We wanted to read something hot off the presses, so this is it. Mister Morrison is a new author if we had to judge by the length and depth of his ‘blurb’ below, so bear with him, and us, as we go on this adventure.
Where Dragons Lie by Richard Morrison
“The Age of Kingdoms draws to a close as the southern races of Calasia extend their reach into the regions of Free Callibri, announcing the dawn of the Age of Fire. Follow the Chronicles of Calasia, beginning with, “Where Dragons Lie”, a tale of tragedy and triumph, and the birth of a life long journey of personal definition for the Hollow Man.
“Where Dragons Lie”, is the first series in the continuing saga of stories chronicling events in the history of the world of Calasia. It is not Calasia’s first story, however it will serve as a starting point in depicting a series of events that move a world and its inhabitants to the brink of total destruction.
Ride with the Knights of Almaria, follow the elves of Rothgar and the dwarves of the Gunnerdon Mountains. Fly with dragons. Soar through the skies of Calasia, experience a world rich in history and diversity. Witness the rise of wizards and their dark counter parts jostling for control over the looming threat of an unstoppable calamity. And try to understand the malevolence of an alien entity that steers two worlds into darkness.
Calasia is the mother of elves and dwarves, of men and women, of might and magic, trolls and ogres, and all manner of creatures that walk, crawl, swim and fly. Calasia is alive, her soul the lifeblood of all things, good and evil alike.
Calasia is the mother of dragons.
Dragons have existed for so long that there is no memory of when they came to be. Dragons ruled this world for millions of years, taking from the land only what they needed to survive. They made their homes in the highest crags, and were one with the land, the sea, and the skies, natural creatures of magic. The dragons of old believed in the One, Father of the Gods, the Creator, who forged the world for them, supported on the branches of the Tree of Life, Yggdrasil. The dragons roamed free, and took what the world had to offer. They called their world, Calasia.
They were masters of day and night, the greatest hunters over all. Steeped in tradition and honor, they took one mate for life. Dragons developed laws and social order. They separated into clans, and when the walking races sprung from the earth, dragons swore an oath never to interfere with their ways.
Of the walkers, man was the most industrious, though shorter lived than most. Men lacked wisdom and foresight, and spread like ivy across the world. They killed and fought amongst themselves, always seeking more than they needed. Some grew in might and magic, dark orders, evil temptresses stealing the lifeblood from the earth, twisting it into something corrupt, tempting the fate of the gods, and mythical figures come to life.
For the longest time, dragons remained loyal to the oath…
There are many stories that weave through the tapestry of time on Calasia, however not all hold such significance as the ones you will experience here, as we come to see how Calasia is inexorably linked to Earth.” – From Amazon
Story – Average
An unnamed man wakes up from a nightmare, having terrible hallucinations. Guided by the Elf, Zarrock and the dwarf Nailin, he seeks to uncover the secrets of his past and discover who he is and the source of his powers.
The story is good even if a little overdone. We have seen many elves over the years, and dwarves too, and we grow tired of it, especially when nothing is done to improve upon what has already been seen. These elves and dwarves feel as if they could have been pulled from Lord of the Rings, and that felt cheap to us. The author did not put a mark of their own upon them, and for that, the characters left flat. Nailin was nearly insufferable, possessing only one mood and frame of mind for much of the narrative, and thus he never felt truly alive. Now, for all of these criticisms, there is some good here too. Mister Morrison knows how to build a compelling story, we were instantly fascinated by the unnamed man, though his thoughts felt repetitive at times, as if it were just to pad out the already meager length of the story. The length is where this short read suffers the most, even as a box set, it is little more than a novella, so be warned.
“Through a blurry mosaic of watery colors, he saw an elf leaning over him. Kind green eyes on a narrow, pale-skinned face greeted him. Thin red lips parted in a smile. Pointed ears poked through golden hair tied behind his head. Blinding bright rays of sunlight streaked through the kaleidoscope of green, orange, and red leaves of the trees overhead.”
Style and Formatting – Impressive
Mister Morrison, if you are reading this, you should thank your editor and give out their card whenever and wherever you can. Both the eye of the editor and Mister Morrison’s own skill as a writer are evident in every page of this book. In many ways, it is the redeeming feature, while his story lacks originality, his style is superb, his imagery magical, and it is clear he put a lot of effort into what he has delivered. He should be commended for the work he has done, but he has much more to do if he wants to charge as much as he is for his work.
“Rather than trying to get back to sleep while Nailin was sobbing, he decided to get up. The birds were singing a rousing welcome to the new day, and as it turned out, Zarrock had already left the cabin. Wizard stepped out on deck to realize that the boat was no longer moving. It rocked slightly alongside the riverbank a few feet from the same beach where his life had started only days earlier, though it felt like a lifetime in itself.”
Literary Value – Lacking
Indeed, because of the lack of originality in the world and characters, there is little of merit when regarding a literary work. Comparing this novel to its contemporaries, one cannot find anything of note to distinguish it from the pack, and when looking at the works that came before, much of what we see feels derived from those works. Thematically, nothing rises above the froth, which leaves a tinge of disappointment in our hearts.
“The dragon lifted its head and started to pull up, but it was immediately set upon by more men hiding in the sides of the cliff. Arrows rained down on the hapless creature, most bouncing off but some finding the mark through the seams of its thick scales. It screeched in pain and anger as the arrows struck home. Its yellow eyes sought the ones that were shooting at it.”
Overall – 3.5, A Short but Solid Fantasy
If you are looking for a quick read, and have Kindle Unlimited, then we recommend you check out this gem. Mister Morrison’s skill is on full display, and every eager author should use this as a template of how to format their books. That being said, if you are looking for something with substance that will keep you reading for hours, you are in the wrong place. Easily read in under an hour, this will leave you yearning for more, but not in the way we would have liked. We wish Mister Morrison the best and look forward to reading more of his work in the future.
Want to read Where Dragons Lie? Check it out on Amazon.