A Review of Dragonfall by Niall Teasdale

Time for a review of the eleventh book in the Thaumatology series by Niall Teasdale, Dragonfall. Yes, it is billed as the ninth book, but I am counting the anthologies as well. I reviewed the first book,  Thaumatology 101, here. The second, Demon’s Moon was reviewed here. The third book in the series, Legacy, that review is here. The first collection of short stories from this universe called Tales from High Towers’ Study is here.  The fourth book in the series, Dragon’s Blood is reviewed here. And the review of the fifth book in the series, Disturbia is reviewed here. The second collection of short stories, Tales from the Dubh Linn, was reviewed here. And the eighth book in this series Hammer of Witches was reviewed here. And, you can find the review on the Tale for the ninth book called Eagle’s Shadow here as well. Two weeks ago, I also reviewed the tenth book Ancient….

Dragonfall by Niall Teasdale

Dragonfall by Niall Teasdale

Things are… changing… And that’s a problem…

Ceridwyn Brent and Cheryl Tennant are having a very busy year. There is the long-term project to build a ley line bringing energy from the German Rift to London where it will be converted into electricity to run the entire city. There is the annual Thaumatology Conference, this year based in London. And everything seems to be going remarkably well, even if people are still thinking the world might end before New Year.

Then the conference is threatened by a group of militant scientists and there are growing rumours of a war between demons and dragons which has been going on for millennia, but may be about to flare up again on Earth. It is time to pick sides and decide upon loyalties, and Ceri has dragon ancestors while Lily Carpenter, her lover, is half-demon. When colleagues and friends begin to vanish or fall, can the two friends keep their relationship together?

There is a lot, and I mean a lot, of things going on in this book. It is, quite simply, the climax of the entire series and many secrets are revealed which, to be honest, did bother me somewhat. Mind you, there are several cliffhangers, all of which are substantial and important ones that still have to be played out.

The largest reveals being the dragons and their plans, but even though that is core to just about everything that has happened in the series, it is, for me, overshadowed by two things. The first has to do with Twill, but the more important one to me is Lily. Both of these reveals do explain many of the events that have occurred to Lily and as well to Ceri. It is, again for me at least, both distressing in what Lily has to deal with as the story progresses and the choice she has to make. Twill is more concerning in that what she turns to does alter so much for those that care about her.

Lily is forced into a choice that isn’t of her own design, isn’t what she expected she would ever have to do either. But, and this is the important point, in spite of having little choice in what she must do, she does not change who is she because of it. I think that speaks more of Lily’s character, of her true strength, and her own understanding of Ceri than really can be said.

A more difficult plot to watch is Ceri’s. She has been through more than any person should have to face in their lives from what happened to her parents, to all of the horrid things that have happened to her through the series. The subtle shifts that occur over the story, who is touched, how that affects her, and what, in the end, she pressed toward… it’s difficult to accept and in the end, when the reasons are revealed for it, the old saying of “playing dice with lives” came to mind…

I mentioned that there are cliffhangers in this story, several involve characters that are central to Ceri’s life. It is painful to watch and wonder what has happened and if it is possible they will return. But then that is the point isn’t it?

There is a subplot that revolves around demons and there is the barest hint of their world shown. It leaves many questions to be answered, but I expect they will be in the next book if the title is any indication of that. Where that will go is unclear, but I have a fairly good idea of who is involved and what, likely, is coming next. I hope that I am wrong, but I doubt it.

The story moves very quickly leaving little time for the characters to sort out things, or for the reader to pause and try to connect the dots. It is clear that something is going on from the beginning and it will result in a huge problem. After all, combining dragons, demons, a comet, and the end of the world into one story will do that won’t it? It doesn’t feel rushed, just very busy and you need to pay attention to connect the dots.

If you are just starting the series, I wouldn’t start here, you really do need to start at the beginning and see where the threads from the past collide with the story here. The closing of those threads is well done and, really, that’s what I expect from this author. There are continuing D/s themes as well, which have been tending towards a reflection of a certain world view, who’s I won’t say, but it you have followed the story from the beginning, it’s obvious and, to be honest, almost expected.

I was held by the work, enjoyed it very much, and it does make me ponder things and where they are going. That’s why this author is one of my favourite ones…

Five out of five pitchforks…

Oh, and Niall? I am going to hurt you… Mind you, since it’s only one day till the next book The Other Side of Hell comes out, it won’t be for too long…

You might even enjoy it… Just saying…




    • avatar
    • James on December 22, 2012 at 12:07 am

    How could he help but enjoy it? That may be what keeps him writing . . .

    Just sayin” . . .

    • avatar
    • TeraS on January 8, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Oh… Prolly not…


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