After being betrayed by his own greatest warriors one thousand years ago, the great white dragon hatches six human daughters, with his own dragon blood flowing within them, from eggs. Arming them with the very swords of the traitors’, the daughters are trained in the ways of the sword.
Six daughters, dragon blood flowing within their veins, are now sent off alone to bring one of the traitors to repentance, or justice.
Later, Ilfedo, a man of the woods, meets up with Dantress, the youngest but most powerful of the daughters, making their fates intertwine.
Betrayal and love circles this tale together until a great sacrifice brings it to a close.
Swords of the Six is a Christian, fantasy novel written by Scott Appleton. It is the first book in The Sword of the Dragon series.
I stumbled upon this book not too long ago while browsing through our Lifeway book store with my little sister. My sister and I immediately spotted it and both snatched it up in awe. What drew our attention? The cover. That beautiful, beautiful cover. Plus, it had a dragon on it! So it had to be good, right? Then, I flipped it over and found that Bryan Davis, my favorite author of all time, wrote a very positive review for it. When I open it up I found Wayne Thomas Batson, another author I like, also wrote a review for it. Plus, the description sounded intriguing. So that was it, we had to have this book. Unfortunately, it was not all I hoped for.
This book had great potential, but came short in many areas.
First, the grammar needed much work. When I first started it I thought some errors were missed during publishing, but was surprised to see this was just the style the author writes in, making it very difficult to get through. I am a total grammar Nazi, so I just had a really hard time reading this book with all the mistakes. Commas were missing all over, jumbling sentences together that forced me to reread them a second time or two in order to understand. In a great deal of parts, suffixes were misused. Some words ending in ed often needed to be ing words, and vise versa. The way the paragraphs were parted were often a bit strange. One of the greatest things that bothered me was his use of but and and. On a very constant bases, sentences began with but or and. I am perfectly fine doing that occasionally, but nearly every other sentence? No.
Second, the story in general was a bit bland. There was no great plotline, no thrilling suspense, no epic climax, nothing drove it anywhere. It was just one little scene after the other where you kept thinking something epic was going to happen, but it never came.
Third, there was not enough detail. I was often quite confused during some parts and just was really hoping for more explanations on things, thinking maybe they would come later, but they never did. I think the story really could have gone into much more depth.
One other thing that bothered me was there were scenes that were literally copied and pasted from earlier. Twice I saw this, one of which occurs quite a few times. There is a reoccurring dream one of the characters has, and each time, the dream is written exactly like the first time. I have no problem with the reoccurring dream, it was part of the story, but I think each time it could have been explained differently or just said it was repeated, not copy and pasted about four times I think. Not the end of the world, but just annoyed me a bit.
Now, this is not to say this book was all bad. There were some great messages within it and definitely a few interesting parts. I know it is getting a wide audience of fans, so this might just be my opinion. The author explained that this book is more of a prelude or prologue, if you will, to the rest of the series. I suspect things will go into more detail later and perhaps have a much more grander story line, so I am certainly not going to completely forget the series altogether. This story probably is more of a prologue to all the rest.
The story immediately begins right in the middle of a great battle scene against a fierce dragon. I was actually captivated during the first part with the exciting battle scenes and treacherous characters that come as the battle ends.
After an ending of traitors killing the good, the story moves to a thousand years later in the great white dragon’s grand palace where six eggs are about to be hatched. Out of these eggs comes six human daughters, the dragon’s blood flowing through their veins. The idea of a dragon being a father to six humans girls seemed intriguing and fun to me.
When they are a few years older, the white dragon bestows three rusted swords to each of his daughters, explaining these are the swords of the six traitors that betrayed him a thousand years ago. Now his daughters must learn to use them in order to put an end to the traitors, who have apparently cheated age with the use of magic (or at least I am pretty sure that is why they have lived so long. It did not go into great depth of that yet.)
All the first few chapters I found rather interesting, putting grammar flaws aside. I felt as though the author was building up a great plot. To my disappointment, the book did not get anymore exciting after the first chapters.
Soon after getting the swords, another timeframe jumps to the girls being near 17 years old. Now having grown greatly talented in swordplay, the dragon sends out his daughters to find the first traitor, Xavion, and put an end to him. Strangely, this is where the story does not really get anymore interesting. Though they do go find the traitor, nothing much really happens.
The book splits into two parts, and near the middle we jump to the second part that more covers the story of Ilfedo, a man who lives in an untamed wood. This part I was not exactly pulled in to. I felt more like I was reading a pioneer story than anything, which I do not like, especially when I am expecting a fantasy story with dragons.
So here you have much pioneer-type stuff, for most of the rest of the book is about Ilfedo.
The ending seemed a bit drab to me, and somewhat predictable. Not much of a climax or anything. Although it did give off a good message about sacrifice. The author has a good heart and I am pleased he uses his writing for the glory of God. I will always give points for that.^^
One thing I did mostly enjoy in this book was the battle scenes. Starting from the very beginning, there are quite a few conflicts placed here and there that were nicely written. The use of the six swords also interested me greatly. The swords, in the hands of the girls, had certain abilities and were used much throughout the story.
Though you do not see much of them, the villains I rather liked. You have rather scary winged humanoid creatures, devastating dragons, a powerful witch, some giant serpents, down to terrorizing bears, all of which played a good role and made for interesting fight scenes.
The setting of the book was very magnificent and fairytale-like. From the dragon’s magnificent palace to ruins of an once enormous fortress to the greenery of a fine forest, the lands seemed very enchanting and beautiful. I would have liked to have been given more of an explanation of the world it is set in, but being as how this is the first book I suspect more of that will come later.
There were definitely some Christian messages within the book, the greatest being that of the love of sacrifice, which was told beautifully. A strong contrast over good versus evil set the book well I thought, amongst other things here and there that I was pleased to see.
Though there was no great flaw with the characters I think they could have been better. As each of the six daughters hatched from their eggs, I was looking forward to getting to know each of them, but unfortunately did not get much of the chance.
Dantress is the main character and heroine of the story, as well as pretty much the only one you get to know very well of the six. I could never decide if I liked Dantress much or not. At some points I did, other times I thought her maybe a bit too perfect, while other times I was disappointed in her. It seemed like her character was a bit inconsistent.
The other daughters did not seem to have much personality, two of which I especially did not know what they were like at all. One part in the story made me very disappointed in these five girls, though they seemed to have a good heart throughout most of the book.
There were some characters I did rather like a good bit. The white dragon I was fond of, as well as his friend, a wise shepherd. Then there was Specter who was probably my favorite in the whole book. Ilfedo I did not have much of a problem with either, I think he was a fairly good character, although his character almost did not fit his lifestyle to me. Another somewhat inconsistent one.
All in all, the characters were fairly well done, but I think they could have been a lot better. Being as how this is more of a prelude to the rest of the series, I will not judge the characters yet, they might just need more “screen time”.
With talking animals and a fairytale scenery, it would seem this book would be appropriate for the young, but I actually do not believe it is. While yes, there are some lovely places, the battle scenes can get quite gory. The entire theme seemed a bit more for an older audience, yet the writing and story I would think would point to the younger, so it is hard to say with this one.
The fights are definitely gory and the villains are very treacherous. My 13 year old sister desperately wanted to read it, but because of these things, and because she cannot handle gore very well, I decided she might should be just a little bit older.
I am in quite a quandary what ages to suggest. I do no think the young should read it, but adults might not find it greatly interesting either. I am thinking perhaps 14 or 15 years old and up for this one. It is all more in the matter of opinion of the person though.
I feel like this whole review is all negative, which I feel really bad about. This book did have some interesting things in it and a good message. I know it has a wide audience of fans, so I would not completely dismiss it.
As mentioned before, Swords of the Six is only a prelude to the rest of the The Sword of a Dragon series, which means there is most likely much more story, character development, and epic scenes to come. I am not going to quit the series here, think it can be an interesting story, and I think it might get to be that way. I honestly do not think I can give a proper review until I really have read the rest of the series. The second one, Offspring, is soon to be released, or perhaps already has been, so hopefully I can get my hands on it and see how this tale plays out.
Honestly though, I think it was worth the buy just to have that cover on my shelf. I mean, have you seen it? It is gorgeous!!
To put my opinion all into one sentence, I think Swords of the Six had great potential, but it was not ready to be published yet.