Matt's Reviews > Draconia: Forging Trust

Draconia by F.J. Hansen
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's review
Jan 05, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: science-fiction, fantasy, self-pub-small-press
Read from January 03 to 05, 2011

(Cross-posted to Android Dreamer, my science fiction blog.)

I didn't go into Draconia: Forging Trust with overly high expectations; I'm not much of a fantasy guy, and dragons never really interested me. I ended up being very pleasantly surprised.

A writer that wears his or her influences on their sleeve can sometimes come across as amateurish, but there is something endearing about the way F.J. Hansen writes in this book. There are a lot of times I feel like the prose could have been better, but any grammatical or general writing mishaps in the novel are made up for by tons of heart. Hansen writes with warmth, and love for his subject matter, and that really comes through in the book. It is refreshing to read something by someone who is doing the writing purely out of affection for what he's writing about. It's not trying to be high art, and it really isn't, but it is a lot of fun.

The story of Draconia: Forging Trust is essentially that the military of Earth is traveling through space looking for a new human colony when they stumble upon Draconia, a planet inhabited by sentient creatures resembling dragons of folklore. The novel is basically the story of their developing friendship, in spite of people on both sides doing all they can to stop the alliance. Hansen clearly has a bit of a problem with militarism, and writes a story about getting past differences and making friends. It could be argued that it is a little naive, but I found it refreshing.

It reads like a young adult's novel and really should be marketed as such. I think there a lot of kids out there who would love this book. It could use an edit job, as there are a few scenes that seemed to be there only for the purpose of rehashing what we have already learned, but it's really solid. There are some fun characters, and a great story of friendship in the relationship between human Ensign Audwin McClance and draconian Varthikes. I would recommend this story to anyone who likes fantasy and dragons; I would especially recommend this to younger readers. It is written with love, and that's really what makes it what it is.
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Reading Progress

40.0% "Really enjoying this so far. I wasn't entirely crazy about the concept to begin with, but it has turned out to be a strong story with a lot of heart."
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Adelaide Metzger Pleasantly surprised is what I want to hear!

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