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Dragon Prince

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The Dragon Lord—
When Rohan became the new prince of the Desert, ruler of the kingdom granted his family for as long as the Long Sands spewed fire, he took the crown with two goals in mind. First an.d foremost, he sought to bring permanent peace to his world of divided princedoms, realms hovering always on the brink of war. And, in a land where dragon-slaying was a proof of manhood Rohan was the sole champion of the dragons, fighting desperately to preserve the last remaining lords of the sky and with them a secret which might be the salvation of the his people…

And His Sunrunner Witch—
Sioned, who was fated by Fire to be Rohan's bride, had mastered the magic of sunlight and moonglow, catching hints of a yet to be formed pattern which could irrevocably affect the destinies of Sunrunners and ordinary mortals alike. Yet caught in the machinations of the Lady of Goddess Keep, and of Prince Rohan and his sworn enemy, the treacherously cunning High Prince, could Sioned alter his crucial pattern to protect her lord form the menace of a war that threatened to set the land ablaze? (Back Cover)

Melanie Rawn's best-selling debut is a novel of love and war, magic and madness, and deadly dangerous dragons that hold the secret to unimaginable wealth that could prove key to mutual peace-or a bloody tyrant's reign. And among it all, an idealistic young ruler struggles to civilize a culture that understands the strength of the sword-but has yet to discover the true power of knowledge.

574 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published December 1, 1988

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About the author

Melanie Rawn

44 books1,143 followers
Melanie Rawn received a BA in history from Scripps College and worked as a teacher and editor before becoming a writer.

She has been nominated for a Locus award on three separate occasions: in 1989 for Dragon Prince (in the first novel category), in 1994 for Skybowl (in the fantasy novel category), and again in 1995 for Ruins of Ambrai (in the fantasy novel category).

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 510 reviews
Profile Image for Zackery Arbela.
Author 19 books12 followers
April 2, 2012
Gather round children, and cast your minds back to the ye old days of the late 80's/early 90's, when fantasy was still very much an underground thing, most stories were tedious Tolkien retreads or Dungeons and Dragons sessions put down on paper, and writers of the feminine persuasion were notably light on the ground. Which makes this book and the various series it spawn so interesting....

Nowadays, female fantasy authors are a pretty common sight, so it's a bit shocking to consider just how ahead of its time Dragon Prince was in terms of what could be done in a traditional fantasy novel. When I first picked it up, it was amazed just how different this was from the other fare to be found in bookstores (yes, books were sold in actual stores. Ask your Dad....)What Melanie Rawn did with this story was take all the elements of an awesome epic fantasy and mix it with the conventions of a romance novel, seasoned with some of the most detailed and compelling examples of world building to be found anywhere. The result was something groundbreaking. While there are battles galore and fantastical deed by the score, the core of this tale is the relationship between Rohan and Sioned, the passion that draws them together, the dangers and obstacles that block them. No final voyages to Valhalla here...more along the lines of a traditional romance, Lancelot and Guinevere, Romeo and Juliet, or any number of bodice rippers sold by the dozen made magnificent by the inclusion of dragons.

Today it's a common enough formula, which makes this book something of a groundbreaker. It showed (to angsty Gen-X teenagers at least) that fantasy could be more than just the slay the dragon while standing on a mountain of skulls. That there was room for real emotion and passion.

In short, a good read. Not to mention the cover art by Michael Whelan, reason enough to buy the printed version.
Posted by Zackery Arbela
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,619 reviews4,956 followers
January 10, 2012
read during my College Years

I Remember: completely overlong, bloated... some surprisingly good writing at times... a trashy epic... spousal abuse... rape rape rape rape rape rape... rape for both genders!... some actual dragonslaying... a bizarre soap opera filled with machiavellian intrigue... completely unappealing protagonists... continued reading just to see how bad it would get... helped me to dismissively reject the Fantasy genre during college (glad i got over that).
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
710 reviews1,150 followers
June 21, 2017
I read this book sooooo long ago, I could probably only tell you a couple of things about it. The problem is, even a few weeks after reading it, I doubt I could have come up with much more. It was one of those books where the concept was interesting as all get-out, but I found myself struggling with the execution. At the time I thought it was a lack of concentration, but now that I'm a little more well-read in the genre, I think it was just a little dry. Not quite boring, but on the cusp if you weren't fascinated with the dragons and the magic. I finished this trilogy and the one after - my feelings very similar for all of them.
474 reviews34 followers
April 27, 2015
I feel rather betrayed by one of my favourite authors (Grace Draven) giving this 5 stars. I can understand why she likes it so much, it is well written and manages to weave several character threads in to an involved story without giving too much focus to any one in particular. Yet I found myself disliking most of the characters by the end of the novel and for me personally that always leads to a bad rating. Add that to the problems I had with the events near the end of the book and, well, it was not going to end well...

For me this book was going quite well up until somewhere around the 70% mark, then it fell over a cliff and never managed to redeem itself in my eyes. Up until that point I'd been enjoying the (not so subtle) intrigues and how the characters felt like they truly influenced events around them, but I'm sorry, the entire concept of one of the protagonists I'm supposed to be sympathetic to hate-raping the daughter of his enemy is a massive big read X for me. Nope, just no, I am done.

The amount of character twisting involved in these events completely robbed me of any enjoyment I was having, which is really a shame because I otherwise very much liked the world this was set in.

If you are unbothered by rape-y bits and can overlook the hypocrisy of the main characters becoming just like the evil, abusive enemy they fight so hard against (which could have been cool if it showed any signs of being intentionally done), then perhaps you will enjoy this more than I did.
Profile Image for Kitty G Books.
1,544 reviews2,931 followers
January 16, 2021
*Trigger warning: rape, arson, murder, violence, warfare*

I have owned this book for a few years now (I think I got it second hand in a book shop in London wayyyyy back on a booktube day out) and I have had every intention of trying it, but I never made the time. I finally did, and I now see why so many enjoy Melanie Rawn as an author. She's not afraid to break her characters down and piece them back together, but she's also good at giving them some heart.

This is the story of two main characters, the Dragon Prince who is called Rohan, and his bride-to-be Sunrunner witch, Sioned. They don't know one another at all at the start of the book, but do to some tricky politics happening around them after Rohan's father dies, they are thrown together and have to decide what path to take and whether they will truly love one another and be loyal.

Alongside thier struggles there's a world which is based largely on the Desert where the Dragons live and hunt. The dragons have been hunted by Rohan's people for a long time when he comes to power, but he has a soft spot for them and he thinks there's more to them than we know.

We also have the High Prince who is called Rolestra and he's a nasty piece of work who was always against Rohan's father and Rohan is determined to one day defeat him and unite his territory and give people a fairer way of living.

Of course, Rohan's ideals are greatly tested when warfare breaks out, and the dragons are threatened, and marriage or love seems hard to decide on. We follow both him and Sioned as they battle with what to do and how to defend themselves and their people against the coming tides.

The magic in this world is of course dragons but also the Sunrunner magic. Sunrunners are trained to be able to run on sunlight colours and communicate mind-to-mind when they know one another's colours. It's a power which also draws on the sun to create fire and if you're highly trained can be very powerful.

Solid read that could easily be standalone, although I do think there's two more in the series and I am intrigued about what they focus on exactly. I hope it's the dragons as I would definitely like to see more of them!

4*s from me (just about, as there were a few slower sections) and I'm interested to continue the series. And try more by this author.
Profile Image for Bookwraiths.
698 reviews1,023 followers
February 28, 2019
Really enjoyed this story. Sure, there were some eye rolling moments, a bit too much telling rather than showing, but gradually I grew attached to this place and these people and can’t wait to read the next installment of the series.
Profile Image for Rachel.
141 reviews
July 22, 2008
Back in the 90s, I was helping by volunteering to set up a book sale at the local library with my mom. We also got first pick of the books there. I saw these books and they had nice covers, and an intriguing back. I asked my mom if I could buy them (being young myself). Ironically, it was from the box(es) of books we'd donated! And so, we bought back our own books, so that I could read them. (My mom swore she'd never donate books without running them by me first again.. not sure if she's held to that. But anyways.)
If only I'd listened to my mother (she'd advised against reading it). I suppose the clue should have been that she'd donated it, when usually we kept them (and owned 500+ books).
But lo, I read them. As much as I could stomach, anyways. Melanie Rawn has to be one of the trashiest, most vile book writers I've ever had the misfortune to read. I am not talking about her writing style, or even her wordplay. I'm talking about her ideas, and her views and portrayals of humanity - even her so-called "brightest" are people I'd never want to meet. If I could scrub her books from my mind I would. Pol, I'd thrash you and maybe worse if I ever met you. Among other people.
In her defense, some of the worst scenes are so artfully awful that they are imprinted on my memory - not many authors can do that. And to have me hating her over a decade later, speaks volumes of how solid, how real, the scenes she evokes are. And if I had stopped after reading the first half of the book (It's split into 2 stories), I could have thought much much more highly of her. Suffice to say, unless you like rather despicable people, acts, and such, don't read this book. Or the series.

If you do, go right ahead.
Profile Image for Allison Hurd.
Author 3 books676 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
September 2, 2021
The blurb made it sound like political intrigue, dragons, and magic, which is, as my one friend says, like catnip for me. But it turns out it's about romance and rape. So I'm not gonna bother. Byyyyeeee
Profile Image for Nicola O..
51 reviews9 followers
September 13, 2007
One of my favorite series. Owes quite a bit to Dune, I think, but creative enough on its own merits. In series like this, you often get either great characters or great plotting, but this has both. Heroes with dark sides, villains with layers, love and family and politics and magic twine together to keep your interest through several generations.
469 reviews69 followers
February 23, 2011
The story is very political, which is fine and normal in fantasy literature. It was the characters who disappointed me. Rohan's first few chapters introduced him as smart, capable and calculated. He wanted more for his kingdom than constant war, and seemed set to be a great literary hero. Unfortunately, his love for Sioned was not so beautiful. Like most of her male characters, Rohan's carnal urges overwhelmed his reason throughout the entire novel. His lust, or "Fire," for Sioned (and hers for him) seemed to be the driving factor in their relationship. Only a few times in the book did the characters think fond thoughts of each other that had nothing to do with their sexual relationship. That's fine and good for a married couple, but their relationship should have been based on more than sex. At the end of the book, I still don't really feel I know the characters and more worrisome, I don't like what I do know.

Rohan is eventually kidnapped by Ianthe, Roelstra's oldest daughter. Roelstra, despite his mistresses, has not been able to get a son, and Ianthe wants to conceive one with Rohan. Before he marries Sioned, she sneaks into his tent and he realizes while groping her that she's not Sioned and kicks her out. This time, Ianthe drugs him and convinces him that Sioned has come to rescue him, and succeeds in doing the deed with him, hoping that he has gotten her pregnant. Then Rohan wakes up, is furious and starts beating her, and then rapes Ianthe. Meanwhile, Sioned has gone to rescue him, been put in the dungeon by Ianthe, and been raped by her men. Rohan and Sioned are allowed to leave because hey, Ianthe got what she wanted, and they hide in a cave when their horses get away. Sioned spurns Rohan's advances so he gets mad at her, and then all of a sudden, a few chapters later they're fine and lusting after each other like always. Ianthe gives birth to Rohan's son and Sioned steals him, killing Ianthe, intending to raise the boy as their own. Nevermind everyone in the kingdom could see she wasn't pregnant and is probably wondering where the kid came from.

Dragon Prince is nearly 600 pages long, and during the last 100 pages, Rawn kept interrupting the action with long chapters full of strategy and soliloquy by secondary characters. That was fine during the first half, but not during the height of the action. I actually skipped around until I found the parts where the action continued and ignored the political ramblings in between. I still understand what happened at the end of the book, so it obviously wasn't that important.

All in all, this book was okay. The action, basic structure of the plot, and the world-building were great, but the characterization sucked big time. There are more books in the series, and I won't be reading them. Too bad I bought this at Barnes & Noble instead of getting it from the library.
Profile Image for Gabi.
686 reviews116 followers
July 11, 2022
I liked it in the first half, even though it had some scenes where the writing style was too romance novel, and even though it had a bad case of insta-love. The sunrunners, witches and witchers using the power of the sunlight for their magic, are a good idea, their powers and power structure reminded me a bit of the Aes Sedai from the Wheel of Time novels.

But the second part somehow lost me. Too much political intrigue centering around getting pregnant with boys, too partriarchal in the setup and too many people behaving horribly with rape and torture.

All this could perhaps have been overseen if the characters had personality - and not just attributes. Everybody - bar Sioned perhaps - felt rather flat in the character setup and development.
Profile Image for Amanda R.
353 reviews1 follower
June 8, 2022
Update 6/8/22: When I first read this, I thought all the love-at-first-mention, burned-by-the-Fire business was the most romantic thing I'd ever read. Then I got older and thought it was unrealistic, laughable nonsense. Now I've come back around to seeing it as incredibly romantic wish fulfillment, and life is better that way. So many of these characters behave in an utterly ridiculous fashion, but it's a fantasy novel, and (within reason) I don't want them behaving like real people. I want everyone falling deeply in love the first time they hear someone's name and maintaining that same level of romance for the next 60 years. In short, I loved this re-read and I'm glad I'm old enough now to enjoy some of the subplots for what they are.

Also, hang in there, Chiana. Someday you will have the most fabulous bathroom in all of fiction.


When I was 15 and going through a very hard time, a girl I worked with handed me three tattered paperback books and told me that they would help me to feel better. She then cautioned me that I couldn't keep them, though - they'd been handed down four times by that point, and the condition was that I had to read them, love them, and then pass them on.

That was 17 years ago, and those books are still sitting on my shelf. Oops. My one defense is that I got the author to sign them (four years after they were originally given to me) and couldn't bear to part with them after that. I have since bought replacement copies, since those were so beat up, and now I just need to cut the autographs out and paste them into the new ones. After I've done that, I'll pass the books along, I swear.

And if that isn't a ringing endorsement of the quality of Dragon Prince, I don't know what is. I have loved these stories and characters for more than half my life now. If I read DP now for the first time, I think I would have more nitpicks - after all, Sioned does have definite Mary Sue tendencies, the pacing is a little strange at times, and there are several inconsistencies - but that doesn't really matter now. What matters is that it's a fascinating and compelling story, filled with likable and interesting and very, very real people, and that it provided me with a truly excellent wormhole to disappear into whenever I needed to. I will love these books forever.

Update 11/13/16: Yep, still love it.

Update 9/12/19: THIS BOOK SUCKS no obviously I still love it.
Profile Image for Stefan Yates.
220 reviews50 followers
May 15, 2012
The Dragon Prince is the story about a young prince who is unexpectedly thrown into the seat of power at a very young age. Throughout the story, Rohan struggles with balancing his ideals for peacefully ruling his desert kingdom and the unavoidable need to wage war against those who would threaten that peace. As much as it is about Rohan, it is equally about his wife, Sioned. She is a magic user, called a SunRunner, who's considerable powers are forbidden to be used to kill. However, as a princess, she must struggle with her own inner demons and the demands to use her powers against her oaths in order to aide and protect her husband.

I found this to be an interesting novel written in a style that I'm not entirely used to reading. There is a healthy dose of action and war that I expect in a fantasy novel along with some political intrigue involving the new prince coming to power and working to institute his own ideals. Along with this, there is a lot of emphasis placed upon the developing relationship between Rohan and Sioned. This adds a nice depth to the novel, although at times it gets dangerously close to treading into romance novel territory!! Wink

I think that this is one of the rare fantasy novels that will appeal to male and female readers almost equally.
Profile Image for Justin.
256 reviews128 followers
February 13, 2021
Dragon Prince is quite different from most of my favorite series, but it's stuck with me for over 20 years as a cut above most things that I've read. It is far less action-focused than lots of fantasy, instead focusing more on politics, relationships, the nature of leadership, power, and the value of questioning norms.

Unlike most 'political' fantasy this one still has quite a bit of excitement and action as well. Unlike many 'relationship' focused stories this one highlights the fact that all of them carry imperfections and clashes. The series as a whole also taught me at a young age that there are many different forms of love, family, and friendship. Despite all this it is never really preachy and never really boring.

It was one of the first 'rules based' magic systems I ever encountered, having numerous restrictions but still carrying with it a sense of amazement. It also flirted with grim dark well before that was a thing and is not afraid to kill off numerous ancillary and even main characters as the series continues.
Profile Image for Ban.
96 reviews
February 25, 2010
I'm giving this book a 5 star rating but you must understand I read this book a long time ago and in my mind it has always been 'The Book'. Melanie's world was so rich, alive and beautiful - even her 'bad guys'. I realize that is a tad idealistic but I loved it. I loved the way she described her characters, as if each of them was dear to her. Everything in that book felt loved.
It is the book that first first made me want to create worlds and characters of my own. I'd read fantasy and sci-fi books before but none touched me the way this one did. It was also my first glimpse into the combining of romance between the MCs in fantasy. I was hooked - I went out, got all the books in the series (both of them) and read them all back to back.
PS: I also confess I'm a cover tramp and the main reason I picked this book up is my love of Michael Whelan's artwork. Sue me.
Profile Image for Jonathan.
601 reviews14 followers
August 6, 2008
Good set piece start, drifts away to rubbish. Has a positive review from Anne McCaffrey, the patron saint of lackluster writing.
Profile Image for Aldi.
1,082 reviews81 followers
November 15, 2014
I honestly thought that, rereading this for the first time in about 15 years, I'd have more trouble with some of the cheesier bits, but honestly? I still adore it. Cheese included. I love this world. I love how coming back to it always feels like coming home, and how encountering these characters is always like reconnecting with old friends. I love the richness of the magic. I love the dragons. My perspective on some of the characters has shifted somewhat (for example, I'm much quicker now to call Rohan and Sioned out on some of their more hypocritical moves, and I have a LOT more sympathy for Roelstra's daughters, up to and specifically including Ianthe), but I love that, too - being able to get exasperated and/or sympathising with their flaws, in some new ways now that I didn't relate to before. Can't wait to dive into Star Scroll!
Profile Image for Ishpeck.
9 reviews5 followers
July 16, 2008
Melanie Rawn writes total garbage. One or two good ideas littered with shallow characters, nonsensical plots, and anticlimactic endings. This book almost makes me wish I was illiterate.
Profile Image for ~Cyanide Latte~.
1,237 reviews86 followers
August 17, 2019
DNF'd this one at 74%. It doesn't deserve any damn stars at all.

I once tried reading this when I was sixteen years old. From what I could remember of this book, it bored me immensely with the constant politics and heavy focus on everything being driven by sex/libido, and I wound up DNFing it then too. I had recently picked up a secondhand copy for 15¢, hoping to give the book a second chance as I'm less likely to be bored to tears as an adult.

I could not finish it again, this time because of instances that occur beyond the halfway point of the story. It should come as no shock that my reasons for this stem from the repeated, detailed rape that occurs in the book, and how it gets justified. This absolutely disgusted and appalled me. To think that this is regarded as excellent high fantasy from the point in time of the late 80s, early 90s (and further praised that it was written by a woman) only adds to my disgust. This book deserves no praise whatsoever, and the fact that so few people are willing to admit to any of its flaws (and believe me, there are MANY issues with characterization and logic in the book even before we get to the rape scenes) is extremely disheartening.

Got rid of my copy; sold it to Half-Price Books because I didn't have the heart to destroy it or give it to anyone else, and got 50¢ back for it. (Hey, at least I made more getting rid of it than I did obtaining the copy.)

Do not waste your time with this garbage. I'm disappointed I wasted any of mine on it trying to give it a second chance.
Profile Image for John Adams.
Author 34 books85 followers
October 12, 2022
This is straight up fantasy romance of the best kind. There are battle scenes, but later, much later. In the meantime, plenty of the nigh on 600 pages (a standard length in this subgenre) are devoted to the blossoming relationship between Sunrunner Witch Sioned and the new prince of the desert

Read my full review here.


#Dragonprince #JohnCAdamsReviews #JohnCAdams #melanierawn #waybackwhensday #fantasy #book #books #Review #Reviews #bookreview #bookreviews #epicfantasy #dragons
Profile Image for Ken Badertscher.
Author 2 books1 follower
January 12, 2018
Romantasy or Fantamance?

Dragon Prince, Melanie Rawn’s first novel, was ahead of the fantasy/romance genre curve in 1988. Rawn decorates an epic fantasy core story with romantic trappings, and it works, most of the time. The early medieval fantasy world of Dragon Prince comes to life in vibrant Sunrunner magical colors. The environments, especially the desert, are depicted in fine detail, capturing the reader with sensuous descriptions. The book has a few minor issues: recurring emotional imagery and a lack of depth to many of the secondary characters.

The main characters are vividly drawn, but the spotlight on them is a bit tight. Everyone seems a little dim compared to Rohan and Sioned, and I suppose that is the novel’s romance side coming to the fore. The reader may get too much inside the head of the characters at some points. A lot of the narrative is filled with the internal monologue and deeply felt emotions of the characters. This tends to give the plot a stuttery feel as conflicts arise, characters ponder, then swoon or glower at each other, then ponder some more, then something else happens.

The story is interesting, but not very complex. There is mostly one main thread of plot throughout, though there are many brief branches and callbacks. I think the story could have used a bit of pruning, especially since the general focus is so strong on the main characters. Any time a secondary character comes to the fore, it’s not very rewarding, as they tend to be more sketchy and predictable. The frequent callbacks and rehashing of characters’ feelings can be distracting, too. Although worded differently and often approached from different angles, some themes are visited repeatedly.

Despite these issues, the plotting of the princes and the romance of the main characters is engaging enough to keep the pages turning. Dragon Prince is not for everyone, as it has far more romance and politics than action and adventure. Though few, the action sequences are lively and stimulating. I’m looking forward to checking out some of Melanie Rawn’s other books set in the Dragon Prince world, as I have a feeling that the later novels may be even better.
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,517 reviews10.8k followers
January 3, 2009
2.5 stars. It has been a long time since I read this and I have it on my list to re-read so my review may change at some point. My recollection is that this book was VERY SLOW and wasn't interesting enough to make me want to read the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Dorian.
226 reviews33 followers
April 10, 2014
I'm not sure how I didn't read this back in the late 80s or early 90s, when it was new and I was reading fairly indiscriminately through the fantasy genre, or as much of it as I could get my hands on. But somehow I didn't.

It bears its age pretty well, I think (unlike, say, Jennifer Roberson's Sword-Dancer, which I found almost unreadable on returning to it recently). Some aspects, mainly the depiction of the romance between the two protagonists, do feel very dated, but most of it still felt very fresh.

It's basically a coming-of-age story - the coming of age of Rohan, who inherits the Princedom of the Desert at the start of the book; of Sioned, a Sunrunner and Rohan's destined wife; of their world, a conglomerate of Princedoms still mostly ruled by the sword rather than the law, something they aim to change.

There's a plethora of interesting and complicated characters, on both the protagonists' and the antagonist's sides. And if the antagonist's motivations are a bit simplistic (power, power and more power), at least both he and those around him are real characters and not just ciphers. It's also pleasing to note that at least as many of the viewpoint characters (of which there are many) are female as male. (And how depressing that 26 years after this book was first published, I still feel the need to note that.)

I liked the magic too; the Sunrunners seem to be some kind of religious-based mages - at least they train at the Goddess Keep, though we don't learn anything much about said Goddess. Anyway, they can travel mentally on light to see things far away, or to communicate mentally with each other. And they get really, really sick on water, which makes crossing rivers interesting. And you can prevent them from using their powers by locking them up in the dark.

The story does sag a bit in the middle, I thought, and doesn't really pick up again until about the last quarter, but it didn't quite lose my interest.

Overall it's a fairly light read, despite some fairly gruesome bits; it doesn't have the gritty feel of some more recent fantasy, which I liked.
Profile Image for Lisa.
490 reviews54 followers
October 9, 2016
Melanie Rawn writes epic fantasy that keeps me invested in the story. Her characters are not perfect people, even if they are idealistic--reality won't allow for idealism and they are forced to make decisions and break their own codes of honor time and again.

I enjoyed all of the political maneuvering in this book. That's 90% of the book. Because the entire thing is about power--not wanting it, wanting it, wanting more of it, how it can be a burden, wanting to secure it. But it's also about love, and how that has power too.

Great book, interesting characters, and I am reminded on this re-read why I loved it so much when I first read it more than 20 years ago.
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,145 reviews1,782 followers
March 1, 2010
Another series of books I wanted to like, I was looking for something to read.... It didn't matter, and it didn't work. The books just didn't interest me they couldn't pull my interest in, much less hold it.

I know a lot like these, I see the good ratings, but they're just not something I wanted to read, didn't finish the first.
Profile Image for Ана Хелс.
806 reviews74 followers
May 29, 2013
Женско фентъзи. Жееенско фентъзи. Жеееееенско фентъзи.

Ако спра до тук, посланието на ревюто ще е достигнало всяка мислеща клетка на потенциалния читател. Но щото съм многословно обречена от женската си природа, ще продължа да мърсувам в думите и да ви обясня какво му е толкова зловещото на женското фентъзи и къде са проклетите зли редактори, когато най-много ти трябват.

Да почнем от начало. Интересен свят, мащабен, широк, разнолик, с потенциал за епичност. Пустини, планини, гори и паланки – налице. Воюващи крале, васали, номади – тук. Красиви принцове, красиви принцеси, зли и добри магьосници – присъстват. Имаме и дракони, в началото представени като малко тъповати животни, получаващи идентичност до края на поредицата, макар и не съвсем вербално изразена и достъпна за всички – честно , липсват ми хитроумните многовековни аналози на дърти лисици в тристатонови гущероподобни туловища с изумително рафинирано чувство за хумор. Защо горките дракони са все представени като лесно умиращи, товарни магарета с огън и зъби, не ми го побира съзнанието. Сигурно не чета правилните драконови книги. Но това не е най-огромния проблем. А женският подход към реалността, в която дори насред купчина крилати ч��довища, могъщи магьоснически заклинания и изгарящи от омраза и алчност крале, най-огромното притеснение на всички е кой за кого ще се ожени, ще си легне, ще си наплоди деца. Поне в 60% от обема си , елегията за Драконовия принц е наситена до изнемога с тези драматични тегоби, които те карат да прескачаш глави и диалози, и да не пука за втория братовчед на учинайкото на лелята на братовчеда на краля на кралство Х, който евентуално ще избере осмата племенница на шестия дук и дванайстата му жена, която май е незаконно родена, или шестата принцеса според генеалогията на херцозите от осмата династия на някакъв кирливичък остров с двадесет жители, за която има леки съмнения, че е малко чумава. Помежду тръшкането дали онзи или този е подходящ за оназ или таз девойчица, почти ми домъчня за вечното гладене на полите при Джордан. Тооолкова е досадняшко.

Битките са между двестатина човека най-много, които се дърлят за някое изсъхнало парче земя, чиято важност трябва много внимателно да си чел и разбрал между безкрайните политически блъвни кой от какво и къде има интерес да направи еди – какво си и да отреже главата на третия отляво. Всичко е като някакъв откачен учебник по фентъзи политология, само схемите ми липсваха много да се оправя между стотиците васалства и дребни благородници, за които си мечтаех да бъдат опърлени като свински ушички от тъпите драконоиди, но последните с едно – две изключения бяха твърде заети да снасят яйца и да демонстрират някакви съешаващи перформанси. Признавам, че имаше някои моменти, които ми помогнаха да премина през стотиците тежки страници ненужности – някой и друг интересен потенциален герой, тук-таме някоя сцена изпълнена с щедро отприщена жестокост и социопатичност, малко секс тип Авалонски мистерии, красива магия включваща изтъкаване на послания и илюзии, понякога и реални неща от слънчева, лунна и звездна светлина, магии и коварства… все приятности, които можеха да се поберат в една – единствена книга, а не в трилогия, която проследява сума ти поколения и проблемации , и даже има и кошмарните си продължения. Имам някакво зловещо дежа – ву като след срещите ми в насрещното с Курц, Кер и Маккафри, но продължавам да вярвам в гърл пауъра и добрите жени авторки. Сега отиваш да похлипам на рамото на Танит Ли или някой як мъжкарски писател, чийто герой ще обезчестява девойки, ще разкъсва хипопотами и ще играе шах с демони, и то само с една ръка.

Между другото на български е издадена само първата част от поредицата, но тя е напълно годна за самостоятелно четене – двете книги, в които на пръв поглед историята е разцепена с печалбарска злоба, всъщност разкриват тегобите на основната ни кралска двойка преди женитбата им и няколко години след нея, та може да се възприемат и като съвсем отделни заглавия. И ако след края не сте сигурни дали ви се чете още от същото – просто не продължавайте – в останалите книги, както винаги, децата се оказват далеч по-досадни и безлични от родителите си, тръшкат се за подобни истории и синопсиса на повече от хиляда страници може да се преразкаже прилично детайлно и спойленско с не повече от десет изречения. А това е лошо за която и да е книга. Принц на драконите може да се намери и на свободен достъп при читанките, и на баснословни цени при антикварите – за кой какъвто формат предпочита – текстът си има своите достойнства, но те намаляват прогресивно със всяка следваща книга от поредицата, поне за моя презадоволен читателски ум. Та внимавайте къде ще спрете, и не изхвърляйте киндъла през прозореца в пристъп на ярост – проклетийката струва ужасно много да бъде събрана в изначално положение след среща с тротоарното право на гравитацията. Тъй съм чувала поне :)
Profile Image for Mark.
Author 2 books91 followers
March 12, 2022
Where do I start? I picked this book up for the first time about 18 years ago and from the start it firmly established Ms Rawn as one my top ten favourite authors. Who are the others you ask? Well stick around because I’m bound to review them all at some stage. To be honest, the first thing that drew me to the book was Michael Whelan’s exceptional artwork, but it wasn’t long before Rawn’s magic caught me in its spell.

Opening in the desert kingdom of The Long Sand, Rawn demonstrates that she isn’t one to shy away from violence or tragedy, and that she holds the ability to delve deep into the full spectrum of human emotion. While the story is large in scope, it moves with an assured pace that doesn’t pull any punches.

Revolving around Rohan, the Dragon Prince of the title, and the sunrunner witch Sioned, an initiate of the Goddess Keep, Rawn builds her world with a precision and flair that is matched by the style and grace of her writing. Rohan is a man of character, breeding and intelligence. Brought up in a world where a man’s right to rule is based on his skill as a warrior, his inclination to the finer arts of reading and education is a cause of concern to his family when the mantle of Prince is thrust upon him by his father’s untimely death. Having been sheltered from court life by his mother’s wishes, he is pushed into the public eye as an unknown player in a dangerous game. To his side comes Sioned, a young woman as feisty and strong-willed as she is beautiful and accomplished in the magical art of sunrunning. Presented to Rohan on the night of his father’s death, there is a marriage arranged by his aunt and her mistress, Andre, the Lady of the Goddess Keep. At first apprehensive, Rohan is struck by Sioned’s beauty and sensitivity, finding her a match for him in intelligence and passion, a person he can love and share his secrets with without fear of derision. This is the tale of their courtship, bound together by the machinations of fate and the intrigues of noble houses; it is an intelligent read that balances romance and magic with cunning and bloody politics.

Well-drawn characters and vivid descriptions accompany Rohan and Sioned in the unfolding of their story. Personal relationships between family and friends lend the book a welcome relief to bloody infighting encouraged by the realm’s powerful and manipulative overlord the High Prince Roelstra. One thing that struck me about this book is the intelligence that is evident in the laying of every plot and the turn of each phrase. Both the prose and the verbal sparring between characters is lively and holds a distinct style that is Rawn’s own and has grown with every book she’s gone on to write. This is a great book and one that doesn’t sit on my shelf long enough to gather dust.
Profile Image for Bridget Coila.
67 reviews
September 28, 2014
For me, this was an ok read...I finished it, but I probably would not read it again and it isn't staying on my shelf (its heading to the used book store next trip that direction.)

At the time it was written, I'm sure it was innovative to have a strong female character as one of the main characters in the book and the departure from "dudes on a quest" style fantasy was a big deal...but in the intervening decades, there are series that are wayyyy more impressive in terms of characterization and plot and general complexity- so this feels kind of boring in many ways.

The things that are supposed to be shocking and thought-provoking are mostly just distasteful or ho-hum. Random plot twists that go nowhere (lets kill off half the people in the world with a plague! Now let's forget about the plague and go see who is having babies on the other side of the world...) made me feel like I'd missed some chapters somewhere. The characters are fairly one-dimensional, and they didn't really make me want to follow them through their world.
I ended up setting this book aside often while other things caught my interest...then I'd go back to it later because I felt guilty I had not finished it yet and it was sitting there half-read on my side table. So it obviously was unable to really command my attention and interest.

If someone happened to have this book on their shelf and loves fantasy, I'd say sure, read it and see if you like it. (Some people absolutely adore this book, for whatever reason...) I wouldn't recommend someone go out and seek it out though.
Profile Image for Mandy Dimins.
324 reviews23 followers
January 18, 2022
Trigger warnings (some on-page and some referred/implied):

Where do I start with this book? It was all kinds of jarring but also incredibly fascinating with its unique magic system and the way it portrayed its female characters. When jumping into this, it was really important for me to keep in mind that this was written and published in the 80's. There were a lot of tropes and plot elements and trigger warnings here that felt distinctly 80's to me. It's something that can understandably take away from people's enjoyment of the book and turn them away from it, which is perfectly valid IMO, given how intense the book can get. But if you can somehow look past it and are willing to put yourself in a frame of mind to appreciate it for what it is, this book has a lot to offer.

The book can really be divided into the first two thirds (Parts 1 and 2) and the last third (Part 3). There's a huge shift in the tone, the story, the characters' relationships and dynamics with each other, the concerns of the characters, and even the pacing of the story between those two segments. In Parts 1 and 2, the politics is interesting but also fairly straightforward, while in Part 3 it really shifts into overdrive. There's a lot more going on to the point where I found it difficult to keep things straight and stay on top of what was going on in the military arena, but at least it was still fairly easy to follow the more personal politics between the cast of characters.

The most prominent thing that comes to mind when discussing this book is really its treatment of women. In Parts 1 and 2, it was jarring in that almost every female character we encounter are primarily concerned about their marriageability and/or their ability to conceive, particularly to bear sons, with only perhaps one notable exception - Rohan's aunt, Andrade. For that reason, Andrade was the most interesting character to me for that whole segment. Part 3 changes a little because of how the story shifts. We see a lot more agency with the female characters and how they strive to gain control some way or another. There's still a lot of focus on childbearing and begetting sons, but it's also brought down to very gritty and painful realities of that particular function instead of just an abstract concept of value. I particularly liked how .

Part 3 was also where the story got really, really rough and intense, and where so many of the trigger warnings start coming up. Really bad things happen to our main cast of characters and the book doesn't pull any punches with that. This is probably where I could see many people DNFing and I wouldn't blame anyone for that - it is rough. There's nothing much to say to justify it, really. All I can say is that I stuck it through because nothing about it felt gratuitous or like slotted in for the shock factor. All the bad things that happen or the detailed gritty scenes felt like they genuinely contributed to the story and drove the characters' development forward, and for that I could make myself go on.

I wasn't a huge fan of our two main characters, Rohan and Sioned, in the first two Parts tbh. Rohan seemed a bit too much like a Gary Stu while Sioned felt overly focused on her role as a future wife and mother. Their attraction for each other also felt a bit like an insta-love and insta-lust situation. What saved it for me was that their match was fraught with political machinations and it was really interesting to see how they were both going to navigate those treacherous waters to find their way to each other. In Part 3 was where my opinion of them improved dramatically. We see them evolve a lot as characters, but we also really see their relationship tested and how they work things out with each other. They sometimes don't, and they sometimes need external parties to come in and slap some sense into them, which is all very real for couples in real life. By the end of the book, I was thoroughly rooting for this relationship.

The magic system of this book is also another thing that kept me going. It's so unique! We have a bunch of magicky people called Sunrunners, and while their most basic skill is to conjure and wield a special kind of Fire, they can also use light of any kind (but most commonly sunlight) to do some kind of astral projection and spy on things from a great distance and to send messages to each other. Every person also has "colours", like light refracted through a prism, and I like to think of it as your own unique QR code. Knowing someone's colours is a way for a Sunrunner to be able to reach them by telepathy, or to get a grip on their soul somehow. I'm interested to find out more about this magic system in future books.

I realise that for a book called Dragon Prince, there's been a distinct lack of dragons in my review. They do play a fairly important role in the story and I was a fan of how the attitude towards dragons was portrayed in this book. Instead of them being always beasts to be hunted or worshipped, Rohan . It's a pretty unique attitude in dragon books as far as I know, although granted I'm not very experienced in this subgenre.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to lovers of epic fantasy with dragons and for anyone looking for a unique magic system and plenty of politicking, although be warned about the grim story elements and trigger warnings before going in.
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