The Dragon Token by Melanie Rawn science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsThe Dragon Token by Melanie Rawn science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsThe Dragon Token by Melanie Rawn

I tried and failed to finish The Dragon Token, the second book in Melanie Rawn’s DRAGON PRINCE trilogy (really the fifth book in her DRAGON STAR trilogy). These novels are currently being released in very nice audio formats by Tantor Audio who has generously sent them to me for reviews. I feel bad for quitting, because these are such excellent audio productions narrated by Christa Lewis, but I am just so bored with them and each book is quite long.

Readers who enjoy or feel nostalgic for a medieval-style fantasy epic with a huge cast of white nobles who try to gain power, keep power, or scheme with others to wrest power from someone else, will certainly get more enjoyment out of these books than I did.

While Rawn attempts to flip the script a bit by giving us a desert setting, it never seems genuine (as I explained in my reviews of the previous books), making the story feel like so many others of its type. Rawn does give us a cool magic system — sunrunning, in which sunlight is used to weave colors of magic— but it wasn’t enough to elevate this story above the multitude of other options we have in this genre.The Dragon Token by Melanie Rawn science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviews

The Dragon Token begins where Stronghold left off. Pol’s family has been dealt a devastating blow and they’re not sure they’ll recover from it. They still don’t know why their lands have been attacked by a barbarian horde. Pol, who is trying to lead his people, feels like an imposter. Meanwhile, the scheming, betrayals, treachery, and murders continue as the usual suspects try to undermine his authority and usurp his power. It’s the same kind of activities we’ve seen throughout the series. The characters’ conversations, also, are feeling redundant.

I got halfway through The Dragon Token. At that point I just admitted to myself that I feel nothing for any of the characters and don’t care what happens to them. I’ve been torturing myself and I need to give myself permission to stop. This series just isn’t for me.

Published in 1992. With her bestselling fantasy trilogy, Dragon Prince, Melanie Rawn introduced us to Sunrunner’s magic and sorcerous evil, to a ruler striving to bring peace to warring kingdoms—and to her magnificent dragons. In Stronghold, the first novel in Melanie’s Dragon Star trilogy, the peace won by High Prince Rohan is shattered when a mysterious invasion force begins a devastating campaign against the people of the Desert. Now, in The Dragon Token, the time for retreat has come to an end as Rohan’s son and heir, Pol, rallies his forces in a desperate bid to halt the advance of the invaders. But ancient rivalries begin to weaken his alliance and only time will tell whether those loyal to the High Prince can defeat both the foreign invaders and the betrayers in their own ranks. And even as Pol leads his troops forth, Andry, the Sunrunner Lord of Goddess Keep, is also determined to take the attack to this enemy force which has sworn to slay all workers of magic. Yet the invaders have their own agenda of conquest, and they are even now readying to strike at the very heart of the Desert, stealing treasures which Pol and Andry would pay any price to reclaim—even if the price should prove to be their own lives….


  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.