With Dragons having been done to death in the fantasy world, a new author always has to come up with something new to thrill and fascinate the reader. After all we've been treated to the mythical beast in many forms from the Dragon Riders of Pern to the Napoleonic War with dragons in Temeraire. So what has Stephen brought to the fore that changes this from the typical formulaic approach?
Firstly the dragons are enslaved to mankind and then only to the nobility who use them shamelessly more as horses than beasts of intelligence, yet it isn't until one of the beasts shakes off the effects of millennia of human drugs that we get to see the creature in all its glory as a small band of humans aid the White Dragon in seeking freedom for all.
Secondly we have a tale that blends mystery, intrigue and above all politic double dealing that will confuse and surprise any readers as the intricate politics of court twist and turn more than a snake doing the Twist with a whole host of fully formed three dimensional characters. Top it off with a Spartan descriptive style so the reader can jump straight into the main course (and a side dish of revenge) and you've got a book to thrill the readers of numerous ages.
The books fun, the books lively and above all it's a different take that allows the readers to get behind the underdog (in this case the dragons) as well as fulfilling the needs and wants of a modern reader. Roll over McCaffrey, there's a new Dragon Lord in town.