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(Ballad of Sir Benfro #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,053 ratings  ·  133 reviews
The dragons of Glwad are dying. Persecuted for over two millennia, they're a shrunken echo of the proud creatures they once were. And yet in new life springs hope: Benfro, son of Morgwm the Green, the first male kitling in a thousand years. Long ago dragons wrought a terrible wrong to the land, and now is the time for redemption.

Every young boy in the Twin Kingdoms dreams
Paperback, 500 pages
Published August 14th 2014 by Penguin Books (UK) (first published March 8th 2012)
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Michelle Holden My husband selected this book for myself from the adult fantasy section of our local waterstones. I am presuming it is adult fiction as the category…moreMy husband selected this book for myself from the adult fantasy section of our local waterstones. I am presuming it is adult fiction as the category states fiction and not children's fiction on the back cover.(less)

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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,053 ratings  ·  133 reviews

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Christine Spoors
I absolutely loved this book and can't believe it isn't more widely talked about on Bookstagram! I am so annoyed with myself for not picking this book up months ago because it is a brilliant fantasy.
It is set in a unique world, that I think was inspired by Wales and the Welsh language, where both humans and dragons exist. I loved that the dragons in this book are intelligent and live in villages and can read and write, rather than simply being winged fire breathing animals.
I enjoyed each of the
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was actually pleasantly surprised by this book because I bought this without ever hearing anything about it and not knowing that there were very mixed reviews on Goodreads and Amazon about it. I purchased this 100% for the cover design which I adore on this edition and I think it's so beautiful and fits very well with the story so for the cover it's a 5* book. Moving onto the plot etc...

This is a story which focuses around 2 central characters, the first is Benfro a young Dragon Kitling who ha
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
An OK read, the characters were interesting, but somehow, it never really drew me in. I took 12 days to finish this book, but I did enjoy it a bit. ***I decided, based on the characters, to try the next book in the series, in 2 days, I am about half-way through it. Much better!***
steph // bookplaits
Feb 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
In three words: intriguing, enjoyable, slow.

"'Time has a habit of making chaos from the most perfect order.'"

I was thrilled to win this book from my friend Christine (@weereader on Instagram). First, I loved the fact that it was a fantasy world inspired by Wales - it's not something I'd come across in a fantasy book before and I thought it was really interesting. However, I struggled a bit with the names of people and places because I'm unfamiliar with Welsh pronunciation.

Although the world itse
Cora Tea Party Princess
Feb 15, 2014 marked it as did-not-finish
DNF at 8% - I'm just not in the right place for this book right now.

I'll give it a go some other time, when I can wrap my head around how to pronounce all those weird freaking names. I found I was spending an age going over each name and all of the different ways it could possibly be pronounced and so it took me a long while to read as far as I did and made me a little reluctant to pick it back up when I put it down.

I received a copy of this for free via NetGalley for review purposes.
May 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Taken from

Dreamwalker is a fantasy novel that chronicles the lives of three different people who share not only a birthday but also intertwining destinies. One is a power hungry princess who will stop at nothing to gain the throne going so far as to even kill family members. One is a royal son born in secret and hidden away in a remote village on the edge of the forest. Finally, one is a young dragon—the first male dragon to be born in one thousand years. Usi
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
joined my local library (finally, albeit I visit every week as I always talk my daughter) and I picked out this book as the first "real" book I've read in years as I always read on my Kindle. Loved this book although obviously very different to his detective novels. Can't wait to get the next book in the series
[This book was provided to me gratis by the publisher, Penguin, and for that I thank them. I also thank NetGalley, for existing. Without them, I'd have fewer than 80 books in my Kindle's TBR folder. The paperback edition of Dreamwalker is out August 14th 2014, but the ebooks are available now.]

J D Oswald is the evil doppelgänger of crime writer James Oswald, author of the Inspector Tony McClean novels of which I've read the first and don't rule out continuing with. Dreamwalker is the first of hi
Elise Edmonds
This book is a classic fantasy, and tells of a secretive dragon society, with a parallel story of an adopted royal orphan who is integrated into a priestly order against his will.

I was going to give this four stars. It's well written and enjoyable to read. The characters are painted well and the magic system is interesting.

The dragon society didn't quite work for me because the dragons came across as seemingly very human. They spoke and ate and drank and lived in villages and houses - just lik
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was after a book with dragons , that was my only requirement when I started reading this book.

What I got was a wonderfully complex world of magic, intrigue and adventure. As well as great dragons.

I love the use of Welsh elements, especially the little bits of Welsh language dotted through the novel. I adored that the dragons have their own culture and customs, that they are fully rounded characters and not just knight fodder.

I am very excited to read the next book in this series.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I was after a book with dragons , that was my only requirement when I started reading this book.

What I got was a wonderfully complex world of magic, intrigue and adventure. As well as great dragons.

I love the use of Welsh elements, especially the little bits of Welsh language dotted through the novel. I adored that the dragons have their own culture and customs, that they are fully rounded characters and not just knight fodder.

I am very excited to read the next book in this series.

Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy to read yet intoxicating, It rekindled my pleasure in reading.
Aug 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Oh sweet baby jesus, this book took FOREVER to read. So much so, I don't even remotely remember when I started reading it. Two, three months ago, maybe? I've read stuff in between which is the only thing that made me read again. This book is way too long and could've been reduced to at least half its size. The characters are horribly cliché and lack character or any kind of depth. That being said, the book picks up considerable after you reach it's half point, when I was starting to enjoy readin ...more
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall an entertaining and easy read, I've recently bought book two to continue on the adventures. The characters are interesting but the plot can feel a little rushed/predictable at times hence 3/5.
Linda Wallis
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Received as a Xmas present!
Love it! Dragons & Wales...sort of!
What's not to like!
Good writing with a palpable sense of menace from the human kind in this tale.
Situations brought to life so much that I wanted to scream at one Dragon not to be so dim!!
Beautifully written descriptions of places which brought them to life.
Methinks my book tokens will be buying the next ones in this series!
It took me a while to get into this, but once I did I was hooked. This was a really good, really enjoyable fantasy with a nod to Welsh folklore, mythology and language—though I did have to groan and then laugh when I learned Martha's full name....

Much of the story revolves around the story of two teenagers; Errol is a human, Benfro a dragon. They share a birthday, and although they never meet during the course of the book, their lives are intertwined. Admittedly, there are some elements to the s
Michael Yorke
This book is by no means original and in fact conforms to all the 'standard' fantasy stereotypes - an evil queen in her castle, the free folk living in the woods, dragons and magic, and a young boy with a mysterious noble background. But that said, on the whole it's an enjoyable read for fans of the genre. The characters are interesting and the story has potential to become engaging, however this first volume of the trilogy does feel very much like it is just preparing the way for the next book ...more
Charon Lloyd-Roberts
Jun 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody save your money don't waste it on this book.
So this was one of those books that I got in 2014 I liked the premise but well as you can see I wound up hating this book and yeah it's a fantasy book and normally I enjoy books like this but nope I hated it as I did not care for any of the characters or the plot which is a shame looks I'll be doing another unhaul what fun, but yeah I wont be continuing with this series I've already wasted my with the first book and I don't want to see what else happens nor do I care.

A summery for Dreamwalker:

Line Bookaholic
I did not like this book as much as I thought I would. I had been postponing reading this for ages, and I think it was still not the right time to read it. The world created was really particular and unique, the dragons were not the kind of dragons you find in other fantasy books. The magical system is still not really explained at the end of this book, but it seems interesting.
But I could not get myself to care for the characters, I was mixing their names at the beginning and I did not know wh
Dec 05, 2015 rated it liked it
This book for me was extremely frustrating. It had so much potential and this was only seen in the last hundred pages.

So much scene setting and unneeded added extras, I found the characters taking to long to come into themselves and rather predicable. Also I thought the two main characters although apart in the story should be more entwined in their paths.

However, the last 100 hundred pages really started to shape the characters and the plot started to come together. It really took a turn and
Charmaine Zoe
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a(very) long time since I've read any fantasy fiction and I only got Dreamwalker as a freebie for my Kindle on the strength of having enjoyed the author's Inspector McLean Mysteries so much. I'm so glad I did as I have really enjoyed discovering the world and characters that James Oswald has created. The parallel lives of Sir Benfro and Errol and their adventures have really captivated my imagination and I can't wait to see how their fates intertwine, so have already purchased Books 2 ...more
Isa Boog
May 06, 2015 rated it liked it
2,5/5 stars. When I found out one of the main characters in this book was a dragon, I was very excited to read it. And, to be fair, the dragons were pretty awesome. I was, however, soon disappointed by the high amount of fantasy cliches the book started off with. I almost lost interest, but the last few chapters were a lot more exciting than the rest of the book as the story finally picked up pace. I hope The Rose Cord will continue in the same way.
Jun 09, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Some good ideas in this book but the writing is very poor. I was looking forward to reading it but really struggled through and was left very disappointed.
more like a 2.5 but i rounded up because of the ending. i'll probably read book 2 tbh.
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans, Fans of The Inheritance Cycle (Christopher Paolini)
Shelves: 4-stars
I told myself not to buy any more books but I had time to kill and found myself in W H Smith where I stumbled across this book. It sounded interesting, so despite not having any shelf space for it, I bought it. I don’t regret it however, as it was a great read and I am looking forwards to reading the rest of the series (minus the second book as I have already read it). There was not a huge amount that happened in Dreamwalker but it has set the scene well for the rest of the series.

Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 1 of the Ballad of Sir Benfro. An enjoyable start to what is seeming to be a promising fantasy series.
For fans of the Eragon series or even a Song of Ice and Fire.

This book has a good combination of old school sword and sorcery fantasy trappings with hints of political intrigue. However if slow political intrigue is not your thing, fear not for it has a small and appropriate presence here and does not bog down the story.

Our main characters are interesting and easy to follow. There is Errol
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

I love James Oswald's Inspector McLean series of books and thought I'd give this series a whirl and was disappointed to find I don't enjoy them as much. The premise is off to a good start with the book including the point of view of a dragon. However, the thoughts and actions of the dragon are just too human. This is understandably so but the effect was to always make me conscious of the incongruity of a dragon behaving mostly like a human and which made, strangely, the character less i
Melissa Cabbage
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This book sets in a world where humans and dragons are at war, and the dragons here are filled with various personalities, which is very different from the usual stereotypical portrayal of dragons you'd often find in high fantasy books. This should have been the perfect book for me. I love dragons, and especially more so when they are developed like this, but yet something about this book just doesn't draw me in as it should.

I have to give credit to the storyline though. It's fascinating enough
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book promised to be amazing: dragons, magic and great villains. However, Dreamwalker fell miles short of my expectations- the characters were dull, and the dragons were in effect just scaley humans.

I found this book hard to get into, partly due to the vast quantities of description (a whole paragraph to describe a sunset?!), and the fact that nothing really happens until the very end of the book. It all just seems to be setting the scene for the rest of the Ballad of Sir Benfro novels, but
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across the pond b...: dreamwalker 1 8 Jun 02, 2015 01:14AM  

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Other books in the series

Ballad of Sir Benfro (5 books)
  • The Rose Cord (The Ballad of Sir Benfro, #2)
  • The Golden Cage (The Ballad of Sir Benfro, #3)
  • The Broken World (Ballad of Sir Benfro, #4)
  • The Obsidian Throne (Ballad of Sir Benfro, #5)