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Dragon Prince

(Dragon Prince #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  14,354 ratings  ·  407 reviews
Deadly dragons hold the secret to unimaginable wealth for mutual peace, or a bloody tyrant's reign. An idealistic young ruler struggles to civilize a culture that understands the strength of the sword-but has yet to discover the true power of knowledge.
Paperback, 576 pages
Published June 7th 2005 by DAW Trade (first published 1985)
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Christopher Brehm It is available on audio. I borrowed it from my local library.

Community Reviews

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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,354 ratings  ·  407 reviews

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mark monday
Jan 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
read during my College Years

I Remember: completely overlong, bloated... some surprisingly good writing at times... a trashy epic... spousal abuse... rape rape rape rape rape rape... rape for both genders!... some actual dragonslaying... a bizarre soap opera filled with machiavellian intrigue... completely unappealing protagonists... continued reading just to see how bad it would get... helped me to dismissively reject the Fantasy genre during college (glad i got over that).
Zackery Arbela
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Gather round children, and cast your minds back to the ye old days of the late 80's/early 90's, when fantasy was still very much an underground thing, most stories were tedious Tolkien retreads or Dungeons and Dragons sessions put down on paper, and writers of the feminine persuasion were notably light on the ground. Which makes this book and the various series it spawn so interesting....

Nowadays, female fantasy authors are a pretty common sight, so it's a bit shocking to consider just how ahead
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
I read this book sooooo long ago, I could probably only tell you a couple of things about it. The problem is, even a few weeks after reading it, I doubt I could have come up with much more. It was one of those books where the concept was interesting as all get-out, but I found myself struggling with the execution. At the time I thought it was a lack of concentration, but now that I'm a little more well-read in the genre, I think it was just a little dry. Not quite boring, but on the cusp if you ...more
Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Really enjoyed this story. Sure, there were some eye rolling moments, a bit too much telling rather than showing, but gradually I grew attached to this place and these people and can’t wait to read the next installment of the series.
I feel rather betrayed by one of my favourite authors (Grace Draven) giving this 5 stars. I can understand why she likes it so much, it is well written and manages to weave several character threads in to an involved story without giving too much focus to any one in particular. Yet I found myself disliking most of the characters by the end of the novel and for me personally that always leads to a bad rating. Add that to the problems I had with the events near the end of the book and, well, it wa ...more
Jan 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People enjoying depraved acts and suchlike
Recommended to Rachel by: nobody
Shelves: fantasy, love, worst
Back in the 90s, I was helping by volunteering to set up a book sale at the local library with my mom. We also got first pick of the books there. I saw these books and they had nice covers, and an intriguing back. I asked my mom if I could buy them (being young myself). Ironically, it was from the box(es) of books we'd donated! And so, we bought back our own books, so that I could read them. (My mom swore she'd never donate books without running them by me first again.. not sure if she's held to ...more
Nicola O.
Aug 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite series. Owes quite a bit to Dune, I think, but creative enough on its own merits. In series like this, you often get either great characters or great plotting, but this has both. Heroes with dark sides, villains with layers, love and family and politics and magic twine together to keep your interest through several generations.
Stefan Yates
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The Dragon Prince is the story about a young prince who is unexpectedly thrown into the seat of power at a very young age. Throughout the story, Rohan struggles with balancing his ideals for peacefully ruling his desert kingdom and the unavoidable need to wage war against those who would threaten that peace. As much as it is about Rohan, it is equally about his wife, Sioned. She is a magic user, called a SunRunner, who's considerable powers are forbidden to be used to kill. However, as a princes ...more
Dragon Prince is quite different from most of my favorite series, but it's stuck with me for over 20 years as a cut above most things that I've read. It is far less action-focused than lots of fantasy, instead focusing more on politics, relationships, the nature of leadership, power, and the value of questioning norms.

Unlike most 'political' fantasy this one still has quite a bit of excitement and action as well. Unlike many 'relationship' focused stories this one highlights the fact that all of
Feb 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'm giving this book a 5 star rating but you must understand I read this book a long time ago and in my mind it has always been 'The Book'. Melanie's world was so rich, alive and beautiful - even her 'bad guys'. I realize that is a tad idealistic but I loved it. I loved the way she described her characters, as if each of them was dear to her. Everything in that book felt loved.
It is the book that first first made me want to create worlds and characters of my own. I'd read fantasy and sci-fi boo
I honestly thought that, rereading this for the first time in about 15 years, I'd have more trouble with some of the cheesier bits, but honestly? I still adore it. Cheese included. I love this world. I love how coming back to it always feels like coming home, and how encountering these characters is always like reconnecting with old friends. I love the richness of the magic. I love the dragons. My perspective on some of the characters has shifted somewhat (for example, I'm much quicker now to ca ...more
Good set piece start, drifts away to rubbish. Has a positive review from Anne McCaffrey, the patron saint of lackluster writing.
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
The story is very political, which is fine and normal in fantasy literature. It was the characters who disappointed me. Rohan's first few chapters introduced him as smart, capable and calculated. He wanted more for his kingdom than constant war, and seemed set to be a great literary hero. Unfortunately, his love for Sioned was not so beautiful. Like most of her male characters, Rohan's carnal urges overwhelmed his reason throughout the entire novel. His lust, or "Fire," for Sioned (and hers for ...more
Ken Badertscher
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Romantasy or Fantamance?

Dragon Prince, Melanie Rawn’s first novel, was ahead of the fantasy/romance genre curve in 1988. Rawn decorates an epic fantasy core story with romantic trappings, and it works, most of the time. The early medieval fantasy world of Dragon Prince comes to life in vibrant Sunrunner magical colors. The environments, especially the desert, are depicted in fine detail, capturing the reader with sensuous descriptions. The book has a few minor issues: recurring emotional imagery
Amanda R
When I was 15 and going through a very hard time, a girl I worked with handed me three tattered paperback books and told me that they would help me to feel better. She then cautioned me that I couldn't keep them, though - they'd been handed down four times by that point, and the condition was that I had to read them, love them, and then pass them on.

That was 17 years ago, and those books are still sitting on my shelf. Oops. My one defense is that I got the author to sign them (four years after
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
Actual rating: 3.5 to 4 stars.
Jul 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People who like soap operas and hate good literature
Melanie Rawn writes total garbage. One or two good ideas littered with shallow characters, nonsensical plots, and anticlimactic endings. This book almost makes me wish I was illiterate.
Apr 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: other-ebooks
I'm not sure how I didn't read this back in the late 80s or early 90s, when it was new and I was reading fairly indiscriminately through the fantasy genre, or as much of it as I could get my hands on. But somehow I didn't.

It bears its age pretty well, I think (unlike, say, Jennifer Roberson's Sword-Dancer, which I found almost unreadable on returning to it recently). Some aspects, mainly the depiction of the romance between the two protagonists, do feel very dated, but most of it still felt very
Aug 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Melanie Rawn writes epic fantasy that keeps me invested in the story. Her characters are not perfect people, even if they are idealistic--reality won't allow for idealism and they are forced to make decisions and break their own codes of honor time and again.

I enjoyed all of the political maneuvering in this book. That's 90% of the book. Because the entire thing is about power--not wanting it, wanting it, wanting more of it, how it can be a burden, wanting to secure it. But it's also about love
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. It has been a long time since I read this and I have it on my list to re-read so my review may change at some point. My recollection is that this book was VERY SLOW and wasn't interesting enough to make me want to read the next book in the series.
May 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Melanie Rawn's fantasy world full of Sunrunners, Princes and Dragons is one of the most beautiful creations I've read about. The Sunrunners are people who can send their thoughts out over sunlight to communicate or view things over long distances. They learn, inadvertently, that dragons possess this same power. Meanwhile, warring Princes and overly ambitious religious leaders make this story feel more like a political intrigue than a fantasy novel. And just a friendly warning: Rawn isn't afraid ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 28, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Another series of books I wanted to like, I was looking for something to read.... It didn't matter, and it didn't work. The books just didn't interest me they couldn't pull my interest in, much less hold it.

I know a lot like these, I see the good ratings, but they're just not something I wanted to read, didn't finish the first.
Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is huge! What I thought was the first SERIES was the first book.The is a great sweeping book that is inspired in it's scheming and politicing.

I'm re-reading both series (6 books total). I can't remember which book had what in it so I'll go through it again and rate aptly. It's taking me ages as DBF is visiting and I'm not getting much kindle time.
Dec 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is a fantastic fantasy series and I am surprised I hadn't found it sooner! The characters and plots are a blend between David Eddings and Anne McCaffrey, but still very unique in many ways.

This takes place in a world where there is no "magic" persay, but there are Sunrunners that can use sunlight and moonlight to view far away places, speak telepathically to eachother, and even create fire and illusions. They are used as messengers, advisors, and spiritual leaders and are held in high regar
Bridget Coila
Sep 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
For me, this was an ok read...I finished it, but I probably would not read it again and it isn't staying on my shelf (its heading to the used book store next trip that direction.)

At the time it was written, I'm sure it was innovative to have a strong female character as one of the main characters in the book and the departure from "dudes on a quest" style fantasy was a big deal...but in the intervening decades, there are series that are wayyyy more impressive in terms of characterization and plo
Dec 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Melanie Rawn paints a very compelling female-positive swords and sorcery story that is vastly superior to it's "damsel-in-distress" counterparts. Introduced to this book in my youth (simply because it has dragons, and I have a fetish), I had forgotten how politically driven the story is.

Opening with action that leads to a young and un-blooded heir assuming reign over a large kingdom with a valuable secret only he knows, the intrigue is strong from the start. Add to it the idea of an arranged mar
Dec 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
REREAD: 25 July 2014 - 17 November 2014 (8/10)

Rereading with Judith Tarr's read along.

I really enjoyed this. The faults in the book that Judith brought up, I knew were there but had chosen to ignore. This reread was a chance to again acknowledge them (and the changes in the genre in almost 30 years) and yet still enjoy the book. I just plain like this series.

Last time I reread the book I had plans to go on to The Star Scroll and never quite got around it it, so I'm happy that reading on
Nov 06, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: adult readers
This was a re-read, although since I hadn't read it in many years I had forgotten most of the nuances of plot. Due to violence, addiction, sexual situations and rape, I would recommend this to more adult readers.

This story is set in a world of princes ruled by a High Prince. It is filled with politics among princes, among mistresses, among Sunrunners (those with the ability to send their thoughts and observations anywhere the sunlight goes) and even about the hunting of dragons. Sometimes the qu
Aug 24, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Alex
Shelves: 2008, did-not-finish
What an awful book. The writing is competent, which is what kept me involved for so long. But after the time jump (post-plague), I could see that we weren't going to be making much progress, plot and character wise. What miserable people.
Noura Noman
Feb 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Bought at 99p at a bookstore in London, I could not believe what a GREAT fantasy it turned out to be. Melanie Rawn is a wonderful creator of worlds and characters.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • A Pride of Princes (Chronicles of the Cheysuli #5)
  • The Uncrowned King (The Sun Sword, #2)
  • The Elvenbane (Halfblood Chronicles, #1)
  • The Stone Prince (Branion, #1)
  • The Will of the Wanderer (Rose of the Prophet, #1)
  • The Copper Crown (The Tales of Aeron, #1)
  • The Barbed Coil
Melanie Rawn received a BA in history from Scripps College and worked as a teacher and editor before becoming a writer.

She has been nominated for a Locus award on three separate occasions: in 1989 for Dragon Prince (in the first novel category), in 1994 for Skybowl (in the fantasy novel category), and again in 1995 for Ruins of Ambrai (in the fantasy novel category).

Other books in the series

Dragon Prince (3 books)
  • The Star Scroll (Dragon Prince, #2)
  • Sunrunner's Fire (Dragon Prince, #3)
“Nothing is written stone, child. Even if it were, the stones can be shattered” 29 likes
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