Victory in the Circles of Seven came at a great cost to Billy Bannister and Bonnie Silver. A vicious evil was unleashed on the earth that only the dragons can defeat. With Billy’s father, the great Clefspeare, missing, Billy and Bonnie must lead the dragons into war against the Watchers—demonic beings as old as the earth itself. Masters at the art of deception, the Watchers use the deadliest of weapons against mankind. A remnant of wise humans, the friends of the dragons, unite in the struggle against the Watchers. With heart-stopping action, the final battle between dragons and their enemies comes to a climax. But in order to win the war, at least one of the dragons must die. As the story ends, Billy and Bonnie are faced with the greatest decision of their lives. Will they keep the dragon traits that have cost them so much danger and heartache, or will they turn to normal human life and end the slayers’ lust for their blood forever.
Bryan Davis is the author several speculative-fiction series, including Dragons in Our Midst, Oracles of Fire, Children of the Bard, The Reapers Trilogy, The Time Echoes Trilogy, Tales of Starlight, and Dragons of Starlight.
Bryan lives in western Tennessee with his wife, Susie. Bryan and Susie have homeschooled their four girls and three boys.
Bryan was born in 1958 and grew up in the eastern U.S. From the time he taught himself how to read before school age, through his seminary years and beyond, he has demonstrated a passion for the written word, reading and writing in many disciplines and genres, including fantasy, theology, fiction, devotionals, poetry, and humor.
Now that the Watchers are free, Billy and his friends embark on the final showdown. Billy and Bonnie go after Clefsphere, journeying into a new world that is more familiar than they suspected, while everyone else organizes the remaining dragons for war. Morgan takes a new hostim. The Watchers battle with strength and treachery.
Really, it's impossible to know how to summarize the book without giving everything away. In fact, if you read the Acknowledgements section at the beginning, you've read the whole book (I wish I was joking). Davis now reveals what felt like a really sexist angle to the whole plot: apparently girls are supposed to fight by supporting their men, not by doing anything themselves. So the entire book is about men fighting and their women supporting them. Excalibur's halo protection only works on girls. Why? Because men can take care of themselves. Despite the attempt to portray it as a weapon of faith, Davis fails utterly because what it comes down to in the end is a question of lineage (did you have the right father?) and gender (females get vastly more perks).
And if you think I'm blowing this out of proportion, read until you hit the bit where they're talking---very seriously---about how a woman's presence can affect a man's "masculine energy." That word popped up about twenty times in two and a half pages. I was laughing so hard I cried. It reads like a cheap romance novel.
Oh, and we can't forget the laser beams from the eyes healing move, or the sparkly force fields. Or how every main character manages to die at least once in the course of the series and subsequently gets healed with no aftereffects. Death means nothing in these books. Bonnie dies---whoops, bring her back. Billy dies---whoops, can't get rid of him. Billy's mom dies---nope, not her either. Billy's dad dies about three times---what, you thought that would kill him? Devin dies multiple times---but we couldn't be bothered to think up a new villain. Merlin dies several times---don't worry, his poetry will continue to torment the rest of us. Merlin's wife and Prof's wife die---but we think that's too tragic, so we'll give them another chance. All the dragons died---but we really, really need a few for the last battle scene, so we'll bring them all back. Twice. Prof dies---what, someone who stayed dead? But he lingers as a ghost long enough to give several pages of encouragement before vanishing.
See what I mean? And even with that list I think I missed a few. And that's why I can't take these books seriously. If death means nothing, life means nothing. The struggle to live is reduced to whistling for a healer whenever someone keels over, or just waiting for an impossible resurrection.
On another level, the theology was really stretching on a lot of points, and totally screwed up on the rest. Apparently you can only be saved if you're human---what Jesus did only applies to actual humans. Dragons need not apply unless they plan to get turned into people (which they all do, pretty much). The spirits of dead people can possess the living (but in a "good" way! Really! And I'm sure it's "part of God's plan" so it's okay). Faith's only role in the battle against evil is to trust God will take care of it and go do your own thing. Billy's sacrifice was meant to echo Christ, but the way it played out really made me think Billy was meant to take Christ's place instead: first you get saved by Billy, then you can get saved by Christ. It would have made a lot more sense to promote Christ as the only Savior, but putting Billy so literally in His shoes had the opposite effect than intended.
This series started out amusing enough, and I had hoped it would find some good points as Davis grew more experienced. The prose has improved in this volume over the first. I find it hard to spot anything more. Characters are still flat and act very much the way they do the first time you met them. It's ridiculously easy to see where the plot is going. And the good guys get so many breaks it stops being believable. I was willing to suspend disbelief for the dragons---very happy to, in fact. I am not willing to believe every single good guy who dies simply won't stay dead until the very end (can I get more than one actual casualty, please? out of at least fifty deaths?). I refuse to even recommend this for kicks. It's too frustrating and offers nothing worth the effort. Not Recommended.
Loved it even more on this reread. Full review to come once exams are over!
Of all four Dragons in Our Midst books, this is the one I remembered the least plot-wise. So it was rather fun to return to it and refresh my memory! This time around, I especially appreciated how Bryan Davis concluded the series. If I didn't know there were eight more books following DIOM, I would be content with this ending. It's solid and satisfying. (But there are definitely a few things that make me very glad the story continues in Oracles of Fire!)
The main characters of Tears of a Dragon have all grown and changed significantly since the first book, and it shows. Elements introduced earlier gain greater importance as resurrected dragons face off with the Watchers, and Billy and Bonnie seek to free several key characters from another dimension called Dragon's Rest. The core story thread, Billy's relationship with his father, becomes even more compelling here too. I just love these characters so much!
And that ending . . . it still brought tears to my eyes, even though I've read it a few times! 5 stars all the way!
Incredibly cheesy, shallow, simplistic, unrealistic, and condescending (in a lighthearted sort of way). With flat characters, patronizing dialogue, and meaningless villains and death, nothing in this book can be taken seriously.
Medieval sorceresses and hellish demons that say things like "Enough chichat!" or "Oh, don't play dumb, my little brainiac." or "I know you're up to something," or "What do you think I am, your tour guide? I'll shake this plane so hard, you'll hear your own bones rattle!" The protagonists spout things like "Right! The black stuff nailed her!" or ramble off jokes like "the dragon slayer vacuum cleaner" at the most inappropriate times. It essentially kills any dramatic tension that could have been sustained.
Every character in this series speaks in the exact same way, with no distinction made between teenagers, middle-aged adults and centuries-old knights. Davis tries and fails to bring in some fancy-sounding words, but because his world is so shallow, his ideas fall flat. No modern teenager writes or talks like Bonnie Silver does, (I don't care how gifted or smart they are) such as when she conveniently writes a letter explaining the plot in the previous books. Davis just inserts his own explanations of what's going on into any character's mouth, with little regard for the characters themselves.
Not only that, but by book four, the kids' voices should have changed by now, yet there's no discernible growth or maturity to be seen. Davis just tells the reader things have changed. In fact, some characters seem to regress in this book, like Bonnie, who takes a backseat to the action while "Billy the king" gets to take part in the plot. All Bonnie does is pray and give encouraging looks, sitting there in her pretty dress and fake halo to be Billy's muse (offering emotional support because apparently that's all girls can do in Christian fiction, nowadays). Davis shoves hollow morality down the reader's throat by portraying the job of girls to be that of inventing useful stuff and healing people, so others can wrestle with demons -- there's no portrayal of women in this book overcoming anything more serious than their own silent fears.
Everything is far too convenient, and therefore meaningless. We've got Ashley magically spewing healing laser beams out of her eyes, and, wouldn't you know it, there's no time to explain. Walter's father Carl suddenly knows how to use the magic properties of a sword right at the last moment. Merlin warns that Devin's spirit will disintegrate without a body, but the bodiless Professor can chat for several pages without going anywhere. Billy claims he has no idea what to do, but somehow he knows that he needs to disintegrate himself with a light-saber sword, to travel through a gemstone, to an in-between Purgatory place for dragons, to make un-dead dragon souls step through a theater screen at 3 o'clock, which is a gateway to earth powered by the prayers of faithful people... Ugh. I won't go on. It's just way too ridiculous to say aloud.
Several people also die and/or are fatally wounded in this book, but there's no moments of real grief, and they're back on their feet again within the same chapter. Does Davis just kill characters whenever he feels like it? And then at other times the fighting is delayed just enough so a character can ask a question, notice something pretty, or display an emotion. Davis tries to make a big deal out of doubts about death or missing family members, but he solves every problem too easily, so it's all inconsequential. Horrifying things are going on in this book, and all the characters can do is make jokes about it.
All the young kids reviewing this book are SO excited about the action and seemingly intricate plot full of names, but this book doesn't really tackle the hard questions head on. It just mentions them through patronizing jokes, disguised in shiny dragon scales, propped up with a cardboard backstory. I would trade this stereotypical Christianese fiction for some Narnia -- heck, even some Harry Potter -- any day.
4.5 stars. Review to come (if I can get around to it)! Whew, that was an epic showdown! Although I'm so going to miss Still, despite that, A good ending to the series, and, if I'm not mistaken, the beginning of another one...
Doesn’t that sound exciting? And the cover?? Oh, kill me now!! (uh, not literally! I’ve still got too many TBRs!!)
Anywho, I LOVED this book!! And actually, it’s tied with Circles of Seven for being my favorite DioM book. It’s that good!!
So, this one is a bit darker then the books prior. Like, it’s not dark, but yet it is. Does that make sense? Meaning I’d still let Trevor read it (which he *gasps* hasn’t finished the third book since he got into Harry Potter!!). But I kinda like it with the ‘darker’ feel to it.
And, as from the title, there are dragon tears (ohmygoodness! ohmygoodness! ohmygoodness!), but I think that there were more of my tears. Yep. I. Cried. IT WAS SO SAD!! BUT SO GOOD!!! WHY MUST BRYAN DAVIS TORTURE MY EMOTIONS SO?!
Ahem. Anyways, yes. I loved this. It was sad. But that’s mostly just a HUGE fangirl wail. Now I’ll give you an actual review. ;)
Oh the characters! Why???!!!
But, yes. I loved Shiloh. She. Is. Just. Awesome. And Billy and Bonnie? They’re always great! And then you have Professor Hamilton. And my personal favorite, Walter Foley. :)
There’s not a whole lot I can say about the characters without SPOILERS, but they are completely and amazingly awesome! And they scare me half to death ALL THE TIME!!
This had a great plot! Maybe a little slow at times, but overall it was fast paced and kept me quite engaged and never wanting to put it down!
And I adore Bryan Davis’s writing! And while it improves a decent bit more in his later books, it’s still amazing in his early on novels. <3
As above, there maybe were one or two slow parts, but not much!
And IT MADE ME CRY!! WHY?!
Also be warned, it has a cliff-hangery ending! Well, not like life/death situation, but still!!
Anyways, yes. There’s some darker stuff, and *sniffs* some deaths/injuries, tough decisions, nervewracking chapters, fighting! All the good stuff (and sad stuff…)!
But there’s nothing bad enough for me to not want my brother to read it! And I’d once again, HIGHLY recommend this series to Christian fantasy lovers, pre-teens, YA, adults, (none of the above people). EVERYBODY! Seriously, I don’t know how I lived without these amazing friends!!
Was there ever a more nauseating writing style? Ugh. Why did I reread these? I actually liked them when I was a teenager. Now all I can see is plot holes galore, deus ex machina at every turn, naive idiot characters whose dialogue I can barely read without gagging... I hope this will be the stupidest book I read this year, I don't think I can bear a stupider one. And Bryan Davis's attempt to push sexism as a noble order of things had me just about ready to tear up this pile of absolute, reeking shit. What's wrong with this dude?
I've finally remembered why I love these books. I love them because I've always dreamed of doing what Billy and Bonnie and Walter and the rest do. It's not an intellectual judgement, why I love these books. It's an emotional connection, a secret yearning.
And there is something very beautiful about an ending.
I've changed my mind about this book since reading it last. It's no longer my least favourite in the four Dragons in Our Midst series. I don't know why I liked it less the other times. I like it much more now.
Tears of a Dragon was a lot shorter than I remember, but it was still cram-packed full of action and emotion. And reading the end was like watching the end of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, when the children return from Narnia. It’s a bittersweet ending that leaves you hoping for more. So many things from the first book were called back on in this last installment and that was a rather clever move. I found myself laughing and feeling like I had gone on this adventure with all of these characters as well.
Bryan Davis is a truly magical author, and no one can tell me otherwise. The ending of the book ties up all loose ends while leaving a few threads for us to follow into the next series while still giving that satisfying finale with our characters safe once more and a new and exciting adventure on the horizon.
While Circles of Seven is my favorite of this series, Tears of a Dragon comes in a close third (with Raising Dragons being my second favorite as it’s the first book in the series).
I’m so glad I took the time to reread this series. It’s left me both invigorated and inspired and I thank Mr. Davis for never giving up on these books and getting them out into the world despite the challenges.
My favorite part of the book was in the rubellite which was a callback to (my favorite part in) the previous book. I'll be honest... the fighting got repetitive after a while. I think part of the problem is that there are too many characters for my poor brain to handle, so it was hard to keep track of them all in battle.
I liked the unresolved ending! I mean it IS resolved but not actually. (However Mr. Davis was clearly setting up a sequel... which I won't be reading. Too many books!)
Such an amazing series. I've loved each and every book. This one is no different. A great way to end the series. Definitely some bitter sweet moments but it's worth it for the action adventure and character development and part of what keeps you hooked. What book doesn't have those moments to draw on our emotions and stuff.
The last book in Dragons in our Midst does not disappoint. You will be on the edge of your seat during this thrilling conclusion. But don't worry. There's plenty more to come in the second series set in this fictional universe. :D
On my gosh!! Never have I read such an inspiring and faithful story with as realistic and caring characters as these. Billy,Bonnie,Walter, and Ashley have such magnetic personalities.At certain points in the entire series, there is nothing more you'll want to do than give them a hug and a pep talk! Mr.Davis has 4 books of true beauty to his name❤
2022 Series Review: When I first read the Dragons in Our Midst series not long after this book released, it quickly hit my favorites list. The Oracles of Fire series took me a little longer to win me over, but eventually, it joined its predecessor on my top ten (technically sharing a space, as you really can't have one without the other). But time went on, and my growing reading list meant I reread less, and before long, years had passed without my touching these books (except to occasionally take Bookstagram photos). And the question arose: were they as good as I remembered? Other favorites from that time had fallen in favor as I found other stories that I loved more and that rang more true and as I discovered other authors with lovelier writing. Would Dragons in Our Midst and Oracles of Fire hold up?
In October 2021, I decided to find out. And as I delved into the familiar pages, I quickly found myself falling in love again with the story, characters, and themes, all of which were as excellent as I remembered — or, in some cases, better. Maturity on my part meant I could better appreciate certain characters and choices that had frustrated the younger me and that I could more clearly see the spiritual truths Davis weaves into every page of his writing. And books I originally didn't love — mostly Tears of a Dragon, Enoch's Ghost, and The Bones of Makaidos — I found I liked much better this time around because, again, I could better appreciate the themes, particularly the theme of sacrifice that runs so strongly through this series.
It's bit interesting for me to think that in some ways, these books were published at the last possible moment that they could've been really successful, both in- and out-of-story. In-story, the increasing omnipresence of the internet and surveillance and just the increased number of people with cameras on their phones would've made it nearly impossible for the dragons and anthrozils to stay hidden (especially in the case of LITERAL dragons or Bonnie and her wings) — and that's not even starting on the events at the end of Circles of Seven or the merging of Earth and Hell in Oracles of Fire. Those were a Big Deal in the story; they'd be receiving hundreds of times more attention and panic today.
And out-of-story, well, you can't get far into these books without recognizing that Davis isn't exactly subtle with his spiritual themes. Even compared to other books of the time, these books are saturated with Biblical truth, scripture, allegory, and messages — I would argue even more so than some books that were explicitly allegorical. It's even more evident compared to a lot of Christian fiction today, which tends to be much more subtle. But honestly? It's kind of refreshing to read a book that's so in-your-face about these things.
So, do these books hold up? Absolutely. If you've never read them before, pick them up. And if you have read them before, well, don't you think it might be time for a reread?