Book name: Dragon Prince
Author: Melanie Rawn
Format: ebook, print
Publication Date: 1990
Star Rating: 5/5
I love both fantasy and romance so fantasy romance novels are often on my TBR list.
Melanie Rawn has been nominated for the Locus award three times, including for Dragon Prince. The novel is the first in the 'Dragon Prince' trilogy, the subsequent books being The Star Scroll and Sunrunner’s Fire.
It was followed by another three books, the 'Dragon Star' trilogy, which features characters from a generation on from Dragon Prince.
Sioned is a sunrunner at Goddess Keep. She has honed her natural talents, which include being able to conjure and control fire and to communicate with her fellow sunrunners over the sunlight.
Sioned is happy enough at Goddess Keep, but has previously seen a vision in the flames of a blond man who she believes is her future husband.
His identity is a mystery until Andrade, the leader of the sunrunners’ order, ask Sioned to ride for Stronghold, where Prince Zehava lives.
The prince has been fatally wounded in a fight with a dragon. He will be succeeded by his only son, Rohan. Andrade informs Sioned that she will marry the dying prince’s son.
Sioned is both excited and overwhelmed. She must cross the desert and, more disturbingly, water in order to meet her true love.
Sunrunners become severely ill whenever they are on water, even lakes and rivers. Their journey is quite an ordeal.
Sioned and her party are almost at Stronghold when they meet Rohan returning from a hunting expedition.
He has killed the dragon that gored his father. The prince’s ashes will be mingled with those of the dragon and scattered in the desert both loved.
The betrothed couple are instantly attracted to each other and both are convinced that their marriage is a good idea for strategic reasons, too.
However, Rohan asks Sioned to keep their betrothal a secret. He intends to win major concessions from High Prince Roelstra at a triennial meeting (the Rialla) at the end of the summer.
Roelstra is determined that Rohan will marry one of his seventeen daughters. He intends to murder his prospective son-in-law as soon as the succession is secured by the birth of Rohan’s heir, his grandson.
Rohan has guessed this, and he has no intention at all of being used in this way.
A lengthy period of struggle follows, including at the Rialla. All the high prince’s daughters are there and several of them are determined to have Rohan as a husband.
Rohan shows that he is a worthy successor to his father by tricking Roelstra over the negotiations and over the question of marriage.
Rohan’s trickery leads to outright hostility by the end of the Rialla, which isn’t improved by Rohan’s subsequent marriage to Sioned.
Dragon Prince is set over a number of years, with the events I’ve just described taking up only a part of the novel.
Dragon Prince is pure fantasy romance, with perhaps a little more focus on romance than many fantasy romance novels. I didn’t mind this at all, though by the time it came to the battle that was brewing for years I was more than ready.
Courtesy of Roelstra’s plotting to marry off his daughters, and desperation to have a son with his mistress, there was plenty of narrative tension throughout.
Roelstra was an excellent villain: the perfect counterpoint to Rohan’s youth and idealism.
Sioned was an empowered and impressive heroine. She was never overawed by the exalted position of her suitor. She remained close to her fellow sunrunners in a way that was very pleasing even after becoming a princess.
Overall, the question of whether Sioned and Rohan would marry was settled comparatively promptly, and Dragon Prince was about so much more than the outcome of their romance. I liked that very much about the book.
I hope you've enjoyed my review of Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn.
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