The Dragon Legion: The Sunborn Series de Isaac Hill

de Isaac Hill - Género: English
libro gratis The Dragon Legion: The Sunborn Series


Isaac Hill Publisher: anonymous, Year: 2024 ISBN: 9781738298426,9781738298419,9781738298402

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The Dragon Legion, book one in Isaac Hill's Sunborn series, is a gritty fast-paced novel that will have you fist-pumping throughout.

Broken generations ago in the Cleansing,The Sunborn Bloodline persists.

Dragh the Sunborn Empire’s last son rises in the ranks of the Second Legion, a Legion of criminals. Sent to quell the rebelling Northern Tribes, the last Sunborn son finds himself in a cruel world of politics, murder and betrayal as he struggles to survive.

Welcome to the Sunborn Series, where Empires rise, fall and against all odds, rise again.

The Dragon Legion is born.

Firstly, the main character is brilliantly written and emotionally driven and that has made Dragh Sunborn stand above all else. Outwardly, a killer. A self-professed murder hell-bent on serving the Legion. Inwardly, he wants to make it through this for his family. Dragh Sunborn, begrudging loyal, wants a life of his own. Hill has created a fantastic character here and I loved how we hear Draghs thoughts on everything to himself. There's a real struggle with his past and his future and I relate to Dragh this way. This is what resonated with me in Hill's writing - the ongoing rollercoaster of morally right and brutally wrong in a world where violence is the answer.

The way that Hill created the world was outstanding. We see hints of each area of this through the characters we meet from all areas. These characters journey throughout parts but it is the people we meet that show us how the world works. Instead of describing areas, Hill describes tribes and their own ways and this was a creative way of diversifying these characters and the world itself. I also enjoyed the camaraderie between Dragh and his legion. Hill writes the scenes with these characters together so smoothly and you can just picture them all laughing, crying and reminiscining round the fire. Even the familial aspect felt real. Dragh loves his family and would do anything for them and Hill is so good at these types of scenes that bring everyone together. There are even the mysterious characters that I hope get covered in the sequel.

Parts of the plot reveals may have been a little predictable however this was handled by Hill's writing. These reveals were handled perfectly and the way the scenes were written had me imagining a video game cutscene and being amazed by it. The plot itself picks up at the end of the novel to almost catastrophic proportions and I'm intrigued to see where it is going to go.

This was an action packed story filled with eager characters, easy politics and a massive scope to match the best. Isaac Hill's new novel should be on everyone's radar and I cannot wait to see what else is in store.author-publisher-arcs-copies read-20243 s Vee51 13


This was a fast paced and action packed read that kept me very entertained and wanting more. We have a flawed, but lovable and righteous, main character that struggles with facing his role in the world, politics, commitment and treason. All within a legion of former criminals.

Parts of the plot might have been predictable, but the set of amazing characters, the reasoning behind every decision and the overall complexity of the characters more than made up for it. The politics were simple enough to be understood but engaging enough that it wouldn’t get boring.

Overall, this was a great beginning to a series that promises so much more action, politics, difficult decisions and a plot that will keep any reader in the edge of their seats. I am very excited to see what else is in store for the Dragon Legion.

Thank you so much to Isaac Hill for providing me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.arc3 s Graff Fuller1,561 26

The Dragon Legion by Isaac Hill - First book in The Sunborn series

Adventurous, challenging, dark, hopeful,
mysterious, reflective, sad, and tense.


Plot- or character-driven? A mix
Strong character development? Yes
Loveable characters? It's complicated
Diverse cast of characters? Yes
Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25 Stars

First off, I love the framing of this story. How it starts and how it ends.

Secondly, the main protagonist, Dragh is a fun character to follow. He's not "normal" in these Fantasy stories (at least the one's that I've read). 

He is reluctant to become King, he's a Prince fighting his destiny. And, boy does he fight. He fights by drinking himself to a stupor, getting into fights while drunk (often losing, and finding himself in jail/goal). There is such a backstory to unfold/reveal...that it was easy to turn the page...and find out more.

The more, is that there is treachery afoot. We glimpse it in the opening scene, and we get bits and pieces of it through the story. 

There are people we hate, on first meeting, and there are people we grow to , to later find out, they are traitors to the crown.

Also, on the flip side. We meet people at first glance, that we immediately don't , to later find out, we just needed to get to know them better.

The battle sequences are well executed (there's a pun I meant to use), but there are intimate moments too. The author's ability to pull focus within the battle to one sequence, but then pull out, to show how the battle is being won/lost, then to pull you back into the direct line of fire. I really enjoyed those moments.

There is also a Golum/Smeagol moment from one of the mystical characters in this story, that I thought was truly well done. The character seems, from the outside, to be talking to himself, but for him...he's talking to another (that others do NOT see). That happens a couple of times, and at each time, I chuckled (for it was done so deftly).

There are a few times where I wish we got more information, or were able to spend more time with this person or that person (don't want to give anything away), but the story had to keep moving...for the plot wasn't able to stop and breathe. 

I love the "found family" trope...and this was done really well. The characters that comprise this found family, are not the type of people you'd expect...to want to call family, but for our protagonist...it is, what it is. They are the ones that always have his back, and he has theirs. A rising tide, raises all ships.

As the book closes out, it is obvious that the author is teeing up an epic story, and I'm all in. I do hope that we get a few other POV characters...to allow the story to have more complicated scenes/sequences that you don't always get when it is from just one person's point of view.

I read this book in just two days. I started it at about 6 PM on Monday evening, and finish at 10:30 in the mornig (the day of its publication), Tuesday, May 14th. Such a delight to read...and I cannot wait to hear what others think about this story.1 1 comment Joshua WalkerAuthor 2 books35

This review was originally posted on SFF Insiders

The Dragon Legion is the first book in the Sunborn Series from debut author, Isaac Hill. It’s the beginning of what is promised to be a multi-generational epic, and if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, I don’t know what will.

This story closely follows the character Dragh, heir to the Sunborn King’s throne, and member of the Second, a legion comprised of criminals. The story kicks off with the total upheaval of Dragh’s life, and I thought it was done brilliantly. From the gritty tones and setting of the first chapter through to the end of the book, the pages would not stop flying. Within fifty pages, we are already seeing the legion fight in a siege, have their leader replaced, and more.

In many ways, there is an undercurrent of desperation and urgency to Isaac’s prose; this reminded me a lot of Bridge Four in The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, both in tone and story direction. Occasionally, the prose can be a little too short and punchy, taking away from moments where impact could have been more carefully placed. But this is a small complaint for me, and didn’t impact my overall read of the story very much. Where The Dragon Legion differs from The Way of Kings, however, is in Dragh’s character, who acts with a stoicism I only wish I could adopt in my own life. In the face of many tribulations, both in the past and the near future, Dragh is a realist, and this appears to be the driving force for much of the plot/backstory development.

There are some other really cool things happening with this book too, that I think fills a gap in the current fantasy market. For a start, there is a definite influence from the thriller/crime genre here; this feels the kind of high-quality page turner you could pick up from Lee Childs or Matthew Reilly and smash through on a single plane ride, fused with classic fantasy. The book does not stop or slow down once. There are also many funny moments that paralleled my own reading experience of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series for the first time, which I loved as a way of breaking up the mood and monotony of a military-driven fantasy.

I don’t mean for the word ‘monotony’ to show that I felt bored reading this story–in fact, I felt quite the opposite. However, I’m not naturally a military fantasy reader, because in that genre, tone tends to hang over the story a little a storm cloud, and there is never much variation from the ‘army’s needs must’ plotline. Those who are military fantasy fans, though, will perhaps find comparisons to David Gemmell’s character Druss the Legend, who I did actually enjoy reading the many adventures of as a young adult. In that same vein, I found myself reminded of the close character storytelling of RA Salvatore’s Drizzt books, mixed with the quick pacing of Conn Iggulden’s historical fiction novels.

Overall, this is a fantastic, fast-paced military fantasy debut that makes its mark in a world where reinventing the genre wheel is always prioritised. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for innovation in fantasy and sci-fi, but sometimes a book that feels inspired by the classics and does everything it sets out to do well is a welcome read. I can therefore highly recommend The Dragon Legion, and look forward to how Isaac continues the sequence in future.1 Cory Rathbun54 4

** I received this book as an eARC from the author via BookFunnel. No compensation was promised or received, just an honest review.

Initially drawn to the book by another user sharing the cover reveal, it looked something I’d pick up! Dragh Sunborn is a Prince of Landor who doesn’t want the crown, instead serving in the Second Legion which is composed of convicted criminals. A mix of brutal combat, a reluctant royal finding himself, court intrigue, politics and betrayal - the book drew me in right away. Various Roman and Viking themes will be familiar to anyone with a passing interest in history. Dragh’s story weaves in elements of destiny and fate along with the very human themes of family and the hopes we hold for the future, along with the dark and bloody business of being a soldier. I read it start to finish in a few short days and the epilogue has me very curious for what this generational story of empires formed and fallen and risen again will venture to next.

A new author to watch and be excited for! I enjoyed it a great deal and will gladly pick up the sequel.1 Joel AllanAuthor 1 book22

The Dragon Legion by Isaac Hill has strong bones, but ultimately falls short. The story itself is intriguing and yet I never felt truly invested because the writing continually let me down. I think my biggest gripe is with the dialog tags. There were so many instances of a line of dialog doing enough only for the tag to explain exactly what had just been conveyed in speech. Over and over again. That coupled with too many clipped sentences soured my enjoyment.

I could go on and on about it, but I don’t want to pile on the negativity so I will keep this review quick. The best part is that the book moved fast. Even with my many concerns I constantly found myself turning the pages to find out if the story would continue to follow what I was expecting to happen. Thankfully a few things that I didn’t predict surprised me.

I am excited to discover what the follow-up book will be about. This series is sold as a generational saga and I really hope that it goes in the direction it has set up. Either way, I probably end my run with Isaac’s writing here and now.

Rating: 2/5arcs the-breakins1 Nathan Fantasy Reviews111 23

tl;dr: A low-magic military fantasy with bloody battles, sword fights galore, and political intrigue that doesn’t overwhelm the book, The Dragon Legion is sure to be a treat for readers looking a short, fast-paced, action-packed SFF book. While this book really didn’t work for me, I think this had to do more with what I in a book. The political aspects from the book’s blurb are not overly complex, and at times the book feels an extended prologue for the series rather than really moving into the heart of the story. Having said that, the book absolutely excels at what it aims for in practice (being a brutal military fantasy). If you are more the target audience, definitely give this one a look!

My full review:

I want to preface this review by saying that, while the tone of this review is going to be “mid”, hearing a lot of other praise from authors/reviewers about The Dragon Legion definitely means that this is not a “bad” book but is rather just “not a book for me”. The purpose of this review is not the eviscerate the book or anything, but hopefully to help put The Dragon Legion in the hands of the right reader. Which, unfortunately, was not me.

The Dragon Legion is a low fantasy quest overflowing with violence and brutal battle/fight scenes. Hill has a real knack for verbal choreography, as his battle sequences come to life in vivid, cinematic detail. You feel every swing of the sword, every placement of a foot, and the horror of every decapitation. The Dragon Legion is an action-packed and battle heavy narrative, and anyone looking for a blood-soaked adrenaline rush should check this one out immediately.

Hill also finds a delicate balance of what to actually describe on the page and what to leave to the reader’s imagination. The violence never crosses a line into gratuity, and it never goes into a place that is gut-squelchingly disgusting. Hill ensures that the brutality of these moments is felt on the page, but uses a sparser prose style so that the reader fills in many of the gaps. As someone who directs “a movie in my mind” while I am reading, I got to adjust the horrors of the battlefield to my liking – while still being gut-punched by every thrust and parry.

The battle sequences of The Dragon Legion are punctuated by themes of military brotherhood, political backstabbing and maneuvering, and inter-ethnic tensions. The book is short and the plot is relatively simple, and so none of these elements are overly complex, which I think will work for some readers better than others. The blurb of The Dragon Legion really emphasizes the political machinations, and those are present by not quite the deep, political games that those looking for “political fantasies” may be looking for. A non-spoilery summation is “someone is attacking the kingdom – maybe it is the people we colonized to the north – but wait there is a deeper, more sinister plot at play”. Based on the book’s description, I personally was looking for a bit more here. On the other hand, readers who want just a bit of politics without spending too much time in the throne room talking about taxes and whatnot will feel right at home in Hill’s world.

Similarly, the book is quite light on worldbuilding and magic. There is almost a gray pastiche over everything that happens in this book, and it tonally has a lot more in common with medieval historical fiction (such as The Last Kingdom books) than it does with high/epic fantasy. This might be the lowest of low fantasy that I’ve read in a while, and reminds me of the early days of “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Anything supernatural is hovering in the background, and the focus of The Dragon Legion is squarely rooted in the human drama and emotions. Based on how things go I think the fantasy elements will become more prominent as the book advances, but this is definitely one for the readers who are looking for a lesser touch of magic and want a bit more “realism” in their fiction.

Not having to do immense amounts of worldbuilding or magic-system explaining was definitely a positive since the book is so short. This is probably the only place where I feel I have direct criticism of the book – it felt more an extended prologue to the plot rather than being the plot. The Dragon Legion is a lot of throat-clearing, but at 300ish pages it is a quick and efficient throat-clearing. It also means that the future books in the series are sure to be meaty!

In sum, The Dragon Legion needs to be in your hands if you want intense battles, a low-magic medieval inspired world, and a dash of political intrigue. While this book wasn’t for me, military fantasy/historical fantasy fans should give this one a peek! Kate Sibson127 5

Before I start, I just want to say while I didn't love this book, I didn't dis it either. I d it. It as was fine but it wasn't something that I could go into a major rant about, spewing superlatives all over the place. It was alright but it wasn't anywhere near terrible and there are aspects that I thought were done really well. So why the 3 stars? I don't actually know. I can't put my finger on exactly why I didn't this book more. I'm actually hoping I'll figure it out while I write this!

To begin, The Dragon Legion is a low fantasy with a lot of emphasis on military action. I think this is an area that the author does really well. The battle scenes are exceptionally written - it starts with highly organised units and detailed actions and descends into almost short, sharp shots of impressions as the chaos of battle takes over. It is detailed, with all the related viscera of battle, but doesn't descend into gore porn.

There isn't a great deal of world-building here and I did find it hard to get an impression of the land and it's inhabitants, either in Landor or in the North. The politics were a bit sparse, but there are kings and queens but an over-arcing Council who seem to be the real seat of power. Political wangling is supposed to be a main plot point but, to me, it seemed a bit blunt. There is a plot in the North but is there really? Well, yes there is but it wasn't particularly sophisticated. Having seen some proper sharp politicking in fantasy, this seemed a bit half-hearted?

The characters were an interesting bunch. Dragh is the only son of the King of Landor but he is now a soldier in the Second Legion; a legion made of criminals as a way of punishment. Dragh does not want to become King and it seems that he can just not be King. He is estranged from his parents, sort of. There is a strong found family in the companions he finds in the Second, which I thought was a good touch. There are some good characterisations within this book but I would have d a bit more information about some of them. Also, things happened and were dealt with without there being any real emotional fall out (I can't really be more specific but that would include spoilers but there are several instances that I can think of). I think, due to this, I never really felt invested in the characters. Which is fine but I'm going to need a really strong plot to make up for it.

And, I think that is the problem I had with this book. It is fairly short and has a nice zippy pace to it but I feel there is a lot of information missing. Why is Dragh in the Second legion? What did he do to justify that? How can Dragh just decide not to become King? What is the Council and who is one it? Where is this going? There was a plausible ending to treason plot but even that was dealt with in a paragraph or two. I just felt that there were swathes of information missing and it did take me out of the story at times.

The Dragon Legion is the start of the Sunborn series and it does have a "first book" feeling to it. I just would have d a bit more worldbuilding and background information than we got. It will be interesting to know how this develops as a multi-generational series, so I will give the sequel a go.

I received an advance review copy from the Author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you. David Clarke2

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