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The Dragon Engine

(The Blood Dragon Empire #1)

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  210 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Five noble war heroes of Vagandrak get drunk one night and sign a contract - to journey to the Karamakkos in search of the Five Havens where, it is written, there lies untold, abandoned wealth and, more importantly, the three Dragon Heads, legendary jewels claimed to give unspeakable power and everlasting life to those who wield them.

But the Dragon Heads aren't what the a
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 2nd 2015 by Angry Robot
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3.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  210 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

If J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin had gotten together to write a grimdark interpretation of The Hobbit, The Dragon Engine would have been what they came up with. Centered upon a quest to dwarven halls filled with mounds of gold and once inhabited by mighty dragons, it is a tale filled with pulse pounding combat, explicit sex, cringe worthy torture, and plenty of vulgar language. Literally, it is a story that gets your attention the simple, old-fas
Scott  Hitchcock

This was a group read where we discussed the book and the opinions were varied. First off if you don’t like GrimDark in general don’t bother with this book. Second if you thought books such as Broken Empire, First Law and the like were too graphic please proceed to the other side of the tracks.

Some of the complaints in the group read that I cannot deny and that I generally want to see in a great series are as follows. The world building isn’t different or special. Ditto for the characters.
Bob Milne
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although it shares the same world as The Iron Wolves and The White Towers, Andy Remic's first book in The Blood Dragon Empire is an entirely different. While those books were very much high-stakes epic fantasies, complete with massive battles and bloodshed, The Dragon Engine is more of a traditional quest tale - albeit one that subverts the usual tropes.

For starters, our heroes seem to be the typical gang of adventurers - complete with barbarian, archer, cleric, assassin, and more - but they're
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has two parts; first half is pure fun, our heroes are on a quest for gold and glory and everything looks promising, and the second half, where nothing is going as planned and things get brutal, dark and very bloody. Some scenes are very graphic and cringe worthy and they're the most violent thing I have ever read.

Comparing this to ''The Hobbit'' would be like this; imagine Bilbo going on a quest with the dwarves and everything is great and life is good, and then they arrive at the Ere
Sep 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Until about half way through, I may have given this book 4 stars.

Swearing and violence have a place in Grimdark, of course they do. But when every other word is a swear word, when every character swears (including the mythical beasts), there's nowhere to go when you reach the climax of the action and story, nothing to indicate that this is worse than any other scene.

A well placed swear word emphasises. But so much swearing just distracts from the story and even becomes absurd. And the Grimdark..
Read all my reviews on

The Dragon Engine was my first book by Andy Remic, so I was completely unfamiliar with the world presented in The Blood Dragon Empire. However, since it had a nice old fantasy feel to it, it didn't feel like it was a great loss, or that you should have read the previous series (as I also understood that it features other characters).

Here, we are introduced to a band of war veterans, coming together one final time to steal that one fina
Caroline Mersey
Andy Remic's new novel, The Dragon Engine (Angry Robot, published 1 September 2015, review copy via NetGalley), aspires to be an old-school D&D style adventure story.

A group of seasoned adventurers come out of retirement, lured by the promise of treasure. That treasure is not just the prospect of wealth beyond a person's wildest dreams, but also a cure for the bone cancer afflicting one of the party. But, inevitably, the treasure and the quest turn out not to be what any of the group expect
Lynn Williams
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished reading The Dragon Engine by Andy Remic. Dragon Engine is your basic quest adventure. A bunch of rough and surly characters head off on an adventure seeking gold and immortality. In fact it has a very Tolkien(ish) feel to it really – well, in that there’s a fellowship type of feel to the start of the story followed by a whole bunch of dwarves and dragons. That’s kind of where the similarity ends though because these dwarves are downright nast
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Review also published here

The Dragon Engine is a controversial novel - and for good reason. It is full of adult humor (or juvenile humor, depending on who you're asking), and explicit, sexual content (both in the positive and negative sense).
So if you are uncomfortable with that, do not even think of picking this book up, or you'll regret the money spent. If you're unsure, get the sample, which should include the start of the chapter "Skalg", which tackles the reader with some very explicit
Oct 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I needed an "easy" book to read in between reading academic literature and proof reading chapters of my dissertation. I went into The Dragon Engine thinking it would just be purely hack n slash but I was pleasantly surprised that it kept me as hooked as it did, with a manageable amount of characters and different story threads, none of which are boring or dull. Definitely an adults only grimdark fantasy but well worth checking out! Would be perfect for say a 5-10 hour flight.
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
*copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review*

The Dragon Engine is a fantasy novel by Andy Remic. It’s got some interesting world-building, a party of squabbling misfits, high stakes action, and… quite a lot of blood.

The novel takes place as a party of heroes come out of retirement, heading into a mountain range in search of riches. Remic does a decent job of building out his initial world. The kingdom that these heroes inhabit is only sketched out, but depth is added in incidental dialogue bet
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Andy Remic is the BOMB. I got a ARC of this and dropped what I was reading and plowed through it (sorry other books!, well........not really)

If you havent read the Rage of Kings series, go get them, damnit! The Dragon Engine is a new series in the same world (SOOOOOOO YAY)

If you are into fantasy, this is a must read, Andy is one of the few authors that I can recieve a ARC for and then go buy it anyway, yes kids.....its that damn good.

violent, great characters, great world building, and FUN, FUN
Oct 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read
3,5 stars.

Brutal take on the classic quest story, with an amount of violence and torture I normally stay away from. But the story is good and at least a good part of the violence makes the story realistic and adds to the characterisation. The ending promises a totally different sequel.
There will be spoilers in this review, but they will be very minor ones that shouldn't affect anyone's reading of this book.

This was such a crazy book that I hard time even deciding what I wanted to rate this. This book sits somewhere around a mid-2. A 2.5ish. It's better than "meh", but it's not to the level of "really good."

I will admit this was a cover buy for me. The cover drew me to the book, the summary was acceptable, it was a cheap buy - SOLD! However, I don't think this is necessarily
Jennifer Melzer
Apr 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I should have stopped when I got to the bulging dwarven cock and rape, but I put on a brave face and kept going. The king's orgy was more than enough for me to know this book wasn't my cuppa. I felt like the author was attempting humor with a lot of this stuff, but I didn't find any of it funny at all.
Melissa ownsbey
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
that is one fierce looking dragon on the cover
dragons sex fighting bad langque
what more would you ask for
if this type of bloody sex volney toture stuf bothers
skip it
but if your brave go for you
you will love it
awsesomoe fantany
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A new Andy Remic novel is cause for much merriment in my hous. Here is an author who is consistently reliable when it comes to action packed, adult themed fantasy. I’ve been reading his work for years now, and when The Dragon Engine appeared on my Kindle I dived in with gusto.

Though set in the same world as The Iron Wolves and The White Towers this follows a completely different group of heroes. If you haven’t read those books then you won’t be at any disadvantage. That said, there are a few nod
Chris Dow
Short version of this review: Repetitive, unimaginative swearing, and a rushed conclusion mar what could otherwise have been a great book.

Full disclosure, I won the paperback edition of this book in a giveaway from Galleywampus ( Great review site with well-written reviews, getting books onto my wish list that I would ordinarily never have heard of.

A warning up front, I may use some words which are considered in poor taste, so if you're offended by that kind of thing
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me just say that I loved this book. It grabbed me from the very beginning and had me enthralled all the way to the end. Not only did I not want to put it down, but I really didn't want it to end. I finished it in two days. It left me with a need to know what happens and I am looking forward to the next book.
There were quite a few of the elements that I feel make a great fantasy. It contained lots of action, unexpected happenings, swordplay, scary creatures that are hard to kill, war heroes
Aug 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grimdark. Gets better as it goes forward, but had some inconsistencies of relative character strength, tone switches, and a few mighty Hail Mary requests of suspensions of disbelief. There were probably too many POV characters, particularly when the story feels a bit forced along by the characters' wills. Much of the plotting was well considered. Profane and grisly and full of psychopaths and murderers and rapists and power-hungry, smug bastards. Ultimately not my cup of tea.
jonathanka K
Nov 05, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The most horrible book I have ever read. The torture is awful and the characters are the same as in other books e.g. Tolkien or grrm . I would not recommend this book to anyone. Also I should not forget to mention that the dragons are of metal and not the real thing( for the fans of dragon stories).
Nov 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Fast paced, addicting, great characters, and bloody battles. DRAGONS!

One star off because I felt like the two stories that ran parallel connected far to late in the book. Both stories were intriguing.
Sep 30, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Do you enjoy rape, torture, and depravity? Then this is the book for you . There isn't any secondary character who *doesnt* deserve to die. If this is Remic's world, let it burn.
Jan 03, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-star, fantasy, dragons
Misogynistic, racist tripe, from an author with an unhealthy attachment to similes, and a plot with an incomprehensible timeline.
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 4.5 of 5

I believe that Andy Remic is the natural successor to Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, Fritz Leiber and the other authors of 'sword and sorcery' heroic fantasy. But Remic may also be the successor to the Marquis de Sade.

Just when I was starting to think that I didn't really like the epic journey fantasy stories because I'd read quite a few lately and didn't really like any of them, comes Remic with this Lord of the Rin
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Only thing that gave this book the extra star was the fact that the action/violence was pretty good and I actually read it all the way through. Otherwise, I find no reason to recommend this to people. I get that it's a trashy novel made for pure entertainment, but I did not have fun with it, and I'll judge it on that basis. Too much plot to just be smut, too shallow of a plot/characters for a good fantasy novel. Main character is an unpleasant big stubborn beardy viking man with his woman proble ...more
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, fantasy
A copy of this was received from Netgally in return for an honest review.

Everyone who knows D&D-style gaming knows the scenario - the group of adventurers gathering around a table in a tavern, learning about the latest quest that they'll all eventually agree to go on, in search of mysteries, money and fabulous magical items. The only difference is that instead of a young group of adventurers out to make a name for themselves, the crew in The Dragon Engine are already famous, their exploits b
Kyra Dune
I thought this book was okay. It had a well fleshed out, detailed setting. Good world building. And the characters were mostly pretty interesting. Talon was my favorite, though he wasn't one of the focus characters so he didn't get a lot of page time.
The story started out kind of slow, but things really picked up once the companions reached the mountains. There's a sort of old school, epic fantasy kind of feel about the quest, but the book deviates off from that in most other areas.
This book i
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, the characters and the quest they were on were the reason I finished this book. I became deeply attached to the adventurers in this book and just had to know how it all ended. At times I didn't like the writing style but it was well worth finishing. However, I really liked the writing when it came to describing the different battle scenes. I will probably be reading book 2 in the future because I need to make sure my babies make it out alive and well.... Just thinking about it makes me s ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published 2015. What can I say about Remic's book #1? Well, it has all the standard (and maybe not so standard) characters for muscle and sword books - as well as very coarse language, and blood, and guts and...
I get the impression it was written somewhat slap dash or hurriedly which makes it an uneven read. On to book two maybe because I just have to see if it gets any better.
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Andy Remic lives in Lincoln, UK, although his heart and viking soul belong to the Scottish mountains. Married with two children, Andy has a variety of esoteric and sometimes contrasting loves, including sword fighting, climbing, mountain biking, kick-boxing, Ducati motorcycles and retro-gaming. He recently wrote the computer version of his novel Biohell for the 48K Spectrum, in which many people a ...more

Other books in the series

The Blood Dragon Empire (2 books)
  • Twilight of the Dragons (The Blood Dragon Empire, #2)