Old Dark – Michael La Ronn

A ruthless dragon lord, older than human memory, awakes from a magical coma, but he’s no sleeping beauty.

Set in an alternative, magical version of earth, the beginning of this novel is told entirely by the dragon lord and develops his character brilliantly. The book then jumps to modern times and introduces two new characters – a magical businessman and an academic that wrote her doctorate on the mythical dragon lord.

This novel weaves themes of powerful leaders and their influence on natural resources subtly into the story through the use of magical aquifers and an impending disaster when they run dry. I think one of Michaels real strengths is his ability to build characters that are quirky, believable and interact well with each other and the overall story. The plot is engaging and moves swiftly through a series of events that build tension and intrigue through the use of a nuanced magical system and conflicted society.

I really enjoyed this book and read it quite quickly. My only criticism is that it ends on a cliff hanger. The next two books in the series have been published already, so this isn’t a huge hardship.

I feel this book would appeal to anyone looking for a light hearted fantasy read that touches on the deeper meaning of life without being preachy. Old Dark is presented in a classical fantasy style by using past tense and third person perspective.

Four out of Five coffee beans from this reviewer.

If you’d like to know more about Michael or his books check out his web site at https://www.michaellaronn.com/