Bitterwood by James Maxey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Dragons rule the world and subjugate the men living in it. Those who aren't enslaved are taxed into poverty. The dragons rule forged a man into a dragon killing weapon. Dragons took away his family so he takes away their lives. His name is Bitterwood. Unfortunately it seems the feared Bitterwood has killed the wrong dragon. After killing the prince, the king decides humanity must be wiped out once and for all.
Bitterwood is truly not at all what I expected it to be. The dragons aren't truly the massive fire breathing monsters I envisioned. They aren't much bigger than men. They also live in castles, keep slaves, read books, collect taxes, and do many things ancient rulers were known to do. The most surprising thing is it gets weirder. The story itself is actually largely science fiction.
Some aspects of Bitterwood are just what I envisioned namely Bitterwood himself. After losing his family to dragons, Bitterwood turned into a medieval Punisher basically deciding the only good dragon is a dead one. He kills all the dragons he can and allows his hate to fuel and guide him.
While Bitterwood is the tile character most of the story is told through the eyes of others. The varied points of view were overall appreciated, particularly Zanzeroth. Zanzeroth is an advisor to the king, but is largely known as a deadly Hunter who is still somewhat feral. He stalks Bitterwood throughout the tale and is incredibly dangerous.
Bitterwood was a largely enjoyable story with little resemblance to what I initially imagined.
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