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The Dragons of Dorcastle

(The Pillars of Reality #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  3,407 ratings  ·  345 reviews
The first audiobook in a thrilling new epic fantasy saga, written exclusively for Audible by Jack Campbell, the New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Fleet series!

For centuries, the two Great Guilds have controlled the world of Dematr. The Mechanics and the Mages have been bitter rivals, agreeing only on the need to keep the world they rule from changing. But now a
Audiobook, 0 pages
Published December 2nd 2014 by Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio
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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,407 ratings  ·  345 reviews

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Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Boy is a Mage, brought up on lessons about the power of illusions, taught that reality is a sham and that people are shadows – and oh, no matter what you do, do NOT trust those lying, stinking Mechanics.

Girl is a Mechanic, a master of logic and equations who prides herself on the fact that no machine is beyond her abilities to fix, and of course, Mechanics are just so much better than those useless Mages.

Then boy meets g
Yup, re-reading this again...for the 4th time in less then a year.

Imagine a world ruled by two enemy groups: mages & mechanics, both of which think the other is a fraud. Imagine what happens when a mage and a mechanic find themselves in a life or death situation and against the teachings of their guilds, decide to band together to survive. This is the setup for The Dragons of Dorcastle, one of the best books I’ve read so far this year.

Alain and Mari meet when the caravan in which they were t
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, fantasy
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book very much. The writing is efficient, and avoids anything excessive or flowery. The story is well plotted, and interesting, but it is the characters that made it really stand out for me. Both Alain and Mari are complex, and well developed characters. I really felt for both of them. I liked that there wasn’t any instant love or even instant attraction. They both have the prejudices of their
Dec 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
For a book written SPECIFICALLY as an audiobook, I was horribly disappointed. The interactions between Marie and Alain were painful, cyclical, and all around miserable. In fact, the best parts of the book were when Marie and Alain were nowhere near each other. The dialogue between them was tedious, repetitive, and overall frustrating. I understand the need to emphasize their different thought patterns and the importance of developing their relationship, but I couldn't help but roll my eyes in al ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fantasy
This is one of a couple of books I've read lately that sort of revolves around the technology and magic theme. This one is a technology (mechanics) VS. magic (mages) book. The story is an excellent one and I like the book greatly by an author I've read and liked before. I felt compelled to give it only 4 stars (and for a while thought it might require a 3) because of one flaw that (for me) almost drove me away from the book before I got involved.

The book takes FOREVER to get rolling. The first h
Eric Allen
Dec 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was a little apprehensive when approaching this book. John G. Hemry, (A.K.A. Jack Campbell) is one of the current foremost writers of Military Science Fiction. And here he has a book of Fantasy, and not only that, it is an Audible, audiobook exclusive, meaning it likely didn't pass through his publisher, or usual editor. I wasn't really all that sure what to think when I first heard about this one. Sure, he's a pretty decent Sci-fi guy, and I do own every book he's ever published, but Fantasy ...more
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Netgalley, and Jabberwocky. I really enjoyed this one! With its rich world building, and complex characters it was a great book to take my time with.
I really liked the main characters Alain and Mari, they may be young in years, but life has aged them, especially Alain.


The world has three different castes, Mages, Mechanics, and Commons. Mages in this are interesting. They deny reality; everything is an illusion, and everyone a shadow. So you can just imagine what that power trip means f
Jen | Jen Talks Audiobooks
Reread August 2016 - just as good as the first time. MacLeod Andrews rocks this one.

Steampunk plus fantasy equals fantastic in this world where magic meets science. What a great book!

This is the story of Alain, young Mage prodigy on his first assignment. The Mages in this world are stoic wielders of magic, concentrating on the idea that life is an illusion and can be manipulated if you just concentrate hard enough. It is also the story of Mari, a young Master Mechanic who's risen up through the
Sep 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Za sada vrlo fina YA fantazijska knjiga. Interesantan sve sa mesavinom steampunk-a i magija sa dve velike frakcije koje kontrolisu svet ali su stalnoj mrznji medjusobno. Imamo galvne likove tinejdzere koji pripadaju razlicitim frakcijama ali budu primorani da rade zajedno sto ih naravno zblizi. Skoro kao Romeo i Julija ali na srecu romansa ima malo drugaciju ulogu. Sami likovi su interesantni mada Alain (kako bi se ovo i izgovaralo) ume da nervira sa svojim neshvatanjem emocija kroz veci deo knj ...more
Laura (Kyahgirl)
3.5/5; 4 stars; B+

I had a mixed reaction to this book. On the one hand, really enjoyed the world building, the concepts of mages and mechanics. On the other hand, I couldn't stand the YA aspect. Mari had this ongoing internal dialogue that almost drove me to quit the book on more than one occasion. It was all about the "impossible" teeny bopper romance angle. The actual fantasy story was interesting but I don't know if the characters can pull me back to check out further books in the series.

I l
Multiverse Bookstore Reviews

Caliber pulls out his chair and sits down. “Well, I’ll start by saying that Jack Campbell is my favorite living author. So I was a little biased going in, and Campbell didn’t disappoint me. The next book is coming out Feb 10th and I’m already counting down the days. Which for the record is sixty-seven days.”

“Before you dive into the story,” Sigrun interrupts Caliber. “I think we need to mention that this is currently exclusively an audiobook. I’m not sure if anyone has ever done this bef
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, own
Two Guilds rule the known world of Alain and Mari, the Mages (aka Magic users) and the Mechanics (aka Machine users). But things are about to change when the two aspiring upstarts shake the foundation of the very fabric of each society when their worlds collide.

Both young characters show bravery and the ability to think beyond everything they were taught. They must come together to solve the crumbing foundations of their society and solve the issues plaguing the “Common” folk. Mari is a brillian
Kitvaria Sarene
This is a weird, and therefore really interesting mix of what feels like steampunk and fantasy!
There are mechanics who build all kinds of machines, including rifles, amd there are mages who believe the whole world is an illusion they cam shape (that is how they do magic). Both guilds believe the other one is just doing "tricks" and not actually really able of doing what they claim. Then there are the poor commoners, who are worthless to either of the powerful guilds.

The story is about the younge
This was a wonderful start to this fantasy/steampunk series. It was very much a set-up book. The titled dragons in question do not even show up until 70% through the story. This could have easily felt shallow, but that 70% of the book was full of wonderful character set up and world development.

I have already put the second book in the series on reserve at my local library.
A Mage and a Magician, their kind have always been at odds

The Dragons of Dorcastle centers around 2 characters, Mari (the mechanic) and Alain (the mage) who are thrown together when the caravan they are traveling in is attacked with them the only survivors. As Alain was hired to protect the caravan he deems it his responsibility to see Mari safely to her destination even though their guilds are enemies. Both are the youngest in their respective guilds to reach the titles of Mechanic and Mage and
Dec 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015

English review: SOON to be translated.

Portuguese review:
Estava um dia navegando pelo Audible atrás de um novo audio livro pra escutar enquanto e eu vi um anúncio dessa série que vai ser reproduzida apenas em formato de audiobook e fiquei curiosa para saber mais da história depois dos reviews e de ouvir um sample do livro.

Esse livro é o primeiro de uma série de fantasia épica chamada The Pillars of Reality, que é baseada em um universo chamado Dematr, onde tem basicamente dois clãs rivais que
Andrea Luhman
I give this book five out of five stars for keeping me up until the wee hours of morning, characters I was tied to almost instantly, and for a scene that made me laugh so hard tears came to my eyes. I can’t wait to read the second book in this series and I’m already anxious I’ll have to wait to read the third.

What I loved:

1) The characters. The goal oriented Mari was a female that was easy to root for. She was practical, capable, and views the world with an engineers mind. Alain is a young Mage
Mar 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Publisher: Jabwerwokky

Publishing Date: April 2015

ISBN: 9781625671196

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.9/5

Publisher Description: Mari is a brilliant young Mechanic, just out of the Guild Halls, where she has spent most of her life learning how to run the steam locomotives and other devices of her Guild. Alain is the youngest Mage ever to learn how to change the world he sees with the power of his mind. Each has been taught that the works of the other’s Guild are fra
Wiebke (1book1review)
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a fun steampunk series. Following the mage and mechanic and learn more about their guilds and training had me glued to my headphones. Watching the two question their knowledge and discover their feelings for each other is the majority of the book and also the most fun about it. The world itself at this moment leaves a lot of questions yet to be answered but that just leaves more to discover in the future.
The narration was so well done that I recommend this to anyone who wants to have some
Jay  The Crippled God
Jul 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
The dragons of dorcastle book Review:

Death is not reality, it is but the passing from one dream to another.
My first steampunk book and it's a 2014 production so it's safe to say that it's modern fantasy and we will take a brief tour using our critic googles.

PLOT: This book is about a Mage who was supposed to deliver a package in a caravan yet he was assaulted, during which a mechanic girl ( from the opposing faction) jumped to save his life and the story goes on.
Ps. The plot didn't include any p
Dec 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Find this and many other reviews at Geekritique!

Originally written exclusively for Audible by author Jack Campbell, The Pillars of Reality is an ongoing fantasy series that bridges your classic elements with steampunk. I think the notion of audible exclusive content to be pretty cool, especially in my genre of choice, but I'm pleased to announce the first three books are now available to buy in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle, which I'll link for you below. If you want a quick read that's a gua
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The world is controlled by 2 great guilds, The Mechanics and The Mages. Neither of these mix and they are forbidden to associate together. But when a Mage and a Mechanic are thrown together, they need to get over their differences and work together to stay alive.

Well this book took me completely by surprise. First things first, I went into it thinking, great, Dragons but by 50% there was no sign of them and I was thinking, where are the dragons!!! The name is a bit misleading but as we approach
This is fantasy, but it is centered around the relationship of the two main characters. They are young and watching their feelings for each other grow was very cute and made me laugh several times. If you are looking for serious, high fantasy, this is not the series for you. However, I'm really looking forward to the next book.

I listened to the audio book, which is wonderful.
Marcela (BookaholicCat)
Jan 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
3 Stars

The Dragons of Dorcastle is the first book in the The Pillars of Reality series by Jack Campbell. Narrated by MacLeod Andrews.

The blurb more than explains what this book is about, so I won’t delve more into it.

I was very excited about listening to this audiobook, I had heard great things about Jack Campbell’s books and I thought this was my chance. Sadly, my high expectations were not met. Maybe if I wouldn’t have expected much from it I would have liked it more.

My biggest problem was th

This originally came out as an audio book only but has since been released as an ebook. The premise is there are two guilds in this world. One is the Mages and the other is the Mechanics. Neither guild has anything to do with the other stating that each uses tricks and lies and that they are the only ones doing real work. The common folk are treated lesser by both groups with the Mages the worse of the two since they will take anything they want without paying for it and even raping someone if
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
The description of this book is right up my alley. And it started well with action, intrigue, and an interesting world. While the world building could have been stronger, as could the character development, what changed my experience was when the tenor of the story changed from adventure against the odds to a larger political context and fated lives. Since I'm not excited by revolutionary action, this was not a positive for me.

The friendship and romantic relationship that develops is slow and w
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing

What did you love best about The Dragons of Dorcastle?
I was more than happily surprised at the story of this book. The summary sounded only mildly interesting and it turned out to be fantastic! Characters are unique and well written, with great lengths of growth happening within the story. I'm more than ecstatic that this is part of a series, and rather sad though to have to wait for the sequels!

What other book might you compare The Dragons of Dorcastle
3.5 - This was fun and I enjoyed the world building. A little more romance-y than I thought it'd be, but I'll keep that in mind when continuing with the series. Full video review:
Nov 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, fantasy
This was a surprise. Way better than I expected. Less about dragons then the title suggests though. Even the kind of predicable love story I was fine with. MacLeod Andrews does, as usual, an amazing job narrating it.
Can't wait to continue on in the series.
Alex Pecha
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who love fascinating worlds
I don’t normally touch audiobooks. I personally prefer to pick up a book’s details such as how a character sounds or talks in my own head, and not have it narrated to me. However due to a boring job and a 14 day audible trial I found myself in the possession of the audiobook version of The Dragons of Dorcastle: The Pillars of Reality, Book 1 by Jack Campbell. Two things caught my eye about this particular book: the first being that the author, Jack Campbell (A pseudonym for John G. Hemry), is u ...more
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Jack Campbell is a pseudonym for American science fiction author John G. Hemry.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

John G. Hemry is an American author of military science fiction novels. Drawing on his experience as a retired United States Navy officer, he has written the Stark's War and Paul Sinclair series.

Other books in the series

The Pillars of Reality (6 books)
  • The Hidden Masters of Marandur (The Pillars of Reality, #2)
  • The Assassins of Altis (The Pillars of Reality, #3)
  • The Pirates of Pacta Servanda (The Pillars of Reality, #4)
  • The Servants Of The Storm (The Pillars of Reality, #5)
  • The Wrath of the Great Guilds (The Pillars of Reality, #6)
“Her hand gripped his, and even amid the fear and danger he marveled at the feeling that came with the contact. If we die holding hands in this way, will we enter the next dream together?” 6 likes
“What are you doing?" Alain asked.
"Starting a fire, of course." Mari held up the thing in her hand. "It's a fire-starter. A really simple device. Haven't you ever seen one?"
Alain shook his head. "Never. That thing seems very complicated. I do not understand how it can work."
"How do you start fires?"
That was a Guild secret. Or was it? The elders had told him that no Mechanic could understand how it worked. What would this Mechanic say if he told her? "I use my mind to channel power to create a place where it is hot, altering the nature of the illusion there," Alain explained, "and then use my mind to put that heat on what I want to burn."
"Oh," Mechanic Mari said. "Is that actually how you visualize the process?"
"That is how it is done," Alain said.
"That's...interesting." She grinned. "So, instead of making fire by doing something complicated or hard to understand like striking a flint, you just alter the nature of reality. That is a lot simpler.”
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