When Chris Behrsin isn’t out exploring the world, he’s behind a keyboard writing tales of dragons and magical lands. He was born into the genre through a steady diet of Terry Pratchett. His fiction fuses a love for fantasy and whimsical plots with philosophy and voyages into the worlds of dreams.
Preface: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Actual rating: 2.5 stars Explicit content: The first 2/3rds are pretty clean, but the last takes a hard left turn and becomes pretty sexually charged
This book is kinda a mess, and it became a chore to get through. At the outset, it seems pretty simple. Our heroine likes dragons, our hero likes automatons. These two things are opposed in this world, but they have to work together on a project for the king (purifying a special substance that's basically coffee steroids). Simple, clean, easy.
But then, a new character comes in, and the story suddenly shifts. Now our king is apparently a villain, the substance we were cultivating is evil, and we have to go to a completely different county to...do something? A little messier, but still pretty understandable.
But then...suddenly we're in the king's palace, there's a brand new villain, our heroine is drugged out of her mind and squished together into a romance with a new character, characters are turning into dragons and changing genders and wanting to give up everything just to have sex with each other and falling in love right and left...it's utterly bizarre, and the story is much worse off for it. The pace slows to an absolute crawl in this section, our heroine's objectives become muddied and confusing, our hero disappears from the page, and all these new characters are suddenly thrown into the mix. (And, seriously, what was up with the magic-drug side-effect being changing characters' sexes against their will? Why??) This story really had no idea what it wanted to be or where it wanted to go, and instead we get this weird, winding trail that doesn't really lead anywhere. The characters become flat or boring, characters' sacrifices induce yawns instead of tears, and the whole thing takes such a wild fantasy slant out of nowhere (magic potions, prophecies, shapeshifting, the whole nine yards). It's very jarring.
Even beyond the problems of the last third, I wasn't really enjoying myself through most of the book. Our main character is whiny and bratty, even more than you'd expect from a normal 17-year-old. There's a weird thing going on with her love interest and his former girlfriend, who is another main character in the story. I have no idea how old the love interest is, but his ex is fifteen years older than our heroine...so either the ex was robbing the cradle, or our love interest is, it's not really made clear. He had a lot of potential, being pretty arrogant and foppish, but his humanizing moments are never quite strong enough to make up for how irritating he is, and his feelings for our heroine feel forced when she's nothing but rude to him.
A lot of the story also supposedly hinges on the girl's relationship with her dragon, but he's completely flat. He has no personality, no real hopes or desires - he might as well be a blimp. It's disappointing, especially since we encounter a dragon character with actual intelligence, who can talk and have agency.
Overall, this was not an enjoyable read. Dragons in a steampunk universe has potential, but this book had no idea what it wanted to be, and the characters - and reader - suffered for it. Would not recommend unless you're really, really into the idea of steampunk dragons and are willing to suffer all the other bizarre stuff along with it.
I like Steampunk, and I like dragons. This book does justice to neither.
0% Agency 100% Plot Convenience
I am absolutely convinced the author was simply making up the story as they went along, putting the MC in situations with no solutions except for shameless ex machina, which is used painfully often. There is actually a scene where the characters don't know how they will avoid being caught by an antagonist, and then, for some very vague reason, the antagonist LITERALLY poofs into a cloud of smoke and vanishes, allowing our heroes to continue. The ability to vanish in smoke was never aforementioned nor explained later. The author doesn't even try to hide the fact that they don't know how to fix the plot holes.
I would say that maybe this book's lack of depth could be explained by passing it as a YA, but the excessive themes of drugs and sex just make me wonder who the demographic is even supposed to be. (Then again, I've noticed most YA books are hyper sexually charged for some reason so I don't even know anymore)
******VERY MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD******
Pontopa feels like Faso's presence is comforting "for the first time" about 3 or 4 times.
Velos can't help fight in a very important fight because his gatling guns are drained of energy. But then the next fight comes up and suddenly Faso has a "backup" energy source. Why didn't he just use the "backup" back then????
And then! Now that Velos is ACTUALLY drained, they encounter another fight, but guess what? Faso brought a SECONDARY backup? Where is the threat? There is no tension because every threat is met with a half-baked miracle convenience.
Velos is drained of energy and lacks the strength to go on, but then proceeds to preform an intense feat of prowess. This happens 3 times in a row. Why even bother describing the characters as "tired" or "exhausted" if they are simply going to keep finding the strength to do incredibly straining actions anyway.
I wrote this review voluntarily after receiving a free copy of the book.
It was interesting and enjoyable! I did like all the characters, and dislike all the villains!
I only got mad at one of the hero's once. That was when he put armor on the dragon. Although, I will admit it all turned out for the best.
Three of my favorite characters were Pontopa Wells the main female dragonseer, then Sukina Sako an author and a female dragonseer, and Faso Gordinia man who is an inventor. Pontopa seemed to be the questing main character. Sukina was her teacher who was a little wiser. I think Faso was mostly there for comic relief.
Mostly the story revovles around Pontopa and Velos her dragon. It starts out with her small life in a small town delivering a thing called seccaio until one day King Cini calls Pontopa, her dragon, and Faso into a contract. There are separate contacts for Faso and Pontopa. A few days later Sukina shows up and the adventure starts to begin. Unfortunately, one of the three I like dies in the book, and I won't say who. So, if you are thinking of reading it. It's not a complete shock.
I would recommend this book to someone who likes fantasy and steampunk! Just for reference there are romance themes that probably shouldn't be read if you are under 14. Just my opinion, but I did love the book!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Dragonseer is the first installment in a steampunk fantasy series about dragons and an imagined world where economies are driven by a drug called secicao. Pontopa has a valued skillset as one of the most successful distributors of secicao. She is forced to partner with a man who also has this skillset and a horrible reputation to go with it. Throw in her favorite author and mentor and she finds that she has a special gift as a dragonseer and uncovers the horrible truth about secicao and its impact on the environment. The book has elements of steampunk, fantasy, politics, and environmental themes. For me, it had a bit too much going on. I believe it might have done better with the dragonseer aspect of it being told in a separate story from the secicao aspects of the book. I found myself getting distracted and a bit lost at times reading it. Because of this, I had a difficult time connecting with any of the characters. It was a good idea in concept, but could have been carried out in a bit more organized fashion.
This book was quite a surprise. I had no idea where the story was going to go next. I love Dragons, of course, and the Dragons here are depicted very well. The plot is very intricate with lots of twists and turns. The writing is excellent and easy to read. The pacing of the story is well done with each event building up to the next one. There characters are well written and you get a sense of their motivations very quickly all while the writer continues to build their personalities for you. The story winds up the main story line but still leaves a bit of a cliffhanger to draw the reader into the next book. All in all, this book is definitely worth the read. For the record, I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book with the request to leave an honest review for other potential readers. This book meets all of my criteria for a total of 5 stars. I look forward to reading the next installment and reviewing that one as well.
Very powerful and moving. An analogy of what we humans might be doing to our Earth. Pontopo was raised believing that the secicao oil from the secicao tree was a wonderful elixir that improved a person's abilities, and made the King's army stronger. She and her dragon Velos have been harvesting and making the oil for the King. The King demands that she work with Faso, a pompous inventor, to improve harvesting and production of the secicao. But then she meets someone from Faso's past who tells them what the harvesting of secicao is really doing. It is killing the Earth and eventually the people. As they join together to let the world know, they will be in danger, taken hostage and forced to drink a liquid that could ultimately change their physiology, and fight to the death to survive. I received a free review copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Chris Behrsin’s Dragonseer (Secicao Blight Book 1) is exactly what it’s advertised to be, a “Rip-roaring” steampunk fantasy adventure. I loved the world-building here, with its dragons (and dragonseers and the “collective unconscious”), airships, automatons, drug-fueled battles and so much more. Add in a neat cast, from Pontopa Wells (gotta love that name) on down (special credit to big bad drug lord King Cini (again, what name), and an imaginative and well-written plot. The result is definitely all pretty darn great. But for the fact that I’m literally dictating this review to my husband from my hospital bed I could go on with praises. The book certainly deserves it. Since I can’t do that I will simply note that the book is one to read, and it is easy to recommend.
If you wish an example of a well-written well-edited book, go no further. If you are looking for a dragon fantasy that will not insult your intelligence, this is it. If you crave airships, tweed suits, and the other accouterments of steampunk, you will find it in spades in Dragonseer. Here’s the thing—I read Dragonseer on the recommendation of a friend. I don't even like fantasy or steampunk, but Behrsin hooked me nicely and coiled me right into his fascinating world.
If you want to discover some of Behrsin’s plot points, read some of the other reviews. If you want to read an engrossing book that will hook you from the very first paragraph, then add this delightful story to your library.
I received a copy of this book for a review. I must say that this book is intriguing, fun, fast paced, action packed, with loads of dry humor. There are three aquaintences that later become friends and Dragons! One special Dragon called Velos and a vengfull king named Cini II, who is out to cause trouble for the friends and the rebel groups. There's crazy automatons, a ferret autamotan that likes to stun its targets and seems to have a .ins of its own, and a plant that is harvested to be turned into a special drink that enhances human and Dragon abilities but, is dangerous to the environment. This book has it all! I think I fell in love with this book from the word airship. It is a very adventurous book and definitely one to share with the family.
A Good story. A lot of depth to it. The story feels heavy with time to me. A sorrow and also worry for the future. There is some happiness. There will be more books to explain more. If you like books about history in the making, war to achieve it and heroes who come from the bad times then you will love this one. To me this series would be a better movie. Like they did with "Lord of the Rings" but make two movies for each book. Or better yet a series that would last for a couple of years or so. There is just so much you need to read before you understand what the concept is to be, were one picture would convey it more quickly. I received a complimentary review copy of the book and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
A mix of Steampunk, Fantasy and Dragons.... King Cini, a monarch with a specific agenda, puts Pontopa Wells and Faso Gordoni under contract to supply him with Secicao. If the two rivals can find a way to work together, they just might be able to fulfill the contract. But if they do, will they be helping to destroy the planet?... The way the author tells this story and blends automation with dragons is fascinating to me. The book is well written with an interesting plot and moves at a good pace with some twists and turns that surprised me completely. Besides being a really good story, it makes you "think" !
Dragonseer by Chris Behrsin s a wonderful story to read. This is the begining of this series and writen by a brand new author for me to read and fall in love with. I highly recommend this story to everyone who loves reading about fantasy, dragons and Steampunck.
This is a superbly written story in a compelling and complex world with well developed and interesting characters.
I received this book from the author via StoryOrigin as a review copy for a fair and honest review and I am voluntarily leaving a review.
The author has given us a story with dragons and strong female leads. It had the potential to be really good, but at times seemed to just shuffle along instead of being crisp and decisive. However there is a very powerful example of just how bad addiction can be. This is related to the strong storyline demonstrating that good can switch over to evil when the motivation changes. Most of the story is told in an overwhelming bad environment. The world is set on self destruct and people seem to blind to see it. Clearly a story with many morals if you just open your eyes.
All books start in a place where you don't know the characters and the world, and so it takes a bit of effort before you get over that hump. In this case, I never felt that I got over the hump. None of the characters were truly three-dimensional and the world seemed on the brink of fully-realized. I think with a few more drafts, this could be a good story. But right now it's all very surface-level and unfortunately it was a slog to get through.
The story isn't a bad idea. The blend of dragons with steampunk isn't that bad either. Writing or editing could be better. I don't usually expect an ARC to be that polished but when I discover later books are already out then I expect it should have been fixed by now. The weakest point is that I didn't really like any of the main characters that much and I felt like I had to plow through it. Overall, the best I can say is Meh.
This was a new author for me so started reading with interest, although it jumped around a little once I got involved in the story-line and the challenges the main character is presented with, I couldn't out it down until I finished it, will now be waiting for the next stage of this story to be published. As a dedicated McCaffrey fan, I can recommend getting to know another breed of dragon.
This is a marvelous tale of dragons and the women who bond with them and sing their emotions. Pontopa Wells has grown up with a colored dragon, and raiding the south lands to gather secaciao to support her family. Suddenly, she is involved in a battle of the royals and learning she has a destiny she never expected.
I really liked the premise of the story but the editing is so bad that it was hard to get past the poor mechanics and enjoy it. There are some interesting characters but they too suffer from the editing. I would like to read it again after it was tidied up and polished.
This is a fab steampunk fantasy adventure read filled with action, battles, romance, twists and turns and best of all, dragons! The world building is amazing and the storyline gripping and I found myself totally immersed in this tale!
Received as a review copy, this is an honest review. It was the how this story was structured that really prevented me from truly enjoying this book. Really sucks because the characters were finely described and I liked the action that was happening.
I enjoyed this steampunk dragon adventure. There is a threat against the world, a young dragonrider coming into her own, a king who is really a puppet-king … Looking forward to see how the dragonrider grows and if she can stop the threat …. I received a free copy of this book, with no obligation.
**** SPOILER ALERT **** UPDATED: This is not your typical tale of dragon's and their companions and enemies. "Dragonseer" is my first introduction to Behrsin's writing. This "taste" of the author's writing has left me hungry for more! Behrsin does an excellent job of world building and I was drawn in to that world very quickly. As we follow Pontopa's progress through this action packed and thought provoking story learning about her innate talents and true purpose in life. I strongly recommend this book. In the interest of transparency: I was given a copy of this book to edit and review. I admit that I am a little biased. I am sharing this review voluntarily. This is my own honest opinion.