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Firedrake (Dragonrealm #1)
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(Dragonrealm #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  816 ratings  ·  54 reviews
The New York Times best-selling fantasy author brings an epic realm of magic and intrigue! In Firedrake, a land ruled by the shape-shifting Dragon Kings, Cabe Bedlam is hunted for both the legacy he represents and the future he may bring. Yet, dragons may be the least of the dangers, for in a land drenched with sorcery, Cabe's very legacy may be what destroys him!
Paperback, 276 pages
Published June 1st 2000 by (first published 1989)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  816 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Firedrake (Dragonrealm #1), Richard A. Knaak

A land ruled by the shape-shifting Dragon Kings, Cabe Bedlam is hunted for both the legacy he represents and the future he may bring. Yet, dragons may be the least of the dangers, for in a land drenched with sorcery, Cabe's very legacy may be what destroys him!

Bent on supremacy of the Dragonrealm, Duke Toma unleashes evil powers, opposed only by Cabe Bedlam, a seemingly impotent youth who nonetheless possesses some formidable powers.

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Jul 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book when I was in the sixth or seventh grade, and I loved it. It turned out to be the start of an entire series, which I loved even more, until it sadly died off. The author has revived it in the form of six PDF stories available through his website (, which I have not yet picked up, but certainly plan to. I decided to re-read these mostly as a form of comfort food…we lost the family dog earlier in the week, and I wanted something that ...more
May 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-czech
Great book, great cover.
If you like dragons, it's a must-read.
May 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I have abandoned this book on the last 15 pages. I could not bring myself to finish it.

The premise of this book definitely has potential. Dragons attempting to enslave the world (or at least control it), politics, different types of creatures and magic working together.

However, I feel as though some things are too campy. There seem to be a lot of 'all-powerful' beings with insane powers that can't do much against the main bad guy because he is more 'all-powerful'. The main character never really
C.P. Cabaniss
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Overall this was a really fun read with some interesting ideas. We follow Cabe Bedlam and a host of other characters who live in a world ruled by the Dragon Kings, a race of dragons who can shape shift. A group of warlocks known as the Dragon Masters attempted to defeat the Dragon Kings, taking over rule of their own kingdoms, and failed. The reader enters the story long after this failure, following a descendant of the leader of the Dragon Masters.

The world in this is extremely fascinating. My
Herdis Marie
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, american
Although Knaak is a wizard as far as creating worlds and fantastical beings goes, he is sadly lacking in both character development and writing style. I found "Firedrake" easy to read, but at times it was quite dull. Knaak's language lacks both brilliancy and originality. His prose is such that I know several fanfiction authors who could do a great deal better. He somehow manages to sap all of the dramatic potential out of his action scenes, so that they end up sounding like he was bored when he ...more
May 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
After reading Shade, it was a must to find out how everything happend. The start of the series is amazing. Anyone who loves dragons this is a must read.
Jun 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
I first read this book when I was eleven, and liked it so much that I named my dog after the main character (Cabe) and stole my favorite character (Darkhorse) to use in online roleplays, as eleven year olds are wont to do.

Unfortunately, it did not live up to the memory.

The writing style is bad--passive voice, excessive adverbs, and generally clunky sentences abound. The dialogue feels stilted, in some places painfully so. Upon meeting our first female character, her 'ample figure' is reference
Marco Fallermo
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the book that introduced me to the Dragonrealm. This is the first novel of the many others about the Dragonrealm. I got the "Legends of The Dragonrealm" book, so it's this book along with two others in one big pocket book.

This book is amazing. You get the rich exploration (with your mind) of the Dragonrealm that Richard creates in front of you. Then you get to follow the poor Cabe Bedlam on a journey into who he really is and what he is destined to be.

This might sound as a cliché, i give
Zachary Taylor
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I think that this is a fun little read. It was pretty self contained and not overly lengthy. It builds a rather beautiful world that you beg the author to explore. There are a few cheesy things that can be expected from the author's experience at the time. The time period was likely also a factor in this. Thankfully the book doesn't drag too much and largely focuses on the action to help counteract these. I read this as part of a collection of the first three books. Looking forward to Ice Dragon ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For me this is one of those books which you open and don't close till you read the last page. I loved this story, its quite dynamic with interesting twists of the plot. My favourite character is without doubt the Dark Horse. Also I was quite intrigued by Shade, but as far as I write this review after reading a couple of books of Dragonrealm, now Shade is a much more tragic character for me, and his fate is perhaps the only thing in Dragonrealm that I'll never be able to forgive our author here.. ...more
This book was a little full of clichés but there was nothing in particular that I didn't like about it. I enjoyed the approach to the dragons- the variety in levels of drakes was neat. The addition of Darkhorse and the Gryphon made for an interesting cast of characters. The romance felt a little rushed, mushy and necessary but the rest of the content was good.
David Parsons
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great book that started me reading and finishing the series.
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
Okay so I was going to read the volume that has the first three novels of this series, but it's taken me now over two months to read the first half of it and I don't plan on taking another two months to finish it, so I've decided to make peace with my completionist side and only finish the second novel. ANYWAYS onto the actual review:

I read the first three books when I was in sixth grade and loved them, and now I look back on that and wonder how I could have such poor taste in books. The wordbui
Robert D
Aug 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Humans have been ruled by dragons for centuries. Many years ago a group of sorcerers styled themselves dragon masters and sought to bring an end to the rule of the dragons. Unfortunately betrayal caused that battle to be lost. Generations later Cabe Bedlam, the grandson of the leader of the dragon masters, is thrust into the think of what promises to be another dragon war. Except that while he has magical powers, he's never been trained.

There were a variety of characters but they were spread ov
Scott Wozniak
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
This was an early book of Knaak and you can tell. There's not much showing and a lot of telling (e.g. "he could tell she was upset" vs. "her eyes flashed in anger"). But the story was fun with good surprises and I like the world he's created.

I read this partly out of nostalgia. I stumbled across one of the books in this series many years ago in a used bookstore. I liked it a lot but never found any of the others in the series--then eventually forgot about it. But then I ran across this on Amazo
Ward G
Nice opening outing, for the series.

Has a lot of plot threads working.
Many characters as well as races begin being introduced.
Good, evil, and some characters fitting somewhere in between.

Dragon kings that can change into men.
Sorcery, different kingdoms.
As plots intertwine.
Cabe Bedlam starts to discover his past.
If all works out.
Will finish with the Lady of Amber by his side.

Main plot points tied up. While leaving plenty of room, for more to come.
Harmony T.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read about a quarter of the book and just couldn’t continue. I do love some elements of the storyline but it jumps around a lot and I don’t feel the character development has grabbed my attention. Unfortunately, this book has been abandoned.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not an avid fantasy reader, but bought this book when it was published years ago. Also got several other titles of this series.

Now I finally decided to read it and must say that I enjoyed it. Not sure how 'good' it is for the fantasy fanatics, but I liked it.
Scott Brewster
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
wow! this is going to be a great series
Oct 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Firedrake is written in an extremely boring style with no substance to its story, world, or characters. What's worse, the most memorable thing about the book was some incredibly awkward and uncomfortable scenes straying into inappropriate adult territory. If you're looking for mindless hack and slash fantasy, you're better off going elsewhere.
This was the debut novel from an Author who has now evolved into, what some may call a wizard in the arena of creating fantastical worlds and their inhabitants. He is well known amongst the World of Warcraft community for his penmanship of some of their lore novels and, it was through this medium, that I became aware of him. I decided to read this as I was intrigued to see how his love for writing fantasy not only began, but how it had progressed over time.

The main protagonist in this book is a
Lee Dunning
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Ow, I think I need to leave off of reading fantasy and horror from the 80's and probably the 90's. Richard Knaak has written several dozen books, and according to the blurb on the back of "Firedrake" at least 36 of them have made the New York Times bestseller list. That may well be true, but Firedrake, if written today, would not find an agent, no less an editor willing to publish it.

Lets start with the head popping. Nowadays you're allowed to switch POV but it's expected that within a single sc
Nia Dragin
Jul 09, 2013 rated it liked it

As a longtime fan of Richard A. Knaak, I have to say, this novel was a bit of a disappointment. Not to say that I was bad, it wasn’t. Knaak has a knack with words and description,but at times, the dialogue within the novel was too much. It was forced and didn’t capture the characters as well as it should have. There were times even when the dialogue was a bit painful and dull. Other times however it was fun, snarky and enjoyable, but the way the novel move
I liked it better than I thought I was going to by the halfway point. But, the character development is slow and...lacking. I think I'm supposed to be invested in and attached to Cabe & Gwen, but in truth they creep me out. (view spoiler). Maybe I'm just weird like that.

Also, the story jumps around a lot. As a result t
Really interesting. This book was a pleasant surprise. The worldbuilding is very well-done; I think the idea of the dragon empires is really creative. The character dynamics, especially between the dragon kings as well as anywhere involving the lesser dragonkind, is really interesting; more complex than it seems on the surface level, I think. The balance of power is always shifting; the whole story is a web of intrigue because the reader never absolutely knows who's responsible for what and who' ...more
The Dragon Kings have ruled over the realm for as long as any can remember. In the past Dragon Masters, powerful sorcerers, fought to free mankind from the Kings tyrannical rule. The strongest and last of the Masters, Nathan Bedlam, was brought down while slaying one of the Kings. Years have passed and the fiery, shape-sifting beings are at it again. It is up to Cabe Bedlam, the unknowing grandson of Nathan, to join the fight and save the realm. That's if he can learn his powers and stay alive f ...more
Danno Ferrin
Sep 08, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
This fantasy novel was different than anything I've read so far. The characters were interesting, but they weren't as well developed as I would have liked. It seemed like their stories jumped drastically from point to point.

The story itself was good. I enjoyed reading as the plot progressed and was definitely surprised at a few plot points. I'm enjoy stories involving dragons and Knaak did a great job incorporating dragon lore into the story while expanding on it by adding his own twist.

Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I had a buddy in college that loved these novels (tips hat to Seth S.) -- in fact, having read this book, I now realize that some of the material in a few AD&D sessions he Dungeon Mastered was ... borrowed :) Pretty good read, although Knaak writes more in the vein of Philip Athans and others who are sparse in their prose. I much prefer the lyrical quality of the writings of authors like Tolkien, Guy Gavriel Kay, Daniel Abraham, etc. Still, some nifty fantasy-fiction concepts in the book, and I' ...more
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Richard A. Knaak is the bestselling author of Dragonlance novels, the Dragonrealm and Black City Saint series (his own creations), six novels for Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo series, and six works in the Warcraft universe. He has also written several non-series fantasy books.

Other books in the series

Dragonrealm (9 books)
  • Ice Dragon (Dragonrealm #2)
  • Wolfhelm (Dragonrealm #3)
  • Shadow Steed (Dragonrealm, #4)
  • The Crystal Dragon (Dragonrealm, #5)
  • The Dragon Crown (Dragonrealm, #6)
  • The Horse King (Dragonrealm, #7)
  • Legends of the Dragonrealm: Shade
  • Dračí Stíny (DragonRealm #11)

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