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WesternSFA
Shadow Raiders
Dragon Brigade: Volume One
Margaret Weis & Robert Krammes
Daw Books, $24.95; 532pp
Release Date: May 3, 2011

This is the first volume in The Dragon Brigade series.

From the dust jacket; “Scripture tells us the Breath of God is the echo of God’s voice. The magic in the Breath of God is the Word of God. The Breath of God upholds the seven continents and the thousands of small islands that make up the world of Aeronne. The Breath contains a gas that gives lift to the ships that carried the Four Saints in their blessed efforts to spread the Word of God across Aeronne and establish the Church of the Breath. The Breath separates the world above from the Hell below where dwells the Fiend and Foe of God, Aertheum.”

Lord Stephano de Guichen (formerly of the Dragon Brigade of Rosia) has a problem, he and his friends are perennially broke and Countess de Marjolaine has a job that pays handsomely. The problem is that the Countess is Stephano’s mother. After reluctantly accepting the job they all go sailing off to find a missing Royal Armory journeyman who has created a new metal that might be the biggest changer in warfare since the development of fire.

Meanwhile a spy from neighboring Freya has the missing metalworker in hand, and is smuggling him back to Freya. And Father Jacob Northrup with his Knight Protector, Sir Ander Martel, are investigating a massacre at the Abby of Saint Agnes. Of course their paths cross. A few notes: the church controls all magic, the first to discover the massacre were two local dragons, and the metal the journeyman created is resistant to magic and therefore heretical.

This is a fun ride and I’m looking forward to the next volume. Highly Recommended ~~ Bob LaPierre

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