Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn showed me early on what a deep, involved epic fantasy world could be. Rohan becomes a ruling Prince when his father is prematurely killed battling a dragon for sport. Sioned (sh-ned) is a fiery young woman with magic skill in Sunrunning. The two meet and it’s love at first sight. Their story encompasses the entire country and is wrought with romance, political intrigue, and action.
I love the concept of Sunrunning. Certain people are gifted by the Goddess to be able to weave skeins of light. They view light in multifaceted hues, with each person having his or her own pattern, and they can manipulate it to communicate or observe from afar, thus making them powerful spies for the ruling princes, among other things. Their skills can also be used to summon fire and, with the Goddess’ Blessing, see their future as they enter different phases of their life.
The characters are a rather interesting set, too. They have various traits and personalities and as you read through the series, you come to know them well. There are several large families whose descendants are in holdings across the land, creating specific alliances through family bloodline. Yet they are individuals too and their loyalties sometimes shift when their own families harm them or if they strongly believe in a different ideal of “right”.
Some rather dark events take place in the story, too, and some of them are truly shocking. Where everything culminates at the end, sometimes you wonder if it’s a victory or if it isn’t. But of course it is. Isn’t it?
There are so many characters and due to naming conventions, where children tend to share aspects of a family member’s name, it is very difficult to keep track of them all. So in book two, the Star Scroll, Rawn includes a growing genealogy and character list, which she expands into book three, Sunrunner’s Fire, and into the second trilogy that tracks the next series of events.
The books are huge and I’m grateful for that because it means more time with the characters and the world. If you enjoy a full-world experience, then pick this up and read it through. Invest the time because there are many great aspects of the world and characters to enjoy.
This was the second major fantasy novel I read that influenced my interests and taught me to love the genre. To read about the first book that did so, Master of the Five Magics, check out my review here.