Joanne Bertin’s Dragonlord plot has been rather weak overall. However, Dragon and Phoenix is a huge improvement on The Last DragonLord.
The Dragonlords are no longer the sole concern and in fact, they are hardly mentioned for a good deal of the novel. They’re much less overbearing this time around and while the whole “soultwin” bit is still silly, it isn’t quite as absurd as it was throughout The Last DragonLord.
There is an intricate plot, full of intrigue, woven through this book, which is both a blessing and a curse. It strengthens the story in some ways, but also weakens it. The intrigue is so well done that the Dragonlords’ part in it feels tacked on like an afterthought. Joanne Bertin may have done better to have shucked the Dragonlord trappings and followed her ability for intrigue and politics to its end.
I hope a third book in the DragonLord trilogy will be forthcoming because there is so much potential here.