Dragons Unremembered: Volume I of The Carandir Saga by David A. Wimsett
The first volume of The Carandir Saga, Dragons Unremembered, is a rollicking, wild adventure that starts at full speed and hardly lets up. Filled with intrigue, magic, and great adventure, fans and readers of high fantasy are sure to enjoy Wimsett’s highly immersive world.
Anchored by twins Prince Ryckair and Prince Craya, their city of Carandir is threatened when the dragon Baras awakens, hell-bent on revenge over an ancient conflict.
Of course, in this era, there will be immediate comparisons to George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series, but this felt much more reminiscent to me of the work of Anne McCaffrey and her Dragon Riders of Pern series, such is the feel and classic storytelling on display.
The book begins with a gorgeous map of the Monarchy of Carandir, divided in two by the western and eastern Baronies. A map is always helpful in navigating such sprawling stories. Right away, we are brought into a fight that ends with what appears to be a curse or an exchange, setting up the overall conflict of the book. We’re brought in as Haram Avar, the Monarch of Carandir reviews rising tensions in the kingdom. It seems a civil war may be brewing.
With two houses on the brink of war, one of the most interesting thing to me were the passages from the point of view of the dragon Baras. I enjoyed knowing his motivation and the idea that a dragon had such a rich interior thought process was fascinating.
Along the way, we have many classic medieval story components: Kings and Queens, princes and princesses, soldiers and knights, travel by horseback, magic, and all of it rendered with just the right amount of detail. The dialogue is era-appropriate, as well, and I felt like I was in the hands of a storyteller who knew their world down to the smallest details. This is where the author’s diverse talents and background obviously came into play, as he states he’s worked in many fields, such as being a musician and videographer. There are sonnets and lyrics in places, and the staging of the players was such that it made scenes easy to visualize. In many fantasy books, the language can become quite heavy and impenetrable. That’s not the case here. Reading Dragons Unremembered doesn’t require knowing ancient grammar or needing to parse sentences a paragraph long. There’s a place for that style, but Wimsett has chosen a much more accessible, modern style that puts the story first.
In an age where every battle is meticulously detailed with gore and violence, Dragons Unremembered is a departure. War is waged. Battles are fought. People and beings die. Love is made. None of it is done in up close, gory detail. Not that Wimsett turns away from these elements, but rather, presents them in a more traditional, classy way.
One thing to make note of is that the book is separated into four books of its own, and each begins the chapter numbering over again from one. The breaks make sense when you’re reading, so push through!
With such an epic story and so many characters and locations to keep track of, there’s a lot packed into this story. Again, the prose is easy to understand and follow––it very much reminded me of a screenplay. It’s easy to picture these scenes and hear the character’s voices, which made it a pleasure to read.
Even though Dragons Unremembered feels complete in many ways, Wimsett has released two more books in the trilogy: Half Awakened Dreams: Volume II and Covenant With the Dragons: Volume III where inevitably, this epic story continues. If you’re a fan of high fantasy and especially of dragon lore, and you’d like a read that moves along swiftly, Dragons Unremembered is for you.
“Dragons Unremembered is a rollicking, wild adventure that starts at full speed and hardly lets up.”
“Filled with intrigue, magic, and great adventure, fans and readers of high fantasy are sure to enjoy Wimsett’s highly immersive world.”