Todd Lockwood is known throughout the SFF community as a world renowned illustrator and artist. He has done art, covers, and drawings for big series such as: the Forgotten Realms, Dungeons and Dragons, and the Dragonlance series. In 2016, Todd Lockwood decided that he wanted to write his own fantasy series and that is how The Summer Dragon was born. This high fantasy story is highly original featuring dragons and deadly politics. Also, riddled throughout the story is drawings sketched my Mr. Lockwood himself and they are spectacular. This was a fun tale filled with adventure, dark enemies, plenty of political intrigue, and of course dragons!
Maia and her family raise dragons for the political war machine. As she comes of age, she anticipates a dragon of her own to add to the stable of breeding parents. Her peaceful life is shattered when the Summer Dragon, one of the rare and mythical High Dragons, makes an appearance in her quiet valley. Political factions vie for control of the implied message, threatening her aspirations, her aerie, her entire way of life as they interpret the appearance of the summer dragon as an ill omen. The empire is at war and the worry is that the demand for dragons needed to be moved to the warfront will leave Maia without a dragon of her own. This turns out to be the case and Maia is determined to prove that the appearance of the Summer Dragon means something greater for her future and decides to risk it all and take matters into her own hands. She will get her dragon, or die trying.
Its hard to believe that this novel is Todd Lockwood’s first novel as it seemed to me like he had be writing for years. His writing style comes across as very smooth, polished, and you will never feel lost or rushed in the story. The plot is balanced with lots of action, intrigue, family drama, and things take a turn for the worst when the empire sends its representatives to Maia’s home and you get a real sense for the dangers the empire is hiding from the population. Themes like friendship and family are explored in unique ways, and the action and adventure keeps the story moving at a quick and absorbing pace. The story is told primarily in one section of the world but we should get more exploration with more additions to the series.
The story is told through Maia’s first person perspective and She is swept into an adventure that pits her against the deathless Horrors, thralls of the enemy, and a faceless creature drawn from her fear. In her fight to preserve everything she knows and loves, she exposes a conspiracy, unearths an ancient civilization, and challenges her understanding of her world—and of herself. This book was a joy to read in every sense of the word. Whether it be training with dragon rides, the discoveries of a long lost relics, religious doctrine and the secrets it holds, and the edge of your seat moments that will drag you in and not let go for quite some time. The supporting cast in The Summer Dragon are great including Darian as he learns with Maia the obstacles of training dragons and Maia’s father with his pride and heroic past we only get glimpses of. Todd Lockwood is currently working on the sequel to this novel and it can’t come out soon enough!
Any fantasy fan would enjoy the Summer Dragon especially if you have ever imagined what it would be like to ride one. The story will take you away on a ride, shoring to the highest peaks but also to the lowest valleys in the blink of an eye. This may be Todd Lockwood’s first novel, but I see it as one of many because he is a very talented writer. I eagerly wait for the follow-up to the Summer Dragon as the sky is the limit!