Sea Dragon Heir (Chronicles of Magravandias) Paperback – 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
Many generations have passed. Valraven, the current eldest son of the Caradorean family, accepts posting to the Magravandian military, part of his ancestor's oath, but his twin sister Pharinet struggles with the realization that the time is coming to reawaken the magic of their country's connection to the sea and the Sea Dragons.
What a shame! That Storm Constantine can write is beyond dispute. Her descriptive passages are moving and brilliant. Her dialogue is lucid, realistic and fast-paced. The magic or dream sequences are eerie, fascinating and compelling. But, in spite of all that, this novel is as fundamentally flawed as its characters. One and all, they are driven by emotions and traits that are either dark and ugly or weak and pathetic - greed, lust, ambition, hunger for power, ambivalence, amorality or moral turpitude, egocentricity, sycophancy and selfishness. Pharinet, for example, comes to realize that her incestuous love for her twin, Valraven, cannot be continued but at no time expresses even the slightest apology or twinge of regret. Even when these characters appear to display strength or courage or unity of purpose, it is not noble and seems to arise only out of their dark side.Read more ›
I first read this book over summer break when I was bored out of my mind and decided to go to the library. I saw this on the shelf and immediately became interested. I absolutely couldn't put it down because I wanted to understand the characters and find out what happened. I was very unsatisfied with the ending of the book, but then I found out about the sequel. The ending was not an ending, but a setup for the next novel. It worked for me. I bought the other two books as soon as I found them.
The darkness and sexuality of Sea Dragon Heir is not for everyone and I can see where it would turn people away from this book. I loved the characters and the air of mystery shrouded about them. They were so... human. There isn't a Mary Sue or Marty Stew in sight in this story. I never once regretted buying this book.
There is a great piece of work in there somewhere, the world and setting are wonderful the characters just are horribly lacking.
My main quarrel? The characters. Blarrgh. It looks to me like the plot (a fairly decent one) was constructed first, with all its lovely embellishments, sunlit corridors and dark, dusty corners. Then Storm decided at the last minute that she needed some unwitting little lifeforms scampering around down there, perfect little silly-putty creatures that would mold themselves conveniently into whatever contortions the plot demanded of them. Thus, we have characters that aren't fleshed out, and characterization that's inconsistent. Take Pharinet for example. She vacillates between petty maliciousness and indulgent self-loathing through the whole book -- switching when it's convenient for a plot twist.
Next we have the 'show-and-tell' problem. Storm rushes through events, leaving an inordinate amount of storyline up to the reader's imagination. For instance, we're TOLD Pharinet's twin brother Valraven was once a kind, loving soul (though it was never evident to me); a few pages later he's cold and aloof, and legendary for his cruelty on the battlefield, even though we never actually SEE him on any battlefield. Or look at Prince Bayard. One minute he's a nasty little brat who delights in making Valraven's life miserable. The next minute, they're lovers, and Valraven's going around calling him 'Bay!' Of course one or two lines are set aside to explain away Bayard's insults and jibes as a kind of courtship.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
After reading the trilogy set, I can go back to this first book and safely say that Sea Dragon Heir is my least favorite of the three. Read morePublished on Sept. 22 2003
The Magravandias series (starting with this book) is probably the easiest Storm book to get your hands on. Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2003 by Wendy C. Darling
This is the first book in The Magravandias Chronicles. I thought it was pretty cool. I didn't enjoy it as much as some of the author's other work but it was a very interesting... Read morePublished on Dec 16 2002
If you like your neo-pagan gothic fantasy liberally sprinkled with feminism, incest, freewheeling sex, and Byzantine political plots, Storm Constantine's Sea Dragon Heir is your... Read morePublished on March 29 2002 by C. A. Loewen
I enjoyed this book but it wasn't compelling enough to make me read the rest of the trilogy. The story feels somewhat contrived, as if the protagonists are doing things the author... Read morePublished on March 26 2002
Pharinet Palindrake and her twin brother Valraven are united by their desire to free the hidden powers of Caradore, their home, from the Magravandian Empire, as well as their... Read morePublished on Dec 5 2001
This is not one of Storm's best. In fact,this is a confusing mix of conventional fantasy and arcane sex politics, full of loose ends and uncompleted scenarios. Read morePublished on Sept. 27 2001 by Ventura Angelo
Unlike alot of reviews I will not be giving away any of the plot, I will simplpy give a review.
So, as I read this book I could not decide whether I wanted to throw this book... Read more