Title: The Lone Dragon Knight
Author: D. C. Clemens
Series: The Dragon Knight #1
Mercer has no memory of his past, and his present is a life lived on someone else’s terms: first as an experimental subject, then sold as a criminal enforcer. When he frees himself, he finds a blade that connects him to a dragon from another world and grants him some of that dragon’s powers. Now that he has the means, he aims to get revenge on those who stole everything from him.
This was decent, but it fell a little too flat for me. The action is brisk. Even when the plot winds through some side missions, Mercer is still active, learning, growing. And the magic system is interesting, although it does feel a bit one-sided for now (nobody ever said what the dragon gets out of all this, although there is the sense that he’s biding his time for some major wreckage to come).
Where I kept getting knocked out of the story was with the characters. Mercer isn’t very introspective when he’s under mind-control spells. That’s fine. He doesn’t have to be very introspective out of them, either, but I never really got why he wanted revenge so badly. He doesn’t seem like the cold and calculating type, and he’s not blazing with anger. It’s just kind of there as though it’s too obvious to have to show at all. With no past, he could just as easily have said “There’s no way I’m getting caught up in THAT again,” and gone somewhere remote to start over. There’s not much self-discovery, and he doesn’t feel like he’s remaking himself either, so with few exceptions I never felt like he had much of a personality.
Then there’s the female mercenary. Despite being a professional, despite knowing absolutely nothing about him outside his work on this one case, despite the fact that he’s got a fiend’s tail bound to his arm (which ought to indicate something, since corruption doesn’t appear to be a completely foreign concept), she offers to sleep with him as a way of topping off his pay, because she doesn’t think he’s being rewarded appropriately. I’m trying to figure out why this otherwise sensible woman wants to act like a whore. Especially since getting pregnant is likely to suspend her career.
I was somewhat impressed by Mercer refusing another character’s offer to bed him, though again, I find it very strange that women are so eager to offer sex to someone like him when he’s not charming or charismatic or going out of his way to encourage them.
Overall I might read the second book if I sign up for Kindle Unlimited, but this is more of a rental than a buy right now. I rate this book Neutral.
Content warning: rape scene near the beginning