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Bitterwood (Dragon Age, #1)
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Bitterwood (Dragon Age #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  1,155 Ratings  ·  111 Reviews
Bitterwood has spent the past twenty years hunting down dragons, one at a time. But he is getting old and the hate that he has carried in his heart since a group of dragon-soldiers killed his family is beginning to fade. When he kills the royal prince dragon, the king decides the only retribution is genocide of the human race. Bitterwood is forced to enter the Free City, t ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 482 pages
Published June 26th 2007 by Solaris
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Community Reviews

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Rating details
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Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Dragons, dragons, dragons. Sky-dragons, sun-dragons, and earth-dragons. Wizard dragons that (view spoiler) and can turn invisible. Ninja-assassin dragons. Philosopher librarian dragons. Wandering, robed dragon cults. A dragon dubbed the "Murder God."

Then there're little girls who have strange powers over animals. Gigantic (view spoiler) prophets of Jesus Christ. Green-skinned immortal humans. Genetic tinkering. People don't really ride
Aug 05, 2009 rated it really liked it

New-weird writer China Mieville has gained fame not only for his surreal stories, but for calling the inimitable J.R.R. Tolkien "the wen on the arse of fantasy literature." Not exactly a charitable statement. But while most of Mieville's attacks could be attributed to differences in personal preference or philosophical conviction -- one could answer condemnations of John Ronald Reuel's "cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded an
Jason Garman
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
What It’s About

In the distant future, a race of intelligent dragons dominates the Earth. They have subjugated humanity as slaves and pets, disdaining them as inferior beings. Bant Bitterwood is one of those subjugated humans, but when dragons kill his family and burn his hometown, he dedicates the rest of his life to killing as many dragons as he can. He kills so many that he becomes a folk hero to the humans and a terrifying legend among the dragons. When Bitterwood kills the dragon king’s favo
Jan 18, 2010 rated it really liked it

Bitterwood was a fun surprise. In my endless quest to find more books to read at night (when my husband is at work), in my parked car (waiting for my oldest to get out of school) and of course the endless waiting in the accurately named waiting rooms; I sometimes take a leap of faith and try new stuff from lists. This book came from a list of authors who attended Orson Scott Card's Literary Boot Camp.

I didn't realize that Bitterwood was about dragons until I went to orde
Mar 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, dragons
This book sounded like it was going to be a Robin Hood style dragon-slayer story, and I thought "Oh, cool!" Unfortunately, it was just plain weird. While our main character, Bant Bitterwood, does indeed have a bow and arrows with which he slays dragons, any interest factor stops there. The rest is pointless. The dragons themselves seem more like dinosaurs, or just really large iguannas. There's this "prophet" (more to be said on that, but it would definitely be a spoiler) who spouts out scriptur ...more
Jan 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Delightfully odd! I appreciated the scientific backdrop because I'm a huge nerd. The heroine annoyed the crap out of me as did her pretty boy sidekick, but I enjoyed Bant Bitterwood who incidentally experienced the most development. The action was fairly well written, who doesn't love dragons?! There was only the occasional line that made me cringe. For the cost of free, this book was great. Just picked up the next book because I want to to find out what happens next (which is a rarity).
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow i just finished rereading this book and i have to say it is still one of my favorites. James Maxey did an amazing job creating characters and world building. Worth a read if you like fantasy and sci-fi.
Ian Wood
Jan 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Eh. The main "hero" is too whiney and doesn't feel like a hero. Some of the characters are likeable, I just had a really hard time liking Bitterwood. It felt the book also got pretty preachy. A lot of talk of God and even throwing Atlantis in there.

Will I read the next book? Maybe if I am bored and have nothing else to read. I was right in the edge of a one star and two star rating for this book.
Susan B
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was so glad that some chapters gave us an insight into Bitterwood's life they gave us vital information and developed his character well. Enjoyed the tale of the dragons and how they came to be ,as there was no time references began to suspect early on there was more to the plot. Will definitely read more in the series.
Nov 05, 2016 rated it liked it
A fun read with intelligent dragons who rule the earth and humans humanity on the verge of being killed off. Enter an unlikely hero or three who set the stage for a new order.

Two more books in the series.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook
Great read. Well written plot, characters, the whole thing. Even the bad guys are good! Can't wait to read more!
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 star

Blah. I forced myself through it. It improved a little from the beginning, but it is just sloppy and a lot of cardboard characters.
Nick Reys
Dec 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, read-2012
As is the case with most things in life, it’s the oddball that captures our attention. Whether it is the sheep in a pack of wolves or the cactus amidst tulips, our attention will be aimed towards that what doesn’t seem to belong. When it comes to books, it’s not that different. Not me for, at least. When I come across a book with quite a different premise in comparison to what I’m used to, I’m tempted to give it a try. A good example of this is James Maxey’s Bitterwood, cause its premise is quit ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
At first I didn't think I'd like the book. I was getting confused with all the names. Anyone who could write this, in my opinion, has to be a genius. Not too happy with the wizard dying but glad he and Jandra each let the other know their true feelings. As for Pet, guess he matured a lot. Amazing book.
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I was going to wait to write this review until I finished the second book in the series, but the list of to-reads is piling up and James' next book is slipping down in the pile (not because I don't want to read it but because of gifts I've received lately that I feel obligated to read so those people know how awesome they are for getting a book for me (thanks JoDee and Judy) - it's always important to keep family happy.

Anyway, I do want to review this GREAT book. It was a fun read, and a quick o
Brian Hodges
May 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
This book was my first foray into the world of pure fantasy since Lord of the Rings. So I have no idea how well this guy did sticking to or breaking from conventions within the genre. All I know is that it was a mesmerizing story. Taking place on Earth in the far future, dragons have become the dominant lifeform on the planet and have all but enslaved the human race. One man, Bant Bitterwood has made it his life's mission to kill as many dragons as possible. But after he kills the king's son, an ...more
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beware: SciFi and Fantasy!
I already read the trilogy once or twice and was surprised that I wasn't able to remember anything of the plot. Must have been quite a long time ago. Now I read the first one again, thinking 'yay, another great fantasy novel!'. However, this isn't the kind of fantasy I thought it would be, because it is actually science fiction with fantasy elements. But it feels more like fantasy with some scifi elements, so don't worry, fantasy-fans!
The setting of the story is our earth (view spoiler)
James Marsh
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Would you consider the audio edition of Bitterwood to be better than the print version?

I have enjoyed both the print and audio versions of Bitterwood. I would gladly experience either, but audio books are so convenient and bring the action to life.

What other book might you compare Bitterwood to and why?

I got back into epic fantasy with James Maxey's Bitterwood, Storm Front by Jim Butcher and Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. I enjoyed each of them, but just comparing each volume on it's own bitterw
Mar 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Is this a book about a vengeful human fighting dragon tyranny or a rebel dragon wizard & his human protégé fighting a mad king? Personally, I feel it’s the latter. Although the story starts out with the titular Bitterwood as a teenager, after the first chapter we see little of him until 1/3 of the way into the book. Bitterwood is just a shadowy figure throughout most of the book. Even after he’s reintroduced, his character sees very little development – most of the story seems to center on t ...more
Jul 31, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Artemis Grey
Jul 15, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
James Maxey spins a wonderful tale. This second of the Bitterwood trilogy picks up where the first left off, and takes on a non-stop ride. The main characters from Bitterwood continue their stories, well, some of them, and we are introduced to new and compelling characters. Some of them could go on to spin off their own trilogies - how about it James?

The blending of dragons as equals (or are they superior to humans, hmmm?), and earth as an alien world, and technology is reminiscent of Anne McCa
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a captivating book. Really had me engrossed. Loved the writing although the violence and gore was excessive in places. Can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great read where dragons rule the world in a reversal of fortune, seems humans had created them for fun, to hunt them down as prey, then they gave them intelligence so they would make the hunt more challenging but these took over and now humans were the slaves and remebered nothing of the time when they were in fact rulers and intelligent!! however some dragons had sympathy for some humans they formed bonds with, like jandra and pet. whilst bitterwood (bant) was an avowed dragonslayer and when ...more
Ben Arispe
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I liked this one. I didn't really know what to expect when I started it. Dragons ruling the world and humans as their slaves and pets. One man standing against an empire. I feel the author should have given more description in the way the dragons looked and moved. I had a hard time visualizing it. in my head, the majority of them looked like the guardians of Wyrmrest Temple from World of Warcraft. As the beginning of a trilogy, it was pretty good. We are introduced to some great characters, and ...more
Mar 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This book is a traditional fantasy in theme, but it's set in a somewhat apocalyptic future on Earth. The story is fast-paced with complex, interesting characters. Each character has his/her own priorities and values which adds complexity to the conflict. The story is told from many viewpoints, but the story is clear and easy to follow despite the strange names and many characters.

The world-building is excellent overall, but some small details remained unexplained. (For example, Jandra's unendin
Apr 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended highly.

I wrote to my friends:

"...a thoroughly entertaining fantasy.... Finally, a novel that is actually better than the stuff Ted's been writing. This novel was (cliche, but true) difficult to put down. It was suspenseful and often not predictable, yet at the same time the author was able to inject humorous scenes and was able to playfully bend the rules of the genre. It was a blast. Highly recommended."

Elements of Robin Hood with attitude from The Princess Bride, in a world somewha
Mar 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
I really enjoyed this - it has quite a unique idea and was a real change. In this, the dragons rule the kingdom, and they have their own culture, ideas, language, and emotions. They even wield swords and spears (though I couldn't quite imagine this!) and use magic. This was just a totally different way of looking at dragons! It was interesting to see them portrayed like people, with lots of conversations, different personalities with their own stories to tell and reasons behind their actions. It ...more
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I've been an avid reader since I first picked up a book. Luckily, I was within biking distance of three different libraries growing up. I was a skinny kid. If only I had maintained that link between biking and reading, I might be a skinny adult.

I'm also a writer. I wrote my first book as a kid, an adventure about pirates and ghosts. When I was a teenager, I used to write superhero adventures. The
More about James Maxey...

Other Books in the Series

Dragon Age (3 books)
  • Dragonforge (Dragon Age, #2)
  • Dragonseed (Dragon Age, #3)
“Sometimes, when we feel the greatest need to be alone, it's the moment we should most welcome the company of others.” 3 likes
“Dragons know nothing of human hearts. The loveliest woman never sees her own beauty with her eyes until she sees it with her heart.” 1 likes
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