This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Dragon’s Gold
Series: Kelvin of Rud #1
Author: Piers Anthony
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Edition
Kelvin has round ears. His father had round ears as well, but everyone else in the world has pointed ears. There is prophecy about a Round Ear but Kelvin has never given it a thought.
His father is killed by agents of the Queen of Rud, a Usurper. Kelvin and his younger sister Jon are now out in the Sadlands looking for dragon scale so as to pay the taxes that the Queen has instituted. Kelvin ends up killing a dragon on accident and on their way home with its scales, are captured by a bandit. Jon, who has been dressing up as a boy, is taken as well and sold to the Boy Mart. Kelvin heads to the town where the Boy Mart is with the intentions of somehow rescuing her.
Kelvin finds a magic glove in a tree and hooks up with a group of people who are opposed to slavery and to the Queen in General. Said group tries to buy Jon, but she has come to the attention of the wizard Zantanna and they are outbid. They end up buying another girl, a round ear who can astrally project herself if she eats dragon berries. Kelvin and the group waylay the agent of the wizard and rescue Jon.
Kelvin is setup to be the Roundear of Prophecy and the group begins making plans to overthrow the queen. They hire mercenaries and begin the attack. Kelvin gets captured, finds out his dad is alive and is from earth and has a lot of technology at his disposal. Big battles, people die, blah, blah, John Knight and the Queen disappear down a river which leads to the Flaw, an interdimensional tear.
Jon hooks up with the son of the leader of the revolutionary group and Kelvin hooks up with the roundear girl, Heln. The prophecy isn’t anywhere close to being fulfilled but as it is scattered all over the lands, no one has a complete version so nobody knows when it is finished or not.
I originally read this series back in the early 90’s. I remember it mainly because of the covers (not the one I have for this edition but the one I’ll be putting at the end) and because of the title names: Dragon’s Gold, Serpent’s Silver, Chimera’s Copper, Orc’s Opal and Mouvar’s Magic. I also have faint recollections of there being sleazy sexual undertones throughout them all. But when you are 15, what you consider a sleazy sexual undertone can be quite different from what you consider when at 40.
Sadly, I remembered correctly. Jon is almost raped when it is discovered she is a girl whilst imprisoned at the Boy Mart. It wasn’t graphic but considering that she is 14, the author seemed to enjoy stretching the scene out way more than was needed. From other Anthony books I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s a pervert and this just confirmed it. Heln was also raped but before we met her, so that particular scene wasn’t included. However, it was constantly alluded to every time she or Kelvin had a romantic thought towards the other.
I remember really enjoying the story and being fascinated by the plot and writing and thinking how good these were. Man, how I’ve grown up. This was terribly hackneyed and cliched crap. Ideas of how to forge ahead are written down like 2 players were playing Magic the Gathering, ie, one player puts down a card, then the second player puts down another card to counter it, etc. It was written that way! Ughh. Then you have people who can’t think militarily to save their life. Yes, lets march 4 days through open land to attack the capital instead of shipping down the river and being there in 8 hours. And it was written that way so one character COULD go down the river to advance a plot point. Ughh again.
The writing itself was pretty bad too. A lot of “then he said so she did” writing. Along the lines of the following (made up):
Kelvin ate the apple. Heln asked him if it was good. Kelvin said “Anything from your hands is good.” Heln blushed. This made Kelvin blush.
Needless to say, a teen probably wouldn’t notice it (I certainly didn’t back then) but any halfway competent adult will notice it right off. And a whole book like that?
I had all 5 books lined up to re-read, but after this one I think I’m going to pass on the other books. I seem to remember the sleaze increases as well. So au revoir!
Oh, here’s some of the covers as I remember them, not the crap this addition has: