I think one of the best feelings in the world is finding a new author to love. One who shows you new worlds to get lost in, who takes you on the adventure of a life time. Maybe your fifth life this year. We will help you find those authors. We will regularly feature lesser known authors on our site that deserve to be read. James Calbraith is the first author on our list here on Narratess. His latest book, The Last Dragon King, came out on December 27 2016 and it’s the eighth and last in his series “The Year of the Dragon”. This year, he will start writing a new book in a new setting.
James was born in Poland and had his first story published at the age of eight. He moved to London in 2007 and started writing in English. His published English works are mostly fantasy and science fiction, but he also has a poetry bundle out.
This series first caught my eye because of the settings James uses. Although it’s an alternative historical setting, most of it is fairly recognisable. He uses the Celtic, Japanese and Dutch history to craft his story. These are cultures that I’m deeply interested in. I’m no expert on the Celtic and Japanese history, but everything in the books is recognisable in what I have picked up over the years. Even the Dutch history, the part that I know a little bit more of, is familiar. I can tell that James has put in a large amount of research.
[aesop_quote type=”pull” background=”#006489″ text=”#ffffff” align=”left” size=”1″ quote=”‘Fast paced and full of energy.’
” cite=”—Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of the “Shadows of the Apt”” parallax=”off” direction=”left” revealfx=”off”]
The perfect setting (at least, for me) is nothing without a good story and excellent writing. “The Year of the Dragon” saga is a fast paced fantasy series with plenty of dragons, magic and mystery. James Calbraith knows how to keep the plot moving, but in between the action he still finds time to show us the beautiful country of Yamato.
Nowhere is his mastery of tension more evident than in his numerous cliffhangers – he knows how to keep the suspense going. You’ll be glad that now all of the books are released so you can read them all in one go. The bundle for book 5 – 8 should be available soon as well.
The series follows the adventures of the Prydian boy Bran who just graduated and the two Yamato girls Sato and Nagomi. Sato is the only daughter of a scholar and pretends to be a boy which allows her to carry a sword with her. Nagomi is a priestess in training with copper coloured hair, very rare in ancient Yamato. The three of them overcome their language barrier and set out on a shared quest and escape their enemies.
“The Year of the Dragon” consists of the following books:
The Shadow of Black Wings
The Warrior’s Soul
The Islands in the Mist
The Rising Tide
The Chrysanthemum Seal
The Withering Flame
The Shattering Waves
The Last Dragon King
In the same universe:
The Birkenhead Drill & Other Stories (for free on Wattpad and Figment)
The first book, The Shadow of Black Wings, is available for free as an ebook (Amazon, Kobo) and audiobook.
Check back here each month for a review of one of the books, the short stories, and an interview James Calbraith himself