Review: Knight of the Silver Circle (Dragonslayer #2) by Duncan Hamilton

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Synopsis

Gill and Solene are heroes, and they have a dragon’s head to prove it. They answered the call and killed the mighty Alpheratz, and now they are going to be famous. And rich. The Prince Bishop will not be able to touch them. But their dreams of fame and fortune are suddenly interrupted when the mayor of a nearby town seeks them out to tell them her town has been attacked. Not just by one dragon this time, but three. As Gill takes on the role of Dragonslayer once again, Solene decides to return to Mirabay to search for more answers that magic can provide.

Meanwhile, the Prince Bishop continues to scheme ways in which he can take credit for the dragon slayings and increase his circle of power. Word gets out about the new dragons, enticing hundreds of warriors to show up for the hunt and forcing Gill to find them quickly before others get killed. As the story unfolds more secrets from the past are revealed, and we learn about a lot about the history between humans and dragons in Mirabaya. Turns out things are not always as they seem.

Review

Knight of the Silver Circle follows the events of the same characters as its predecessor, Dragonslayer, in the aftermath of Gill and Solene killing the dragon Alpheratz. They are are expecting to return to the capital as heroes, but instead are pulled into another dragon-hunting quest. As their newest adventure gets started, it feels almost as though Knight of the Silver Circle is going to be a repeat of Dragonslayer: Gill fighting dragons and his own internal demons, Solene struggling to control her magical powers and constantly searching for a solution, both of them resisting the political games being played in the capital, and Prince Bishop scheming to get more power.

Dragonslayer was the beginning to a story with much potential, and Knight of the Silver Circle was full of opportunities to fulfill that promise. This book was supposed to open up this world the author created, give the reader more insight into the history of interactions between human and dragon, expand on the magic system, evolve the characters into something more. Through the first half of the book it appears that is not going to happen, and the fear is that the reader is going to be left with all that possibility on the tip of their tongue.

But, then the author pulls the trigger, and Knight of the Silver Circle begins to deliver. We find some of the dragons are DIFFERENT. Solene’s journey into the fount suddenly becomes much more important. A new-ish character arrives to stir the pot. The Prince Bishop ups the ante big time. Gil reconnects with his past. And it all comes together in a surprising way, each storyline crescendoing harmoniously to a final climax that makes it worth the wait.

As for areas of improvement, I am still waiting on that strong female character. Solene is still at the whims of men around her, and the same goes for the other female characters that have large-ish roles in this book. I have not decided if Gil’s progression (or lack, thereof) is a blessing or a curse. In Knight of the Silver Circle, almost every other characters furthers his/her/their storyline by getting more powerful, more dangerous, or evolving. Gil’s character does not really have anywhere to go, but maybe that is okay. It might be what helps this story avoid getting into too much power creep.

Overall, Knight of the Silver Circle is a very good sequel to Dragonslayer. It is exactly what I was looking for as a reader: the story gets bigger and deeper, the characters continue to grow (for the most part), and the dragons are even more remarkable. There stakes are higher in this book, which is why fans of Dragonslayer will like it even more. I recommend it for all fantasy readers, especially those looking for a well-crafted adventure fantasy. I look forward to seeing how this story continues to grow in the finale, Servant of the Crown, which is scheduled for release in March 2020.



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