The Rage of Dragons v Kwak

Book: Rage of Dragons
Author: Evan Winter
Publisher: Orbit
Published: (Indie: 2017 Trad: 2020)

This book is brutal. The violence starts from the very get-go and barely lets up at all throughout the book. If you’re looking for a gentle, relaxing read look elsewhere because your adrenaline will be pumping the whole time you’re reading Rage of Dragons.

Tau is driven by revenge. His people, the Omehi, are interlopers and have been at war ever since their ships touched down generations ago. If not for the magic which allows some of their kind to call Dragons to their aid, and turn the strongest of their men into the incredible hulk, they’d have been overrun. Tau isn’t interested in that. He wants to become the greatest warrior the Omehi have ever seen but his only motive is to kill three of his own. If that means he has to fight hordes of demons every night to achieve his goals, suffering a thousand agonising deaths, then so be it.

At a basic level this book follows a familiar structure. MC goes through specialist training to become the strongest motherfucka around. Tau is Rin from The Poppy War, Nona from Red Sister, and Darrow from Red Rising. Like all those other examples though he is also somehow unique. His lower caste background bringing him into conflict with a noble caste gives him a relatable chip on his shoulder (at least to anyone who feels as though those in power are a little too smug about it). The look at class relations through the scope of something which feels a lot like Spartacus: Blood and Sand (Gladiator is the more common comparison but as I’ve said this story is far more brutal), is constantly intriguing, especially when we’re introduced to the more sympathetic higher status characters.

Great book. Highly recommend it.

Beer: Kwak
Brewery: Bosteels Brewery
Style: Belgian
Strength: 8.4%

First had Kwak in a Belgo on Kingsway in London. If you’ve had one in a bar you’ll know the signature glasses they are served in are cool af. Have to get one of those at some point.

The beer is strong. Not just the abv. It tastes strong and it has an effect on me that is beyond that. Delicious though so I won’t let that stop me drinking it again.

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