Rating: 3 stars
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When the powerful Oracle begins to foresee the destruction of their world and all worlds, only one vision shows any hope of salvation. It involves a young, powerful dragon and a prince lost at sea. For Dragon, who thrives in the boiling heat of the earth, the prospect of being anywhere near the sea or water in general isn’t a pleasant one. He loathes getting wetting and too much exposure could dampen or destroy his power. And as the Dragon of Fire, the most powerful of his caste, Dragon is a force to be reckoned with.
The Oracle directs him to the ship where the prince is hidden, but beyond that, he must figure out the man’s identity himself. Away from home for the first time and surrounded by enough water to make him shudder, Dragon finds kindness from the ship’s cook and his friend. But while Shev and Shov offer Dragon a port in the storm, he still has a mission to do and, if he fails, existence is as stake.
The Oracle’s Flame was a quick read with strong pacing, but it lack well defined characters or a plot that had much substance. I think when your main character is a dragon, naming them Dragon is a little too on the nose. There isn’t a lot of depth to Dragon, but his unease with being away from his home and the safety it provides is palpable. It makes him more sympathetic and slightly more interesting than the other characters. Shov and Shev feel like characters in name only and so singularly one dimensional they had almost no impact on the overall plot, save the attention they paid to Dragon.
The pacing is solid in The Oracle’s Flame and, aside from being a short read, there are several action sequences that keep things moving swiftly. Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a plot to speak of. Aside from getting Dragon to a ship in order to search for a missing prince, the story doesn’t really do much. There is no forward character development or evolution of Dragon’s journey beyond the basic. The few details available were fine, but if left me wondering rather what the point of it all was.
The Oracle’s Flame was a short read with tight pacing and a sympathetic main protagonist. Beyond that, there wasn’t much to it. The characters were rather flat and overall the plot lacked direction and purpose. It wasn’t a terrible read by any means, but it didn’t leave much an impression. I found myself wanting more from nearly every aspect. Now, this is the first in a series, so perhaps things will develop more clearly with further volumes, but unless you’re just a super fan of dragons, I’d have to recommend giving this one a pass.