Monday, February 4, 2013

Review and Guest Post - The Dragon's Egg by Resa Nelson (Dragonslayer Series Book #4)

The Dragon's Egg (Dragonslayer Book 4)The Dragon's Egg by Resa Nelson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published November 13th 2012 by Mundania Press LLC
Source: Author for honest review
Challenges: What An Animal challenge, Ebook challenge, A-Z Title challenge

'In the fourth and final book of the Dragonslayer series, Mandulane's army is poised to attack the Northlands in the name of a powerful god, but in truth Mandulane is using the act of spreading this new faith as a way to disguise his own personal greed and hunger for power. Astrid has succeeded in warning her beloved country of imminent danger, and the Northlanders scramble to set up a clever defense, never realizing a spy in their midst is poised to take critical information directly to Mandulane. After sacrificing herself in order to set her brother Drageen free for the sake of protecting the Northlands, Astrid finds herself controlled by the stone of light. Although it forces her path of destiny, Astrid learns she must make one final choice about who she wants to be. Most important of all, her new sweetheart Trep encounters a dragon that entrusts him with the care of a dragon's egg. Trep embraces a dangerous journey and accepts the duty of protecting the unhatched dragon, knowing that its safety could impact the fate of the entire world.'

My Thoughts:
I always feel a little bit deflated when I come to finish the last book in a series and the feeling I got when I came to the end of The Dragon's Egg was no exception.
I just get so involved and engrossed in the characters lives when reading a series and when things get wrapped up and I know there will be no more I am always a little sad.
This fourth and final instalment in the Dragonslayer Series deals with Astrid's struggle to realise her destiny and save her country from Mandulane's rule.
There are a lot of interesting and unexpected developments in this book which all help to round out and finish the story in a smooth but kind of bittersweet manner.
I have to admit that I was left quite surprised by a couple of aspects that I really wasn't expecting, but won't give away what so as not to spoil the story. When I finally finished it at first I was left thinking "Really, that wasn't what I would have thought would happen", but then as I thought about it a bit longer afterwards it all really did make sense and made me realise that not every book always have to have a perfectly happy ending to be a good story.
If you have read the first three books in this series I highly recommend reading this one so you get the complete picture.

The Bittersweet Experience of Writing the Final Book in a Series
by Resa Nelson
Writing my series (the Dragonslayer series) gave me an entirely new appreciation for authors who write good series – for example, I now see J.K. Rowling as a genius.  But it means I’ve now had the experience of writing the last book in a series and saying goodbye to its characters.
When I wrote Book 1, I first assumed it would be a standalone novel.  But when I got into the depths of the book, I realized the world and the story were big enough to support more novels.  So one book turned into a four-book series.
Writing the second and third books in the series went pretty smoothly.  Every time I write a book, I began with a skeletal outline.  I flesh out the outline for the first 100 pages, write those 100 pages, and then flesh out the outline for the next 100 pages and so on.  I always know where I’m going and why – I just never know exactly how I’m going to get there or who I’ll meet along the way.
Something peculiar happened when I felt ready to write the last book in the series.  Normally, I’m very organized and efficient.  I write three mornings each week, usually for about an hour.  This is my time to let words pour onto the paper, and I typically write a chapter each day, sometimes more, sometimes less.  Working this way, it takes me nine months to write a novel.  But this is my secret:  my “real” writing time is when I go for a two-mile walk every day.  It’s when I’m walking that I think through what’s going to happen in each chapter.  By the time I sit down at my computer, the words come spilling out so fast that it’s hard for me to keep up.
But when I started to write the last book in the Dragonslayer series, the words didn’t come spilling out.  Instead, I dawdled, which is extremely unusual for me.  I made excuses not to turn on my computer but to do something else instead – again, extremely unusual.  I never do things like that.  Most of the time I’m chomping at the bit.  This went on for a good two or three months, and not a lot was happening with Book 4.
Finally, I sat down and asked myself what was happening.  After thinking long and hard, I realized I didn’t want the series to end because I enjoyed it so much.  Whenever I finish writing any book and I have to say goodbye to my characters, it feels like I’m watching a bus full of everyone I care about drive off a cliff.  I typically spend about half a day in tears after finishing a novel.
I realized that I dreaded finishing the series because I thought it would be much, much worse than anything I’d experienced before.
So I took myself by the hand and said, “Your characters aren’t going anywhere.  If you want to spend time with them, all you have to do is read your own books!”
That helped.  So I gathered my courage and wrote the final book.  But something really unexpected happened.  I felt so excited when I wrote the final chapters that I kept cheering for my characters.  For me, the ending of the series is very satisfying and exciting.  Ironically, when I wrote the last sentence of the final book, I was still cheering.  Instead of spending half a day in tears, I spent the day jumping up and down and smiling.  I dreaded ending the series, but it turned out to be a really great experience … and I’m looking forward to doing it again with the next series I write!
A Little Bit About The Author
Resa Nelson’s first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award and was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in her 4-book Dragonslayer series, which also includes The Iron Maiden (Book 2), The Stone of Darkness (Book 3), and The Dragon’s Egg (Book 4).
Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended."
She has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop.  Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Resa lives in Massachusetts.

Resa Nelson’s Links:

Resa’s website:                                                                       
Free “mini” ebook of Dragonslayer short stories:
Twitter:  @ResaNelson
Ebooks ($4.99 each) are available directly from Mundania Press at: (get a 10% discount at checkout with the coupon code MP10)
Paperbacks are available from Mundania Press, Amazon, and Barnes&Noble: (get a 10% discount at checkout with the coupon code MP10)

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