could make it at once fantastic and logical.His scenes of magic at work are indisputably fun. Watt-Evans is kind of old school, he has devised a magical world, rules for that world, puts his plots into that context, and relentlessly follows things to their logical conclusion. The thing is, nothing much happens in Watt-Evans' stories. There are no larger-than-life heroes, no derring-do, no hair-breadth escapes, no great truths revealed, and no surprises. As one reviewer of his work pointed out, his characters are pedestrian, which I think is exactly Wat-Evans' point. Just because there is magic in Ethshar doesn't mean people or their institutions will be any different. Folks are still interested in profit and comfort, governments and religions just want to perpetuate themselves, parents still want to control their kids'lives, etc.This adds an element of realism to his work that is lacking in Tolkien-wannabe fantasies. Watt-Evans has managed to create a very magical world, and then his plots render it mundane. As strange as this sounds, I would always scoop up an Ethshar novel as soon as it hit the shelves, devour it in a day or two, and look forward to the next. Yet, I never felt really satisfied after finishing. Kind of like eating Chinese food.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Read It! 8 Aug 2007
By John R. Shaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Let's see: This is an Ethshar series book and is therefore an excellent read. That may sound like a bold statement, but it is a fact. Before you run out and buy it I recommend that you start at the beginning with the first book "The miss enchanted sword", that way you will understand what is going on. Get the whole series and enjoy many hours wasting time reading about a world of total fantasy.

Note: This applies to every book in the series, I have read them all.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Interesting and enjoyable low key fantasy 5 July 2006
By Richard R. Horton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Eventually I will get around to all of Lawrence Watt-Evans's Ethshar novels -- these are uniformly enjoyable commonsensical light fantasy, somewhat in the mode of L. Sprague De Camp, set in a fantasy world distinguished by having multiple, mostly quite different, magical systems.

Dumery of Shiphaven is a 12 year old boy, the son of a wealthy shipowner. It is time for him to choose a trade. He has no interest in the shipping business, and anyway his oldest brother will get the business. Dumery, at any rate, is interested in something else -- he wants to be a wizard. His father agrees to let him try -- but every wizard Dumery meets agrees that he has not a shred of magical talent. Dumery is frustrated and offended -- but then he happens to see a wizard negotiating with a seller of dragon's blood, which is an important ingredient is many spells. He realizes that if he can't be a wizard, he might get a measure of revenge by becoming a dragon's blood seller.

So Dumery tracks down the dragon hunter. Who, it turns out, has no interest in hiring an apprentice. Dumery decides not to give up. He decides to follow the dragon hunter to his home, and to insist on an apprenticeship. Thus, he ends up paying his way on a boat up the river, shoveling cow dung. His parents miss him, of course, and they hire a witch's apprentice to track him.

Both Dumery and the young witch end up following the dragon hunter to his home. The witch learns some secrets about witches and warlocks which (no pun intended!) seem a setup for a further book. Dumery, meanwhile, learns that the dragon hunter isn't quite what he seems. Also, that he still hasn't any wish for an apprentice. Dumery remains stubborn, and almost despite himself -- certainly not through any particular virtue of his own -- stumbles on a secret involving dragons, one in particular, that might just make his fortune.

It's an odd, interesting, book. There aren't exactly any heroes, nor really any villains. Dumery is certainly the central character, and he is in many ways quite an unpleasant young man. He is a thief, he's irresponsible, he's spoiled -- he's not by any means evil, but he's not good. The witch's apprentice is fairly appealing, but in the end a pretty minor character. The other characters are ordinary people, some of whom do pretty bad things -- but mostly through ignorance. The book is enjoyable reading throughout -- Watt-Evans is a very engaging writer. And the eventual solution is both logical (indeed, I thought of it much earlier ...) and in a way heroic.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Another book in a great series 28 Mar 2000
By Andrew G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Once again, Lawrence Watt-Evans journeys to the world of Ethshar with a tale full of magic and surprises.
Whilst not the best book in this growing series it will keep you amused and begging for more.
I can't rate this author highly enough, you leave feeling thoroughly entertained. You will appreciate his writing style and the wry comedy common throughout which bare repeated reading.
If you like humour in your fantasy and you're more interested in a book you can pick up without worrying that it's to heavy for you then give him a go, you won't be dissapointed.
Highly recommended! 26 Sep 2014
By Kurt A. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Now that Dumery has reached his 12th birthday, it is time for him to be apprenticed. He's the third son of a wealthy merchant, which means that he inherits...nothing. He has only really been interested in one thing, wizardry, so he offers himself as an apprentice to every magic-user in Ethshar. When they all tell him that he is completely dead to magic, and as such untrainable, he feels crushed. But when he sees the most powerful wizard in Ethshar humbling himself before a man who sells dragon's blood (necessary for so many spells), he decides that he can apprentice himself to the dragon hunter, and force the wizards to humble themselves before him. Oh, but Dumery finds that even this is much harder than he imagined.

I must admit that I consider myself a devoted Watt-Evans fan! I have enjoyed all of his books that I have been able to lay my hands on, this one included. Indeed, Mr. Watt-Evans' world is fantastic and yet realistic, with normal seeming people, going about their business in a manner totally consistent with their world. At least with the stories I have read, his heroes are relatively normal young men, looking for their future in a world of high magic. I highly recommend this book for any fan of fantasy literature!
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