January 1, 2000

Masters & Slayers, by Bryan Davis

Masters & Slayers is the first book in the Tales of Starlight series for adults by Bryan Davis. This series is the slightly more ramped up version of the Dragons of Starlight series, written for teens. My daughters had recently read the first of their series and were excited about the plot, so I dove into my corresponding book.

At first, it seemed I’d entered in the middle of a book, or picking up where a previous one had left off. I was a little lost in the first few chapters, and had a hard time grabbing the characters. The rest of the book was worth the confusion, however. I followed the young hero and heroine from their world, an odd mix of modern and medieval, into the realm ruled by cruel dragons who’d enslaved humans generations ago. The two fight to free these captives, starting the series with exciting rescues and hints of a future relationship. They were assisted by various spirit beings, and a dragon who was difficult to judge, at times helping the heroes, and at times siding with his fellow dragons. Do these additional characters turn out to be helpers or hindrances to the cause?

I particularly enjoyed the similarities between the physical situations of the captives, and spiritual implications that apply in our own world today. Some slaves had given up their hope for salvation, choosing to accept their enslavement and live under the burden of their taskmasters. When the hero appeared, his way to freedom seemed too risky to some, too different from what they’d always known. At no part of the book, however, was there a preachy feel or direct mention of Christianity.

Several things made this book one I won’t be sharing with my early teen daughters. A few violent depictions of murder and/or maiming, at times involving children, put this out of range for their bookshelf. Also, several explanations of the breeding rooms were a bit too suggestive, although there was still much left to the imagination. I would definitely recommend this to any adult friends who enjoy the fantasy genre.

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