Draykon

Rated 4.12/5 based on 19 reviews
Shy jeweller Llandry Sanfaer finds herself at the centre of a sensation when she discovers a new and mesmerising gemstone. When some of her customers are killed for their coveted istore jewellery, Llandry is propelled into danger herself. As her mother’s friend Eva Glostrum races to unmask the murderer, Llandry must uncover the true nature of the stone before she too becomes a victim. More
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Price: Free! USD
Words: 97,240
Language: English
ISBN: 9781466054325
About Charlotte E. English

Born and raised in England, Charlotte now lives in the Netherlands with her partner and two cats. She is an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction and has been writing stories and scripts in the genre since her teenage years.

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Reviews

Review by: Erica Bridge on June 22, 2014 :
Just started reading because I thought the cover and description don't look too bad. After reading the first few pages I just fell in love with it though! Spend more time reading it then I should have... Going to buy book two now and try not to neglect everything else, again.
(review of free book)

Review by: LG on Feb. 16, 2014 :
What initially attracted me to this book was its absolutely gorgeous cover, reasonably interesting-sounding description, and decent reviews. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me, and I ended up spending maybe two months slogging through it.

I wasn't a huge fan of English's writing. It was a little too flowery for my tastes and featured a massive overuse of adverbs. I became very tired of the words “rather” and “quite.” It felt like one or the other of them was used on every single page.

I also became very tired of all the fantasy names – this, from someone who cut her teeth on fantasy. There were weird, almost Lewis Carroll-like names for everything, and I wasn't always sure they were necessary. I didn't need constant reminders that Draykon was set in a fantasy world. “Nivvens” could easily have been called “horses.” The same goes for many of the other things that had real-world equivalents. In some cases, the fantasy names were a little confusing. I couldn't read “whurthag” without imagining a warthog, although I'm pretty sure whurthags had more in common with big cats or other large predators.

I could have put up with English's writing, however, if either the story or characters had grabbed me. That didn't happen. I liked Eva well enough, but I actively disliked Llandry. Whereas Eva was older (maybe in her forties?), competent, and usually had a good head on her shoulders (except for a few blips involving Tren), Llandry was young (20) and appeared to suffer from To Stupid To Live Syndrome. Yes, I know, she had crippling social anxiety and parents that were maybe a little too overprotective. Even so, I didn't think that completely excused her behavior. Even after she found out people were being killed for having istore, she kept a little piece of it around. She followed after Devary like a puppy, despite the fact that any idiot could see she'd only slow him down. I couldn't understand why he wasn't more angry with her when he learned she'd been following him. I mean, he was on a secret mission to deliver the last known piece of istore to someone who might be able to find out more about it. Llandry was well-known as the discoverer of istore. Having Llandry around was practically like having a giant neon sign saying “you'll probably find some istore here!”

I couldn't decide whether English was trying to set up a future romantic subplot between Llandry and Devary or not. On the one hand, Llandry seemed to have a crush on Devary, even though I don't think she realized it. On the other hand, Devary's behavior towards Llandry felt more like that of an indulgent family member than a potential love interest – not surprising, since he was an old friend of Llandry's mother. At any rate, there was absolutely zero chemistry between Devary and Llandry, and I do hope that was intentional.

Draykon's story didn't grab me any more than its characters did. I think it could have, if maybe 100 pages had been edited out. The occasional interesting event would happen, and then there'd be pages and pages that didn't seem to accomplish much of anything. It felt like most of the book happened in the last 60 or so pages.

The story became a little more interesting to me near the end, and part of me wants to know what happens next in the series. However, I'm not nearly hooked enough to buy and slog through the next book, if it's as much of a drag to get through as this one was.

Extras:

The book includes a color map of the seven realms and a glossary.

(Originally posted on http://familiardiversions.blogspot.com/2012/11/draykon-e-book-by-charlotte-e-english.html)
(review of free book)

Review by: Midnight Blue on May 26, 2013 :
Quite enjoyable; a lovely escape. I will be downloading the rest of the series soon.
(review of free book)

Review by: Carol on May 07, 2013 :
This is mostly pure fantasy with an element of mystery and some action as the story progresses. Although the characters were well drawn, I didn't really get drawn into them.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Kevan Dinn on Feb. 20, 2013 :
I really liked Draykon - not only for its flow and language, but also for the uniqueness of the story. Its one of those books that makes you feel warm when & after you read it.
(review of free book)

Review by: pamela chismar on Dec. 07, 2012 :
I enjoyed Draykon. The story was well thought out, flowed nicely, & had a few surprises. Llandry and Eva seem to share the main character role, and are both very likable. As well as their male companions, Tren and Devary.
The slight horror side of the story keeps you somewhat on edge. The landscape for the scenes are all beautifully described, they sound like places I wish to go.
The ending is a nice surprise but leaves you hanging for book 2. I personally can't wait to read it.
(review of free book)

Review by: pamela chismar on Dec. 07, 2012 : (no rating)
I enjoyed Draykon. The story was well thought out, flowed nicely, & had a few surprises. Llandry and Eva seem to share the main character role, and are both very likable. As well as their male companions, Tren and Devary.
The slight horror side of the story keeps you somewhat on edge. The landscape for the scenes are all beautifully described, they sound like places I wish to go.
The ending is a nice surprise but leaves you hanging for book 2. I personally can't wait to read it.
(review of free book)

Review by: Amber Ivers on May 26, 2012 :
I read draykon in less than eight hours. I enjoyed reading the struggle that Llandry had within herself and admired her courage. To be an average girl and become popular over night must have been a nightmare. Then to top it all off things started happening and her safety was in jeopardy. It was fun reading her reactions to the dangers and her stubborn will to continue on.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jessica Torres on Feb. 20, 2012 :
The deeper I dive into self-published Fantasy books, the more I find to love. Draykon is no exception to this! Charlotte E. English has successfully managed to mesh a sweeping fantasy world together with vibrant characters, and a very compelling mystery. As a reader I was treated to a story that immersed me so wholly, that I couldn't put it down! Once you're in, there is no coming back.

Draykon tells the story of two very different characters, in alternating chapters. Overprotected by her parents for reasons unknown to the reader, Llandry feels trapped. I honestly didn't feel much for her. Her character was unsociable towards others most times, and I didn't get to know her as well as I would have liked. On the other side of the coin is Lady Evastany Glostrum, who is a strong willed and kindhearted woman. Despite her position as High Summoner, Eva is one of the most practical and down to earth characters you'll ever meet. I adored her. I'd have followed Eva happily for books and books of adventures. In fact I liked her so much, I feel the need to mention that I felt as though Llandry's chapters were somewhat unimportant to the overall story. Just my opinion I know, you be the judge.

The reader follows these two women through the story, and it is so very easy to get lost in the huge and sweeping universe that English builds for her reader. Whole worlds exist inside the pages of this book. Realms of light, realms of dark, and those in between. Awe inspiring, and often terrifying, new beasts are presented for the reader's enjoyment. About half way through the story I felt so small inside of the world of Draykon that I almost wished I had a map. Okay, I did wish I had a map. Perhaps there will be one in the next book? This is high fantasy at it's finest. You aren't just getting a story here, but a whole new world along with it.

The mystery aspect is also incorporated into the overall story amazingly well. As I was navigating the vibrant lands of Draykon, so too was I helping Llandry and Eva uncover the mystery of the "istore" gem. I'll admit that I was about two steps behind them the majority of the book. Although English allows the reader to come along on the journey, she doesn't make it easy to figure out where it is headed, and I loved that. Such a sense of adventure! The ending, well I wouldn't have been able to see that coming if I was clairvoyant. I'm still not a hundred percent sure how I feel about it, but that is a spoiler in the making so I'll stop there. Suffice it to say that I'm eager to get to the next in this series so I can uncover what happens next!

I know this is a longer review so, if you are still with me, I applaud you! It's tough to sum up such a well-written story, with such vivid characters and worlds, in only a few short paragraphs. I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not Draykon is for you. I can tell you that it's a great place to get lost in! Happy travelling my friends.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Grant McHerron on Feb. 20, 2012 :
A good read & most enjoyable. Possible solutions cannot be eliminated until closer to the end and even then, twists continue to appear to keep you wondering how it's going to come together.

From the well crafted alternate reality to the pace of developments, this book is definitely worth reading.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Farida Mestek on Feb. 19, 2012 :
I loved this book very much. I was greatly impressed by the many-layered fantastic world created by the author as well as the many characters with distinct looks, abilities and personalities portrayed there. I would definitely recommend this book for those who love fantasy, magic and adventure.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Madame Diotte on Jan. 24, 2012 :
An interesting and enjoyable read. You can't help but feel for the shy Llandry, just like you can't help but root for Eva. I definitely liked the premise of the story and will be looking for the next in the series!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Eustacia Tan on Jan. 13, 2012 : (no rating)
Draykon is a fantasy novel. For some reason, I've slowly started reading more fantasy, which I guess is because fantasy is an indulgence for me. To cut what could be a potentially long-winded flashback short: I was told by my writing teacher that I was reading too much fantasy and it was affecting my writing. But now that I've (temporarily) finished school and no longer have to write dreary reports, I can read as much fantasy as I want.

But for some reason, absence doesn't make the heart grow founder. On the bright side, Draykon may have started to rekindle my love of fantasy. I'm going to give a sort-of-spoiler in saying that it took me to read nearly to the end of the novel to realise that Draykon is another spelling of the huge mythological creature that breathes fire. I noticed that it's getting common to intentionally mis-spell words to make them seem cooler, e.g. Vampyre, Faerie, Trylle. I don't know about you, but it's not very effective.

Draykon is also part mystery. The mysterious Istore (I hope this name has nothing to do with Apple!), is causing deaths and Eva has to find out the cause. But it's really more a fantasy novel, with a world very different from ours, and the mystery was more of a chase than a deduction from clues.

I'm also hoping that Draykon is part one of a series. Otherwise, the ending is seriously disappointing, because some mysteries (my lips are sealed) are not explained, but only hinted at. The true nature of the Draykon is never explained properly, and I felt very puzzled at the explanations (or lack of).

I got this novel free from the librarything giveaway. I was asked to write a review, but was not asked to write a positive review. I will be positive, however, and recommend you to read this book, because it's an enjoyable read.

(First published at http://allsortsofbooks.blogspot.com/2012/01/draykon-by-charlotte-e-english.html)
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Natasha Inconnue on Jan. 12, 2012 :
It took me a few tries to get started on this book. At first I didn't find the writing style that engaging but as I read further I began to be drawn into the remarkably complex set of worlds within Draykon. Stories told from multiple viewpoints can be frustrating to follow at times but I didn't find this with Charlotte English's book. Her characters were engaging and the plot lines fit together interestingly. My only complaint is that she finished the book with a cliffhanger! Now I have to wait for the second book in the series to be written.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: X VanArsdale on Jan. 03, 2012 :
I liked this story, I found the premise of a world that existed on three separate yet simultaneous planes, and interesting one. I wanted to like the book more. For me there was a slight but important disconnect in the story I think the author was trying to tell, and the words that eventually made it to the page. There were too many times where I found myself wishing for a map to pinpoint my location, or clearer descriptions of the animals and beasts that populated these strange lands. Did they look like us despite their strange names, or where they wholly unfamiliar constructs. Admittedly there is a fine line in what detail is too much and leaving nothing to the readers imagination, but whenever the characters were alone and moving through unfamiliar territory I felt even more lost and adrift than they must.
And that brings me to the main character Llandry. A Jeweler of great talent she discover a mysterious stone she dubs 'istore' and begins making jewelery out of it. Most of the rest of the book just seems to happen to her, there are a few times she takes an initiative, but on the whole she come across as a weak, overprotected self indulgent brat. And frankly not at all worthy of the amazing transformation the end of the book bestows upon her. It seems there should be a reason for such a damaged person, and yet we are given no clue what might have caused the change in the eleven years that elapses between the first chapter and the next. Saying all that she is however a vivid, fleshed out character, made more evident by the less dimensional characters around her. With the exception of her mother, who is portrayed as woman who rarely doesn't get her way.
Playing counterpoint to Llandry is Eva, a woman of power, both magical and political. I liked Eva. And I found myself thinking that if I wasn't going to learn the things I felt I needed to know to learn about Llandry to hold my interest there, I could most easily read a story simply about Eva and her quest for the source of the istore and the murderer plaguing her city.
I have to say honestly that Llandry's transformation at the end of the book was a bit of a shock, and a bit of a disappointment. To have a connection with the dragon, certainly, but to become one? I don't think it's something she deserved.
Having said all that, I know this is just the first in a series, and I will likely, for story's sake, likely take a stab at the next one. I would give it an extra half star if I could, after all there were some compelling characters, and there is so much potential here. Oh yeah, and dragons.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: carod on Jan. 03, 2012 :
Draykon is the first of a new fantasy series by Charlotte English. It takes place in a world in which alternate worlds, full of fabulous beasts and untold dangers, are accessible through gates. The “middle” world where the main characters live, is split into lands of perpetual day and perpetual night. This novel is as much a fantasy novel set in a unique and fascinating world as it is a rousing adventure and mystery. All the characters are interesting and rich and the reader becomes involved in their stories. Although the story alternated between the points of view of Llandry and Eva, this wasn't distracting and didn't take away from the building suspense. The story ended on a cliff hanger and leaves the reader anxious for the next instalment. Recommended for readers who enjoy fantasy with a bit of a mystery element. No material inappropriate for YA readers.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Rachel Cotterill on Dec. 30, 2011 :
This is a sweet fantasy novel with a pleasing mix of fantasy and adventure. For the most part, the book follows two characters: a young and anxious jeweller, Llandry, and a cynical High Summoner, Eva. When Llandry finds an unusual new gem - and Eva buys a piece of the resulting jewellery - they are both sucked into the mystery of where the stone has come from and why someone is prepared to kill for it. I love a good mystery, and I love a well-developed fantasy setting, and this book has both in spades. Definitely one of my favourite books of the year.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ritesh Kala on Dec. 17, 2011 :
Draykon is a story which revolves around a girl named Llandry. She is portrayed as being extremely socially awkward to the extent that she starts having panic attacks when she is among anything resembling a gathering. Llandry is a jewellery maker and is relatively unknown until she stumbles across a new stone which she calls Istore. This stone makes here instantly famous as the stone captures the imagination of the world and becomes the most sought after piece of jewellery after Eva is seen wearing it.
Eva, who is the other main character in the book, is a woman of high social standing and is a high positioned ‘government official’. She is in many ways the exact opposite of Llandry. She is charming and beautiful and knows just the right thing to say at the right moment.
The story is set in a fantasy world. This world is not like ours, where night follows day. The world is divided into Daylands and Darklands, which perpetually lie in light or darkness. This is just one of the intriguing aspects of the world. There are a number of amazing creatures throughout the book. Each of these creatures has been created beautifully and this portrayal really brings them to life. Although the author has been inspired by real world animals, she has enhanced or modified their abilities enough to create an array of creatures which is quite impressive. Oh, another thing is that some people here have wings and can fly. How cool is that!
As the book continues, it starts becoming apparent that Istore is much more than a simple popular gem. The story takes a mysterious turn when people who have Istore jewellery, start turning up dead. This is where Eva steps in to investigate and is pulled into the fantastical world which comes up next. The point at which the true nature of the ‘stone’ is revealed, the story turns into an all-out fantasy novel.
The novel ends with a cliff-hanger with a number of questions left unanswered, the answers to which, I suppose will be revealed in later books.
I did have trouble initially following the structure of the world and was expecting a map to make things clearer, but none was forthcoming. However, as the story progressed, things started to clear up, and I realised that a map would have been quite difficult to make, considering the twists the story goes through.
I really liked the story-telling style of the author and the two different story-arcs run smoothly along till almost then end when they collide magnificently and culminate in a crescendo. Now, all I can do is wait for the next instalment in the story.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Steven Tryon on Sep. 25, 2011 :
It was Elsa's cover art that first caught my eye, but the book lived up to the cover. It is a gripping story, full of intrigue and magic -- and wonderfully three-dimensional characters. And Charlotte knows when to end the story. I'm waiting for her next work.
Steve
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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