Rohan has become Prince of the Desert and its Stronghold (or fortress/town) after the death of his father. Rohan wants peace, and wants to do the right thing, and he is willing to go to great lengths to do so. He is smitten by a Sunrunner (a person who has magical skill and can communicate using light), Sioned. She and Rohan marry (largely due to the efforts of his Aunt Andrade, the highest ranking Sunrunner). However, before their marriage, Rohan obtains Sioned’s help in establishing treaties with the Desert’s rivals. What happens after they marry, and their experiences as they rule the desert, makes for some great storytelling.
Dragon Prince is a wonderful book in many ways. The writing style is engaging, and the characters are relatable in that they are flawed and face challenges. The magical powers the characters possess and the dragons (yes, dragons) are woven into the story in an imaginative and fresh manner. I love how the characters with magic use sunlight and moonlight to communicate, and the descriptions of the dragons are outstanding. They are portrayed not as being completely evil, but as creatures doing their best to survive.
The plot is similar in some ways to George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series in that it is fantasy, the setting is equivalent to medieval times, and the plot involves people in a struggle for power, but the language is less graphic. There is “adult” content, but the way it is handled is more subtle. The author makes very good use of hint and suggestion, and there is a purpose for everything. The mature content isn’t thrown in for no reason.
My favorite characters are Sioned and Andrade; they are both smart, strong women with definite ideas about what they want and don’t let what others might think stop them. They are flawed and selfish, but they both do love and care about Rohan, and they both want what is best for the kingdom. I like Rohan a lot too; he is probably the least self-centered of the characters and has to deal with some horrific situations and choices. You can feel for him. Pandsala isn’t likable at all, but I do understand her, given the atmosphere in which she grows up. Roelstra is a creep, as are Palila and Ianthe. However, they are hungry for power, so it makes sense they would be creeps. They make interesting antagonists for Rohan and Sioned.
I don’t have any major complaints about Dragon Prince. I think the well-crafted characters and story outweigh any problems. It is long (as is the case with the majority of good fantasy books) and there is a lot to keep up with, but not so much the reader gets confused about what is happening. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series as soon as I can, and this is a book I would be glad to read again.