Review copy provided by Tor Books.
This is the third in its series, and I think there’s enough weight of story ahead of it that it’s really worth going back and reading California Bones and Pacific Fire if you can. The story in Dragon Coast will do an entirely great job of reminding you who these people are and why they matter to each other if you’ve already read the first two, but I think the emotional heft of it will be diminished if you just pick it up as “converging on a dragon on Treasure Island, osteomancy, go!”
The earlier volumes were very focused on Southern California; this one moves north and to a partially new cast of characters, whose relationships to each other are important and unknown to the people trying to navigate them. One of the great strengths of these books is van Eekhout’s portrayal of how people bond in complex ways in stressful situations, and having the previous sets of emotionally close people contrasted and shoved up against new sets made that strength particularly clear.
That makes the books sound cerebral and measured, and in fact they are action-packed and rollicking. They are action-packed, rollicking books with bone magic, and they are about relationships formed and tested and warped in stressful situations.
And also there is a recognition of the importance of water and water magic, particularly in California, so there’s a hot button of mine lovingly pressed.
They’re a good time, is what I’m saying, this one no less than the previous books. There is convergence of three storylines upon the disabled dragon on Treasure Island. That’s what these books are doing. So yeah.
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