Dragon and Thief

by Timothy Zahn

{ 2003 | Tor Books | 256 pgs }

I’ve never been so embarrassed to admit liking a book.

Dragon and Thief is the first book in Zahn’s Dragonback series. From the first page, it was laughably bad. The writing really is atrocious and I read several passages to the Romgi so he could shudder, too. And yet…I hate to say it…once I got past the poor quality of the writing, the plot was actually interesting. In fact, it was so engrossing that (please forgive me) I want to read the other books in the series now.

The plot doesn’t save everything: one of the major problems with any sci-fi/fantasy novel is the inability of the author to effectively communicate their own unique sci-fi/fantasy elements. For example, in Dragon and Thief, one of the main characters, Draycos (yes, Draycos), belongs to a race called the K’Da; the K’Da are three-dimensional beings who require a host on whom they can become two-dimensional. Does that make sense? If it does, I’ve done a better job explaining the concept than the author did. Draycos is the first character to be introduced in the book and until the second main character, Jack Morgan, comes along, there’s not much more explanation about the 2D/3D thing. Confusing. And, like so many books of the same genre, Dragon and Thief is not very imaginative (apart from the K’Da and their strange properties).

That being said, I stand by my enjoyment. Once I was able to more or less tune out the bad writing, it was a quick, fun read.

But in all honesty, I’m still embarrassed to recommend it…

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