I must thank Dance Chica for this book, not because she has read it, but because she was the reason I read Moon Called by Briggs. I liked that book so much, I thought I would read more from her. She is an author I had always meant to read, and now I am very glad I got the push in her direction.
This is what Briggs has to say about it on her website:
I like to stretch my skills on each book I write both to keep me from getting stale and to keep myself from writing the same book over and over. With five books under my belt (including the unpublished sequel to Masques) I felt up to the challenge of writing a male viewpoint. I tried third person, knowing that this story was going to require multiple viewpoints, but Ward insisted on telling this story himself.
From the beginning Ward had a very strong voice, but I never knew from one day's writing to the next, exactly what he was going to be up to. I don't write from an outline, but Ward's story was extreme even for me. When he decided to go to war, I read ever mediaeval war book I could find as well as Sun Tsu's The Art of War. Then I had to research a whole slew of things...only to find that Ward had a few more tricks up his sleeve. I can remember the icy chill of dread that hit me when Ward and Oreg are on board ship and I realized how I had to end the book. To my surprise, when I began the first rewrite, Dragon Bones felt as if I'd planned it scene by scene and I only had to do a very little work to knit it together.
Dragon Bones is the only book I've written that wasn't a romance. I've always found love to be a very strong motivation for characters, making for interesting books. Dragon Bones though had so much emotion to work out between my major characters that there simply wasn't enough space for a good romance, so I left the romance for its sequel Dragon Blood.
Ward of Hurog has tried all his life to convince people he is just a simple, harmless fool...And it's worked. But now, to regain his kingdom, he must ride into war-and convince them otherwise.
I really enjoyed this book. I thought that Briggs did a very good job of writing from the male viewpoint. Ward, who has pretended to be an idiot in an attempt to protect himself from his angry father, suddenly finds his plans destroyed when his father dies suddenly. Everyone thinks that he is an idiot, and now he has to prove to them that he is not. This starts himself on an adventure that proves to both show the world what he is made of, but also to find himself. He has lived behind a mask for so long, he has forgotten who he truly is.
Briggs writes this in an interesting way. Ward is the main character, most of the book is from his viewpoint, but every few chapters she gives the other characters in the book a chance to offer their thoughts on what is going on in the course of the novel. That way it is not only Ward speaking. It is a relatively short novel, but it packs a good story. I pretty much read it in one sitting, and the best thing about it, no cliff-hanger ending! So, while I plan to read the sequel, Dragon's Blood, I don't have to in order to figure out what happened next. I love that in a book.