Mouth of the Dragon by Tom Barczak


The Dragon Manifested

“Her white gown drew blood from the field along its hem as she walked, like a bandage on a wound. She made her way amongst the corpses and broken spears, unmoved but for her stare fixed upon him, pleading with him.”–Mouth of the Dragon

“Mouth of the Dragon” is a novel filled with poetic descriptions and longing of the soul. In an age where ninety percent of what we read is comprised of grammatically incorrect Facebook memes incessantly shoved down your throat, “Mouth of the Dragon” hits you like a round-house kick to the face. This is a book to make you remember why you learned to read in the first place.

In some ways I feel ill-prepared to review at this moment as this book requires some incubation time. The titular dragon, for example, is less a physical being than it is a common ailment. Men and women are taken by the dragon and they cease to be themselves. Yet the dragon seems to have a kind of hive consciousness as well. I was reminded something of the dragon from John Boorman’s ‘Excalibur.’

Walking through a wasteland of bloodshed and war is Chaelus, the hero reborn. Even he is hard to describe as I believe he is heroic, but rarely is he given the opportunity of choice. Chaelus focuses the novel, but he is a character of potential force more often than action.

Mainly, “Mouth of the Dragon” exists like a dream. I’ve only read through it once and I don’t think that will be sufficient. It’s a complex work, beautifully written, and it doesn’t give away all its mysteries at a glance. This is a story worthy of study with tormented characters and a deep sense of spiritual loss and rediscovery. The writing is first rate, and this book is not easily compared to other fantasy novels.

My only concern is that this book might prove to be too difficult for impatient readers. Don’t push. Just sit back and let this novel wash over you like an ocean. The dragon is larger than the novel, which is as it should be.

Here is a fantastic video interview with the author:

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  1. […] New Release: Mouth of the Dragon […]

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