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Spine of the Dragon

(Wake the Dragon #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  369 ratings  ·  94 reviews
Bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson's triumphant return to epic fantasy, Spine of the Dragon, is a politically charged adventure of swords, sorcery, venegeance, and the rise of sleeping giants.

Two continents at war, the Three Kingdoms and Ishara, are divided by past bloodshed. When an outside threat arises—the reawakening of a powerful ancient race that wants to remake th
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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Mel (Epic Reading)
Jun 19, 2019 marked it as to-read
How did I miss that a new series by Kevin J. Anderson came out?!?
I love the Terra Incognita series. In my opinion it is a massively underrated fantasy series. One of my hidden gems. Now to get my hands on a copy!
Adah Udechukwu
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Spine of the Dragon is a fantastic novel. I enjoyed the plot, the politics and the action. I am definitely going to read Book 2.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reasonably interesting but I kind of expected better from the blurb (and other series of K Anderson which had more gripping first volumes, however they ended); I am not sure if it was the characters or the setting, but something didn't quite fit, though I kept turning the pages until the end ...more
Jack Miller
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
This goes from “Oh this might be good” to” “Alright let’s get to it then” and then finally to skipping the last 200 pages because every 6 page chapter is so dull to find out what happens and the book ending exactly how you thought it would. I don’t mind short chapters, but there’s no time for us to get stuck into and know any of the characters. There isn’t much characterization apart from the explicit telling of what a character likes or doesn’t like or what he or she did or didn’t do.

The most
Linda Y
Jul 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
Sorry, Kevin. I loved the work you did on Seven Suns Saga and the Dune books. I read The Map of All Things books -- was mildly intrigued. But The Spine of the Dragon? Seems more like a rehash of Map, but with the volume turned up. Case in point, Chapter 17: How gory and gross do you intend to get? In my humble opinion, you've sold out to the lowest level of readership possible. Are you hoping for it to be made into an M-rated video game, so you can retire in style? Keep at it. You used to be one ...more
Patrick Whitehurst
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is possible to read every book written by Kevin J. Anderson; difficult, yes, but not unheard of. Crazier things have happened. Other writers Hulk-out with envy at his prolific nature, and not only that, his books are engaging. That’s always a bonus.

In his latest offering, Spine of the Dragon, Anderson tours readers through the popular genre of intellectual fantasy fiction, which leans more literary than, say, those old Conan pulps, but it’s just as adventurous. For me, someone who’s read The
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
This is Game of Thrones Lite

Budweiser or Bud Lite
Coca Cola or Diet Coke
Coffee or Decaf
Epic Fantasy or Fantasy Lite

An okay read but not a book i would recommend.

Spine of Dragons is Game of Thrones without all the calories and sugar. For example GOT has 7 kingdoms this has 3. One dragon instead of three.

One problem was the big events in the book happened with little build up or backstory. Early on a dust storm covered the city. The Sandwreth walk out of the storm. Haven't been seen in two thousan
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
The writing wasn't bad. It just seems like author Anderson is still in the Dune universe mode where every history of every faction needs explanation and history.
I felt drawn to everything other than this book--in fact, I read 4 other books while this was on my nightstand.
Two continents at war, the Three Kingdoms and Ishara, are divided by past bloodshed. When an outside threat arises—the reawakening of a powerful ancient race that wants to remake the world—the two warring nations must somehow set aside generational hatreds and form an alliance to fight their true enemy.


This was our book club read for October, and from the description it sounded like it would be pretty good. I actually had pretty high hopes for it in the beginning, but the story ended up getti
Michelle Bohannon
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With every new book I read by Kevin J. Anderson, I'm reminded of just how immersive and deep his stories are. Spine of the Dragon is no different. Set in the fictional lands of the Commonwealth (comprised of three kingdoms) and Ishara, KJA takes us on an adventure of political intrigue, mystery, deception, and personal vendetta. An ancient race has returned after 2,000 years to reclaim their territory, wiping out any humans standing in their way. On one side of the Commonwealth, the Konag (supre ...more
General Greysorrow
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I honestly didn't know what to expect when I embarked upon the journey that was this book. Reading original fantasy stories is not necessarily my cup of tea - even though I am an avid Dungeons and Dragons and World of WarCraft player, I tend to stick to works in those particular areas of this genre. But, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised.

I can't wait for the next entry in the series.
♠ Tabi⁷ ♠
Jun 11, 2019 marked it as to-read
politically-charged epic fantasy with dragon in the title??? SIGN ME UP
Michael Butler
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to get an advance copy of this. This is a wonderful start to a new fantasy series. The world and races are fleshed out and intriguing. I especially liked the politics between the human rulers. While they are close family, their interests and motivations don't always align and should not in some cases. The pacing moves along quickly so don't expect to be bogged down like some epic fantasy series. I found myself moving through the chapters at great speed to find out what happens to ...more
Jun 09, 2019 added it
This novel is laborious to get through. It chops and changes characters without earning any emotional connection to them. While the plot and world are interesting enough, the characters are bland tropes.
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This story follows several characters in an epic fantasy world. Some are heroes, some are villains, some are human, some are not. When an ancient race of Wreths reemerges from the oblivion of legend, humanity gets pulled into an ancient war and forced to make tough choices.

It follows the author’s ensemble cast writing style similar to his space operas. It has a lot of plots and characters that wend into and out of each other. I really liked it, and it got WAY exciting near the end ... but the n
Gregg Buford
Dec 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This book had good writing which is one reason I decided to finish. I struggled to read through some of this because I found some of the characters rather unlikable in any way. I am not sure I would be willing to read the next in the series now or I could just skim over the parts I don't like I did with this book. This is between a two and three stars for me.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book wasn't that good. There wasn't any exciting adventures or intriguing plot. it was mainly just a narration of events. With the scene changing too often to too many different characters with difficult names. ...more
Corey Sizemore
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting plot but bland characters I couldn't invest in. Also a lot of video game fast travel. ...more
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
Derivative, formulaic, contrived and predictable.
Dec 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Ive read alot of his Dune novels and was looking forward to this. However it didnt seem to pull off what the blurb hooked me in for. Very simiple world and plotting. As other reviews have metioned its very GOT light. Multiple character arcs, twists and turns but its all so very simple. None of the characters really hooked me either, to be fair, I never really cared whether some lived or died. Probably wont continue with this series which is a shame
Cheryl Anderson
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What is the biggest threat to the Commonwealth? Is it the humans of Ishara with their godlings that can wipe out entire villages without warning? Or maybe the feuding sandwreths and frostwreths that created humans for slaves, forgot them for millennia and now seem intent on exterminating them? Or is it the land itself that is erupting and spewing ash across the land?
The sandwreths and frostwreths believe that if one of them can extinguish the other and kill the dragon at the spine of the world,
Linda Garcia
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book. The chapter were short and helped you get through some parts that were a bit dry. If high fantasy and magic are your thing, I think you'd enjoy this ...more
Lindsay White
Sep 21, 2019 rated it liked it
A little stale and dialogue a little stiff. Very few new or forward thinking ideas. Not especially pro women. But a simple fantasy concept that will keep fantasy nerds like me intrigued.
Alex Helm
Jul 08, 2019 rated it liked it
It was okay i'll check out the sequel ...more
Gary Weinman
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked this book, but didn't love it. This book had around 100 chapters and was under 500 pages. That meant each chapter was relatively short. Each chapter featured a separate main character (of which there was probably a dozen or so). I felt like there was never any momentum on what was going on. For the same reason, I never really felt a bond with any of the main characters. The big question is, will I buy the next book in the series. The answer is probably yes. This book may have just been s ...more
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Seems like a remake of the Game of Thrones plot.
Arizona Spartan
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
There's a lot I could say about this book both good and bad.

To be concise, I'll say these things;

Anderson tried to spin some fantasy tropes and cliches, while not always successful the effort was there. Sometimes he succeeds with some interesting results.

I felt like 1/2 the world was standard fantasy type landscapes and cultures and the other half was more interesting with the Godlings and magic. I think he is juxtaposing things here which I didn't care about so much. I felt like the worldbuild
Matthew Torrez
Aug 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
One of the rare times I gave up mid way through. I just was never captured by this book.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Very interesting plot, but the characters are bland and don't really hold their own unique qualities/characteristics. Some tend to blend together because of this, like they all share the same values, morals, and goals. ...more
Julie H.
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
It was the COVID-19 plague year and I was out of books. My kindhearted spouse handed me one from his library book pile, and thus began my journey into Kevin J. Anderson's Spine of the Dragon, book #1 in the "Wake the Dragon" series.

I imagine most readers would classify this work as epic fantasy--set in an alternate world, peopled by different species (who typically refer to themselves as "races") and beings, there is war, there is magic, there are swords, and the telling of the events that unfol
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