Mar 25, 12
Read from March 23 to 25, 2012
I absolutely loved this book though it takes forever to figure out who's who and what's what. There are basically four main characters and a boat-load of supporting characters.
The land of Votstov is perpetually at war with the Ke-Han people who share a mountainous border. Volstov has the mechanical/magical Dragon Corps which Ke-Han does not but the Ke-Han have a different kind of magic...wind magic. The Volstov think their force is superior but after every defeat, the Ke-Han return.
There are two separate storylines. One involves a military man disgraced and exiled for having a homosexual affair with the prince of a neighboring town. Margrave Royston is a magician with a talent for blowing up things and is usually at the forefront of the military campaign. When he is exiled he develops a fondness for Hal, a very intelligent if much younger man. The other involves the Dragonriders. A group of 14 men that have been raised to think their stuff don't stink. They have no manners and don't give a darn about anything but their dragons. Due to an indelicate sexual encounter with someone else's wife and offering her money like a common whore, Rook, the most outspoken and least civilized of the group, has them all punished and forced to take etiquette classes. Thom is a student at the university and is coerced to endeavor to teach them manners and respect. In a surprise attack, the Ke-Han magically overcome the Volstov's, Hal, Thom, Royston and Rook must defend the city and defeat the enemy.
Like I said I enjoyed this book and will definitely be reading the sequels. Though I must warn the squeamish, there is vulgarity throughout. The "F" word is spoken by any and all of the characters repeatedly. And even though this is technically a MM story, kissing is as far as any of them go as they are much to busy to do anything else.