[easyazon_image align=”right” height=”500″ identifier=”1483441245″ locale=”US” src=”https://conradzero.com/wp-content/uploads/51bL9Qlj8wL.jpg” tag=”zero00b-20″ width=”333″]Dragon/Human Hybrid Protagonist For The Win
I wrote a post awhile back about how I actually do judge books by their book covers. And when I saw the cover for Child of the Daystar, my money was spent. But despite the awesome cover art you can see here, it’s not just the quality of the artwork that sold me.
What actually sold me was the concept that the cover conveyed.
Lets be honest: Dragons are Cool. You know it. I know it. We all know it. So human/dragon-hybrid-warrior in a dark fantasy setting is an easy decision for me.
Of course a great cover and even a great concept are no indicator of writing quality. Thankfully, Child of the Daystar is very well written, and Bryce O’Connor is definitely on the track to win some fans over with this strong debut dark fantasy novel.
Get Readers To Care About Monster Protagonists with this ONE CRAZY TRICK
Creating monsters is easy. I do it all the time…as enemies. But creating a protagonist monster that people will love is a challenge, and this is where Bryce’s writing scores big.
The story starts with our hero RAZ I’SYUL ARRO when he’s just a child. Raz is owned as a slave by abusive handlers, who only intend to sell him for a profit. Far from a helpless whelp, he’s actually a mean little shit. When Raz’s situation changes, he ends up taken in by kind, desert nomads. Much of the first half of the book is just his relationship with them growing up, travelling in the harsh desert land. That might sound boring, but there are two very exciting things going on here: World Building and Character Building.
Conventional wisdom tells writers to start “in medias res” or “in the middle of things.” Many authors think this means to lop off the first three chapters of the story. In many stories, this is a wise move. Too many trees have been killed in the name of unnecessary backstory. But Child of the Daystar starts right where it needs to start. Raz is introduced to us mean and vulnerable. His ‘growing up’ years are used intentionally for us to get the most compassion for the protagonist and the most emotional impact out of a major turning point of the story.
That said, those looking for the main conflict are going to have to wait it out, as that plotline doesn’t begin to emerge until almost halfway through the book, when there is a major shift in the hero’s life.
The author cheats in a way, giving us two stories, and in my opinion, the best of both worlds. We get all the world/character building, and then the main plotline comes in with a cold, hard twist.
The story itself is standard fantasy fare. Medieval hand weapons mixed with a splash of magic, and a world that is just different enough, (or maybe I should say, similar enough) that I ate through the pages faster than a dragon could make a s’more. I felt like I was playing Skyrim again.
Child of the Daystar has little by way of romance, but there is a fair amount of familial bonding, which was a nice change. Doubly nice to see a family take in and care for what many would consider a dangerous, alien species. Other examples of diversity include a gay priest couple, and a kick-ass female assassin, who deserved more screen time than the pink-eyed cleric, whose damsel-in-distress subplot distracted more than it added to the story.
The ‘enemy’ in this case isn’t much of a specific nemesis as a group, and Raz’s evolving relationship to an entire criminal underworld.
Child of the Daystar feels like a combination character study and intro to a larger world. If that world involves cool, alternative protagonists like Raz, then I’m looking forward to more.
[easyazon_link identifier=”1483441245″ locale=”US” tag=”zero00b-20″]Child of the Daystar on Amazon[/easyazon_link]