Title: Dragonsong
Author: Michael Forester
Publication Date: April 28, 2016

I received a copy from the author for the purpose of review. This does not affect my opinion in any way!

Goodreads Summary:

Rebekah, daughter of Merlin and noblewoman of Albion has been driven to madness by the murder of her lover Vidar. In her torment she bargains with the Prince of Demons to turn her into a dragon. Once transformed, she seeks to take revenge upon her father, Merlin, whom she is fooled into believing is responsible for Vidar’s death.

Behind the subterfuge stands Oberon, Captain-King of Elves, who cannot foresee the devastation his jealousy and unrequited love for Rebekah will unleash upon the world of Gaia. Its salvation depends on the retrieval of the Sleep Stone from the gates of Hell. But if the stone is not returned the demon army will awake and ransack Gia in a war that will destroy its existence. Time is the solution – but only if the gods of Asgard can nd a way of stopping it.

Dragonsong is a unique epic fantasy that explores fundamental themes of good and evil, jealously and revenge. Woven together with a gripping and powerful plot, the pattern of the language, the musicality of the form and the profound emotions invoked carry the reader to extremes of human experience and capability at both its best and worst.

I’ll admit to feeling somewhat intimidated by a fantasy novel written entirely in verse because I’m very much a literal reader and I thought it would mean having to look for hidden meanings or interpretations or some such thing, and maybe you can do that, but it’s written in a way that is easily understood.

The author very skilfully weaves a tale of bravery, betrayal, destiny, revenge and more. It involves the fae king Oberon, Albion’s high wizard Merlin, Michael who has the ability to see through the heart of a person, Rebekah daughter of Merlin, and a very intricate curse set off by a scorned love. Human failings are highlighted within as well as qualities which allow us to rise above other creatures.

What I most loved about Dragonsong was the feel of an epic story being told with connections that weren’t immediately apparent. spanning centuries and lifetimes. I found it to be sad, lyrical, captivating, bittersweet and beautiful, and would challenge anyone who loves fantasy to read this for a change in pace from the usual format of prose. I loved every verse of this incredible tale and would definitely be less hesitant to read fantasy in this format in the future.

About The Author

Some are born with silver spoons in their mouths. Michael Forester was born with a pen in his hand.

Of course, it was immediately pinched by his big brother who put it on a shelf too high for him to reach. He got his own back though. He nicked his brother’s abacus and hid behind the sofa with it. Thus his accountancy and entrepreneurial career was born, but always clouded by a nagging suspicion that his true calling had something to do with writing.

By the time he was 30 he was finally tall enough to reach the shelf, and took down the pen. This induced a bout of split personality disorder in which he oscillated between pillaging the stock market and writing books teaching others how to make incalculably vast sums of money (one was called Going for Growth and the other, How to Make More Profit). Unfortunately, they didn’t make incalculably vast sums of money themselves.

The millennium year saw a complete volte-face (millennia can be quite feisty like that, Michael says – still, not to worry, he’s fully prepared for the next one) in which he determined to devote his life to poetry, fiction and life writing. The first result was If It Wasn’t For That Dog, about his first year with his beloved hearing dog, Matt. (Michael has been severely deafened from the age of 30). Sold on behalf of the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, the book is still in print.

Short stories followed on subjects ranging from goblins and dryads to inter-racial love in a racist age, marital breakdown to bureaucracy, nursery rhymes to Alzheimer’s disease. Not far behind came poetry from haiku to epic fantasy poems and New Age mind-body-spirit writings on subjects as diverse as self-worth and the nature of physical death.

In 2009 he won first prize at the Winchester Writer’s Festival in the ‘Writing can be Murder’ category. He has been short/longlisted three times in the Fish Writing Contest.

Eventually Michael felt ready to start his first novel, Vicious, a story of Punk Rock, reincarnation and the second coming of the Messiah. It took six years to complete the manuscript which passed through five drafts and will be showcased by The Literary Consultancy in November 2015. It was followed by its sequel, ‘Daughter of Man’. Both volumes await publication while Michael works on the third and final volume of the trilogy, ‘If The Dead Be Not Raised’.

Now at the venerable age of 59 (deep respect, master, deep respect) Michael divides his time between Tenerife and the UK. He numbers dryads, angels and Liberal Democrat Voters amongst his closest friends (but he acknowledges the last of these are widely considered to be mythical creatures).

Michael is now blessed with the opportunity of devoting the better part of his time to the pursuit of literary stardom. His children look on aghast as he squanders their inheritance on such profligacies as A4 printing paper and laser toner cartridges.

They need have no concern. He plans to leave them the pen.

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