April 2023 Review: Rebel Dragon by Steve Turnbull – epic fantasy

Rebel Dragon Cover

Earlier this month, I read Rebel Dragon by Steve Turnbull, the first book in his Dragons of Esternes series.

Esternes has been occupied by an invading force and its original people, the Kadralin, have become enslaved. And the dragons (called zirichasa in the book, and technically wyverns – yes I am a nerd) have been turned into toys and are used for races, like horses in our world.

Kantees is slave to a fairly good Master, tasked with taking care of Sheesha, a young ziri who is a really good racer. When the ziri wakes her in the middle of the night, warning Kantees of an attack, the young woman does something she’d be executed for: She rides Sheesha into the night, warning the defenders of her home and actually taking action to thwart the invaders.

Of course, the whole deed does eventually come out into the open, and Kantees is forced to flee. This is just the beginning of a fast-paced adventure that gradually reveals more of the magical world and the history of it.

Kantees turns out to be much more than a slave, and Sheesha reveals there is much more to him, as well. But you’ll have to read all about that yourself.

What I really liked about Rebel Dragon

I love how Steve Turnbull gradually reveals the depth of the world he has created. Esternes is so much more that it seems to be which makes me very curious about the rest of the series.

And while Esternes is clearly a fantasy world, it’s not just a mix of classic magical tropes. There are amazing creatures, both animal and plants, strange magic that can’t be slotted into familiar systems, and plenty of adventures. That alone is worth a read.

There is more, however.

While Kantees is the hero and focus character, she’s not without doubt and flaws. She makes mistakes and pays for them dearly. And sometimes, others pay for her mistakes – which is even more painful. That gives her depth and makes her more relatable.

My favorite character in Rebel Dragon

I’m a dragon lover. So my favorite character in Rebel Dragon is Sheesha. He’s a clever dragon/wyvern with his own magical power. He’s also a little snarky and has a sense of humor, even though we don’t see that at first. It takes a while for Kantees to see him as more than an animal.

The ziri are certainly fascinating creatures, and I really hope that they will come fully into their own during the series.

I also started to really like Daybian, even though he starts out as the arrogant heir of the master (and rider of Sheesha). That young man finally developed a bit of a personality and started to actually grow up during their adventures, and he even became a bit of a hero. I won’t say more – not going to spoil anything for you.

Rebel Dragon is an indie book

You probably know that I’m an indie author and self-publishing my books. That’s why I like to support fellow indies, and Steve Turnbull is one of them. In these days, it matters a lot.

Let me just point out that I didn’t find any typos in the book, either. Being indie doesn’t mean you get sloppy books. Rebel Dragon is anything but.

So, if you like dragons, adventure, a determined heroine, and a mysterious fantasy world, go and grab Rebel Dragon here: Smart link that takes you to your favorite store

Newsletter Pop-up

If you liked this review, you can just sign up to my newsletter and never miss one. Or miss a new release. (Yes, this is my self-promotion, without the icky pop-up we all hate. Do me a favor and sign up, okay? No? Ah, well.)

If you do choose to sign up, you’ll get one email per month (unless something really exciting happens, like a new book out, then you might get more). It will contain writing news, a review like this one, BookFunnel opportunities to grab free or cheap ebooks, maybe some other fun stuff, and definitely an Ember tale.

In fact, my newsletter is the only way to get the Ember stories, about my dragon familiar.

Go ahead. Sign up. I know you wanna. (joke)

The form you have selected does not exist.

About Hannah Steenbock

Hannah Steenbock is an author, dreamer, and coach. She has published several short stories in English and German, as well as one novel in German. In 2013 she started self-publishing her work. In 2014, she has won two awards for her short story "Sequoia".
This entry was posted in Review and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *